The demand for sustainable packaging in Europe grew exponentially in 2022. Consumer consciousness towards environmental concerns heightened people’s need for sustainable choices, resulting in brands having to shift their attention towards sustainable products to keep people on their side. Many nations introduced legislation on single-use plastics over the past year in a bid to tackle the ongoing fight against plastic pollution. This expanded the market for sustainable packaging, particularly in the food & beverage industry, where they had to replace single-use plastic items such as cups and cutlery with environmentally friendly alternatives. Other important factors, including global concern over waste dumped in landfill and an increase in technological advancements in packaging equipment and machinery, all played a huge role in the demand for sustainable packaging growing in 2022.
As more rules and regulations are introduced in the coming months, accompanied by a continuous growth in consumer demand for sustainable products, it is predicted that sustainable packaging demand will hit new levels in 2023, with various trends leading the way. In today’s blog, we look at some of the forecasted trends in the world of sustainable packaging for 2023.
The European Union (EU) have proposed new measures to promote the creation of reusable packaging to help reduce global packaging waste. It is predicted that without any action taken, the EU would witness a further 19% increase in packaging waste by 2023, in addition to an astounding 46% increase in plastic packaging waste. With the proposal set to ensure reusable packaging options and remove unwanted packaging for consumers, more businesses will have no choice but to prioritise reusability in their packaging strategies. In 2023, eco-conscious consumers will look for new ways to reduce their environmental impact, and reusable packaging options is an effective method of doing so.
Interactive packaging is a trend set to emerge in 2023, aiming to enhance the consumer experience, as well as reducing packaging materials at the same time. More brands will incorporate ‘smart packaging’ practices into their strategy this year, implementing interactive aspects such as QR codes onto product packaging.
Brands can use QR code software to strengthen the end-user experience, particularly for mobile-first audiences. Companies will utilise QR codes to show product tutorials and product information sheets, helping to improve consumer interaction and engagement. QR codes will also be a positive trend from a sustainability point of view, as they will help to reduce the amount of information and marketing materials included within packaging. Research shows that interactive packaging is expected to grow significantly in 2023, with the market projected to grow at an annual average rate of 5.9%.
Packaging ‘Inks’ Are Going Green!
The rise of sustainable inks is one of the major talking points within the packaging world as we progress into 2023. Although ink is not regarded as a large aspect of the packaging, its environmental impact is huge, with greater emphasis now on making packaging inks better for the planet.
Inks contribute to the majority of packaging branding, and as more organisations look to adopt greater sustainability credentials, there will be more demand for sustainable inks to be used for packaging printing. Soya-based inks and vegetable inks are some of the environmentally friendly alternative inks breaking their way into the market.
Paper Over Plastic
Plastic remains one of the leading materials within the packaging industry. However, the industry expects to see a higher demand for paper-based packaging materials over the next 12 months. Packaging Europe expects a continuation of paper-based innovations, including more creations within the paper bottle space.
Global brands such as Heinz and Heineken developed prototypes of their own paper bottles in 2022, and it is expected more brands will follow suit in the coming year.
There are many new and exciting packaging trends expected to come to fruition in the coming months, which will help shape the future of the packaging industry for the better. Learn more about some of 2023’s predicted sustainable packaging trends here. Here at PG Paper, we offer a range of sustainable paper and board solutions to meet your requirements. Our array of products includes paper and pulp products from PEFC and FSC certified supply chains, where raw materials are sourced from sustainably managed forests. We can also supply and advise on compostable polymers and the relevant certifications required when seeking plastic substitutes.