A pair of organizations in the paper-based packaging industry combined force and resources and used the 2009 Pack Expo in October to roll out “The Responsible Package,” an industrywide campaign to promote the versatility and sustainability of packaging made of paper-based products.

The campaign is designed to advance the leadership position of paper-based packaging within the broader packaging industry and further paper-based packaging’s commitment to providing renewable, recyclable and sustainable packaging that also is reliable and economically viable, according to a release.

“Paper, paperboard and corrugated are sustainable packaging solutions made from a renewable raw material and recycled at very high levels,” said Peter Heist, vice president of International Paper and chairman of the Paperboard Packaging Alliance, which will help fund the initiative along with the Corrugated Packaging Alliance. “As manufacturers and consumers increasingly seek environmentally friendly products, The Responsible Package campaign will provide packagers with the tools they need to make decisions that meet their sustainability goals.”

The paper-based industry, which already makes claims of being a leading producer and user of carbon-neutral, renewable energy, also will be looking to increase many of its sustainability standards over the next two to three years. Paper-based packaging accounts for nearly 75% of all packaging material recovered for recycling … totaling about 25 million tons. The industry has set a new goal of at least 60% recovery for 2012, according to the release. Each percentage point increase means recovery of an additional 1 million tons of paper.

Additionally, the campaign will champion the renewability of forest products and the versatility of paper-based packaging.

“The raw materials we use to make paper-based packaging are sustainably grown, managed and harvested specifically for the paper industry,” Heist said in the release. “This renewable, natural resource is at the heart of sustainable packaging and paper goods.”