The green packaging market continues to grow as businesses respond to increasing consumer demand for sustainable, eco-friendly products.
The global green packaging industry was valued at over $253.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $561.6 billion by 2031, according to a report from Research Dive. Aside from consumer demand, sustainable packaging has gained popularity for cost-effectiveness and for helping companies meet sustainability goals. Reusable packaging, for instance, allows companies to purchase less packaging overall while helping them reduce their carbon footprint.
Green packaging uses sustainable, eco-friendly materials, such as biodegradable plastics, bamboo, sugar cane, or recycled products, to create products with minimal impact on the environment. With consumer concern over the environmental impact of single-use plastics and other non-biodegradable materials, green packaging provides a favorable alternative.
The food and beverage industry continues to maintain the largest share in the global green packaging industry, followed by pharmaceuticals and personal care. Europe also remains the most dominant regional player as its governments tighten regulations on single-use plastics, including bans on certain single-use plastics.
Obstacles to Global Green Packaging Growth
While many European governments tighten regulations on non-biodegradable materials, the lack of government sustainability initiatives in many developing countries remains a major obstacle to market growth. As recyclables remain the most popular green packaging next to reusable and biodegradable products, government incentives such as recycling subsidies would further overall green packaging market growth.
Industry growth is also limited by the nature of raw materials used in green packaging. Raw materials for biodegradable packaging solutions often come from fruits and vegetables, which are susceptible to damage from natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Bioplastics are also known to be less structurally sound than their petrochemical-based counterparts. Finally, the high cost of some raw materials used for green packaging often makes it difficult for companies to implement their use while remaining competitive in their pricing.
Packaging companies are nonetheless committed to providing green packaging solutions to meet consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products. Major companies in the green packaging market include Amcor , Tetra Laval, and DuPont.