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Smart plant-based food packaging extends shelf life, more environment friendly

Smart plant-based food packaging extends shelf life, more environment friendly

Food packaging is essential for containment of products, preservation and protection, to reduce food spoilage, eliminating the risk of adulteration and present food in a hygienic and aesthetically attractive way. According to the Agriculture and Food Organization, one third of the food in the world is wasted and most of this wasted food is generated by retailers and consumers who follow dates on packages and throw away edible food due to a label. Therefore, a project was initiated in order to develop plant-based bioplastic food packaging which increases the shelf life of food and the researchers also have formulated sensors that notify the consumers and retailers whether the food inside can be consumed or not. As per Transparency Market Research, these smart plant-based food packaging not only extend the life of the food product but also eliminate the need for environment-harming plastic. On the basis of product type, the market is segmented into blow moulded, pot designed and others. On the basis of material type, it is divided into cellulose based film and blow moulded film. Safety of food products has become a top priority of consumers on a global scale. Increasing awareness among the consumers regarding the environmental concerns and gradual change in buying habits is likely to propel the smart plant based food packaging market. Biodegradable plant based polymers in plant based food packaging is manufactured by cultivating carbohydrates via bacteria, while bio plant based polymers are macro molecules derived from plant residues. This provides the plant based food packaging improved food preservative properties. It is mainly designed to extend shelf life of the food and also to protect the contents from its surroundings. Standard packaging permits the entry of air which places limitations on shelf life of the food. There is a lot of opportunity existing in the food packaging market in the developing economies as the food packaging technology is making huge progress in these regions. North America is leading the food packaging market followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. But somehow the growth rate shown in these regions have subsided considerably as the market is close to its peak. This growth is however restored by the high growth rate regions of Asia Pacifica which includes China, India and Latin America. Smart plant based food packaging is one of the areas where food packaging companies can emphasize on refining their practices. Reutilizing in-house and using eco-friendly and/or recyclable packaging is another step, but making plant based material and packaging means using more biodegradable products. Heinz, Coca-Cola and SINTEF are the major companies participating in the movement towards the use of smart plant based food packaging. Coca-Cola uses Brazilian sugarcane but is also looking into other plant based materials. Currently all of the company’s bottles are made of fully recyclable plastic using bio-based products whereas SINTEF is now ready to present the first demonstration of packaging made from polyactic acid. The company has partnered with other collaborators like Logoplaste and Greek company Agro to develop plant based food packaging. Other food packaging companies need to find if they can alter their packaging necessities and fit plant based packaging material in their budget for which the USDA has proposed a loan guarantee program which will give these manufacturers easy access to loan and also cheaper interest rates in order to build a new plant.

According to a market report published by Credence Research, the biodegradable food packaging market has been estimated to be valued at US$ 3403.4 mln by the end of 2016, and is expected to reach US$ 7058.8 mln by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of 11% from 2016 to 2023. Biodegradable products are naturally split by biological agents such as fungi and bacteria into raw materials. These are generally those products that can be rotten by microbes and other biological processes which are natural. Biodegradable goods include those that comprises of paper, food waste, fabric and wood. Biodegradable packaging is generally defined as a means of giving a naturally degradable protection utilized majorly for information, identification, presentation, and convenience for products from production to utilization. The biodegradable food packaging is different from non-biodegradable packaging as former degrades completely and quickly when decomposed without any poisonous emission. The sector of biodegradable packaging is a small segment and is at nascent stage when compared to overall packaging industry of the globe. However, recent advancement and change in techniques has upliftment the global biodegradable food packaging market. Moreover, increasing consumer awareness related to utilization of biodegradable food based products is anticipated to intensify the growth of the biodegradable food packaging market till 2023. Rising robust environmental concerns all over the world due to increase in pollution along with higher consumer preferences for biodegradable material based products is anticipated to foster the growth of biodegradable food packaging market over the forecast period. Apart from this, advanced production process and innovation in technology adopted by biodegradable food packaging manufacturers is expected to spur the growth of overall biodegradable food packaging market during the period 2016-2026. Biodegradable food packaging market is segmented on the basis of material type such as plastic, paper, aluminum, steel and others. In 2015, plastics segment contributed the highest revenue share of the total biodegradable food packaging market. The paper based biodegradable food packaging is anticipated to expand at a robust CAGR till 2023. The global biodegradable food packaging market is further bifurcated by application which includes dairy & beverages, vegetables, fruits, meat and related products and others. Dairy & beverages segment marked the highest revenue share in biodegradable food packaging market in 2015. Rising awareness towards sustainable and affordable packaging solutions as well as change in mindset of people i.e. preferences for recycled based products instead of synthetic one is anticipated to expand the growth of fruit & vegetable and meat and related products segment during the forecast period.

The global green packaging market generated revenue of US$132,556 million in 2015, and is expected to reach US$207,543 million by 2022, according Allied Market Research. The research also found that the sector grew at a CAGR of 5.41% from 2016 to 2022. The food & beverage segment accounted for more than three-fifths of overall share in the applications segment. Rise in hygiene & health concerns among consumers boosts the demand for green packaging with applications in sustainable packaging. Moreover, stringent government regulations on non degradable plastics and increase in demand for recycled packaging products have fueled the market growth. Furthermore, reverse logistics in packaging industry has eased the transportation of municipal wastes to recycle plants. Initiatives by multinational companies such as Dow Chemical Company, Henkel AG & KGaA, and Mitsubishi Corporation to promote sustainable development by forming a community called Together for Sustainability provides opportunity to the market. This initiative supports the United Nations Global Compact and Responsible Care to achieve sustainable development.The recycle content packaging segment is expected to grow with a CAGR of 4.92%. Bioplastics have flourished in healthcare and pharmaceutical applications, and are accepted as an alternative for polymer oil-based products. In addition, reverse logistics and increase in number of legislations for ecological packaging techniques have facilitated the recycle of municipal wastes.
Key findings of the study reveal:

  • The European region is expected to continue to lead the market, followed by North America during the forecast period.
  • German green packaging market is estimated with a CAGR of 5.10%.
  • The Middle East region is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.15%.
  • The North American and Asia-Pacific regions jointly accounted for more than half of the total share in 2015.
  • Utilization of degradable raw materials has shown major growth in developed and developing nations. In 2015, Europe demonstrated maximum demand for bioplastics with the potential to witness significant growth in future. In addition, Asia-Pacific accounted for approximately one-fourth share of the total volume.

A report published by Zion Market Research valued global demand for green packaging at US$161.50 bln in 2015 and is expected to reach US$242.50 bln in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 7% between 2016 and 2021. Green packaging is an alternative to the conventional form of packaging, which is being used to reduce the impact on the environment and energy consumption. It is also known as sustainable packaging. Green packaging uses environmentally-sensitive methods of packaging including biodegradable materials, energy efficiency, down-gauging, and reusability. Moreover, green packaging supports human and ecological health. This parameter is expected to drive the demand for green packaging high in near future. The global green packaging market is driven by multiple factors. One of the major factors is growing health awareness among consumers. The increase in packaging waste leads to the imposition of rules and regulations by the government is likely to propel the demand for green packaging over the future years. Rapid growth in disposable income is another major factor that will have the positive impact on green packaging demand among consumers. However, poor infrastructure for recycling process may limit the growth of green packaging. Furthermore, growing awareness and attempt to reduce the environmental pollution may offer new opportunities for green packaging market during the years to come.
Based on types of packaging, the global green packing market is bifurcated into reusable packaging, recycled content packaging, and degradable packaging.  The global green packaging market was governed by recycled content packaging in 2015. Additionally, reusable packaging was the second largest segment in the same year. The products such as containers, drums, cylinders, plastic boxes and wooden pallets come under reusable packaging. This segment is likely to have strong demand in coming years due to growing shipment of chemicals, food, and medicinal drugs. Furthermore, the degradable packaging material is degraded naturally. Thus, it is expected to have moderate growth within the forecast period.
The global green packaging market is segmented on basis of applications such as personal care, food and beverages, healthcare and other applications. Food and beverages emerged as largest application segment of global green packaging market in 2015. It accounted over 45.0% shares of the total market and further it is expected to remain its dominance over the market in near future. This growth is attributed to the strong demand and regulations imposed by regulatory bodies on food packaging industries. Moreover, personal care and health care are expected to have significant growth owing to the adoption of eco-friendly techniques.
In terms of region, North America held to be a foremost region for the strong demand of green packaging material in 2015. U.S. was the largest revenue contributor due to the strong government support. Furthermore, it is also expected to continue this trend owing to the rising demand from food and beverage industry in the region. Europe was the second largest market for green packaging in the same year. Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the fastest growing markets in near future owing to the emerging economies such as China and India. Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are also an important market that is expected to have potential growth in coming years owing to the emerging food and beverages industries. Some of the key vendors of global green packaging market are Amcor, Berry Plastics, BASF, DuPont, Printpack, Inc., Innovia Films Ltd, Bemis Company, Tetra Laval and Ball Corporation amongst others.

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