A recent broadsheet newspaper report has drawn attention to a statistic which is set to have big implications for packaging and businesses that use it in 2016. According to the report, one person in a year is now capable of accumulating up to 200kg of packaging materials through the products they buy. This is a figure which suggests that the weight and scale of packaging is significant, and a number of consumers are buying into it. There are subsequent and increasing calls for this to be reduced however, as this current level of packaging may add up to 13 million tonnes being wasted; entering the UK's waste stream or landfill.
According to a recent study carried out by Smithers Para, the global industrial packaging market is set to achieve an annual growth rate of 3.4% by 2020; a highly significant figure. The industrial packaging market was estimated to have a value of $48.6 billion globally in 2013, and this is expected to reach $61 billion in the next five years. It is therefore seen as increasingly important that businesses involving industrial packing – whether producing it or using it for their own products – take the right moves now to maximise their gains in a growing market.
An EU Commission meeting on the 2ndDecember has resulted in new packaging recycling targets. The move is apparently intended to streamline the process and work towards greater sustainability – as excessive product packaging is one of the key components of landfill every year.
It may come as a surprise to some that McDonald's is making big steps in sustainable packaging use. Fast food is often not associated with responsible sourcing, but the popular chain has overturned this assumption – announcing that on a European level all its centrally-purchased packaging is sustainably sourced. This is set to increase popular focus on the importance of responsible and effective packaging.
The recent Packaging Innovations London 2015 show attracted extensive attention, highlighting the high value companies place upon effective packing products. The venue for the event, which took place on both the 16th and 17th September 2015, had a footfall of approximately 4003. This is a highly impressive statistic, and emphasizes how interest in packaging has progressed from the shows humble beginnings six years ago.
Arcadia is a notable mixed-media show which frequently tours, bringing viewers an array of aerial stunts, light displays and experimental theatre. It often becomes a popular and well-attended event which requires effective equipment and high-tech knowledge in order to run smoothly.
A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently announced plans to develop spacesuits with a design inspired by the fit and properties of shrink-wrap. The team have explored the properties of lightweight, stretchy materials – which shrink wrap, a polymer film which can be stretched to a number of applications on heating - has potentially inspired. Although the material the scientists plan to work with is anticipated to be a shape-memory alloy, it is anticipated that it will respond to heat and allow for consistent coverage, a little like shrink wrap does.
Important business attention has been significantly directed towards the recent Packaging Innovations London 2015 event – a gathering of companies, suppliers and buyers with a vested interest in effective packaging solutions. The event incorporates a number of trades and industries, highlighting the importance of providing products with that perfect final finish. With the accompanying statistic that the global packaging market is worth at least $6.5bn and growing – this highlights that packaging is a prime area in which to invest, and full of business interest.
US demand for stretch and shrink film is expected to cross $3 billion in the year ahead. This increase is due to the increased popularity in its utilization as an effective method to wrap and protect goods at all parts of the production process including warehousing and distributing. The film is seen as efficient and useful and has fast become a staple of the consumer society with it generally being the first choice of product to wrap products and goods, readily used by a variety of businesses.
Recent news from the US emphasizes that not only can shrink wrap be used as an innovative form of packaging; it can also be incorporated into a sustainable recycling scheme. Since it began in 2006, the Ohio Clean Marinas Recycling Programme has allowed for more than £2.2 million worth of shrink wrap to be recycled. The recycled wrap is then utilised to create other plastic products such as guardrail blocks, used to protect roads. In short, this single recycling programme has allowed for an effort which has equated to the equivalent of 47 buses' worth of shrink wrap being recycled and 412 miles of roadway protected by the guardrail blocks formed as a result.