This is a legitimate question as new packaging regulations appear every week and packaging is under increased scrutiny by customers around the world. I can consider 2 credible paths based on past years signs:
Zero single-use packaging : France has already taken the decision to have zero single-use plastic by 2040, why wouldn’t paper/or any renewable-based material be considered in the future? This could be driven by pressure on the availability of pulp, arable land dedicated to energy purposes versus other uses. The product design enables only use or reusable packaging.
No more sales-retail packaging allowed for more products: This is already the case for fruit & vegies , bulk products selling is favoured and number of initiatives are increasing . More products are developed with no packaging, as water in edible material from Ooho , cosmetic products from Lush etc… these products exist for years ; new supermarket could be without any products (only barcode as it exists in South Korea)- This could be driven by green activists or governments, lack of recycling or reuse infrastructures . The new product design enables only use of transport packaging.
So, the good question is not to argue about the probability of such scenarios but more about strategies to implement in your company to address these challenges? The question is not why, but more when …
It is maybe time to rethink product & packaging design & supply chain to anticipate the future of our industry.