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How to successfully navigate the rapidly evolving sustainable packaging market

How to successfully navigate the rapidly evolving sustainable packaging market

October 26, 2021

The circular economy can deliver sustainable, economical solutions for sustainable packaging

Sustainability is driving rapid changes across the packaging sector. This presents both challenges and opportunities for packaging companies, converters and equipment providers. To succeed, they must embrace the circular economy and develop scalable, sustainable and economically attractive solutions.

The circular economy concept is critical to sustainable packaging solutions and will have a major effect on how packaging companies, converters and equipment suppliers do business in the future.
The circular economy concept is critical to sustainable packaging solutions and will have a major effect on how packaging companies, converters and equipment suppliers do business in the future.
"The best solutions are scalable, provide attractive financial returns and create meaningful sustainable impact."
Portrait of Sven Siepen
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Switzerland
Zurich Office, Central Europe

Packaging plays a crucial role in many areas of modern life. It keeps products clean and safe; it provides space for valuable consumer information; and its design can strongly affect our purchasing decisions.

However, there is also a negative side to packaging. After use, it often becomes waste – a villain in the battle for environmental sustainability. This presents a significant challenge to packaging companies, converters and equipment providers. They must find ways to close the loop and minimize packaging’s environmental impact, without losing any of its benefits.

To capture the changes in this dynamic sector, we recently conducted a study, "Sustainable Packaging Solutions: Trend Radar,” which looked at numerous aspects of the international packaging market and included interviews with 50 industry experts.

We identified six main trends that are particularly relevant for packaging companies, converters and equipment suppliers.

Embracing the circular economy

Growing concerns around sustainability mean businesses are under pressure to use more eco-friendly materials and increase recycling. In a circular economy , the aim is to avoid packaging wherever possible, use resources effectively, make high-quality, long-lasting packaging and ensure it is reusable and recyclable at the end of life. These principles form the basis of a new generation of sustainable packaging solutions and will have a major effect on how packaging companies, converters and equipment suppliers do business.

"Equipment suppliers and packaging manufacturers must embrace the principles of the circular economy to succeed."
Portrait of Jan-Oliver Sestak
Principal
Berlin Office, Central Europe

Innovation equals opportunity

The dynamic market for sustainable packaging solutions provides a range of opportunities. Packaging production and logistics services for board and plastic materials are particularly attractive, but innovation is now taking place across the value chain, creating new materials, business models, and production and recycling technologies.

Outlook

Sustainability now affects all packaging types and industry players. But it’s important to remember that new solutions and business models must deliver on multiple fronts: meaningful sustainable impact and attractive financial returns. Solutions also need to be scalable.

Circular economy principles offer the basic framework for packaging companies, converters and equipment providers to innovate and develop new business models – a must if they are to remain competitive.

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Further readings
Portrait of Sven Siepen
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Switzerland
Zurich Office, Central Europe
+41 79 792-7374
Portrait of Sebastien Murbach
Senior Partner
Paris Office, Western Europe
+33 1 70 39-4109
Portrait of Francesco Campagna
Partner
Milan Office, Southern Europe
+39 02 2950-11273
Portrait of Szabolcs Nemes
Partner
Bucharest Office, Eastern Europe
+40 21 30605-01
Portrait of Jan-Oliver Sestak
Principal
Berlin Office, Central Europe
+49 16 0744-3490
Portrait of Dilhani de Silva
Principal
Chicago Office, North America
+49 89 9230-8547