Green Materials Online Course & Certificate

20 contact hours
Used For:
2 Continuing Education Units
Course and Certificate:

Green materials is the development and use of packaging which results in improved sustainability. At the end stage of design it involves increased use of life cycle inventory and life cycle assessment to help guide the use of packaging which reduces the environmental impact and ecological footprint. This steps requires an assessment of the entire supply chain: from basic function, to marketing, and then through to end of life and rebirth.

Green Materials is course that provides a comprehensive review of sustainable packaging solutions, and how it affects various applications. This course reviews the following:

  • Recycled materials (bio-based renewable or non-renewable), which encourages waste reduction and the conservation of resources

  • Post-consumer recovered materials supports an ethic of stewardship, supports the development of markets, and is an essential part of developing near closed loop systems.

  • Bio-based renewable materials from well-managed sources reduces dependence on non-renewable resources, uses current photosynthesized carbon to create raw materials that have the potential to be greenhouse gas neutral, and encourages more sustainable management of these resources.

  • Bio-degradable (compostable) materials that can be returned to the earth, decomposing into natural byproducts.


After completing Green Materials, students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the following:

  • basics of green packaging, sustainability
  • recycled packaging materials
  • bio-polymers; renewable sources
  • biodegradable sources
  • life cycle assessment
  • green economics
  • outlook for the future


This course is an intended for people working in packaging production, materials supply, and other industries which supply to or purchase from packaging manufacturers. Newcomers to these industries, or people who have had no formal technical training, managers and professionals in areas such as sales, marketing and other roles where a knowledge of packaging materials and processing technologies would improve confidence and communication, with customers, suppliers and colleagues.

No prerequisites are required.

 Students will be assigned 5 homework assignments, and 1 final exam for each course. 

What does “green” mean?

Packaging made out of recycled source material

  • Paper
  • Synthetic plastic
  • Glass
  • Aluminum

Packing products made of annually renewable plants

  • Corn starch
  • Grasses
  • Sugarcane fibers
  • Coatings

Biodegradable products

  • Compostable materials
  • Poly-lactic acid
  • Others

Impact and Outlook

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) of green packaging
  • Green Economics
  • Outlook for the future


 This course is Instructor-led and delivered through our award-winning online Learning Management System.