For these reasons the global demand for recyclable, bio-based and other sustainable packaging types will reach about $440.3 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of around 7.7 percent, according to a Research and Markets report.
And this is evidenced by a slew of recent announcements from major brands that are using or investing in sustainable packaging technologies.
In January Unilever pledged 100 percent of its plastic packaging will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
The same month Procter & Gamble, in partnership with recycling and environmental management companies TerraCycle and Suez, developed the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic.
Late last month Dell developed the technology industry’s first packaging trays made with 25 percent recycled ocean plastic content.
In early March PepsiCo and biotechnology leader Danimer Scientific teamed up to develop biodegradable film resins that will help the beverage giant meet its sustainable packaging goals.
And today, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland said it has developed lightweight, 100 percent bio-based stand-up pouches with high technical performance.
The product, made from renewable raw materials and nanocellulose, will help reduce food waste while also providing companies with a sustainable packaging option, VTT says. According to a report released earlier this month, companies save $14 in operating costs for every $1 they invest in reducing food waste.
“One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally,” said VTT senior scientist Jari Vartiainen in a statement. “Packaging with efficient barrier properties is a crucial factor in the reduction of the food loss. Our solution offers an environmentally friendly option for the global packaging industry.”
VTT’s patent-pending, high consistency enzymatic fibrillation of cellulose (HefCel) technology provides a low-cost method for the production of nanocellulose, resulting in a tenfold increase in the solids content of nanocellulose, the research center says. The resulting nanocellulose is in the consistency of 15 percent to 25 percent, compared to traditional nanocellulose production methods, which result in 1 percent to 3 percent consistency.
The stand-up pouch is the fastest growing type of packaging, growing at a rate of 6.5 percent per year from 2015 to 2020, according to VTT. While fossil-based plastic films still dominate the packaging market, nanocellulose has the potential to be very useful for a number of future technical applications.