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Flexible Packaging and Source Reduction

Is flexible packaging as sustainable as it claims to be? Yes flexible packaging is manufactured using less plastic than rigid packaging resulting in less plastic to transport and dispose of, but flexible packaging’s sustainability may not be as straightforward as perceived.

 

Flexible packaging advocates boast its sustainable advantages, which are mainly true, however if these claims are exaggerated they could result in serious backlash. Unfortunately the method for quantifying sustainability is subjective. Flexible packaging’s source reduction can be a competitive advantage. Although the more easily quantifiable benefits, such as storage and transport, might reside more with supply chains than with the consumer.

 

To win the consumer, companies should make true product sustainability claims. Companies should avoid overselling product sustainability claims and expect consumers to think of sustainability as a tie breaker when all other factors are equivalent.

 

Growth for flexible packaging could be attributed to the utilization of technologies to provide competitive advantages. Examples of this are innovations that allow for multilayer structures for better barrier protection, the ability to create an interlocking strip system to store product for long periods of time without exposure, and producing see-through packaging for product visibility.

 

To read the entire article please visit:

http://www.greenerpackage.com/source_reduction/flexible_packaging_and_source_reduction

 

Source: Greener Package

Five Key Trends Shaping Food and Beverage Packaging

Lifestyles and eating habits of the population today have drastically changed compared to prior years. Demographic changes, such as fewer married couples, more people living alone, smaller household sizes and multi-generational households are impacting packaging developments. The shift in consumer attitude and lifestyle has effected behaviors regarding food and beverage packaging. One of the five new trends includes targeting millennials who have shown more interest and brand loyalty to fresher and/or organic products that are typically found on the parameter of the grocery store. Second, smaller packages have proven a bigger trend. Smaller households or those living alone have more of a demand for smaller or single-serve packaged meals or multiple packaged snack packs. Third, convenient packaging has been a big selling point in snack foods. Ease of opening, reclosing, and portability have been an influence on the packaging. Fourth, transparent packaging. The ability to see ones food prior to buying has had huge influence on the food industry. The demand for more transparency in the food industry has been of grave importance to the consumer, both figuratively and literally. Lastly, eco-friendly packaging options have huge appeal to consumers as of late.

 

For further reading, please visit http://www.packworld.com/package-design/strategy/5-key-trends-shaping-food-and-beverage-packaging

 

Source: Packaging World

Environmental Concern Empowers the People

Environmental awareness is now mainstream. It is no longer limited to a small niche of people but rather consumers across the board. A concern for the environment is changing consumer’s purchasing behaviors. More and more, people are looking for signifiers that companies are a part of the rainforest initiative or packaged using post-consumer recycled products. Also, this translates into consumers consciously choosing to avoid brands where there is no message of environmental sustainability. Consumer commitment to the environment has moved from concern to action, creating positive change in the industry.

The evolution of environmentally conscious consumers has created a demand for manufacturers to incorporate sustainable practices into their business strategies. Food manufacturers and retail operations have adopted environmental initiatives; this incorporates the recyclability of a product, analyzing manufacturing equipment to ensure the operation uses minimal energy and creates less waste, lastly, using responsibly sourced materials.

Concerns for the environmental are not slowing down; they will continue to influence buyer behavior and increase the drive within corporate America – consumer awareness and purchasing power will continue to drive corporations to adopt sustainability into their business strategies.

To read the full article, please visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-kennell/environmental-concern-emp_b_8105580.html

Source: Huffington Post

Jennifer McCracken sheds some light on the lure of green packaging

When it comes to sustainability, food and beverage brand owners are eager for new packaging material. While the desire for a green product line seems to be stronger than ever, brand owners still take into account the cost, product compatibility, shelf life, and regulatory requirements. How can companies take advantage of new sustainable packing lines? Jennifer McCracken, director, sustainability, Global Innovation and Sustainability at HAVI Global Solutions provided some insight while speaking at the New Material & Strategies to Cost-Efficiently Enhance Your Sustainability Plan this past July in Chicago.

McCracken points out that while people have the desire to make an impact, they often do not have the time or resources to do so. By packaging companies offering sustainable options, they are giving the consumer the ability to make ecological choices and thus have an impact on the environment. This is giving the consumer the power to make a difference through their purchasing. Brands also want their customers to feel a sense of pride when they purchase a particular product and thus allowing consumers to feel good about their purchases.

Recently, there has been an enormous lure to green packaging options; however, McCracken points out that that some manufacturers have reservations about the complete transition to sustainable materials. For packaging developers, the biggest concern is the cost and performance of the materials. McCracken explains that developers are looking for cost neutral and of equal quality so the packaging is effective.

Another reservation is whether the materials are truly sustainable. Are these materials using land resources? McCracken gives the example of growing trees to produce paper. Furthermore, newer materials may not have the certifications to call it sustainable, or newer sustainable materials may be relying on a third party to validate their materials.

When a company considers going sustainable, McCracken advises to carefully consider the message before making a significant investment. The message conveyed to the public needs to be legal, meet regulatory standards, and meet qualifying technical language while resonating with customers.

For more information on the green process, read Federal Trade Commission Green Guides for a better understanding.

For the full Jennifer McCracken article please visit http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/why-are-sustainable-packaging-materials-in-such-high-demand1507

 

Source: Packaging Digest

The Future is Flexible

Waste reduction, resource efficiency, sustainability and convenience: all reasons behind the growth in flexible packaging. Flexible packaging has entered a new era, one where more resources are saved, and food waste is reduced. Less efficient materials are being replaced, for example, the transportation of beverages in glass bottles versus pouch style. This meant that 47% of beverage was being transported while 52% was packaging. While pouches the ratio was 93% beverage and 6% pouch. The product still performs, sometimes more efficiently, and has a lower environmental impact. FPE is looking to reinforce the message that there is a more environmental sustainable alternative, and it is looking to make the whole supply chain more sustainable.

To read more, please visit:

http://www.packagingtoday.co.uk/features/featurethe-future-is-flexible-4302648/

Source: Packaging Today

Growth and fragmentation in flexibles gives brands food for thought

Flexible packaging is finding new applications for consumers, currently pouches and other flexibles are involved in snacking from adults to toddlers. They are finding a wide range of products to target every consumer. Flexible packaging is offering unique shapes, functions, and convenience. Quite literally, this form of packaging is presenting its self as flexible for the needs of many industries. The flexible packaging industry is not pigeon holing either, the genius of the product is that it is flexible for those looking to convert, and those who are looking to be innovative and differentiate their product.

Between 2012 and 2013, the use of pouches for snacks grew 7%, the use of pouches for sauces and seasonings saw growth of 20%. Over the past decade, pouches have become quite the competition for traditional rigid packaging and has been embraced by U.S. consumers for the ease of use and accessibility. Going forward, we can count of seeing innovative designs, convenient uses, and easy storing.

To read the full article please visit: http://www.packagingdigest.com/flexible-packaging/growth-and-fragmentation-in-flexibles-gives-brands-food-for-thought140731

Source: Packaging Digest

Food Manufacturers Rethink Flexible Packaging

Processors are rethinking and improving existing products and make new ones possible thanks to advances in pouch packaging. Flexible packaging suppliers focus on the sustainable end of life scenarios for pouch packaging, bags and film wrappers due to the plethora of green benefits. Unfortunately one area where most flexible packaging is not green is recyclability.  The flexible packaging industry is working on a solution for this problem. One solution is the recyclable 100% polyethylene stand up pouch developed by Dow Chemical. Recyclable pouches can be recycled through bag and film recycling programs. These recycle programs require the end user to bring the clean, empty packaging back to a retail store.

To read more click on the link below.

http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2014/food-manufacturers-rethink-flexible-packaging/?show=all

Source: Food Processing

Top 25 impacts on flexible packaging supply chain

Smithers Pira has released a report listing the trends that will influence flexible packaging over the next ten years. The report ‘Ten Year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Flexible Packaging to 2023’ explores technological, economic, consumer, sociological, environmental and regulatory changes. The report also lists the top 25 developments. The focus of the report is food and beverage packaging, but pharmaceutical and household chemical applications are also included

According to Chandra Leister, Marketing and Production Manager at Smithers Pira, the top five disruptive technologies in flexible packaging are forecast to be intelligent packaging, recyclability, packaging openability, biobased polymers and digital printing. The report claims there will be continuous development of new flexible packaging products for new markets and applications encroaching on traditional rigid packaging. High growth is expected in Europe and North America, as well as in the emerging markets of Asia and Central and South America.

The report states that smart packaging will be the key disruptive factor affecting the flexible packaging industry due to high cost, consumer resistance to items such as sachets in packaging and concerns about excessive packaging. Though, intelligent packaging is expected to decrease cost, increase emphasis on food safety, anti-counterfeiting, new regulations and brand owner/consumer demand. This will lead to radically new views on the function of packaging to include monitoring, tracking, warning, remediation, authentication, communication and brand protection.

The report states the second most disruptive technology is recyclability. Because of the small amount of material used in a flexible package, it produces much less waste than other formats. However, it is not currently feasible to mechanically recycle postconsumer flexible packaging because of its thin film structure, multi-layered composition and often contamination by food waste. This situation could create problems with the sustainability and recyclability goals of many major corporations or with the reduced or zero landfill policies of many governments. More easily recyclable materials and barrier structures, including monolayers, are expected to be introduced over the next 10 years, but this will not resolve the problem unless improved collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure is implemented.

Source: Smithers Pira

https://www.smitherspira.com/market-reports/news/disruptive-technologies-in-flexible-packaging.aspx