Innovation in sustainable packaging
Innovations in sustainable packaging have soared since 2015 - data
Addressing ESG challenges look daunting but the right approach will reap rewards
Data from GlobalData’s ‘Pack-Track’ database revealed a 160% increase in sustainable packaging launches between 2015 and 2021. The database provides an overview of thousands of the most innovative consumer pack launches from around the world and can thus be viewed as a good measure of where the industry is focusing its investment.
One such launch last year was Rhythm 108’s “100% compostable" packaging for its soft-baked filled cookies. The company has set a commitment to make the packaging for all of its products from 100% sustainable materials.
Another launch listed in the database, Nescafe’s Gold Blend coffee, presents another solution to creating more sustainable packaging. Made from steel, the brand’s pack is “infinitely recyclable” as it can be repurposed for all manner of uses.
[Header] Consumer demand for sustainable materials on the rise
With the effects of unsustainable packaging materials on the environment becoming of greater concern to consumers, the immense increase in sustainably packaged products is no surprise.
Despite the pandemic, consumers have remained steadfast in their desire to make sustainable purchase choices. A GlobalData survey focusing on the consumer’s changing views during the COVID period revealed that 22% of respondents thought that choosing recyclable/reusable packaging is more important than it was before the pandemic.
In another survey examining the effects of COVID on consumer choices, conducted by DS Smith and Ipsos MORI, 85% of consumers said they want to buy products that use as little packaging as possible. Meanwhile, 29% said they had stopped purchasing certain brands because their packaging was not sustainable.
These concerns have also been addressed in policy. At the start of last year, for example, the European Union introduced a “uniform call rate” based on the non-recycled plastic packaging waste that its member states produce. The EU Packaging Levy, which took effect from 1 January 2021, enforces a charge on members of the bloc of EUR0.80 (US$0.91) per kilogram - EUR800 per tonne - of plastic packaging waste that is not recycled.
“This is expected to encourage member states to reduce packaging waste and stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy,” the European Commission said.
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