Paper-based packaging and hybrid plastic alternatives on the rise

old man shoppingPaper-based packaging and hybrid plastic alternatives are on the rise following a tipping point for the plastic packaging industry last year, according to Innova Market Insights, a global knowledge leader in the food and beverage industry.

With bans on single-use plastics and an increased media focus on the environmental impact of plastic pollution, many FMCG companies have begun taking steps toward offering more sustainable packaging alternatives.

The report found strong growth in food and beverage launches with an ethical packaging claim and 40 per cent growth in new food launches with paper-based packaging (2018 vs. 2014).

However, convenience remains key, with the number of food and beverage launches with a resealable closure rising rapidly at an average annual growth rate of 92 per cent in the past three years (2016-2018).

1) Recyclable by Design

Innova Market Insights highlighted “Recyclable by Design” as the number 1 packaging trend for 2019. The company said that collaboration between businesses and recycling agencies is vital to achieve circular economy goals.

“Clearer labelling, standardized packaging and increasing the recycled content of products could all help in encouraging higher levels of recycling,” said Joshua Poole, packaging editor, Innova Market Insights.

2) E-Commerce Ready

With more consumers choosing to shop online, Innova pointed out the importance of developing packages that provide product protection and tamper evidence along the supply chain, while reducing the environmental impact of shipping materials in the e-commerce supply chain.

3) Nature’s Appeal

The backlash against plastic in the last year has fuelled a resurgence in paper and paperboard packaging. “Paper is not only naturally renewable, recyclable and compostable, but can also add value
via its “naturalness” in an increasingly eco-conscious society,” Poole said.

4) More Convenient Convenience

At number 4, Innova pointed to consumer convenience as one of the most important attributes to consider when designing packaging. “Innovations within this area focus on facilitating on-the-go consumption and ease-of-use.”

5) Pack to the Future

IoT technologies such as QR codes and blockchain have also come to the forefront in packaging. There has been a rise in near field communication and augmented reality which can help consumer engagement

Innova Market Insights top 10 trends also include Less is More; Bio-Plastic Booms; Packaging for Me; Inclusive by Design and Reusable Innovation.

“In order to achieve the ambitious circular economy and sustainability goals set forth by governing bodies and businesses alike, an alliance between food manufacturers, packaging suppliers and waste management agencies is paramount to packaging design in the food and beverage industry in 2019,” Poole said.

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