BPIF Cartons promotes the industry in the latest The Grocer's Guide to Packaging supplement
Below is the article that appeared in The Grocer's Guide to Packaging Supplement, published on 23 June 2018.
Naturally the best solution
Packaging has never been so hotly debated, with the BBC's Blue Planet programme lighting the touch paper that has seen widespread criticism of the industry. However, it has demonstrated just how important it is for brands and retailers to utilise the most environmentally-friendly pack formats on all their products.
As the negative media intensifies and government weighs up the possibility of introducing a tax on single-use plastics, brand owners are increasingly seeking recyclable, sustainable packaging alternatives. As a result, Europe's carton and cardboard mills are reporting an uplift in volume as the consumer goods industry recognises that environmentally-friendly packaging is no longer a luxury but a must if they are to secure future sales.
The rising volume and growing interest in carton packaging is also driving innovation and new partnerships between industry and brand manufacturers as they look for sustainable alternatives. Says Jon Clark, general manager of BPIF Cartons, the UK Association for the Carton industry: "Our members are seeing heightened demand anywhere where brands are looking at replacing single-use plastic – this applies particularly to ready meals, fresh produce and meat."
Big brand appeal
Clark points to Iceland, the first UK retailer to make a commitment to replace plastic packaging for all its own-brand products with paper and pulp trays, and paper bags by 2020, and Marks & Spencer for using Alexir Partnership's new patented Halopack trays as just two examples of the new vanguard of reforming retailers.
"These are significant developments in the uptake of more sustainable and ecological packaging mediums – such as cartonboard. It's great to see leading retailers setting the example and demonstrating how, by assessing the suitability of the many alternative packaging materials available, retailers and brands can take action to help save our planet."
Tony Hitchin, general manager at Pro Carton, the trade association representing the European carton and cartonboard industry, agrees that innovation and developments in material science are paving the way for increased uptake. He stresses that cartonboard converters are continuing to invest in research and development to ensure packaging alternatives are not only truly renewable and biodegradable but provide enhanced barrier properties and can be heat-sealed.
"We recently launched the 5Rs of Responsibility campaign (which adds Renew and Replace to the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse Recycle) to highlight the reasons why brands and retailers should be investing in more sustainable forms of packaging."
Clark underlines this by pointing out that cartonboard is both renewable and biodegradable, making it the natural packaging choice for brands and retailers.
On 11 July 2018 Procarton will have an article on cartons and a banner advert in the Times Future of Packaging Supplement.Downloads