In this issue

Issue 55 • November 2020

Welcome to our 55th edition of Inside Packaging. Keen-eyed readers will have already noticed that the format of this edition is a little different. We've given the magazine a bit of a refresh with a new structure and design that – fingers crossed – will make it easier to read and navigate. As always, we are working hard to bring you high-quality coverage of the industry, now including even more analysis from our experts at GlobalData.

In this issue, we consider the shared responsibility of all parties in the push towards a sustainable, circular economy. Consumers, businesses and governments all continue to look towards sustainable packaging solutions as a high priority. But it seems futile for the burden to be solely on businesses  – consumers do have a part to play, and it's a vital part at that.

However, as safety concerns increase in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a balance needs to be struck between progressive packaging solutions and making sure that the products that packaging protects are, in fact, protected. With that in mind, we look at the rising demand for canned goods and the merits of the recyclable metal can when it comes to sustainability. Is the rise in popularity solely due to stockpiling or long-life goods, or is there more to it?

When looking at sustainable packaging it's impossible to ignore plastic. Whilst the material has it's benefits, the environmental impact is plain to see. We cover the latest response from businesses as they attempt to reduce their plastic use, which is particularly apt moving forward as the UK's plastic ban comes into effect.

But perhaps rather than simply avoiding plastics, we should also keep in mind that not all plastic is virgin, nor is it all non-recyclable. The potential of biopolymers should not be ignored, and continued research and development could move us closer to a more nuanced solution to the plastic problem.

Finally, we cast an eye over design in packaging with a roundup of the winners from this year's Pentawards. We also learn how, with some creative thinking, labelling design can offer an effective low-cost marketing solution for small businesses.

Peter Nilson, editor