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To manage the transition to a more sustainable packaging future, Mr Pamplin thinks some smaller companies may need government support due to a lack of resources. Whereas, most experts agree a national tax on plastic is more likely to be created to incentivise change. Major packaging firm, DS Smith use made-to-fit technology to package ecommerce products more snugly.

Packaging Sustainability

Investment in the technology pays for itself in a year, Ms Rocher says. But she concedes that the future of packaging will be challenging for everyone. Plastic is perceived as the least sustainable packaging material. Yet if it was banned tomorrow, the whole infrastructure of how we shop and feed ourselves would need to change, says Barrington Pamplin, technical director at consultancy ThePackHub. So is plastic really that bad?

Sustainable packaging machines

This is a problem acknowledged by the European Union, which has created a new directive to make all plastic packaging across Europe recyclable or reusable by This website uses cookies to enhance your experience when visiting it and to serve you with advertisements that might interest you. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

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Special Reports Digital Raconteur Agency. Transitioning to greater sustainability must be done with careful consideration Packaging affects the entire supply chain, starting with the material producer to the converter, to the brand owner and retailer, to the waste and recycling organisations. The cost of sustainable packaging can be substantial for manufacturers Furthermore, in the UK and other places, waste collection and recycling is not co-ordinated centrally, but by local authorities, creating inconsistences and hindering closed-loop recycling of materials.


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Sustainable packaging is good for profits as well as the planet | World Economic Forum

Finally, the cleaning products company Method offers refill pouches for hand wash, laundry detergent and washing-up liquid refillable products, and 8 x concentrated formulas to reduce the volume of packaging needed at the outset. The deterioration of the environment caused by discarded manmade materials has reached critical levels, with proven negative impacts on ecosystems and now also potentially human health.

As consumers become more environmentally conscious and hold businesses and their packaging standards to account, the hope is that companies will be incentivized to produce and package more responsibly. However, environmental and societal benefits are not the only incentives for change - as leading companies address this global challenge, shifting their strategies towards sustainable and innovative packaging design, they succeed in unlocking new revenue streams and creating unique competitive advantages within their industry.

The competitive advantage to be gained, coupled with the opportunity to leverage brand power to shift consumer behavior, make compelling arguments encouraging all industries to join the packaging revolution. Certainly, as we lean in to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the technological advances it offers, the time has arrived for industry to align on this pressing global challenge and forge a new reality together, through ambitious targets and innovations at scale.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. I accept. New Report: Are we saving enough for retirement? Read more. Most Popular. This Chinese megacity is building a giant waste-to-energy plant Johnny Wood 01 Jul Why do CEOs have such low scores in emotional intelligence?

More on the agenda. Explore context. Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis. The need for innovation to drive engagement.

Mushroom roots and crowdsourced innovation - two innovative answers to our packaging problems. Have you read? These 6 innovations could shape the future of sustainable packaging France is increasing the price of packaging made from unrecycled plastic This Dutch supermarket now has an aisle with no plastic packaging. Featured: Circular Economy View all.