Sustainability beats cost as top challenge for packaging industry

A study released by Packaging World and DuPont shows that while today’s packaging professional is focused on cost, performance, and food safety/security, sustainability will replace cost as a dominant trend in 10 years.

October 29, 2012

A study released by Packaging World and DuPont shows that while today’s packaging professional is focused on cost, performance, and food safety/security, sustainability will replace cost as a dominant trend in 10 years. The results from a futurist study, designed by Packaging World magazine and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, reflect the opinions of more than 500 members of the packaging industry.

When asked what trend would most impact their packaging 10 years from now, many respondents cited food safety concerns, saying: “We are facing new threats to food safety due to climate change, the failure to address the problems in agriculture, lack of food in the world, and finally finding solutions for sustainable approaches. In the future I expect food packaging to have a whole new set of environmental and performance requirements. Public awareness will increase and continual improvement of performance will be required. I foresee sustainability in a new context, where food waste, shelf life, etc. all goes more together.”

Some other findings from the report include:

  • 82% of respondents say that regulations will have a greater influence on packaging design in 10 years.
  • 81% of respondents believe packaging will play a more important role in a product’s success in 10 years.
  • 65% agree that plastics will continue to replace glass and metals and flexible packaging will continue to replace rigid structures.

“One common theme throughout the survey is the need to maximize value with minimal impact," said Shanna Moore, Global Sustainability Director, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. “Interestingly we see cost sacrificed for sustainability. While affordability underscores everything we do, the message is clear: Sustainability must be considered at the onset especially in light of expectations that the consumer will have even more value in it.”

Report (pdf)

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