Industries are Switching to Sustainable Packaging Faster than Expected

27 Sep 2022

As global businesses are being pressured by millennials to take greater social and environmental responsibility, brands and consumers are placing more emphasis than ever before on sustainable packaging.

Sustainable packaging materials are being adopted by various end-use industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, personal care, and consumer goods. 

The food and beverage industry is the largest consumer of single-use plastic packaging globally and a significant producer of plastic waste. Hence, the food and beverage industry bears the onus of being at the forefront of the drive toward sustainable food packaging solutions

Several fast-food chains, including McDonald's, have declared their intention to use only recycled and sustainable packaging by 2025. 

Figure 1 Film packaging on food products

Single-use plastics are being phased out of marketplaces. The phrase "eco-friendly packaging" is now more than just a catchphrase, and integrating eco packaging into the brand's operations is now a requirement, not a choice.

Given that the concerns about climate change are growing every year, this is unquestionably a good start.

What are sustainable packaging materials? 

Recyclable materials such as cardboards, paper wrappings, and sustainable films such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PE) plastic are all included in sustainable packaging materials. Once properly separated for recycling, these materials can be remolded to start over as raw materials for new packaging or other applications. 

Creating a packaging design using these films can ensure the desired sustainable packaging across industries. Moreover, due to the increasing focus on the circular economy and the growing awareness of its environmental benefits among end users and consumers, the global sustainable films for packaging market is expected to grow significantly. 

According to the BIS Research report, the global sustainable films for packaging market was valued at $140.0 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $276.2 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period 2022-2031. 

Figure 2 Sustainable films packaging market growth

Key market players in the packaging industry are acting decisively all around the world to speed up the market's growth. A few of the latest developments in the industry are discussed further in the article. 

Sustainable Film Encore Launched in Australia by JET Technologies

In August 2022, Jet Technologies, one of the top specialty suppliers for the food packaging, industrial production, and print and finishing sectors, released Encore, its most recent development in environment-friendly films for the print and packaging sectors in Australia. 

Encore is a new plastic film that contains 30% recycled material and works well for a variety of uses, including packaging, labels, books, and more.

Figure 3 Sustainable food packaging films production

Australian product manufacturers are being forced to concentrate on and move quickly toward greater sustainability. Organizations such as the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization (APCO) have set targets for having 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted and 50% of average recycled content included in the packaging by 2025. 

Businesses can immensely benefit from the Encore films that are fully recyclable in addition to being made from 30% recycled material. This allows manufacturers to take advantage of the plastic films while still operating entirely within a sustainable circular economy.

Currently, the Encore packaging films are biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) based, and PET versions are also being created. They have the same appearance and feel as ordinary films and function on numerous machines, in the same way, preventing businesses from having to modify current films. 

SEALPAC Unveils a Portfolio of Sustainable Packaging for Alternative Proteins

Several packaging solutions have been created by packaging expert SEALPAC, a Germany-based leading provider of high-tech tray sealers and thermoforms, to maximize product safety and reduce food waste.

The demand for goods made with alternative proteins is skyrocketing. More and more individuals are choosing these foods for sustainability, whether they are flexitarians, vegetarians, or vegans. In terms of sustainability, many manufacturers are moving forward with their commitment to greater sustainability by implementing plant-based packaging solutions.

Sustainable packaging solutions and associated difficulties have long been a concern for packaging experts at SEALPAC. 

According to Marcel Veenstra, marketing and communications manager at Sealpac International, "When designing sustainable solutions, it's crucial to keep in mind the fundamental purpose of packaging, which is to protect the product and prolong its freshness. By helping to reduce food waste, we help the environment.” 

Under the guiding principle of “as little plastic as possible, as much as necessary,” several innovations for alternative proteins have lately surfaced that are intended to offer the highest level of product safety, avoid food waste, and be as resource efficient as feasible. 

The portfolio of sustainable solutions for alternative proteins includes packaging for plant-based eggs, packaging for plant-based minced meat and cevapcici, packaging for plant-based steaks and burgers, and packaging for plant-based cold cuts. 

Avery Dennison Releases MDO Films with Recycled Elements

Two machine direction orientation (MDO) film products containing post-consumer recycled (PCR) material have been released by Avery Dennison Labels and Packaging Materials, Ohio. The company claims that the new rMDO white and rMDO clear filmic facestocks allow brands to increase packaging sustainability and remain ahead of evolving standards for a variety of home, personal care, cosmetic, and food products.

The white and clear rMDO facestocks, which are appropriate for curved, contoured, conformable, and squeezable packaging, have good print quality with digital and traditional inks. The recycling of rigid plastic packaging is also made possible by its combination with AD CleanFlake technology.

The Glendale, California-based Avery Dennison Corp. is a multinational material research and manufacturing company that specializes in the design and production of a broad range of labeling and functional materials. 

The company's products include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications, tags, labels, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions for the retail apparel industry and other markets. The company also produces tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical, and retail applications.


The consumer goods industry is prompting efforts to promote sustainability and is completely focusing on using flexible packaging films and advanced materials which are environment friendly.

Moving forward, sustainable packaging design will develop further, and sustainable films used in packaging will never be a secondary choice; on the contrary, they will only grow significantly. 


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