According to research conducted in 2019 by McKinsey & Company, five major trends will severely influence packaging, demanding agility in innovative performance to navigate the pressure and potential disruptions to existing purchasing and processing practices over the next five to ten years1:
Materials, Closures and Automated Solutions
When discussing sustainability, it is important to acknowledge that packaging plays a critical role in purchase decisions, as packaging is often perceived as a direct indicator of value. Product and brand perceptions are built upon an array of cues including price, packaging material, color, environmental-friendliness, etc., and each of these cues provide a basis for consumers in establishing their impression of that product or brand.1
Today, sustainability is often identified as a priority for brands, specifically within packaging programs. Brands are combatting their environmental impact by exploring eco-designed packaging. Bio-based designs (packaging materials that promote environmental efficiency) are a frequent topic of discussion1; however pricing, life cycle assessment results, and overall quality continue to impact these efforts and challenge bio-based options as a cost-efficient solution.2
In our post, Retailers and Corporate Social Responsibility, we wrote about how retailers are a driving force behind brands evaluating their packaging program to ensure that sustainability is considered from raw material sourcing all the way to design practices. In addition, there is increasing pressure from consumers for brands to take responsibility for the entire life-cycle of their product including the packaging it is sold in. These combined expectations are spurring companies toward more environmentally conscious business practices, enabling eco-driven projects to spearhead innovation.
Resin Identification Codes
Recycling can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking the time to understand RICs, which stand for Resin Identification Codes, can make all the difference in protecting post-consumer recycled materials.