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Disclaimer: The postings in this blog section do not necessarily represent Desjardin's positions, strategies or opinions.

The Future of Packaging

The opinions of consumers in the United States and Europe will have a large effect on shaping the future of food packaging. In the U.S. over 50% of people say that one of the most important factors for packaging is convenience. Additionally, over 90% of people believe that healthy eating habits are important to having a long life, 70% of people try to eat healthy every meal, and 60% of people realize when they aren’t eating healthy and would like to improve [1]. This increased awareness of how food and health are related is a big change from the fast food obsessed USA of the past. These trends will undoubtedly influence food packaging as consumers continue to look for convenient and healthy food options.

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Use the 'Metal Recycles Forever' Logo to drive your turnover

The Metal Recycles Forever Logo is designed to be used on tin and aluminum packaging. It is a small logo created by the organization Metal Packaging Europe to promote the use of recyclable metal packaging. When used on packaging it certifies that the package is designed with recyclable and sustainable properties in mind. It provides consumers with a visual symbol to acknowledge that the product package they are purchasing can be recycled and hints that the company using the package is environmentally conscious [6].

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Metal Recycles Forever

Public sentiment towards using metal packaging is improving in Europe. People are becoming more aware of the negative consequences of utilizing non-sustainable forms of packaging. This has lead to more people actively choosing to use products they know are sustainably made, can be recycled, and are better for the earth than plastic packaging. A major factor for this increase is due to the public’s increased exposure to information about how recyclable metals are a sustainable form of packaging.

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Social Responsibility in Packaging

What does it mean to be a socially responsible company? This can take many forms, so I think it is easier to first discuss what makes a company not socially responsible. A company that does not care for its employees, community, and shirks its social responsibilities falls into this category. This is seen in many different ways, like poor working conditions for employees or false advertising to consumers. Many types of companies can have these issues, but it is especially common to see them in companies that manufacture products. In the clothing industry a large portion of clothes are still produced in factories with poor working conditions [6]. The packaging industry falls into the category of manufacturing, which means it is crucial that these companies are aware of what socially responsibility is, its importance, and why it is beneficial. Over the past 20 years many packaging companies have been working hard towards producing their packaging in socially responsible ways.

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Health Implications of Biodegradable Packaging

Over the last decade biodegradable packaging has become a viable alternative to plastics. Biodegradable materials are made out of biopolymers, which are polymers made of naturally occurring molecules. They are often used in conjunction with metal containers to help seal perishables, like food and cosmetics. When used with metal containers they typically are found in the form of films, coatings, and bags.

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What is Biodegradable Packaging

The most commonly used material for packaging is plastic. Plastic is easy to make, but comes with a slew of environmental consequences, like long decomposition rates and damage to natural ecosystems. A great alternative to plastic packaging are metal containers made of tin and aluminum. These containers remove a lot of the issues created by plastic packaging. When metal containers are used for food and other perishables they often still require a plastic film, seal, or coating to completely protect the contents from coming into contact with air. In recent years biodegradable non-plastic packaging and films have begun to immerge as an alternative to standard plastic packaging. Biodegradable packaging is produced using biopolymers, which are molecules often found in living organisms, like cellulose and proteins. This means they can be safely consumed, degrade quickly, and often be created from waste plant products [4].

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Future Trends in Biodegradable Packaging

Aluminum packaging was first introduced in the late 1950’s. Over the last 60 years the metal packaging market has skyrocketed and now encompasses over $100 billion in yearly production with a projection of reaching $136 billion by 2020 [1]. Metal cans and containers are one of most consumed forms of packaging in many industries and are becoming more common in others, like food and cosmetics.

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Consumer Trends Towards Sustainable Packaging

Product packaging plays a role in nearly all purchasing consumers do. In 2016 the packaging market was valued at over USD 221 billion. The majority of this was packaging used for food and beverage, with over 75% of it being made of plastic [5]. Many consumers now know that plastic is generally a very unsustainable material because it has a high energy cost for production, takes a long time to degrade, and can be challenging to recycle. Even though plastic remains the most common material used in packaging, it’s percent of the total packaging market is slowly declining. This slow decline can be attributed to increased public awareness of its issues and increasing popularity of sustainable packaging.

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Ideas for Unique Packaging

At one time not much thought went into packaging food products other than whatever it took to keep food from spoiling and provide the longest possible shelf life. But in recent decades, marketers have been diving deeper into psychological research that helps connect visual stimulation with consumer behaviour. Here are unique ideas for modern food packaging.

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