Flexible packaging as a cost reduction instrument. The market dictates new rules
The packaging market is changing under the influence of various factors. Today, in addition to the usual focus on consumer needs, competitiveness, compliance with standards and product specific features, there are also external conditions that we cannot always control - for example, global warming and COVID-19.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the very attitude towards plastic packaging. Previously, the use of plastic was considered harmful, but now the concept has changed a bit. It is not the use of plastic that is considered harmful, but the use of plastic that is not recyclable, as well as its improper disposal.
This means that companies need to pay more attention to innovative solutions when creating new packaging or should switch to alternative packaging. Responsibility for sorting and recycling plastic containers and packaging is as relevant as ever before. Manufacturers are important drivers of progress, because the amount of plastic that is being produced and used depends on them.
Prerequisites for the transition to new types of packaging
- According to the Great Britain authorities’ decision from July 2019, the new tax project for packaging which has less than 30% of recyclable plastic was adopted.
The project will take effect in April 2022 and companies that manufacture or import packaging to the UK that does not contain at least 30% of recyclable plastic, will pay a tax of £200 per tonne of a product.
- The size of the global plastic market in 2020 was estimated at $348.08 billion, and is projected to reach $361.7308 billion in 2021, according to a report by Grand View Research on an analysis of the global plastic packaging market.
- Based on the decision of the European Commission, which was adopted in 2018, the European Union requires that the amount of recycled plastic in the package meets the following standards: by 2025, 50% of plastic packaging must be recyclable; by 2030, 55% of packaging must be recyclable.
- All plastic packaging must be reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective way by 2030.
- The market is moving steadily towards the transition to recyclable packaging due to strict rules on the use of plastic, especially in developed regions.
- In Europe, about half of all food is packed in flexible packaging, with a market value of just under 3.7 million tonnes per year.
Currently, the largest amount of plastic is used for the manufacture of food and beverage packaging - more than 51% of the plastic packaging market. The use of plastic for the pharmaceutical segment is expected to increase in the period from 2021 to 2028.
It should be noted that, depending on the purpose of packaging, multilayer films may be a more appropriate type of packaging compared to single-layer films or plastic rigid packaging. For example, flexible Bag in Box packaging is great for food, beverages, household chemicals and moisture-sensitive products.
The advantages of using a bag-in-box instead of a hard plastic container are the following
- More consistent with sustainability than any other packaging. As for now, 70% of the bag in box packaging is recycled (cardboard), and 30% is subject to disposal.
- Savings on logistics, as significantly fewer machines are involved in transporting empty bags compared to transporting bottles, as such packaging is more compact. In addition, it is easy to accurately calculate the delivery cost of the filled bag in box packaging. Well-known weight and shape allow you to palletize your goods in the most profitable way.
- Convenience and simplicity in use, which does not require any additional effort to open the bag in box. For example, you can open the T-Tap with just one hand. All you need to do is to detach the tear-off tape and push the lever.
- Minimize food waste with a high oxygen barrier that extends the shelf life of your product and allows you to enjoy the product for a long time.
- Large area for creative marketing decisions. Owing to the outer packaging (box), a large area for advertising space is provided, in contrast to alternative packaging.