Innovations identified to transform sustainable packaging

September 3, 2018

Smithers Pira identified 20 innovations set to transform packaging into a sustainable industry in new study.

In its new study - Ten-Year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Sustainable Packaging to 2028 – Smithers Pira has surveyed the packaging market and related segment to identify the top 20 technical innovations that will underpin a greener future for packaging.

 

The technologies identified in the Smithers Pira expert survey emphasises this, and can be sub-divided into four broad categories: 

  • Innovative raw materials & feedstocks

Overall bioplastics, which are polymers constructed from natural plant sugars and proteins rather than oil present a compelling route to more sustainable sourcing of materials for packaging.

  • Advances in design and material substitution

The trends identified include lightweighting of existing designs, replication same performance with less heavy materials, easy separation of materials at end-of-life, and mono-layer barrier materials in films and pouch constructions.

  • Enhancements in distribution and the consumer use phase

The most disruptive technology in the use phase of packaging is the evolution of intelligent labels that can verify to the consumer that the contents are safe to consume. Other trends are application of enhanced data analytics to supply chain and logistics shipments, blockchain software that can track shipments of goods even if a pallet is repackaged in journey, more sustainable protective packaging elements for ecommerce.

  • Improvement to end-of-life processing

The end-of-life processing phase has the most technologies identified by the Smithers Pira survey. Improved near-infrared (NIR) recycling for better sorting and hence less contamination of polymer waste, technologies enabling easy free market trading of waste outside existing channels, effective de-inking of cardboard and flexible plastic formats, end-of-life cleaning technologies

 

All 20 technologies identified by Smithers Pira’s survey and their impact across the next decade are covered in its new report.

 

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