International Sustainable Packaging Forecasts for 2020

Climate change and higher social consciousness (and with that, legislation) will continue to be the driving force behind many product manufacturers’ packaging and product lifestyle choices.

What Will Stay

Globally, most of what we have seen in the packaging industry so far will continue. Namely,   packaging that:

  • is designed for recycling or reuse,
  • replaces plastic with biodegradable alternatives,
  • is minimalised (even removed),
  • is made from mono-materials, or
  • otherwise lends itself to circularity.

What Will Grow

Clean Minimalism

Minimalist and clean design will prove to be highly valuable visual communication tools. It’s not enough to switch from virgin to recycled paper. Your audience needs to see it in the design as well.

Digital Disruption

With this, Augmented Reality  will come to the fore. Brands can maintain a clean design and use AR to tell the story. Point your phone over the package and animation on screen bring your narrative to live. This interaction is near priceless, and the potential to educate consumers (plus, build robust relationships with them) is unprecedented.

  RRR-evved Up Recycling

There’s going to be a massive demand for products with packaging that is made from recycled material or is 100% recyclable.

Holding All The Cards

Recyclable, durable, printable, and versatile—cardboard is going to dominate. Corrugated cardboard especially, which leads to the next point.

Protective Packaging

eCommerce will proliferate and so will the demand to protect goods in transit. We foresee Plant Starch Material (PSM) protective ‘peanuts’ as a viable filling alternative to plastic bubble wrap or polystyrene. There’s word that even packing tape made from recycled paper will be a hot request from e-retailers.

 Biodegradable Packaging

South Africa, thankfully, already has a large amount of biodegradable packaging options. We believe this sector is going exponentially from now on.

Fast food outlets are fast replacing their single-use containers with sustainable materials such as Sugarcane take away boxes and bamboo cutlery. Consumers don’t even have to ditch the smoothie to avoid plastic. “PLA cups are manufactured from IngeoTM PLA, a polymer made from renewable plant starch resources, not oil. IngeoTM PLA requires 68% fewer fossil fuels resources to produce than traditional plastic.” Says Ecopack.

Eco-friendly bags are made from cotton, hemp and jute, but the jury is still out on when they will become mainstream.

Gobble It Up

We expect to see edible packaging grow in 2020, too. It’s simply too good a “zero-waste” opportunity to be missed! It won’t become a universal phenomenon in the next 12-months, but development in this area will grow (on our shores, at least).

Imagine dissolvable coffee sachets, burger and sandwich wrappers. Seaweed packaging is 100% biodegradable, dissolves in warm water and makes an excellent plant fertiliser.

There’s nothing quite like chomping down your sugar cone bowl after a yummy sundae. Now you can nosh the spoon too. Bakey’s have produced vegan and vegetarian edible cutlery made from a mixture of sorghum, rice and wheat.

Need 20/20 vision for your product packaging?  Let’s chat.

Related Tag: Product Marketing