We all have to eat do we not? And hence one of the largest producers of packaging in the World is the foodstuffs market. Whilst in many countries people do buy fresh food each day, there is also a huge demand for pre-packaged food. Pre-packed food in general, due to the packaging, keeps fresher for longer and hence food producers are more keen to supply packaged food. Many foods come in plastic packs which cannot be recycled or re-used, and as such a lot of food packaging is not classed as “Green” packaging.
However many food suppliers are under pressure to use more green packaging, and use more materials that can be recycled. This pressure is coming from consumers and governments alike.
This has prompted a lot of food producers to use far more cardboard packaging, and move away from using plastic trays. Cardboard is now being used in innovative new ways such as fresh soup cartons made of cardboard, and not plastic packaging. It seems clear that these trends will continue. The main problem for companies wanting to “Go green” with their packaging, is the cost of it. With the current Worldwide recession consumers are often buying goods on price alone, so if using cardboard rather than plastic adds 15p to an item, then that can be the difference between making a sale or not. Also with food packaging there are certain products that simply do not lend themselves to being wrapped in anything other than plastic. This situation will not change until more biodegradable packaging products are developed.
However food packaging is an interesting market as it is being driven by innovation to make greener packaging.