Study shows European packaging producers embracing circularity


Plastic packaging

New research shows that European packaging businesses are “committed” to the circular economy but few are acting ahead of legislation.

Material technologies business Aquapak commissioned the research which surveyed sustainable packaging producers and users in the UK, Italy and Germany.

The study shows that 85% of businesses surveyed have a circular economy strategy which involves reusing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible, with 21% saying they will be fully circular within three years.

24% said they have a three to four-year time frame for achieving circularity and a further 23% expect to meet this objective within four to five years. However, 11% said that they did not have such a strategy in place and a further 5% didn’t know.

The study revealed that 62% of businesses expect their company to increase their budgets for investing in sustainable packaging material over the next five years, with a further 23% expecting to see budgets increase dramatically.

Our study shows that the European packaging producers are embracing the circular economy.

The study also explored how the revised European Commission’s Packaging and Packaging and Packaging Regulation (PPWR) as part of the Circular Economy package will impact businesses

20% of businesses said they are acting ahead of legislation and 45% said they respond quickly to new rules when they are announced. However, 24% described their rate of change as “medium” and 10% as “very slow”.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Lapping, Chief Executive Officer, at Aquapak, said: “Our study shows that the European packaging producers are embracing the circular economy, with a focus on achieving full circularity.

“At Aquapak, we are supporting this goal by helping our customers use the world’s resources more effectively by reducing waste and increasing the reuse of valuable materials as part of the circular economy through new technologies which provide the functionality needed to protect products, whilst reducing the impact on the environment.”

The study also showed 83% of respondents expect to increase the use of multi-material across their product portfolios and 72% will make more use of paper over the next five years.

69% and 65% of respondents anticipated greater use of new polymers such as PVOH and bioplastics respectively in their packaging material. The data shows polyethene use 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.

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