What are the trends in food packaging?

Reducing, reusing, and recycling are the pillars of waste management, including in the packaging sector. These are the basis of the upcoming trends in food packaging, mainly due to the expected legislative changes that there will be in the future in this regard and to consumer demand related to sustainability and circularity.

A decrease in the weight of the material used
Companies have always strived to decrease the weight of the materials used, both for economic and environmental reasons. Currently, companies are working to introduce containers that seek to reduce the amount of material in relation to the amount of product they contain. These containers are called bag in box, or cardboard boxes that include a plastic bag that allows dispensing the product in different quantities. This type of format was widespread in the hospitality sector, but now it is making the leap to shelves.

Packaging materials that favor recyclability
Different companies have launched packaging manufactured with 100% mono materials, relying on different technologies such as lamination or the use of biorientation in their transformation process. The use of polyamide or EVOH appears as an alternative when looking for medium and high barriers. Different projects have been developed to adjust the amounts of EVOH and PA used so that they are compatible with the recycling flows of polyethylene (PE), as well as in the use of adhesives that favor the compatibility of the different materials during the recycling process.

Paper and cardboard as alternative materials
Paper and cardboard have always been part of food packaging, but they have gained prominence in the last year with the possible entry of the 'non-reusable virgin plastic tax'. There already are alternatives that aim at reducing the use of plastic laminates on paper in the market, most of which are based on aqueous dispersions so that these coatings do not alter the paper's recyclability.

Chemical recycling in the food sector
The existence of authorized processes for the recycling of PET, and its admission as a material that can have contact with food, have led to its rapid incorporation into packaging materials, mainly in bottles and trays.

Compostable materials
Compostable materials are slowly entering the shelves, although at a slower pace than expected. The main applications are household items (glasses, cutlery, plates), as well as coffee capsules, bags for packaging fruits and vegetables, and bags to contain organic waste destined for the brown container.

Source: interempresas.net 


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