The United Nations (UN) 2030 agenda for sustainable development can be bolstered with innovative sustainable packaging technologies. As sustainability gains more traction, packaging is no longer solely focused on recycling, but rather, encompasses several facets including meeting consumer demands, driving business advancement and championing environmental protection. There are additional factors driving the need for sustainable packaging such as government standards, public health and retailer requirements.
Several governments around the world have taken significant measures to promote sustainable packaging. The European Union, for instance, introduced directive 94/62/EC to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. Similarly, the National Environment Agency of Singapore has made sustainable packaging mandatory for companies operating in the country. Fortune 500 companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, and BASF are actively pursuing eco-friendly initiatives to not only benefit the environment but also gain an edge in the market.
Major corporations like Amazon and Walmart are implementing sustainable supply chain strategies as they strive to attain their sustainability goals. The sustainable packaging industry grew at a rate of 7.17% CAGR from 2015 to 2020 and is estimated to become a $303.60 billion market by 2020. By 2023, it is estimated that the market will reach a value of $500 billion, driven by factors such as increasing demand for eco-friendly packaging materials, rising concerns about plastic waste, and a growing consumer preference for sustainable products.
The Future of Sustainable Packaging: Leaders in Environmental Consciousness
The top players in the sustainable packaging industry are leading the way towards a more environmentally-friendly future. Among these global leaders are Kellogg’s, Just Water, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Johnson & Johnson. These companies have recognized the urgent need to prioritize sustainability in their business models, and have taken it upon themselves to make significant changes to their packaging processes. By using renewable resources, reducing waste and investing in eco-friendly technology, they are setting a powerful example for other companies to follow. Through their commitment to sustainable packaging practices, these companies are not only reducing their environmental impact but also demonstrating a sense of responsibility towards future generations.
From 2009 to 2015, Coca-Cola made a switch from fossil-based ingredients to biodegradable plant-based ingredients for their bottles. The company produced over 35 billion of these bottles, which were spread across 40 different countries. The end result was a product consisting of 30% plant-based components and 70% traditional fossil fuel-based elements (specifically, Polyethylene Terephthalate and Pure Terephthalic Acid)
In its vision for sustainable plastics, PepsiCo declared in October 2018 that it aims to employ up to a quarter of recycled material in its plastic packaging by 2025. Additionally, the company seeks to accomplish 33% recycled PET content by the same year, all while striving to create packaging that can be recycled, composted, or biodegraded.
CHINA – Emerging Sustainable Economy
The sustainable packaging sector has been greatly influenced as China emerges with an impressive impact and gains remarkable momentum. This country has now become a crucial component of the industry, a role expected to grow in the years ahead. Chinese organisations have been filing an escalating number of patents annually.
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Sustainable packaging is becoming increasingly important to a business’s bottom line. The industry is expected to grow significantly, and the major companies leading the way are showing how businesses can reduce their environmental impact while still being successful.