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The Future of Packaging

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

There is a lot of news clogging the airwaves these days with regards to the shipping and delivery industry. While a lot of it centers around "neat" ways your pizza will be delivered in the coming years, if you sniff around enough, you will find some more realistic bits of information about just where things may be headed. Robots and drones, you say? But how about for the packaging industry? What does the future of packages look like?

The Future of Packaging

As time passes by, new technology seems to proliferate for any given field; some of these exciting new discoveries stick, while others become a passing fad, casualties of poor marketing, high cost, or too much competition. The packaging industry is not immune to this tumultuous sea of ever-shifting technologies, but there are always mainstays we can rely on and some future packaging options that stand clearly above the rest as contenders for the next generation of innovators.

One trend we see growing year by year is sustainable packaging. Also known as "green packaging" or "eco-friendly packaging", the idea behind sustainable packaging is that the materials you use to ship with meet some - if not all - of the following criteria:
  • Made from recyclable materials
  • Easily recyclable
  • Biodegradable
  • Reusable
  • Are manufactured in an energy efficient manner 
  • Use less natural resources during the manufacturing process
There are many products on the market today that fit the “eco-friendly packaging” billing. Everything from traditional corrugated (cardboard) packaging, to more innovative approaches, such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam shippers and recycled tape. Weeding out the best "green" option can sometimes be difficult, but we will leave that for another topic!

An area of growth we see in the packaging industry is the growth of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam as a packaging material. Made out of plastic beads, EPS offers many advantages over other packaging options: it is lightweight, extremely durable, recyclable, machine moldable (meaning you can create custom packaging), and contains no ozone-depleting chemicals - a win all around the board.

From the food side of the packing business, researchers are pulling out all of the stops as they try to eliminate every piece of wasted material that they can. Some manufacturers have begun to create potato chips bags made entirely of edible material. The idea behind this type of package is that when you are finished with the chips, you can eat the bag - no mess or waste! How you keep the bags clean enough to eat while being stored on a grocery shelf, we are not certain, but it certainly is an interesting concept! Weeding out the best "green" option can sometimes be difficult. We believe, however, the products Cellofoam manufactures satisfy any "eco-friendly" strategy.




     

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