Packaging producers should convince consumers that sustainable materials are worth the cost, GlobalData has said.
The market research firm suggests that interest in sustainability is creating new opportunities for packaging producers, and it should be down to them to continue the consumer education on the associated costs.
“Many companies across the globe are scrambling to develop sustainable packaging materials to reduce environmental impact,” explains the firm.
“However, developing new packaging materials is a time-consuming and expensive process, and companies need to build flexibility into their supply chain and regularly update consumers on their progress to remain in the competition.”
GlobalData has released a report, ‘Innovation Scenarios in Sustainable Packaging Materials’, which covers these key topics.
What sustainable packaging options exist?
Glass packaging could be a great contender for a more environmentally-friendly material, the firm suggests, but it is undermined for the need for convenience - glass packaging simply is not as practical as plastic.
“Glass packaging is seen as environmentally friendly, but under threat in a world where convenience is crucial,” the firm explains.
“On the other hand, even though the growth of flexible packaging across many categories is driven by cost and convenience, it will come under threat due to the low sustainability credentials many plastics have.”
GlobalData has identified Micro Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC), Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVOH), Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) and Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) as materials that can offer more sustainable packaging options.
"The biggest challenge for producers is to convince consumers that these sustainable packaging materials are worth the cost,” Mayu Teeven, Associate Analyst of FMCG at GlobalData.
“Although there are long-term savings to be made by manufacturers moving to more sustainable materials, in the short term prices will likely need to increase to cover the research and development costs of developing new materials and upgrading machinery in factories to work with the new packs.”