What is the future of sustainable packaging?
2019-04-22 09:14 Monday
There seems to be growing evidence that consumers want packaging to be greener, or at least less harmful to the environment. Several studies confirm this.
According to "Trends in Food And Beverage Packaging in 2019," published by Evergreen Packaging, 68% of consumers said it was "extremely or very important to choose responsibly packaged foods or beverages." Another study by the Natural Marketing Institute found that 71% of consumers thought many products were "over-packaged".
Many of the big food companies that have made public commitments are still interested in sustainable packaging. Nestlé, for example, announced an overhaul of its environment-driven packaging and continued changes. Kellogg Co. has set a goal of 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging by the end of 2025 as part of its global sustainability commitment. Last year, PepsiCo India announced it was piloting 100% compostable plant packaging from Lay's and Kurkure.
These changes are neither small nor temporary. This is a huge change - especially when consumers are concerned about the amount of plastic actually in the oceans.
"Brands and marketers need to start thinking about packaging as an extension of the ingredients list to recognize that grocery store consumers are looking at the whole package," said an unnamed North American packaging sales and marketing executive.
Some baking and snack companies have invested in sustainable materials and processes. Nestlé will soon offer its Yes! series of products are packed in new paper.
In addition, more recyclable packaging is entering the market. In the U.K., Roberts Bakery is rolling out a 100% recyclable wrapper for its artisan bread.
In the US, Annie's, a brand owned by General Mills, has partnered with American Packaging Corporation to develop a recyclable metal film for some of its snack packaging. After use, the packaging can be taken to designated recycling sites rather than entering the general waste stream.
Meanwhile, a series of work on sustainable packaging materials is underway to attract ecologically conscious consumers and achieve higher goals of sustainable development. In the case of Nestlé has set up a packaging science institute to develop sustainable packaging materials and work with industry partners on innovative solutions.