By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
With advancements in packaging technology and growing concerns over the environmental impact of food product packaging, the green and sustainable packaging market is slated to show consistent growth through 2021.
Between 2015 and 2021, the global market for green packaging is expected to demonstrate stable growth due to an increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally-friendly products. Packaging types include recycled content packaging, reusable packaging, and degradable packaging. Within recycled content packaging, formats include paper, plastic, metal, and glass packaging. Reusable packaging formats include drums, plastic containers, and various others.
With growing environmental concerns, great efforts are being made by packaging manufacturers to reduce both waste and harmful emissions during manufacturing. Accordingly, green and sustainable packaging designs are making great strides toward emission and landfill waste reductions. With pressure on manufacturers — from both consumers and regulatory bodies — to reduce waste and improve sustainability, many are seeking green packaging solutions in order to meet standards and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Primary market drivers include growing concerns about packaging waste, increased health awareness, rising disposable income levels among consumers, rapidly-growing economies, such as the Asia-Pacific region, levels of energy consumption, and advancements in packaging technologies.
Although green packaging offers numerous benefits, it also tends to increase overall production costs, thereby lowering profit margins. This factor is one of the primary growth constraints within the green packaging market. Furthermore, although many consumers demand green packaging, some regions do not demonstrate the same level of environmental awareness. This diminishes the ability of manufacturers to leverage sustainable packaging as a selling point. However, government initiatives to increase environmental awareness are helping to underscore the importance of green packaging. Even with these constraining factors, the market will experience stable growth into 2021.
Presently, the U.S. is the largest market for green packaging thanks to a high level of environmental awareness and extensive use of eco-friendly products. The Asia-Pacific regions, namely India and China, are expected to provide the highest rates of market growth in the coming years due to considerable population growth and rising income levels.