Sustainability trends impacting the food packaging industry

Mamata Machinery offers an exclusive range of machines that can handle recyclable films & help companies meet the rising demands of sustainable/recyclable mono-material packaging.
Mamata Machinery offers an exclusive range of machines that can handle recyclable films & help companies meet the rising demands of sustainable/recyclable mono-material packaging. Photo - Mamata Machinery

Using natural resources in a manner that does not deplete them while maintaining a sound ecological balance is what sustainability aims to achieve. Owing to the climactic changes worldwide, sustainability is gaining immense focus from all industrial sectors. The food packaging industry is one such domain that is steering its way toward fulfilling the requirement of materials that help pack food safely with minimal impact on the environment.

As per research by Smithers in The Future of Packaging: Long-Term Strategic Forecast to 2028, the global packaging market is set to increase by almost 3% per annum and reach over $1.2 trillion between 2018 and 2028. It says that companies will focus on sustainability issues and there will be a rise in demand for flexible packaging due to its lightweight, convenience, and portability.

Photo - Mamata Machinery

Some more worldwide sustainability trends are discussed below.

Customization to use less packaging

Preparing food packaging according to the size of the product helps save money and protects the food from being damaged. For instance, a small-sized food product, if packed in oversized packaging, may be exposed to excessive air, making it prone to microbial invasion and oxidation. It also takes up more space, adding to inventory costs.

Recyclability and reusability

As the consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging is rising, the industry is focusing on developing materials that offer good quality but are also recyclable. The packaging industry is trying new ways to improve the recycling and processing of waste such as using alternative materials and designs. Using designs to convey that brands care about the environment is on the rise. When consumers reuse the package or return it to the store, they feel good about their choices. Brands also benefit from free marketing if consumers reuse their packages. This may lead to an increase in revenue for brands while decreasing the carbon footprint.

Minimizing food waste

Nearly 40% of the food produced globally goes to waste. The use of flexible packaging can help, as the shelf life of foods can be increased by using high-barrier pouches and retort cooking. Research on improving barrier technology is ongoing, including nano-engineered materials integration. These options help preserve food in less developed areas where refrigeration is not available.

Biodegradable and plantable packaging

Packages made of plant-based materials are environmentally friendly and can be added to regular compost at home or commercially. Various companies are giving away seeds within the packages so that consumers can plant them and achieve a sense of satisfaction. Such packaging is suitable for dry, lightweight food items.

Sustainability efforts by CPGs

A sustainability wave is being observed worldwide as the food industry is making efforts to promote and introduce sustainable packaging by using new strategies. According to a survey, the Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) industry is making efforts to reduce packaging and waste. A survey found that 89% of CPGs are working on designing recyclable packaging and 80% are reducing packaging to reduce waste. About 56% of the CPGs are redesigning their packaging using more sustainable materials. About 36% are working on reusable packaging and nearly 27% are choosing materials sourced renewably.

Mamata Machinery understands consumer concerns for the environment and takes steps to contribute to the well-being of the planet while fulfilling customer demands. The company offers an exclusive range of customized co-ex film plants, bag and pouch-making machines, as well as packaging machines like pick-fill-seal and form-fill-seal, the machines can handle recyclable films and help companies meet the rising demands of sustainable/recyclable mono-material packaging.

Sustainability trends are here to stay as long as regulators demand them, consumers are ready to pay for eco-friendly products and retailers expect sustainability from the brands they are in business with.

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