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What’s driving the resurging sustainability agenda in packaging?

As the world adjusts to new habits and lifestyles, the packaging sector has continued at speed.

While purchasing patterns have changed as a result of lockdown, panic buying and accelerated growth in e-commerce, the essential packaging sector has pulled out all the stops to keep stores stocked. To accomplish this, many businesses put their additional new product development (NPD) efforts on hold, in favour of rapid turnaround of core ranges and basic supply.

Consumers at the peak were buying on availability, safety and price. However, as the world settles into its new mode of living, the packaging sector is once again ready to move forwards delivering exciting new ranges to capture market share.

In FMCG, the consumer is still king, and sustainability matters to shoppers! This means the packaging industry cannot afford to take its foot off the accelerator. A 2020 study into sustainable packaging found that almost three quarters of consumers are willing to pay more for packaging that is environmentally conscious.

Even through a challenging commercial environment, consumers are increasingly embracing social causes that matter to them, choosing brands and products that mirror their values. And sustainability is still a significant factor in how shoppers are making their impulse buying decisions, which is why brands are once again putting it into the spotlight.

One of the most direct ways to challenge the sustainability status quo is by paying closer attention to a packaging’s journey after use. Currently, there is no fully complete closed-loop system to recycle flexible packaging in the UK, particularly with regards to multi-layer, mixed material designs. A conservative estimate from packaging intelligence body Circular suggests that 217 billion items of flexible packaging items are sold annually in the UK, equivalent to 395,000 tonnes. The disparity between the amount of flexible packaging sold, and the struggle to make it recyclable, becomes very clear.

As brands challenge their packaging providers to offer a better environmental proposition, the driving force behind it is clear. Consumers are continually selecting products in packaging that can be recycled simply and effectively. Of course, as commercial performance appears to be tied closely to sustainability, many brands are rushing to move their current packaging designs forward by any means necessary.

Eco Flexibles takes a fresh new approach to packaging development. The business is seeking to reinvent the packaging sourcing and supply chain status quo. The goal is to remove many of the pain and pressure points that have been a reluctantly accepted as part of the packaging design process for so long.

By taking a customer-first approach to solve the unique challenges of each packaging requirement, the business is primed to support businesses of every size to make a smooth, equitable transition to more sustainable packaging ranges.

There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to harnessing sustainably conscious flexible packaging. For this reason, Eco Flexibles changes the rules on packaging design.

When brands look to tighten their sustainability credentials, today’s packaging providers offer the products or technologies they are capable of making in response – whether they are the most suitable choice or not. This means the industry is asset-driven rather than market-driven.

At Eco Flexibles®, we believe in a better way of working and develop solutions that are specifically designed to address the needs of our customers. By handling the full packaging redesign journey in house, from ideation, concept and development, to testing, accreditation and supply, Eco Flexibles takes away many of the common headaches for brands and their packers. This powerful combination of sustainable flexible packaging design, superior performance and impressive speed to market is how Eco Flexibles continues to make waves in the market.

It’s clear that sustainability is back on the agenda for brands and printers alike. Innovation may have slowed – but it certainly didn’t stop.

Get in touch with our team to discover more about Eco Flexibles. Revolutionising the packaging design and supply process, Eco Flexibles challenges the packaging sector to think differently – and its fresh approach to sustainability is designed to drive long term value for brands and their supply chains!