With a global recession negatively affecting many industries there are some industries experiencing phenomenal growth. One example is the paper packaging market which according to recent research, is expected to hit $236 billion dollars globally before the end of 2011. Further, in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India, the growth is expected to persist. The consumer demand in North America and Europe is also on the rise.
So why the growth in this market? Various factors such as the ability to recycle, convenience, and cost-effectiveness can be attributed. The main advantage the paper packaging industry has through is its environmentally friendliness. Combined with quality, paper packaging is a viable packaging option in our modern world that is concerned about sustainability. As technologies and innovations continue to evolve, the paper packaging market only gets stronger providing manufacturers with more customized solutions.
This report comes as no surprise to anyone who has observed packaging in a retail setting over the past handful of years. Paper packaging is replacing many types of plastics packaging. Consumer behavior is changing, demanding less packaging that is recyclable and marketers and packaging manufacturers are capitalizing on the opportunities.
Responding to a campaign by Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel announced Wednesday that it will stop buying paper and packaging from Asia Pulp and Paper. The environmental group has linked Asia Pulp and Paper to rain forest deforestation in Indonesia.
Going forward, Mattel will increase the amount of recycled and sustainable fiber used in its packaging and products. The move will focus on using post-consumer recycled content whenever possible and avoiding virgin fiber from controversial sources. The toy maker also said it intends to increase the amount of recycled paper it uses, and to increase the use of wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
By the end of 2011, 70 percent of Mattel’s paper packaging will be made from recycled material or sustainable fiber. It aims to raise that to 85 percent by the end of 2015.
Mattel’s earlier environmental changes included eliminating plastic-coated wire ties that used to be used to secure Barbie dolls and other goods to their boxes. That effort was spearheaded by Wal-Mart.
Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. Indonesia’s rain forest, the largest in the world after those in the Amazon and the Congo, is home to orangutans, tigers, elephants, clouded leopards and scores of other endangered plants and animals. The Indonesian government estimates that nearly 2.5 million acres of rain forest is being lost every year, according to Greenpeace.
By 2015, paper use in magazines, newspapers, and books is expected to fall between 12 and 20 percent from 2010 levels. With the increased use of tablets nationwide, there is no surprise at this report. In 2010, tablets exploded onto the market where by the end of their first year, 15 million tablet computers were in use. North America alone accounted for 10 million and by 2015, that number is expected to grow to 200 million.
Some people out there thought that the newspaper industry would be a thing of the past by now. Where will it be in 2015- just three short years away?
As paper use falls, the packaging market will also see big changes. Environmentally friendly packaging growth is expected to really take off with degradable packaging experiencing the most demand growth. As manufacturing technology continues refine degradable packaging to expand its uses, the sky will be the limit. The development of degradable packaging has been slow as researchers are testing materials such as mushrooms, banana leaves, and coconuts.
Right now, recycled content packaging is the largest green packaging sector by far because it is far more developed. What will packaging look like in 2015?
Lego, Mattel, and Disney have recently been facing pressure from Greenpeace to change their packaging. The environmental group accused all three companies of using packaging material sourced from trees that were cleared from the Indonesian rainforest. The materials were coming from Asia Pulp and Paper who Greenpeace calls the worst forest offender in Indonesia. Aside from demanding that the three toy companies quit buying their packaging materials from APP, Greenpeace also called on them to implement new sustainable packaging policies for all pulp and paper products.
In response, Lego has just announced that they’re aiming to reduce the amount of their packaging materials as well as only use pulp and paper products that are FSC certified. Because of their new policy, they will be prohibited from buying packaging materials from APP.
Mattel released a statement confirming that they put a hold on purchasing supplies from APP and have a sustainable packaging policy on the way. Greenpeace however has criticized Mattel’s response due to a lack of timelines and figures.
Disney has yet to respond to the allegations.
Unilever, a founding member of the SPC (Sustainable Packaging Coalition), has released its Sustainable Paper and Board Packaging Sourcing Policy that outlines their paper sourcing goals over the next decade. Packaging News reported that currently, 62% of Unilever’s paper and board is sustainably sourced. The company set a target to source 75% of its paper and board from sustainably managed forests by 2015, reaching 100% by 2020. This initiative is part of the company’s commitment to help combat deforestation and climate change. Unilever says they’re the first global FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) company to commit to sustainable sourcing within a defined timeframe.
Sourcing preferences will be awarded to supplies delivered through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) although Unilever will also accept paper and board from other sources adhering to their policy’s implementation guidelines. The policy also requires all suppliers to have mechanisms in place to ensure that the paper packaging is made from recycled fiber or from virgin fiber sources and that virgin fiber comes from forests that are not being converted to plantations or non-forest use.
Unilever will also add certification logos to its product packaging for environmentally conscious consumers who want to be able to identify them.
Unilever Packaging Sustainability
It’s been said that 30 percent of all garbage is packaging…but who says packaging has to be garbage? many forms of packaging can be recycled, such as cardboard, paper, glass, and some plastics. But there still are other options if the packaging is not recyclable. It can be reused again or re-purposed to do something else.
Rodney had the idea to re-purpose one of the most un-eco materials around, Styrofoam, into stunning lamps.
It’s amazing where a little creativity can get you.