Health and sustainability regulations force the packaging sector to innovate

Date: 11.05.2022Source: Barcelona Packaging

The rise of e-commerce, the digitisation of the supply chain to meet demands regarding the speed and efficiency in the delivery of goods, as well as increasing environmental awareness, is forcing the transformation of the packaging industry. In addition, the health crisis caused by the Covid19 pandemic, which has introduced specific elements to be taken into account in the manufacturing and distribution of packaging and influences the choice of materials, has become another impact factor to be taken into account.

But how does the health situation influence the sector? Before the outbreak of the pandemic, companies in the Hub were working about factors such as:

  • Sustainability: environmental awareness is reflected in stricter regulations, inviting manufacturers to play a socially responsible role in the fight against pollution generated by more active packaging. The use of recycled, recyclable, reusable and biodegradable or compostable materials, as well as the reduction of the use of raw materials or designs adapted to the product to minimize waste generation are some of the most common trends.
  • Personalisation: understanding packaging as a marketing tool and as an advertising medium that companies use to attract attention and stand out from the competition.
  • Transparency: transparent packaging, especially in food, generates more consumer confidence.
  • Functionality: a satisfactory user experience influences consumer loyalty, for example with packaging that is suitable for the product, easy to open, of the required size and easy to return in the case of a problem.

Measures taken in response to the health situation have accelerated and consolidated these trends. Thus, e-commerce has grown in all sectors, especially in the food and pharmaceutical sectors. Packaging adapted to individual use and providing a good consumer experience (e.g., with take-away food) has become a need.

Continuing on the food sector, transparent packaging, as well as packaging that can withstand thermal processes with maximum safety guarantees (withstand sterilisation, hot filling or microwave use) have become indispensable features.

Said Antoni Bonet, CEO, United Barcode Systems: “sustainability was somewhat neglected at the beginning of the pandemic, but for the industry to be sustainable, both economically and environmentally, the use of environmentally friendly materials and the principle of minimum waste must continue to set the agenda. This is the case for the use of bioplastics, recycled cardboard or reusable packaging.”

Cartonboard has a long life ahead of it in the packaging industry as it is perceived as a hygienic material and is environmentally friendly, versatile and useful for a wide range of solutions. In addition, regulations that penalise the use of non-reusable plastics, and the fact that it is the primary material for the majority of ecommerce orders, favour the booming use of this material. For more visit barcelona-packaging-hub.com

David Cox / IDM

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