Barry-Wehmiller Network

Spot On

The latest news about the flexo and bag converting industries


Trending Towards Sustainability

Sep 29, 2021

Flexible packaging continues to grow faster than other forms of packaging. Its benefits of being lightweight, durable, visually appealing, and convenient have continued to excel its growth. 46% of Americans are willing to pay more for food and beverage products stored in flexible packaging than food products kept in non-flexible packaging. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global flexible packaging industry is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 4.5% over the next five years, achieving $200.5 billion by 2025.

While its popularity continues to grow, various factors continue to influence the trends in flexible packaging.

Sustainability goals and greener packaging were a big focus before Covid-19. The packaging industry’s progress towards more sustainable solutions was put on the sidelines as hygiene and safety became a priority. Several countries and US states paused and lifted bans on single-use plastics and even banned reusable bags temporarily. At the height of the pandemic, sealed packaging with integrated safety features became appealing to most consumers.

As we slowly reapproach normal life, sustainability and environmental concerns are reemerging as top trends and priorities for converters and consumers. Retailers are also starting to push for greener packaging. 

The shift from plastic to paper packaging is a trend that is on the rise. Plastic provides significant benefits in terms of barrier functionality delivering resistance to gases, moisture, light, and aroma. However, for specific packaging applications, paper is sufficient and offers a more sustainable solution. Diaper bags and femcare are two examples of products that can benefit from paper packaging.

The pouch market will continue to grow. Globally, pouches account for the majority of the flexible packaging used and are the fastest-growing segment. Pouches have grown to include many of the products in our grocery stores today - from pet and baby food to laundry detergents and frozen foods. Pouches will continue to expand across traditional flexible packaging applications and break into more e-commerce and pharmaceutical use.

Until recently, flexible pouches were strictly throwaways, making them impractical for producers and consumers committed to sustainable packaging. Cutting-edge innovation is changing that, however, as material advances make pouch packaging recycle-ready.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, flexible packaging’s future and growth remains bright. 

Hudson-Sharp continues to work with converters on innovations that improve their sustainability goals. Our innovations allow converters to run recycle-ready films efficiently and maintain production speeds. We have a long history of processing all PE webs which can be applied to recycle ready pouches. Our Apollo line provides converters with the option of paper bags for femcare and diapers.