Walk into a grocery store and check the aisle, and you will come across various containers. You will find packaging materials in plastic, metal, and cardboard. Plastic food packaging was present since the 1950s and became prominent during the eighties and nineties. Today, the grocery stores made use of various other plastic packagings for most edibles that you choose to buy.
If you choose the resealable snack containers for seafood and fish packaging, you will come across plastic containers for the same. You will also witness a trend amongst the food packages, whether it gets made of plastic or not. Mostly all the food containers are meant for single-use today. Once you have consumed the entire food contained in the package, you throw it away. Hence, today’s food packaging is disposable and cheap, which is an excellent way to add savings. However, it does bring up a few issues. People have to pay the price for disposable plastic and other food packages.
The issue at hand
The food containers and packages get designed for customers to dispose of after use. And that results in plastic piles across the globe. It ends up in the ocean or landfill, which in turn leads to toxic environmental impacts. And this makes it exciting and challenging to forecast the future of the food packaging industry.
The important scenarios
Are you thinking about the food packaging industry in the next decade? Over the years, many people, including board and paper manufacturers, brand owners, and packaging converters, have expressed their opinion. And all these discussions and other studies helped in combining a report named “Future of Food Packaging: Four Scenarios for 2030”. Let’s look at the scenarios briefly to understand the food packaging industry and its future in the forthcoming years.
1. Maximum individualism
Here the food industry fragments need to cater to a wide range of customers, preferences, and tastes. Today, people are following the popular nutrition philosophy: “You are what you eat.” It means the food we consume outlines our body and our entire health. It means even bad material choices are possible due to brand differentiation. It indicates that recycling will become complicated in the coming years, and the individual user will be accountable for that.
2. A green experience
Here climate-friendliness plats a crucial role. Excess use of plastic is not a good state of affairs. Based on this scenario, people are purchasing food from the shops that don’t use packaging. It might just be a trend of bringing one’s containers. The situation marks the relevance of recycling. This scenario marks a green experience for the users so that there are less harmful impacts on the environment.
3. More practicality
Here convenience and practicality play an essential role. It assumes prominence over the food packaging sustainability. The online services get dedicated to making life free from any issues as much possible. Here people are keen to use food packaging that is easy to carry and lightweight. Recycling might become challenging, and the customers will get skeptical about the climate-talk.
4. The seamless closed loop
Here it becomes essential to resort to climate-friendly choices. It will almost become a habit for most people. The consumers will have faith in specific brands and will play its part in combating climate change. There will be durable and reusable packages that can be returned to the delivery agent and become a common practice in food delivery. Furthermore, cycling will become a well-oiled device, and trash will no more be a reality in this scenario.
Hence, the demand for sustainable solutions suggests a golden opportunity for the fiber-based packaging industry. It is mostly because cardboard and paper are recyclable. Therefore, one can say that chemistry is an invisible factor that ensures functional fiber food packaging. And without this, even cardboard and paper can’t get transformed into a fit for the purpose packaging. It does not have the strength and the convertible capacity, which will not secure the product. Also, the outcome wouldn’t be hygienic for use.
Hence, foretelling the food packaging industry’s future is not challenging, as it depends on multiple aspects. And once you have witnessed or considered the scenarios, making a prediction is not easy. It is essential to explore the probable results of the developments which are already influencing customer behavior. Finally, all the four scenarios discussed above act as great discussion starters and leads to thought-provoking conjectures. It will also inspire collaboration all through the value chain. The future of the food packaging vertical is yet to get finalized as anything can happen. However, currently, it is time to work cooperatively to ensure sustainable packaging and a brighter future.