Pandemic Accelerates Expansion of Private Sustainability Goals as Public Efforts Slow
CLEVELAND, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the expansion of private sector packaging sustainability goals, although the pandemic has somewhat slowed public sector efforts, according to new analysis from the Freedonia Group. Key packaging sustainability goals include:
- reduction at source (i.e. reducing the volume of packaging materials)
- improved recycling rates, especially for plastics
- increased use of biodegradable and/or compostable materials
- increased use of recycled content in packaging
- expansion of reusable packaging programs
Packaging sustainability has been most pronounced in the food, beverage and consumer markets, with major packaging companies as well as end users – including Nestlé, Keurig Dr Pepper, PepsiCo and L’Oréal – announcing aggressive new targets for packaging sustainability and introducing packaging solutions to meet established ones.
Efforts have also increased in the e-commerce market. For example, in 2021, the main maritime transport problems in Europe launched reusable e-commerce packaging solutions that could translate to the US market.
However, the pandemic has also introduced some constraints to the sustainability of packaging
Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has to some extent limited progress in packaging sustainability, especially in the public sector. For example, at the start of the pandemic, a number of state and local governments suspended some of the restrictions on plastic retail bags and single-use catering products that have proliferated across the country in recent years. years. Although most of these measures were lifted in the first year of the pandemic, they hampered the momentum to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.
Companies’ packaging sustainability efforts have also been hampered by issues in some markets related to packaging availability, supply chain disruptions and rising material prices. Additionally, the limited availability of recycled materials due to supply chain disruption has forced some end users to reduce the consumption of post-consumer recycled (PCR) in packaging production. Likewise, the surge in e-commerce boxes being shipped to consumers has exacerbated a longer-term decline in cardboard recycling rates.
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Sustainability in packaging focuses on identifying key sustainability trends in the packaging industry, including:
- shifting the mix of materials towards more sustainable alternatives to virgin plastics (e.g. paper, bioplastics, molded fibers, recycled materials, reusable packaging)
- sustainability efforts and targets of packaging producer and end user
- product innovation in compostable, biodegradable, recyclable and lightweight packaging
- expansion of packaging reuse programs
- supply and demand for recycled content
- regulatory changes affecting demand for sustainable packaging
Sustainability trends are analyzed by primary packaging material (plastic, paper and board, metal, glass, molded fiber) and in terms of the sustainability goals of the packaging producer and end user. Historical and forecast data for global packaging demand and key market segments (food, beverage, pharmaceutical, foodservice disposables and other markets including e-commerce) are also provided. Additionally, profiles of selected packaging products, markets and materials are highlighted. Consumer survey data related to packaging sustainability collected by The Freedonia Group is also featured.
About Freedonia Group – The Freedonia Group, a division of MarketResearch.com, is the leading international industry research company, providing our clients with product analysis, market forecasts, industry trends and market share information. From individual consulting firms to global conglomerates, our analysts provide companies with unbiased and reliable industry market research and analysis to help them make important business decisions. With over 100 studies published each year, we support over 90% of Fortune 500 industrial companies. Find ready-to-use studies at https://www.freedoniagroup.com/ or contact us for a custom search: +1 440.842.2400.
SOURCE The Freedonia Group