Ditching Plastics? More Paper Packaging Will Be Chosen

Ditching Plastics? More Paper Packaging Will Be Chosen

As more brand owners switch from plastic to paper-based packaging to boost sustainability, the paper-packaging market is changing.
What are the drivers for today’s paper-packaging market? Corporate sustainability goals are a primary motivator in the shift from plastic to paper. “All the major players in all the major CPG companies have some form of sustainability goals factored into their business model,” says Wayne Towle, sales manager at fiber-packaging supplier Planet Paper Box Group. “It is becoming more of a necessity for companies to do that.”
In the United Kingdom, Kellogg Europe recently tested paper liners, in place of plastic, for its iconic corn flakes. Kellogg has publicly stated its goal of using 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by the end of 2025.
Also in the United Kingdom, PepsiCo is testing recyclable, paper-based outer packaging in place of plastic film for Walkers Baked potato crisp six-packs. The trial began on March 1, 2023. A few months earlier, the brand rolled out new paperboard outer packaging for 22- and 24-bag multipacks of the crisps.
PepsiCo has stated that by 2025 it will have designed 100% of its packaging to be recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable. Paper bottles may play a role: In 2020, PepsiCo began working with Pulpex to develop the world’s first recyclable paper bottle (developed initially by Diageo and Pilot Lite).
Retailers are also looking at paper packaging from new angles. “At Amazon, there are cases where we are switching from plastic to paper. For example, we created our recyclable paper-padded mailer to replace our mixed mailer that was unable to be curbside-recycled,” says Pat Lindner, VP of packaging innovation at Amazon. “We consider recyclability when it comes to selecting the right materials, but we also look at carbon and resources,” he adds.
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