For those who missed the 2018 packaging show, All4pack, key takeaways from my visit …
Trends driven by sustainability & EU regulation
1- Asia adjusted to Europe packaging sustainability needs and new regulation about single use plastic ban: most of the Chinese, Taiwanese companies propose straws, cups , plates , bowls… made of paper or renewable material ( bagasse, PLA etc)- I am wondering if this will impact recycling scheme in EU and global paper availability & pricing long term.
2- Sustainable foam for fitments and inserts made with PLA (GMO or not?) or sugarcane which questions the availability at industrial scale of the cellulose/paper-based foam…as I didn’t see it.
3- More wood than ever: again, driven by European bad perception of plastic, more companies are proposing wood packaging, what is the consequence long term is also unknown on wood production, I recall that often, wood is not allowed in food production area.
4- 100% Recyclable - recycled plastic communication: product made of post-consumer plastic or 100% recyclable plastic– 100% recycled plastic for sleeve or containers : a good point for paint industry!
5- New sustainable raw material: In addition to composable flexible plastic materials, presence of composite plastic made with different renewable materials with renewable fillers or seeds, industrial scale production is still a question.
6- Industrial packaging: plastic reusable & returnable box pallet, connected or not, needing less space when empty to save transport cost and carbon emission.
Trends driven by technologies :
7- Robotics : presence of several “Cobot”, the collaborative robots which seem now to become standard – they are quite flexible for small scale production- 1 start-up presenting easy robotics : clear and intuitive interface to allow quickly implementation of a robotic task.
8- Presence of a packaging start-up lab: it is useful for people in charge of packaging innovation to understand what is happening in the 3 main areas represented in this corner : material innovation – design – connected technologies for logistic & delivery
As for ex: Easy prototyping, design assisted by AI, biomaterial (edible or not), high tech & reusable delivery parcel for ecommerce. Intelligent glove that enables employees to work faster & safer in production and logistics – and numerous new logistic applications for warehouse and ecommerce.
In addition ....
E commerce packaging solutions were introduced, but not so many, few proposals for cardboard & insert suppliers and machine manufacturers. I expected to see omnichannel solutions, but I maybe missed it…
Glass and metal packaging seems to move to luxury packaging? as not so many companies were presenting these materials, at the opposite of SIAL (global food exhibition 2018), certainly saved for Lux pack exhibitions or is it a disconnexion between food and packaging needs ?
There are several drivers for packaging, understanding them is crucial to define the future.