2020: Join your competitors or risk falling behind.

Five Top Sustainable Trends.
Will 2020 be a time of action for your business or will you merrily watch while opportunities to boost your business and brand sail out of reach? Change for any business is a personal choice, often driven by economics; new plans require money so when it comes to sustainable packaging, can you really afford not to act? In 2020 it is predicted that there will be a seismic shift driving the environment to the forefront of business goals, so what can we expect to see happening?

Expect to hear more about PFA’s.
Have you heard about PFA’s?Are they used in the manufacture of your products? PFA (poly-fluoroalky) is a chemical that has been around since the 1940’s and is typically used by the food industry, in electrical items, furniture and carpets. It can be dispersed through air and water and is known as a forever chemical because of the length of time it remains in the environment. According to studies in the USA, PFA’s can be harmful, not just to the environment, but to the human body. Once in the environment they do not break down and can accumulate over time. PFA’s enter our food chain and as a result certain PFA’s have been discontinued and others are currently being phased out. They can be found in products ranging from: Pizza boxes to the teflon in your frying pan. It’s removal from our products is critical when it comes to safe recycling, as the How2Recycle labelling program states this a material that is ‘Not Yet Recycled’, which means PFA’s will continue to invade our waterways and landfill sites.

More Companies Making Pledges.
Keep your eyes peeled on the press, as companies face the threat of losing their license to use plastic packaging. 2020 will see a significant rise in businesses and collectives announcing new goals and pledges to reduce plastic consumption. As the sustainability pledges flow, so must the targets, thus, robust plans and investment must be allocated to ensure success. Most companies will target change for 2025 or 2030. What you have to ask yourself, is what could happen in the next five or ten years to the environment, while we’re waiting for action?

Bigger and Better Packaging Collaborations and Innovations.
This year will see companies innovating to boost the market for recycled plastic and suppliers using higher percentages of recycled plastic from post consumer and post industrial plastics. We’ll see more collaboration between businesses to improve the processing of plastic for reuse and a rise in chemical recycling partnerships. Companies like Nestle and Mars are already working on producing oil from mixed packaging to produce new polymers.This would create new end markets (affecting where the final transaction takes place in a value chain) and would effectively avoid certain products from not being recycled.

Brands replacing Substrates.
We’ll see a rise in alternatives to plastic, i.e paper and cardboard, compostable packaging and even edible options. The market has already begun to react, but there are some negatives to be considered when replacing these substrates. Some substrates don’t have a good record with the environment or carry a positive carbon footprint and as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition promotes, designs and innovations should not push the problem elsewhere, in favour of raising recycling levels.

A Scale up of Re-usability.
Many companies have already started to promote reuse or refilling of products. It started with the production of shopping bags for life and has carried over to refillable coffee cups, reusable fruit and vegetable bags and refillable soap dispensers. It’s a business model that has shown promise and consumers are happy to use it, so we’re now seeing new ecommerce startups jumping on the bandwagon with reusable shipping models too. This scaling up of reusability will help to remove single use plastic and cardboard from the environment and currently ranks higher in waste management than recycling.

You may be a trail blazer already or you may need some support to achieve maybe one of these topics. At allpack® our twenty five year track record of working within the packaging industry, means that we have seen the rise and fall of new packaging trends and have the expertise to react to a changing marketplace. If the environment is on the lips of your business, give us a call on: 01922 472 400 or alternatively, book a free no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced consultants here.

[Source: 5 Sustainable Packaging Trends to Look Out for in 2020: Tristanne Davis: 21 Feb 2020]