DOST-ITDI showcases 2 new packaging labs, seeks to elevate PH's packaging research

As part of the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) continuous commitment to elevating the level of packaging research in the country, the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), has unveiled Simulation Packaging Testing Laboratory (STPL) and Green Packaging Laboratory (GPL).

Photo courtesy of DOST-ITDI

During the weekly report of DOST. Sec. Fortunato T. dela Peña, he said that the move is also part of supporting the globally competitive packaging innovations for the Filipino.

Dela Peña also led the event on June 20 with the theme "Creating Globally Competitive Packaging Innovations for the Filipino" together with DOST Undersecretary for R&D, Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, ITDI Director and other officials of DOST and ITDI.

It was attended by key players from the industry, such as the Packaging Institute of the Philippines (PIP), Unilever Philippines, Healthy Options, Grab Philippines, and Kerry Philippines, among others. JICA Philippines also conveyed its support for the establishment of the two laboratories.

According to DOST-ITDI, the main goal of establishing the SPTL is to provide a venue to simulate the actual hazards that packaged products will undergo during distribution.

"Overall, SPTL can design and test the performance of transport packaging for products such as food, furniture/house décor, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, personal care products, and in the near future, dangerous goods. From an existing 9 ISTA testing protocols, with the current SPTL, it will be expanded to 19, which covers ISTA 6 or the Amazon testing protocols," it said.

On the other hand, the agency stated that setting up the GPL is one of the DOST’s endeavors to provide packaging options, alternative packaging materials, and green and sustainable technologies. Green and sustainable packaging is a new area PTD is currently undertaking, hence the establishment of GPL.

DOST-ITDI mentioned that the purpose of GPL is not to discriminate against any type of packaging materials but to offer alternative packaging options to manufacturers and end-users of packaging.

"The overall concept of GPL is to research all kinds of packaging materials, bioplastics, new and alternative packaging materials from indigenous and renewable materials, the circularity of petroleum-based materials, improved processes to reduce energy consumption and waste materials, and recycling technology," it added.

The two laboratories are open for partnership and collaboration with the industry, private sector, academe, and other government units in packaging research, innovation, and development of packaging standards.