Sustainability programs are increasingly seen as a source of innovation that can serve as a platform for new product—for instance, packaging materials—and market development, the report says.
The report also forecasts that downsizing or lightweighting, increased recycling and waste recovery, increased use of recycled content, improvement in packaging and logistical efficiency and increased use of renewable-sourced materials are the five most common trends in sustainable packaging.
The recycled plastics sector is strong, but faces challenges such as a shortage of infrastructure for collection and sorting, the report says. In the recycled material packaging sector, paper packaging in the biggest market followed by metal, glass and plastic, according to the report.
Demand for sustainable packaging in China and India and a growing middle class aware of health and the environment is driving growth in Asia. The Smithers Para report forecasts that Asia will be the largest market for sustainable packaging in the world by 2018, accounting for 32 percent of the overall market, reported PackWorld.
A Frost & Sullivan report released in December 2013 projects changes in the consumer lifestyle will attract more interest in new packaging technologies and products such as flexible packaging especially in food and beverage applications, which is the largest end segment application.
The increased focus on sustainability will continue to be a major trend in the packaging industry, which supports the adoption of materials from renewable sources.