Sustainable packaging slated for consistent growth thru 2021.
With pressure on manufacturers by consumers to reduce waste and improve sustainability, many are searching for green packaging solutions in order to meet ever-increasing regulatory standards and gain a competitive advantage, says PackagingNetwork.com. The drivers for these materials are the concerns about packaging waste, increased health awareness, rising disposable income levels among consumers, levels of energy consumption, and packaging technology.
In general, sustainable packaging types include recycled content (paper, plastic, metal, and glass), reusable packaging (drums and plastic containers), and degradable packaging. Though these types offer many benefits, they also tend to increase overall production costs.
For manufacturers wary of taking the plunge and being left behind, TheDieline.com’s recently posted article, “Five Sustainable Packaging Hurdles to Overcome”has suggestions to take that first step:
- Using green packaging for only a portion if costs seem prohibitive for the whole.
- Designing for just the most restrictive when dealing with State regulations instead of for all.
- Keeping recyclability instructions simple for the consumer.
- Finding alternative packaging processes that are still aesthetically pleasing but recyclable.
- Incorporating green practices in the packaging process even if not with the packaging itself.
Last year, Pak West, recognizing the growing interest in going green, held a seminar on sustainable packaging. Green packaging showcased included bagasse (sugarcane), molded pulp fiber, corn-based bio-plastics, wood fiber, and other alternative, compostable, and biodegradable materials.
“Presently, the U.S. is the largest market for green packaging thanks to a high level of environmental awareness and extensive use of eco-friendly products.” The technology is constantly evolving, and the better informed about the offerings, the better off in designing the right packaging with the right costs.