Today, plastic-based packaging accounts for around 93% of the worlds flexible packaging. 1 Of this, it is estimated that a mere 17% of plastic flexible packaging is recycled into new raw materials.2
With plastic waste polluting our land and oceans, the use of plastics in flexible packaging has come under increasing scrutiny over recent years.
Consumers are growing ever more conscious of what their goods comes wrapped in, viewing paper packaging as a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. In 2020, a European consumer preferences survey, commissioned by Two Sides, found that 62% of consumers see paper and cardboard packaging as better for the environment than plastic.3
Due to this shift from the consumers coupled with the plastic packaging tax, Paper is seen by many brands as the golden ticket for achieving their sustainability goals. Major brands such as Unilever committed to reduce their use of virgin plastic and to use 100% reusable or recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025. Paper packaging is sure to play a key role in this realisation.
Unilever Commitments for a Waste-Free World 4
Some brands have already successfully made the transition to paper packaging. One such brand is the confectioner Nestle Japan, which in 2019 repackaged its beloved miniature KitKat bar in paper with accompanying instructions on how to fold the wrapper into an origami crane- the symbol of hope and healing. Ritter Sport, Smarties and Kinder Delice also join the rank of sustainably sealed snacks. You may even soon be eating up your favourite sweet snack with a paper-packed drink, as in the beverage market, Coca-Cola along with the Absolut Company are currently prototyping their paper bottles.
Paper is indeed very attractive as
However, It can not be used in all the applications, particularly:
In conclusion, Paper is very attractive for the flexible packaging market. Its use depends largely on the application. For sure, the future will be sustainable easy-to-recycle solutions like mono material-plastic or flexible paper. One solution can not satisfy all the applications and requirements.
To choose the right flexible packaging material, we recommend the following considerations:
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