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Article | August 26, 2010
Sustainable packaging 'immune' to economic downturn, report says
A new report shows there was “impressive” growth in sustainable packaging in 2008/2009 and predicts the market will reach $142.42 billion by 2015.
In terms of market segmentation, recycled material constitutes the largest packaging category, contributing close to 90% of the total demand in the U.S. However, biodegradable materials are witnessing growing demand from the packaging industry, and represent the fastest growing segment. Biodegradable materials are easily decomposed by microorganisms and reduce packaging waste. In addition, the materials preserve food products and sustain freshness. Among biodegradables, bioplastics are registering increased demand in the green packaging market.
Key markets using sustainable packaging, according to the report, include cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, foodservice, shipping, healthcare, and other markets. The increased demand for sustainable packaging in these end-use sectors is evident by the recent product launches with sustainability features.
Sustainable packaging is witnessing increased demand from cosmetic and personal care industries, mainly due to growing consumer preference for eco-friendly plastic packaging materials. More than 600 new beauty products with green labels were introduced in Europe alone during the past two years. Several food companies are announcing plans to switch to compostable biopolymer packaging.
Meanwhile unlike the food, beverage, and cosmetic industries, the medical sector lags behind in its use of sustainable packaging materials. Cost and regulatory concerns, a poor recycling infrastructure, and limited consumer demand are few factors responsible for preventing the medical device and pharmaceutical industries from switching to sustainable packaging.
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