Current packaging materials are somewhat limited in regards to possibilities, but there are some future choices being developed on the horizon.[hr]
There’s an enormous variety of current packaging materials, but they’re somewhat limited. There’s just so much you can do with the present state of the art. But new choices are already being developed, and some of them look great!
Take, for example, the interactive packaging materials Innventia is toying with:[quote style=”boxed”]“We believe that the packaging of the future will be made from materials that are not only renewable but also smart. We are currently working with interactive paper and packaging materials that change their appearance and form in response to various stimuli, functional pressure and bio-based barriers for food packaging.”[/quote]
Some of those materials activate barriers, some self-open, some are translucid ─ the possibilities are endless, not just in the food packaging industry. Just imagine the recycling possibilities for something that reacts to pressure!
And, speaking about recycling, why not bringing plant-based materials into the table? Some great companies have already developed the first 100% plant based prototypes: it’s just a matter of time before it spreads into common use. Or maybe mushroom-based materials. Yeah, those do exist.
Packaging Digest recently published a list with some more great innovations on the packaging materials field. Edible materials, for example, could be great for food packaging. Imagine having the cake and eating the packaging too. Or cellulose packaging, whatever that is. Mareike Frensemeier defined it as:[quote style=”boxed”]“A creative use of bacterial action that offers a solution to concerns about packaging waste. Acetobacter xylinum grows quickly at room temperature to create a network of tiny, strong fibers that can be cultivated into any shape or directly on a surface, resulting in a lightweight, paper-like foam that is electrically and thermally insulating, and completely biodegradable.”[/quote]
Worst case scenario, we could go back to the good old polymer refinement, now with reduced costs and improved sustainability. Innovations will keep going on, whether we like it or not. And, before we notice, they’ll be amongst us. Better, harder, and stronger. And, of course, more sustainable.
Greener is better, after all. It always is. That will remain.
Sponsored by Derprosa, leading brand in biaxially oriented polypropylene films for packaging.