Brands “turning significant corner in packaging sustainability”, say experts

UK headquartered sustainable packaging experts Eco Flexibles has shared insight on the evolving flexible packaging market, noting that as investments increase as companies come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, the coming months will prove a critical time for brands.

Image: Mert Guller

Simon Buswell, Director at Eco Flexibles, explained: “We’re seeing a real turning point in the industry in terms of the much promised ‘sustainable revolution'.

"After the challenges of Covid, it’s no secret that for many companies sustainability has taken a back seat to volume and speed. However, sustainable packaging still plays an important role in consumer shopping decisions, so naturally we’re now seeing the focus switch back.

“Consumer interest in climate change and the environment hasn’t slowed and with the foot firmly back on the accelerator, over the next six to twelve months we’re expecting to see many more brands make the switch from multi-material flexible packaging designs to more environmentally friendly recyclable monopolymers.

"One of the most interesting elements at play is the changing regulatory landscape. Initiatives such as Extended Producer Responsibility, the UK plastic packaging tax and the EU packaging levy are pushing new sustainable flexible packaging design up the agenda.

"However, with resources stretched, many businesses don’t have the capacity to make it happen on their own.”

The business handles all elements of packaging development from concept to completion, including testing and accreditation, significantly reducing the pressure on brands.

Simon concludes: “Our key message to brands is that sustainable flexible packaging doesn’t need to be complex, resource-intensive or a compromise. As well as being recyclable, lighter in weight and high-performance, the solutions we have developed at Eco Flexibles demonstrate how the switch from linear to circular economies can be as advantageous for brands as it is for the consumer.

“The key difference for brands is that packaging is not an isolated part of sustainability drive; it’s absolutely central, and we are expecting to see it become more even more closely integrated with ESG strategy across the coming year.”