Green packaging is an environmental movement working towards sustainable packaging that includes degradable packaging, reusable packaging and recycled content packaging. Recycled packaging includes glass, metal, plastic, paper and is the largest revenue generating part of total green packaging.
The green packaging market is divided into healthcare packaging, personal care packaging, food and beverages packaging and other packaging. Food and beverages is the largest revenue generating segment due to rising consumer awareness of the impact of waste packaging on the environment, health and energy usage.
The green packaging market is experiencing growth, but the market has historically been shackled in its ability to grow due to the scarcity of recycling processes, limited awareness around sustainable packaging and its benefits and some regulatory issues. Increasing environmental concerns and stringent rules and regulation is projected to bolster the demand for green packaging as environmental issues are expected to offer new avenues to the major manufacturers of global green packaging market over the coming years.
Industry analysis of green packaging requires the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle inventory (LCI) in manufacturing processes, applying eco-friendly techniques with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint with new and recycled materials.
In 2014, statistics show that Americans recycled nearly thirty-two percent of post-consumer plastic bottles. Of that, thirty-one percent of all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and jars produced were recycled. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene bottles (PP) also saw an increase in recycling rates in 2014.
In 2013, thirty-four percent of all glass containers made were recycled, most into new glass containers. States with container deposit legislation had an average glass container recycling rate of just over sixty-three percent, with non-deposit states at twenty-four percent.
Metal (aluminium and steel)
Recycled food and beverage metal cans have a recycling collection rate of approximately sixty-seven percent for aluminium beverage cans and seventy-one percent for steel cans.
Since 2005, there has been a seventy-four percent increase in the amount of post-consumer film (including plastic bags and packaging) recovered for recycling. With continuing research on recovery solutions to help divert films, pouches and bags from the landfill due to be published in 2016, these figures are expected to increase.
More than sixty-three percent of paper and paper-board materials were recovered for recycling in 2013, doubling the 1990 figures. Ninety-six percent of the US population can recycle paper and paper-board through curbside or drop-off recycling points.
Reviews show that consumers want to know where a brand’s packaging material has been sourced from, what materials have been used for packaging, or whether the packaging can be recycled. Switching to environmentally-friendly packaging materials sourced responsibly puts brands in a better position in answering consumer questions.
Plant-based plastics, or bioplastics, are becoming more common. Coca-Cola has PlantBottle™ packages in the market in more than forty countries. The company claim this has translated into over half a million barrels of oil being saved.
Companies are making packaging size smaller, lighter and using fewer materials while doing so.
Global demand for green packaging market was valued at 161.50 billion dollars in 2015 and is forecast to reach USD 242.50 billion dollars in 2021, growing at rate of 7 percent per annum between 2016 and 2021.
Based on geographic segmentation, North America was the largest market for green packaging in 2015, with a twenty-eight percent share of the entire market. Europe held the next largest share with Asia Pacific forecast to be one of the fastest growing markets for green packaging towards 2021. China and India are expected to be major consumers due to the presence of a large number of food and beverages industries. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are forecast to have moderate growth for green packaging market up to 2021.
The increase in government initiatives to clean the environment via regulation, is putting pressure on manufacturers to use eco-friendly material in packaging and adopt methods that have less adverse impact on environment. In addition, the use of green packaging gives competitive advantage to industry over other market players since consumers prefer products having sustainable packaging over others, hence the forecast growth rate of 7 percent per annum for the next five years.
Food and beverage industries are the largest consumer of green packaging. In September 2016, France passed a new law to ensure all plastic cups, cutlery and plates can be composted and are made of biologically-sourced materials. The law, which comes into effect in 2020, is part of an ambitious plan that aims to allow France to make a more effective contribution to tackling climate change. Other countries are sure to follow.