62% of businesses to invest more in sustainable packaging materials



Paper packaging

A new report shows that the European packaging industry is shifting the balance of materials it plans to use in the future and investing in more sustainable options.

“Sustainable Packaging in Europe: the drive for change” is being launched today at the Rethinking Materials Innovation and Investment Summit in London by material technologies business Aquapak.

Aquapak says the report’s research was carried out by research company Pure Profile with 150, 50 in each market, sustainability and packaging experts across the UK, Italy and Germany in March 2023.

The results reveal that 62% of respondents expect their company to increase its budgets for investing in sustainable packaging materials over the next five years, with a further 23% expecting to see budgets increase “dramatically”.

In the study, 83% of respondents said they expect to increase the use of multi-material across their product portfolios and 72% said they will make more use of paper over the next five years. While 69% and 65% anticipate greater use of new polymers such as PVOH and bioplastics respectively in their packaging materials. The trends are similar over ten years.

Our research shows that the European packaging industry is moving towards more sustainable materials.

The data shows the use of polyethene is set to see a decline over the next five years, with 45% of respondents seeking to use less of the material across their product portfolios.  

The survey found that product protection is a “key feature” when assessing the most important attributes of packaging materials used. Barrier properties, extending the shelf life and functionality – ease of use for the end-consumer, were regarded as more important than recyclability. 

Commenting on the findings, Mark Lapping, Chief Executive Officer, Aquapak, said: “Our research shows that the European packaging industry is moving towards more sustainable materials such as paper and new polymers as they focus on the circular economy.  

“However, it is also clear that the job packaging has to do is paramount, with product protection and functionality a priority. The good news is that new barrier film technologies exist, offering both performance and environmental responsibility at scale.”

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