4 Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Trends in the Market Right Now
Climate change has been one of the biggest threats to existence of life on this planet. Pollution due to plastic and plastic products has been one of the main reasons behind the accelerated rate of climate change. This has led to a revolution in the food-packaging industry, one of the biggest users of plastics, to switch to using environment-friendly raw materials for manufacturing eco-friendly food packaging products. Though, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on this industry, market analysts predict a surge in this sector in the post-pandemic scenario due to very diverse type of products that are coming in the market.
In the last few years, one of the positives seen in our society as a whole is the growing awareness regarding the need to protect our environment and ecology. Governments, private companies, NGOs, civil society, and various other stakeholders have jumped on the bandwagon so as to create an awareness among people about the need to adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Afforestation, measures to reduce pollution, curb on manufacturing and sale of plastic-based products are some of the primary measures taken all over the world to slow down the rate of environmental degradation and climate change. Curbs of manufacturing, production, distribution, and sale of plastic products have been one of the biggest paradigm shifts that are being witnessed currently. Naturally, business and industrial sectors which have been using plastic products as a part of raw materials in their manufacturing processes have started shifting to eco-friendly substitutes. The food packaging industry is no exception to this phenomenon.
Different Types of Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Used Widely
Food processing industries, traditionally, have been one of the biggest users of plastic and its allied products. Over the course of time, the shift from plastic packaging to environment-friendly food packaging has been so widespread and popular that various types of eco-friendly food packaging techniques have propped up in the last decade or so. The type of food to be packaged and the cost of packaging are the two main factors for a company to decide which packaging material or which type of packaging to opt for. Some types of eco-friendly food packaging are given here:
- Bamboo Packaging
The biggest advantage of bamboo packaging is that bamboo is biodegradable, thereby causing zero environmental pollution. Additionally, since it is durable it can be used to package variety of foodstuffs including the perishables. Another reason why perishable items like pickles, soups, etc. can be stored in bamboo containers is that these containers are heat-resistant which helps in storing these items for a long time. Today, various types of bamboo containers are sold in the market from water bottles to containers for delivery of food products.
- Glass Packaging
Glass containers have been used to store food items since a long time now. Today, however, glass packaging has been increasingly adopted as an eco-friendly food packaging option due to the recyclable nature of glass products. Also, since glass doesn’t react with the contents that are packaged, glass containers are considered as safe option to store food items that have short shelf-life. However, the biggest disadvantage of glass packaging is the brittle nature of glass containers.
- Stainless Steel Packaging
Probably the most widely used substitute for plastic packaging that is prevalent today is stainless steel and similar metallic materials like aluminum, copper, etc. Stainless steel offers light-weight, durable, and sturdy packaging solution which can help in the storage of almost any type of food product. Also, since stainless steel is being used for a long time now, containers of various shapes and sizes are available in the market which gives ample choice to food packaging industries and customers, in general, to select from.
- Cellulose Packaging
For this type of packaging, materials ranging from wood, hemp, cotton, etc. are used to manufacture biodegradable packaging containers. The moisture-resistant properties of cellulose packaging material have helped this type of packaging become quite popular. Many food processing industries, local retailers, restaurants, etc. have started using cellulose packaging.
Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Eco-Friendly Food Packaging Market and its Future
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on almost all businesses and markets. The main reason behind this negative effect has been the government-ordered lockdowns in various countries which virtually disrupted all manufacturing processes and global supply chains. The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on eco-friendly food packaging market has been similar. Shutdown of manufacturing industries, disruption in supply of raw materials and closure of retail industry including restaurants has led to a massive decline in the supply and demand for eco-friendly food packaging products. However, market analysts are quite hopeful about this market to surge in the post-pandemic years as majority of the countries have started opening up their economies and restarted their business cycles.
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