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In today’s developed world, packaging is an essential component of a product. The goal has been to increase overall product sustainability while lowering waste and energy usage due to today’s environmental concerns.
What cancer does to an organism’s body, plastic packaging is doing to our earth. Almost every part of our globe is affected by the plastic waste. It doesn’t matter if it’s the highest mountain in the world or the deepest, darkest parts of our oceans.
Plastic packaging is no longer invincible, unlike cancer, for which we are still searching for a treatment. Finally, there are plenty of options available that are not only more environmentally friendly but also effective from an economic standpoint.
With government support and the push for eco-friendly products from consumers, many companies are slowly moving towards greener sustainable packages for their products.
A number of companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, P&G, Unilever, and others, are proactively developing initiatives or materials for sustainable packaging that also give them a competitive edge. To gradually reach their sustainability goals, major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and others are creating supply chain systems.
The market for sustainable packaging is anticipated to reach USD 3,37,542.0 million by 2031, growing at a 6.6% CAGR between 2022 and 2031.
Sustainable product packaging, coupled with sustainable package design, is a potent combination.
The basic goal of sustainable design is to create product packaging that causes the least amount of environmental damage possible.
For example, Raylo-a start-up in London, optimized its packaging by utilizing less materials. Ultimately, Raylo reduced weight by 25% while also reducing packaging expenses by 11%.
Sometimes being sustainable isn’t just about the material, it’s about the amount.
“Two garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into our oceans every minute. Currently, 8 million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans.” The amount of plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to nearly triple by 2040 to 29 million metric tons.
If you’ve ever done any online shopping, you may have been surprised to see a small item packaged in so much plastic! Typical materials used in the packaging include wood, glue, tape, rubber bands, straw pulp, plastic bags, wastepaper and bubble wrap and the impacts are numerous!
Governments from all around the world are making efforts to promote the use of sustainable packaging. Businesses are encouraged in nations like Ireland, Italy, and Japan with tax exemptions for compostable packaging. Packaging in the UK will be taxed more heavily if fewer than 30% of the materials are recycled.
Along with taxes on plastics that are difficult to recycle and exemptions for the use of sustainable packaging, EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) initiatives will hold manufacturers and retailers accountable for the end-of-life of their packaging in the UK as well.
These actions, in addition to others, are all a part of a global initiative to promote the switch to environmentally friendly packaging that is more sustainable.
According to research on current innovation trends in sustainable packaging, there has been significant progress and the development of new methods that will significantly affect the availability of sustainable packaging solutions.
Companies have mostly focused on improving processes for synthetic materials in order to reduce density and raw material utilization, as well as to increase material recovery and reuse.
Companies conducting research and development in this field are aiming to improve barrier characteristics, durability, process ability, and material innovation by utilizing the inherent qualities of bioplastics.
The term “bioplastics” refers to materials formed of plastic that are derived from sugars present in sugarcane, corn starch, and cassava. The importance of technology is becoming more and more apparent as investment increases. This sort of biodegradable plastic is gaining popularity as a sustainable packaging material as we move away from plastics made from petroleum
Dissolvable packaging is a new type of environmentally friendly solution, with water-soluble packing being the most promising. This is being explored as a possible plastic substitute. With laundry pods and dishwasher pods, we’ve already witnessed the normality of this form of packaging. In addition to eliminating single-use plastic wrappers, it also improves user convenience.
The majority of packaging options fit within the “take, make, and trash” linear economy model. Making a significant transition to the “take, make, restore/recover and remake” circular economy model is the cornerstone of sustainable packaging.
With a global shift toward fighting climate change, the way we approach packaging is set to grow and change. Rather than being an alternative option, environmentally friendly packaging is only going to become more important.
Authored by :Anamika Manhas