Advances for green packaging will be driven by the increased prominence of environmental issues as a result of elevated raw material and fuel costs in the past several years. This has resulted in heightened activity among product manufacturers to make their products and related packaging more environmentally
Much of the increased activity in green packaging has been driven by Wal-Mart, which unveiled its Packaging Scorecard in November 2006. The scorecard was implemented in February 2008 and is used by Wal-Mart to evaluate the packaging used by suppliers in terms of its eco-friendliness, including factors that reduce waste as well as packaging and transportation costs.
Fastest gains anticipated for biodegradable plastic, recycled content packaging
The fastest gains are anticipated for biodegradable plastic packaging and plastic recycled content packaging. Growth for biodegradable plastic packaging will be driven by price competitiveness with conventional resins, rapidly expanding capacity and lower pricing volatility than petroleum-based plastic packaging materials. Preventing faster advances will be performance drawbacks, capacity limitations and the lack of consumer composting networks in most areas of the US. The fastest growing biodegradable packaging segments will be cups, plates and bowls; and containers.
Robust growth for plastic recycled content packaging will be aided by more concerted efforts to boost collection volume, an increased focus on the development of food-contact approved resin grades, and further sustainability initiatives by plastic processors and brand owners.
Glass recycled content packaging demand will increase at an above-average pace, reflecting industry efforts to boost recycling rates and incorporate higher levels of recycled content in glass containers.
Reusable packaging is forecast to expand more slowly, resulting from marginal growth for drums based on competition from larger formats such as intermediate bulk containers.
Foodservice, shipping to be fastest growing markets
The largest markets for green packaging are food, consumer products and beverages, which together represented twothirds of total green packaging demand in 2008. However, the fastest growing markets through 2013 will be the foodservice and shipping markets.