The report, based on unique research with sustainable packaging experts in the UK, Italy and Germany1, reveals that 62% expect their company to increase their budgets for investing in sustainable packaging material over the next five years, with a further 23% expecting to see budgets increase dramatically.
This rise in funding is reflected in the predicted increase in use of multi material (a combination of paper and plastic), new polymers and paper over the next five years, whilst the use of polyethylene is set to decline.
The study shows that when it comes to the three of the most common packaging materials, the majority (83%) of respondents expect to increase the use multi material across their product portfolios and almost three quarters (72%) will make more use of paper over the next five years. When it comes to innovative new materials, 69% and 65% anticipate a greater use of new polymers such as PVOH and bioplastics respectively in their packaging material. These trends are similar over a ten-year horizon.
The data shows it is the use of polyethylene which is set to see a decline over the next five years, with 45% of respondents seeking to use less of the material across their product portfolios.
When it comes to the most important attributes of the packaging material used, product protection is the key feature, with barrier properties, extending the shelf life and functionality – ease of use for the end-consumer, regarded as more important than recyclability.