Major changes within the paper & pulp industry are nothing new, with the market experiencing continuous change for over one hundred years. Many believe that after the effects of Covid-19, the paper industry was experiencing a period of decline, with the viewpoint that the industry would eventually struggle to compete with the current digital climate.
Despite the negative views held by many, the paper & pulp industry is experiencing a period of growth, with industry leaders reacting to changes and disruptions through new innovation, along with changes in consumer demand for more sustainable options helping the industry thrive.
So, what trends are leading the way in 2022?
As awareness around climate change and environmental impact becomes more influential throughout society, more and more companies are beginning to implement corporate policies that have a positive environmental output.
The rise in demand for sustainable packaging has been one of the fastest trends to date within the paper industry, and it’s expected that the sustainable packaging market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% by 2027 . Organisations within Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry are making moves to become more sustainable through the introduction of more sustainable packaging solutions. The majority of the top 100 companies within the FMCG industry have made commitments to become more sustainable, with a higher focus on packaging recyclability accounting for roughly 60% of commitments.
Consumers becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability and seeking more sustainable options has also come to fruition over the last number of years. Consumer purchasing decisions changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as more people adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. Due to these attitude changes, organisations have had to adapt to keep up with consumer demands. Research conducted by Deloitte in 2022 showed that 34% of UK adults stopped purchasing products from brands as they had sustainability-related concerns about them.
Technological advancements continue to develop within the paper industry, with the implementation of new, innovative technologies constantly evolving to increase both productivity and quality. One of the most recent tech trends to be introduced is the new smart sensor technology.
To optimize taking measurements throughout the pulp & papermaking process, smart sensors have been developed to help improve efficiency, quality, flexibility and overall productivity, with experts believing that the industry will greatly benefit from this new technology.
These smart sensors are also able to work wirelessly within high-temperature environments, in turn helping to reduce overall energy consumption. The pulp & paper industry will continue to develop new innovative technologies such as these to improve overall environmental output.
Increase in Demand for Packaging
The demand for paper-based packaging solutions has been on the rise within Europe for over two years, and this trend has continued into 2022. Across Europe, Folding Carton Board has been the stand-out product in demand, with demand expected to rise by 4.9 this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in consumer purchasing behavior transferring to online, and this has been one of the driving forces that has spiked packaging demand over the last couple of years. The majority of e-commerce packaging is produced using corrugated board or cardboard, which has led to the soaring demand for various packaging solutions.
Specifically, in the UK, the Plastic Packaging Tax was introduced in April this year, which meant that businesses could no longer use or import products with plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled materials. As suspected, this has also resulted in demand rising for various sustainable packaging solutions across the country.
However, with demand for packaging solutions increasing and supply chains impacted by global conflicts, the packaging market has experienced rapid price increases across the board. Here at PG Paper, we have worked hard to establish a global network of reliable mill partners. Despite the current climate of the paper industry, our team is working to support our customers and offer the best possible solutions.
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