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Shift toward Sustainability in the Stand-up Pouches Market

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by Arin Ghosh , Senior Research Analyst – Packaging
1 January 2017

Previously, the popular trend in pouches shifted from heavier packaging options such as metal cans, glass containers, and so on to lightweight packaging alternatives. Following the trend toward plastic ban regulations, a major shift has been observed in pouch packaging from lightweighting to recyclability. This article considers ways in which flexible packaging converters are addressing current market concerns and redeveloping pouch manufacturing based on sustainability goals. Packaging converters such as RPC-BPI, Ampacet, ProAmpac, BBC Cellpack, and Mondi have initiated innovative developments in pouch packaging. Major CPGs such as P&G, Nestlé, and Unilever are more concerned with pouch recyclability, given that they must meet their sustainability targets by 2025, which is creating a lot of pressure in the pouch industry. Traditionally, materials used in pouch-making were unrecyclable; however, plastic ban regulations have raised major questions from brand owners and consumers about shifting to sustainable alternatives.

Major Challenges in the Pouch Packaging Industry

The industry is looking to shift toward sustainable pouch-making options in a competitive market while maintaining previous offerings of lightweight and high barrier properties. Demand from brand owners and consumers continues for convenience packaging options such as micro perforation, spouts, zippers, and handles, etc. Considerable innovations have yet to occur at the adhesives end, which represents a small percentage of package waste.

A Few Market Observations following the Recycling Trend

A Nielsen Global report polled around 30,000 consumers across the globe and observed that 55 percent of them were willing to pay more to brand owners that had more of a focus on positive social and environmental impacts. Furthermore, 52 percent responded that their purchasing decisions would be influenced by sustainability measures associated with the packaging.

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