New study reveals growth opportunities in sustainable F&B packaging materials

The adoption of biodegradable, recyclable paper and aluminium-based packaging materials will drive fresh growth opportunities, reports a new study from research firm Frost and Sullivan.  According to its Global Food and Beverage (F&B) Packaging Market Forecast to 2030, the need to reduce material usage and develop more sustainable, durable and lighter-weight packaging solutions with lower production costs are key drivers supporting steady market development. 
Due to plastic pollution, manufacturers are seeking
alternatives to plastic packaging. (Photo from Pixabay)
"With rising concerns around plastic pollution and stringent government regulations, manufacturers are seeking alternatives to plastic packaging. This is resulting in an uptick in use of paper and aluminium-based packaging or other non-plastic materials such as biodegradable foods or resin," explained Christopher Shanahan, global director, Chemicals, Materials and Nutrition, Frost & Sullivan. "Paper and aluminium are both recycled at high rates and are seen as viable alternatives to plastic with biodegradable plastic films becoming more common as new degradable resin is adopted."
To differentiate themselves in a well-established, highly consolidated, and competitive market, packaging material suppliers are focusing on specific products such as flexible materials, rigid plastics, and coatings for sachets and pouches. Minimising packaging costs is a priority so there is strong competition among manufacturers to provide the most cost-effective solutions to customers, including eco-friendly, lightweight products, the study said.
"Although manufacturers have already reduced the thickness of bottles and other packaging, they are now looking toward further downgauging and design improvements to make packaging more cost-effective," Shanahan said. "For instance, designs such as droplet-shaped bottles have been shown to increase volumes without expanding the package weight."
The study also found the following insights that can help F&B vendors make the most of key opportunities in the market:
·      Exploring environment-friendly sources of plastics, such a plastic derived from corn, or natural products such as banana leaves.
·      Creating novel packaging solutions with advanced materials.

·      Utilising the same type of packaging material across several applications to reduce production and processing costs.

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