Package Sustainability Now an Expectation

Smithers Pira’s report, “Ten-year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Sustainable Packaging to 2026,” says, “Sustainability will become an increasingly important factor for decision makers at all stages of packaging value chains. Sustainability is now a fast-growing and vitally important area of concern for packaging and addresses economic, environmental and social objectives.”

“The trend toward sustainability is an important influence on the packaging industry. Consumers, manufacturers and retailers are all demanding more sustainable systems, which are formalized in corporate social responsibility goals and publicized in product marketing,” says Dr Terence A. Cooper, author of the report.

“Consequently, sustainability is no longer just nice to have, but is now seen as a necessity for attracting consumers and protecting market share – i.e. it is now an expectation, not a differentiator.”

Smithers Pira’s report makes the following points:

• Mechanical recycling and sustainability are not synonymous and many different factors contribute to the carbon footprints of different packaging types and materials.

• The most important rigid packaging plastic is PET, followed by polyethylene (PE); PET and PE combined account for about 65% of plastics used for rigid packaging. Polypropylene is next. In contrast, the most important plastic material used for flexible packaging is PE, followed by PP and PET.

• There is presently no package that is completely sustainable and the various packaging materials (including plastics, paper, paperboard, metals and glass) all have advantages and shortcomings depending upon the product application.

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Source: Healthcare Packaging