Anti-plastic trends favor paper-based packaging

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In the United Kingdom, packaging expert Richard Coles tells PackagingInsights that paper-based pack-aging is not only better for the environment, but is also conceived by consumers to be a more natural alternative than plastics.

Paper and paperboard, in the wake of growing anti-plastic perceptions, has better self-appeal and can be easily printed on, Coles adds.

“As a natural, annually renewable resource supporting valuable eco-services such as carbon/water cy-cling and biodiversity, paper and paperboard offer distinct environmental sustainability credentials,” says Coles, Director of Emagine Packaging.  “The raw material (wood) can be sourced from sustainably managed forests and biomass/renewable energy may be used to power modern mills. In particular, paper and paperboard are both readily recyclable and compostable and so, by definition, biodegrada-ble.”

A recent Sonoco study also showed that consumers prefer packaging that is natural looking, and paper packaging is seen as consistent with trees and forests. “Packaging solutions which combine conven-ience and aesthetic ‘natural’ appeal, together with (perceived) minimal or reduced ecological impact, are increasingly valued by consumers and represent an important future trend,” Coles notes. “In addi-tion, paper and paperboard-based packaging with ease of tear-open or pull-open features may offer more convenient solutions.”