The future of compostable packaging is bright

A multi-pronged, multi-stakeholder systems approach is needed to fully realize the potential of compostable packaging.


Large-scale composting has the potential to take approximately one-third of the municipal solid waste stream out of landfills, benefiting the economy, retaining resource availability and addressing climate change impact. Food waste comprises more than 10% of the U.S. waste stream, making it the third largest component.


Here are three areas to focus on, along with next steps. Certainly the future of composting and compostable packaging are bright, though the pace of growth remains frustratingly slow.


  1. Policy Approaches: Both voluntary and mandatory approaches are detailed, to include case studies, in the EPA’s recently published Managing and Transforming Waste Streams Tool for localities.


  1. Outreach and Education:Localities, composters, non-profits and compostable packaging manufacturers and brands can all help answer these critical questions:
    1. Why? In absence of strong policy drivers, why should an organization divert its food and compostable packaging waste?
    2. How? A number of toolkits are now available to help with this question within a number of sectors, but a national resource is needed.
    3. What? Particularly for packaging, this piece is critical to reducing and/or eliminating contamination.


  1. Contamination: Recyclers and composters are not merely waste disposal services, but also manufacturers looking to create a viable product. As with recycling, the more contamination that occurs, the less valuable the product and more expensive the process.


Source: Packaging Digest

Six packaging trends for 2016

A new report called “Global Packaging Trends – A Fast-Forward Look at How the Next Generation of Packaging is Engaging Consumers in 2016” identifies six key trends set to transform the global packaging industry this year.


These trends include:

  • Digital revolution: The unique capabilities of digital printing have captured the attention of retailers, brand owners and packaging converters globally by creating opportunities to engage consumers on a local, personal and emotional level.
  • Phenomenal flexibles: While brands will still be looking to pouches to capture consumers’ attention, truly innovative brands will be looking to the next generation of rigid/flexible hybrids.
  • Show me the goods: Clear and concise information about ingredients, functional product attributes, or even convenience and safety must be communicated with total transparency.
  • More than “just” green packaging: Two key initiatives are beginning to resonate: a focus on alternative package material sources, and catering to the 63% of U.S. consumers who’ve stated that reusable and repurposable packaging is a key purchasing driver. Going forward, brands cannot afford to ignore this “ecologically friendly” purchasing driver as they develop their brand positioning and marketing strategies.
  • Size matters: If brand owners are to overcome the growing lack of consumer brand loyalty, they must create and deliver packaging that consumers see as right-sized for themselves, their families, and shifting use occasions.
  • Packaging mobile-ution: Moving forward, as brands clamor for innovative ways to engage and connect with shoppers, the mobile environment will become the new front line in the battle to win consumers’ hearts, minds, and wallets.



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Source: Packaging World


5 exciting, emerging sustainable packaging materials to watch in 2016

Every year technology advancements in the packaging industry become more innovative, widespread and tangible. These advancements are key contributors in propelling new safety and sustainability opportunities. Manufacturers and technology providers are working together to provide the most sustainable packaging solutions for end users. Here are some of the latest packaging materials to keep an eye on.


  1. Sustainable Aqueous Barrier Coatings

New sustainable coatings improve fiber products by preventing moisture from penetrating them material and possibly contaminating food. New sustainable coatings also present alternatives to laminated structures that cannot be recycled.


  1. Molded Fiber Printing

New technology enables high-res four-color graphics to be applied directly to the molded fiber packaging.


  1. Light Weight Insulation

There is a new lightweight, durable insulation material for cold and hot applications called Chill Buddy. The packaging material is temperature controlled and offers a sustainable substitute to expanded polystyrene foam.


  1. Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose Specialty Fiber

Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose is a fiber derived from plant waste. It is used to strengthen and lighten fiber products sustainably; resulting in reduced material with maintained performance,  improved crack resistance and a stronger fiber that is lighter weight.


  1. Micro-Pattern Material Enhancement

This new technology improves the grip, comfort and handling of hot beverages, while slowing down the condensation process.



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Source: Packaging Digest