ecoveritas has shared its insight on emergent 2022 sustainability trends in retail packaging design and manufacturing ahead of shifting industry legislation, which the business believes will guide the long-term success of the industry. The company believes that as the FMCG, food and grocery sectors continue to settle, several important themes for brand owners will rise to the fore when it comes to boosting sustainability.
Josh Remi, Commercial Manager, ecoveritas, explains, “We work with a diverse array of businesses, so we get to see first-hand what sustainability elements are key priorities for brands and retailers. The most notable shift is the drive for better use of data as another step in moving sustainability away from lip service or marketing buzz into something more measurable and as a result, more meaningful. The importance of taking a data-oriented approach to packaging sustainability cannot be overstated. Incoming legislative measures such as the Competition & Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code show that surface level claims are no longer sufficient. The new directive gives more specific rules for sustainability claims, to ensure a level playing field for brands and more transparency for the consumer.
“Through 2022, better storage, handling and usage of historic sustainability data also prepares businesses for the incoming UK Plastic Packaging tax – a key fixture in this change will be how packaging data is held and used. Businesses that are not in tight control of data metrics could find a few nasty surprises in store once the tax comes into effect. A £200 per tonne charge doesn’t sound like too much of a concern at initial glance, but we’re talking packaging in enormous volumes and per SKU – which adds up quickly.
“One of the biggest and most over-arching shift in the packaging sector is the march towards omni-channel retail. Brand owners are not just competing for sales in brick-and-mortar stores, but also in the digital space. Naturally, taking into account the requirement of last mile delivery and logistics, this changes how packaging is designed and developed. In many cases, this is likely to lead to more focus on durability in the design stage, which may in turn influence how substrates are chosen.”
He concludes, “What remains crucial is that however consumers are choosing to purchase goods, brands don’t take their foot off the pedal when it comes to sustainability. We need to continue moving ‘green’ dialogue forwards and focus on the actionable steps that can be taken towards a more secure and robust packaging industry.”