General / April 6, 2022
With only a finite number of resources and a global push to protect our environment, industry-leading flexible packaging companies are expanding their product offerings to follow eco-friendly, sustainable packaging trends.
This year, brands are pushing for a wide variety of environmental packaging solutions not as accessories, but as core characteristics that make up the bulk of their products. This systematic shift is largely due to the market expectations of consumers who desire sustainable containers, compostable wrapping, and other recyclable packaging options that are created as renewable resources. And flexible packaging providers see the value and opportunity. The sustainable packaging market is expected to reach $631.10 Billion by 2030.
If you are interested in entering environmentally-friendly flexible packaging into your product line or are looking to increase your existing selection, here are seven highly popular packaging trends to follow in 2022.
Developing actual environmental packaging solutions is more than just slapping the recycling logo or a few words on bags or containers. Instead, a list of criteria should be researched, compiled, and enacted.
Examples may include:
Perhaps the most important example is to include ways to reduce the amount of material used for packaging for reduced emissions and less need for landfill use.
Increasing the output of packaging options that provide higher product-to-packaging ratios is paramount, as is the need to rely on recent improvements in sustainability with the use of measures like post-consumer recycled content (PCR). By investing in sustainable packaging materials with these characteristics, environmental Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) criteria can be covered such as reducing water usage or fossil fuel extraction.
Recycling is nothing new, but packaging trends for 2022 are leveraging the ability to more effectively collect, separate, and recover items from the waste stream. While an extensive amount of flexible packaging is not recyclable, more modern materials are allowing for this ability. For example, plastic bags, wrappings, and other clean non-contaminated plastics have long been used and recycled at specific receptacle sites, but cannot be easily discarded from daily waste. Modern recycling is turning away from plastics and toward materials that are starch-based, as well as other sustainable recycling solutions such as high-density, low-density, and standard polypropylenes.
Biodegradable packaging materials that can be used in compost rather than those that are discarded are highly beneficial for the environment. Compostable packaging continues to make huge strides in the industry, with numerous biopolymers used for products. These include fiber-rich materials made from straw, bamboo, sugar cane, rice husk, and more. Products that are compostable will be able to biodegrade in a sufficiently short period of time, though, not all biodegradable packaging is compostable and select criteria must be followed in this category.
Environmentally-friendly flexible packaging protects mother earth while also providing improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness in comparison with more traditional packaging methods. As an innovator in the industry, Eagle Flexible Packaging develops an extensive selection of modern flexible packaging products including:
Branding and product information is highlighted on packaging with several different varieties of inks, applied and printed through processes and machinery that are not always sustainable. Both the package itself and the ink that is printed should foster eco-friendliness. While traditional inks contain lead, mercury, and other toxic elements, modern sustainable inks turn to water, soy, and vegetable-based solutions. Popular eco-friendly inks like algae ink emit very few volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The ink is only one element to consider. Sustainable inks should be matched with a printing method and printing substrate that meets product needs but doesn’t require a heavy reliance on non-renewable pigments.
Sustainable packaging materials are often judged by a set of standards through testing methods. Select packaging options that meet material standards, such as:
Since 1994, Eagle Flexible Packaging has proudly served a wide variety of markets with innovative packaging solutions that meet production and consumption needs, while protecting our planet. We provide sustainable packaging solutions for food and non-food industries and continue to lead the industry, developing new ways to serve growing challenges. Our team has an ongoing commitment to building relationships with customers and suppliers by listening to their needs and creating new solutions that fit modern requirements. Talk with us about making your next project eco-friendly and sustainable. Contact us today!
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