Sustainable Plastic Packaging: here’s what you need to know

Sustainable Plastic Packaging: here’s what you need to know


Oct 14, 2022

Blog Plastics Sustainable Plastic Packaging: here’s what you need to know

Organizations are making a bid toward sustainability. As packaging is ubiquitous in our daily lives, transforming this industry to be more environmentally conscious is a trend emerging within the key players of this market, as defined by BCC Research.

Packaging and process solutions are needed in every industry. The international event, PACK EXPO, brings organizations and education together to showcase the latest and greatest advances in packaging and processing technology.

On the theme of sustainable packaging, our analysts here at BCC have released their latest report: Sustainable Plastic Packaging: Global Markets. Within this report, themes related to PACK EXPO’s mission of increasing sustainability are analyzed through market trends, packaging processes, and the competitive landscape.

The global market for sustainable plastic packaging is estimated to increase from $90.0 billion in 2022 to reach $117.5 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% during the forecast period of 2022-2027.

Challenges for recycled plastic packaging

Our analysts have identified three main material processes for sustainable plastic packaging: recycled materials, reused materials and biodegradable materials.

Sustainable recycled plastic packaging represents the largest group of sustainable plastic packaging processes. With estimated global sales of $57.8 billion in 2021, this segment accounts for 66.7% of the total. Revenues are expanding at a healthy compound annual growth rate of 5.6% during the forecast period of 2022-2027.

BCC proposes that while plastic recycling is not a new industry, it still cannot be described as well-developed. Progress is being made within industry groups, however much needs to be done in the way of information dissemination, especially regarding markets and material sources. The challenges this market faces are the cost-effective isolation of sufficient quantities of material of suitable quality, and the establishment of a profitable use for recovered materials.

Recycling expectations across the globe

Through the report, our team of analysts discuss how the move to increase recycling within the plastic recycling market is often driven by a desire on the part of the public to be more environmentally conscious. This desire often looks to recycling as a way to conserve resources and avoid land disposal. Communities sometimes find that they would like to collect more plastics, but they have difficulty finding markets to take the items they collect. They are then frustrated to find that the collected items may end up in landfills. Companies are increasingly expected to make products that use recycled content, as well as those that do not cause harm to the environment when produced, recycled, or disposed of, all at minimal or no extra cost to the consumer.

With manufacturers fitting the idea of their own nations' goal for sustainability, some are left with conflicting packaging expectations. For example, China has set ambitious goals for recycling plastics along with Europe who has stricter laws on recycling rates and limitations on the use of specific compounds, whereas the US has generally adopted a free market philosophy. The widespread use of recycling in several European nations has led to the development of many innovative uses and technologies.

Reusable consumer packaging

The global market for reusable consumer packaging is expanding due to its strength and affordability. Consumer goods packaging can be reused via innovative, sustainable packaging that makes reusability more convenient for companies and customers.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, also known as the 3-Rs, is implemented, and followed by every company as part of the zero-waste movement helping the reusable consumer packing market in nations with a clear sustainability plan. The market for reusable consumer packaging demonstrates how both developed and developing nations are seeing growth. Due to the rising demand for food and drinks, India and China are leading the market in the Asia-Pacific for reusable consumer packaging materials. Due to the significant expansion of the retail market, India and China are also among the markets with the quickest growth for reusable consumer packaging.

The rise in Biodegradable polymers

BCC concludes that the previous ten years have seen a considerable increase in public and governmental awareness of more sustainable products, which will guide future research into new materials and manufacturing techniques. By keeping up with the shifting trends of these developing technologies, researchers, investors, and regulators can more accurately assess the prospects for biodegradable polymers and comprehend the changing characteristics.

Due to the increased need for biodegradable polymers in a variety of global end-use sectors, the market for these materials is anticipated to expand. BCC identifies several significant issues within the market, including inflated costs and a lack of infrastructure for efficient composting. Resolving these issues is essential to market success.

One key takeaway BCC proposes is how strict government rules prohibiting synthetic plastic use and public awareness of the harmful impact, will lead to a surge in demand for biodegradable materials.

Pack Expo 2022 | A leap towards sustainability

BCC clearly defines the obstacles and opportunities for the sustainable plastic packaging market and its sub-sectors. Although it seems there’s room for development in creating a more environmentally friendly future, it is in the hands of the nations to develop a sustainability goal for manufacturers to work towards.

We are delighted to announce our attendance at Pack Expo 2022 where the themes from our latest report are put into action, leading to innovative packaging and processing technology. From the 23rd to the 26th of October, our team members Greg and Melanie will be on the show floor taking in all the event has to offer! To arrange to meet the team attending Pack Expo and to sign up for the post-show report, click here.

To download your complimentary report overview of Sustainable Plastic Packaging: Global Markets, click here. Alternatively, become a BCC member today and gain access to the entire Plastics library.

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    Katie Biddle

    Written By Katie Biddle

    Katie Biddle joined BCC Research as a junior copywriter in 2022 and works within the marketing team. Prior to BCC, she recently graduated with a BA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Westminster University.

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