Posted on April 14, 2009 by Dennis Salazar

A Book Review of “Packaging Sustainability”, by Wendy Jedlicka

packaging-sustainability-by-wendy-jedlickaIn the interest of full disclosure I have to tell you I consider Wendy a personal friend and ally in our efforts to help make the world greener through packaging. Even though the book includes a photograph of my incredibly cute granddaughter (intro, page VI) and a reprint of something I recently wrote (page 14), I have absolutely no problem being straightforward with my comments on her book. In fact I would dare to say our relationship and friendship would suffer if I was less than honest in my appraisal of Wendy’s work.

“Sustainability isn’t hard: it’s just not simple”

That is the opening thought Wendy shares with us in her introduction, and I will admit that my initial concern was that any book about sustainability authored by a designer, especially an accomplished, talented designer like Wendy, would be technical and therefore somewhat boring for the average, non-designer reader like yours truly. I am very pleased to say Wendy wrote a book that can and should be read by anyone and everyone interested in sustainability from a buyer or seller, user or provider perspective. In other words, almost anyone with even a passing interest in green or in packaging can and will enjoy and learn something from reading Packaging Sustainability.

No magic solutions or secret ingredients provided

Wendy offers no easy answers because there rarely are any. For the person interested in a quick solution or an easy way out, there is none to be had in this book or any other book that is truthful and well informed. On the plus side, this book does not read like a designer’s text book and is filled with excellent case studies, examples and of course Wendy’s well informed insight and very obvious experience. If you too have strong feelings about sustainability, you may not always fully agree with everything Wendy has written but you undoubtedly will conclude it is well thought out and well presented.

Sustainable Resources

One of the things Wendy does incredibly well in this book is to utilize the many resources she has accumulated over the twenty years she has worked as a packaging designer. She may not have all the answers but she undoubtedly knows someone who does. Every organization in the “business of green” ranging from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to Green America has contributed to this book in some way, shape or form. Some of the brightest voices in sustainability are included and she shares a lot of knowledge with her readers. It is not often you will find a book whose quotes include Confucius and well … me. Absolutely no comparison of minds, but a great example of the extremes Wendy is willing to resort to in her effort to make a point.

An Unpaid Endorsement

In spite of my (very minimal) contribution to this work, I have no financial or commercial interest in it at all. However, I encourage you to buy and read it because much like Wendy’s extensive efforts to produce it, it will prove to be time well spent.

For more information about Wendy’s book and to order it, please visit this website: