Opinion: Plastics may be down, but are not out

Ensuring the circularity of plastics - all plastics - is key to the future of the industry.

Sustainability is increasingly at the heart of brand development, regardless of industry or sector. Whether it’s the CSR communication of a global business or the promise of a more responsible approach from a start-up, sustainability impacts us all. 

And rightly so. We are all consumers as well as employees, we are parents, friends, children. We want to do the right thing wherever possible within our sphere of influence, from what we chose to spend our money on at lunchtime to where we go on holiday. One of the quickest, most satisfying ways to visually show how important sustainability is to us is in the products that we buy, particularly the products that other people will be aware that we've bought.

FMCG brands that use bio-based packaging are up year on year, with a recent study [1] stating that bio-based packaging was valued at USD4.65bn in 2019. Leading brands are keen to align themselves with the positive media of bio-based packaging, with smaller brands using it to connect with Millennials and differentiate themselves on crowded supermarket shelves [2].

For global plastic packaging producers, it could seem like their ship has sailed. Yet the very fact that there is difficult publicity surrounding traditional plastic packaging, particularly for primarily single-use applications found in the FMCG sector, means that responsible plastic packaging manufacturers are pushing themselves to be as innovative, supportive and progressive as possible. 

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