For the last couple of years, we have been working with a number of packaging companies and a key trend emerging within the industry has been a significant focus on sustainability and recycling.
Of the c.6.3 billion tonnes of plastic the UK has thrown away since the start of plastic mass-production in the 1950s, only an estimated 600 million tonnes has been recycled. Awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic on the environment has increased exponentially in recent years and sustainable alternatives are now being sought. New materials, which are more easily recyclable or biodegradable, are becoming ever more important. One of the alternatives to plastic being explored is recyclable paper and cardboard packaging, which is being adopted by a number of retailers as a viable, environmentally friendly alternative.
Recent examples of this trend from plastics to cardboard packaging include:
Packaging designers and manufactures have been quick to pick up on the move from plastic materials towards cardboard. DS Smith recently invited Philip Hollobone MP to its Kettering packaging facility to discuss sustainable packaging solutions, focusing on cardboard and paper-based packaging designs as substitutes for plastic. DS Smith presented research to Hollobone, highlighting the 1.5 million tonnes of plastic that could be replaced by fibre-based products each year from just five areas within supermarkets across Europe.
Smurfit Kappa announced that it has made significant progress in becoming a fully sustainable and circular business. In the nine months leading up to September, the group reported a strong performance with EBITDA up 11% year-on-year and ahead of stated targets. Tony Smurfit, CEO, commented: “Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable packaging solutions and with our unique applications, knowledge and expertise in paper-based packaging, we are ideally positioned to take advantage of this mega trend.”
At Polestar, we have seen a significant increase in environmental awareness in the packaging industry, with many companies emphasising and making a virtue of their green credentials. We are currently acting for a specialist provider of protective packing solutions who has not only adopted sustainability as a core ethos within their own business, but endeavoured to ensure this is replicated throughout its entire supply chain.
Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa, commented: “Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable packaging solutions and with our unique applications, knowledge and expertise in paper-based packaging, we are ideally positioned to take advantage of this mega trend.”