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Although packaging waste accounts for around 15% of the total waste burden in developed countries, its disposal has become a significant and pressing problem because it tends to be high-volume and highly visible. As consumers continue to demand convenience, freshness and quality in their food and drinks purchases, retailers are prioritizing getting products onto store shelves as rapidly and efficiently as possible. However, as packaging waste grows, retailers are coming under pressure from consumers, governments and lobby groups to take action in order to reduce the amount of packaging used on products.
This report evaluates innovation in packaging reduction in food and drinks by region and product category, pinpointing growth opportunities and highlighting technologies with the strongest future potential. It examines packaging waste issues from various stakeholders in the supply chain: packaging suppliers, food and drinks manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
Through examples of company initiatives and NPD trends, this report highlights what has already been achieved in terms of packaging reduction and provides insight into the new technologies that will impact the packaging industry in the future. It also identifies the challenges and barriers of implementing packaging reduction strategies and highlights opportunity areas.
Key features of this report
• A broad assessment of the size of the packaging waste problem, by region and material and an overview of the principal drivers of packaging reduction, including sustainability pressures, raw material prices, demographic shifts, cultural trends and legislation.
• Insight into the latest trends in reduced packaging technologies by region, product sector and packaging material.
• Evaluation of the major manufacturing technologies for recyclability, reuseability and biodegradability; and the ways in which these technologies are facilitating packaging reduction.
• Detailed analysis of lightweighting technologies and an examination of the relationship between packaging design and the more efficient use of resources.
Scope of this report
• Understand each regional market in terms of the current packaging waste trends and the legislative imperatives.
• Anticipate future sustainable packaging trends, particularly in terms of the innovations that can help your business take advantage of demand in the near future.
• Learn how the emerging cutting edge technologies will deliver significant packaging reduction and improve operation efficiencies.
• Gain insight into how changing packaging design can reduce waste and the potential impact on production costs
Key Market Issues
• Packaging waste is a serious global environmental issue. Around 2bn tonnes of household waste are generated worldwide every year, of which a third is packaging waste.
• Plastics, the least recycled packaging material, is now the most common and the most rapidly increasing in food and drinks.
• Whilst demand for 'less packaging' is increasing consumers are resistant to paying significantly more for eco-friendlier products which contributes to the packaging industry's reluctance to invest in the technology.
• Lightweighting has been heavily promoted in glass packaging, however the potential for further lightweighting is limited, as is the current potential for vastly higher recycling rates
Key findings from this report
• Recycling has been the main thrust in the campaign to reduce packaging waste and recycling rates have risen rapidly in the developed world, particularly where there has been legislation to discourage landfilling
• Soft drinks is the leading product sector for packaging innovation. Huge multinationals particularly The Coca-Cola Company have invested considerably in packaging reduction initiatives
• Plastic is now the most widely-used packaging material worldwide, but also the least recycled. According to WasteOnline, 11% of household waste in the UK is plastic and 40% of it is generated from plastic bottles of which 3% are recycled. Bioplastics have strong potential, but issues of cost and disposability need to be addressed.
• Recycling remains the principal means of reducing packaging volumes. Corrugated paperboard has reached nearly 100% recycled content. 65% of glass bottles and 60% of aluminum beverage cans are recycled.
• Lightweighting has emerged as a major packaging reduction trend, particularly in glass packaging. The average weight of a 'tin' can has dropped by a third since the 1990s. More than half of consumers claim they would be more likely to buy a product in lightweighted packaging.
Key questions answered
• What will be the future impact of legislative and environmental pressure on the food and drinks packaging industry?
• Is innovation government, retailer, food and drinks industry or consumer-led?
• Which companies, product categories and brands are leading the way in packaging reduction?
• Which packaging materials will dominate future innovation given the latest technological developments and category trends?
Table of Contents
New Technologies to Reduce Packaging
Executive summary 10
Market drivers and resistors 10
Trends in reduced packaging 11
Recyclability and reusability 12
Reduced materials and lightweighting 13
Emerging technologies 14
Commercial implications and future outlook 15
Chapter 1 Market drivers and resistors 18
The problem of packaging 19
Lifestyle shifts and convenience trends 20
Enhancing brands through packaging 22
The size of the problem 22
Environmental impact 24
Energy consumption and pollutants 25
Waste disposal 25
The rising costs of raw materials 27
Retail trends are helping to reduce packaging 30
Legislation - stick before carrot? 31
EU 20-20-20 targets 33
EU Landfill Directive 34
WRAP and the Courtauld Commitment 35
Japan focuses on sustainability 35
China reaffirms commitment to packaging reduction 36
India helped by informal recycling sector 37
South & Central America 37
Chapter 2 Trends in reduced packaging 40
Reduced packaging by category 41
Alcoholic drinks 42
Soft drinks 42
Bakery and cereals 43
Reduced packaging by material type 44
Company initiatives 47
Asda Wal-Mart, UK 47
Britvic Soft Drinks 48
Marks & Spencer (M&S) 48
Mars, Inc 49
Nestle UK 49
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc 50
Chapter 3 Recyclability and reusability 54
Plastics additives 58
Bioplastics – risks and challenges 62
Technologies preventing the degradation of recycled materials 64
Paper – risks and challenges 65
Tree-free paper 67
Reusable products 70
Chapter 4 Reduced materials and lightweighting 74
Lightweighting glass 75
Modern glass manufacturing techniques 76
Attitudes towards glass lightweighting 76
Major manufacturers 78
Lightweighting wine bottles 80
UK retailers 82
Lightweighting beer and cider 83
Using less metal 85
Lightweighting plastics 88
Breaking category norms 90
Lightweighting paper packaging 94
Reduced packaging at Easter 95
The "naked" product 96
Chapter 5 Emerging technologies 100
Active packaging 105
Smart packaging 108
Barriers to the commercialization of nanotechnology 109
Edible packaging 113
Designing packaging for resource efficiency 114
Chapter 6 Commercial implications and future outlook 118
Conflicting demands on packaging 119
Do consumers know what they want, or want what they know? 120
Commercial viability of technology drives innovation 123
Regulatory guidance will foster innovation 123
Can reduced packaging help marketing? 123
Key players shaping future trends 124
Crown Holdings 126
The Coca-Cola Company 129
List of Figures
Figure 1.1: Growth of MSW vs. GDP and population increase in OECD countries (index), 1980-
Figure 1.2: Per Capita MSW Generation: EU27+EFTA, 1995-2008 23
Figure 1.3: Share of packaging waste in total household waste by country (%), 2004 24
Figure 1.4: Commodity price index, June, 2001-2010 28
Figure 1.5: Green Dot symbol 33
Figure 2.6: Share of food and drink products launched by packaging material, by region (%), 2007-2009 44
Figure 2.7: US Recycling rates by packaging material (%), 2005 45
Figure 2.8: The UK's first resealable can from Aimia Foods 47
Figure 2.9: "7 Rs" of sustainable packaging 50
Figure 2.10: Packaging scorecard metrics for the "7 Rs" 51
Figure 3.11: Naya 100% rPET Still Water 56
Figure 3.12: Naked reNEWabottle 57
Figure 3.13: Bioplastics volume share by type (%), 2008 60
Figure 3.14: Coca-Cola PlantBottle 61
Figure 3.15: Recycled paper share of paper making raw materials globally (%), 1990-2015 64
Figure 3.16: Consumer attitudes towards packaging in Europe (% of respondents), 2009 66
Figure 3.17: Dairy Crest "Jugit" 71
Figure 4.18: Magnitude estimations of barriers to lightweighting generic glass containers, (average score), 2008 77
Figure 4.19: Grolsch lightweight version beer bottles from Coors Brewers 84
Figure 4.20: Fusion BottleCan 86
Figure 4.21: Eska C2C bottle 87
Figure 4.22: Bottle Fly, NitroPouch and NoBottle (left-to-right) 89
Figure 4.23: CalNaturale Cabernet Sauvignon 91
Figure 4.24: Aluminum beer bottles from Anheuser-Busch 92
Figure 4.25: Sainsbury's Australian Shiraz 94
Figure 4.26: Cadbury Treasure Egg 96
Figure 5.27: Benefits and drawbacks of nanotechnology in packaging manufacturing 103
Figure 5.28: Bericap DoubleSeal SuperShorty Crown O2 scavenger 105
Figure 5.29: Nanoclay technology benefits 106
Figure 5.30: NatureFlex biodegradable film from Innovia Films 112
Figure 5.31: Nestle Carnation Milk resealable carton 115
Figure 6.32: Consumers' primary associations with packaging (%), 2009 122
Figure 6.33: Amcor ReClose 125
Figure 6.34: The Crown SuperEnd beverage can end 127
Figure 6.35: Rexam wine cans 128
List of Tables
Table 1.1: Average number of occupants per household (absolute), 1990-2010 21
Table 1.2: Global ready meals market value ($m), 2002-2014 22
Table 1.3: Material share of consumer packaging (%), 2008 25
Table 1.4: Regional share of sustainable packaging launches (%), 2007-2009 31
Table 2.5: Category share of sustainable packaging launches (%), 2008-2009 41
Table 2.6: Category share of sustainable packaging launches indexed against share of total launches (index), 2008-2009 42
Table 4.7: Estimated savings per million bottles due to 10% lightweighting ($ and tons), 2006 75
Table 4.8: Owens-Illinois' Lean + Green wine bottles 80
Table 4.9: Potential annual saving of glass after lightweighting standard sparkling wine bottles in key producing countries (tons) 81
Table 6.10: Packaging attributes I would "pay a little more for" (%), 2008-2009 121
Amcor, Asda Walmart, Britvic Soft Drinks, Cereplast, Coca-Cola, Crown Holdings, Marks & Spencer's, Mars, Nestle, Owens-Illinois, Rexam, Tesco
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