Introduction

Sustainable packaging has been one of the talking points over the past decade. Yet, the sustainable packaging industry started slow due to various factors. Fortunately, the development of the industry has made some breakthroughs recently.

Sustainable packaging industry: the new era

For the last couple of years, we’ve seen the surging demand for sustainable packaging. Particularly with the presence of Circular Economy. The sustainable packaging industry has met the new era. As a result, many programs and organizations jump up and spread the idea. Companies pay more attention to the environmental impacts of their businesses. Various brands introduce sustainable packaging to enhance their brand value. Here, we are going to talk about the sustainable packaging industry today.

Why we need sustainable packaging NOW?

Less environmental impact by the sustainable packaging industry

White Pollution has been the pain for sustainability over the decades. And it largely results from the abuse and waste of plastic materials. The massive landfill has well witnessed it. Today, the abandoned plastic waste is still making the landfills. With several billions of tons yearly throughout the world. And the packaging is the consumer of plastics with a huge amount. Also, plastic packaging cast a great impact on climate change. A report by CIEL (the Center for International Environmental Law) has shared the data.
By 2050, the cumulation of these greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could reach over 56 gigatons—10–13 percent of the entire remaining carbon budget. For plastic packaging, which represents 40 percent of plastic demand, global emissions from incineration of this particular type of plastic waste totaled 16 million metric tons of CO2e in 2015. (source: https://www.ciel.org/project-update/plastic-climate-the-hidden-costs-of-a-plastic-planet/)
Moreover, CIEL said the number does not include 32% of plastic packaging waste. Because the waste remains too difficult to calculate after dispose of. However, it is not easy to completely destroy existing plastic packaging. Because it costs even more than starting a new production. And improper ways to dispose of plastics also lead to huge environmental impacts. Given the fact, we need to think about solutions more sustainable. Therefore, it’s more crucial than ever to develop the sustainable packaging industry. And the environmental impact has drawn the attention of governments worldwide. Governments from different regions have published policies to support the sustainable packaging industry.

Government policies support sustainable packaging industry

Australia, for example,
Ministers agreed to the target that 100% of Australian packaging be recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025. (source: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/plastics-and-packaging/packaging-covenant)
This aims to propel the sustainable packaging industry in Australia. Sustainability has become more urgent than ever in Australia today. Especially under the national spreading recycling crisis currently. And the Australian Packaging Covenant will deliver the 100% target. Who is Australian Packaging Covenant? The organization has been the principal national instrument to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging in Australia since 1999. It has 950 member companies and other stakeholders. As an Australian packaging company, PrimePac has strived to offer sustainable packaging solutions with its best effort. On the other hand, the UK government has introduced new controls on single-use plastic items from April 2020, according to a report by BBC.. Also, the plastic packaging tax will take effect from April 2022 in the country.

Raise brand value by sustainable packaging

More and more consumers tend to buy from companies with sustainable packaging. A study by Unilever revealed that 21% of consumers choose brands with sustainability marks on their packaging.
The study asked 20,000 adults from five countries. This represents a potential untapped opportunity of €966 billion out of a €2.5 trillion total market for sustainable goods. (source: https://www.unilever.com/news/Press-releases/2017/report-shows-a-third-of-consumers-prefer-sustainable-brands.html)
Also, a result of a global survey released by Tandberg. 53% of global consumers prefer to buy from a company with a strong environmental reputation. Please note that 53% of global consumers represent 1.1 billion people. It is not hard to understand. Companies caring more about the environment brings more customers. And making your packaging sustainable is a way to show customers your care of the environment. Seek help from the Australian company in the sustainable packaging industry.

What makes sustainable packaging?

The definition of sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging is the development and use of packaging which results in improved sustainability. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_packaging)
In other words, it means packaging with zero/less impact on the environment. Typically, recyclable, compostable, and reusable packaging.

Types of sustainable packaging

Recyclable/reusable plastic packaging

Indeed, plastic landfill has caused a lot of environmental problems. But they can be sustainable with your eco-friendly ideas. All you need to do is to re-use them. For example, keep the plastic boxes of your new gadgets. And use them later for the other goods. Typically, when you send them out or take them with you during the vacations. This is going to lower the demand for new plastic products. Hence, your reduced carbon footprint. Recycle your plastic packaging if it doesn’t fit any of your packaging portfolios. Take them to the recyclable center after use. Or at least put them in the trash cans specially for plastics. Sometimes, buying a new plastic packaging is the best option over the others. In this case, you can always choose packaging made of recyclable materials. Never underestimate the effect of your little good deed. Remember the number of carbon emissions of plastic packaging production? Therefore, recyclable/reusable plastic packaging is an easy option for sustainable packaging. Remember to use them as much as possible. There are more eco-friendly packaging ideas here.

Paper-based packaging

With its household name, paper-based packaging is one of the most common alternatives to plastics. After the main paper material finishes their missions in the frontline, the leftover pieces continue the cycle. Scrap paper is the raw material of a variety of products such as fiber-board, paper sacks, wrapping paper, and more. Moreover, many companies are adopting and developing paper-based bottles as containers for coffee, soft drinks, and other beverages. You can easily find the paper coffee cups when you try to get some coffee in many coffee shops today. All in all, paper packaging is a wised choice with eco-friendly packaging ideas. It is a competitive alternative over the other packaging solutions. Check the paper-based packaging solutions.

Bio-plastic packaging

Plastics are still good companions when it comes to moisture-proof performance. And bio-based plastics show a sustainable advantage over the traditional plastic packaging. PLA (aka polylactic acid) is the popular one bio-based plastics family. The raw material of PLA comes from the starch of fermented plants. And the PLA material will finally decompose in the environment. However, the abuse of bio-based plastics can cause environmental impacts too. Unlikely to add to the landfill. But the increasing demand for them could lead to shortages of food given the growing population. Therefore, whatever materials to use, awareness of environmental impact remains the most critical. And the traditional plastic packaging can play well in reducing environmental impact without abuse.

Leading companies’ focus in the sustainable packaging industry

The Australia-based Amcor Group is a multinational packaging leader. Now, Amcor focuses on packaging products of recyclable and reusable materials. In January 2018, Amcor has pledged to develop all its packaging products to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. Pact Group Holdings Limited, the market leader in rigid plastic packaging. It has established its fame in Australia and New Zealand. The Pact Group focuses on expanding the capability of reuse and recycling. It collects and processes plastic resin with a yearly amount of 19,507 tons as a result. Given the sustainable packaging trend, many other Australian packaging companies are offering sustainable packaging solutions. PrimePac is one of them in the sustainable packaging industry. Thank you for reading. But this is not the bottom line. Some more ideas about the sustainable packaging trends below.

Sustainable Packaging Industry Trends in 2020

Optimized packaging solutions

Optimized packaging solutions guarantee product safety while reducing unnecessary packaging. This can effectively reduce the waste and abuse of both plastic and other materials. The optimization of packaging solutions covers all processes from designing, selecting packaging materials to choose the proper packaging portfolio. For example, you want your jelly in a pouch with an accurate size. You can always put it in bigger pouches though. But doing this can avoid customers posting negative comments like an oversized bag and little to drink on their SNS. Meanwhile, choosing the proper solutions requires both knowledge and experience in the packaging field. If you need help, feel free to let us know.

Bio-ink makes it fully green

The plastic packaging has been popular until today. One of the reasons is the combination of various colors. While there are limits in the colors for most fully compostable packaging. Kraft printing, for example, typically a maximum of 2 colors. Some might question, there are bunches of boxes in the market with colorful covers. Pretty true. However, we are talking about fully compostable, including the ink. Not every box or paper-based packaging comes with bio-ink. Some of the ink can do harm the environment and hurt humans. Meanwhile, the limit of 2 colors in the packaging offers only a few options in branding. Fortunately, PrimePac now offers a full-color printing solution on its whole bio-compost line. And of course, that comes with bio-ink. Even water-based adhesive we apply does no harm to the environment if buried into the ground.

Conclusion

Sustainability packaging is now the keywords to the packaging industry. However, getting sustainable packaging solutions and offering them is still a challenge. Especially for many small and medium businesses. We understand that. And we are ready to offer you a hand. Tell us your concerns and check our cost-effective sustainable packaging solutions.