THOUGHTS

Top Challenges Faced by Packaging Companies – Into the Future

Jan 7, 2018

Major challenges faced by the packaging companies

Keeping up with technological changes

Consumer packaged goods, or CPG, companies are constantly trying to innovate to keep up with the changing customer demands and bring about product differentiation. Innovative packaging provides them with such platforms by using the size, shape, color, and functionality of the packaging. For instance, TUBORG beer came up with a pull-off cap for its beet bottle, which eliminated the need for an opener to open the bottles. The problem packaging companies are facing is keeping pace with such changes in technology. The vendors will have to invest in new machinery and infrastructure to create innovative packaging designs such as those.

Protecting pack contents from the external environment

Packaging companies have to ensure that their packaging survives harsh external environment including sunlight, UV rays, high and low temperature, humidity, moisture, and rain. Choosing a packaging that can survive all mentioned conditions is a herculean task. Even if they come up with such packaging, the environment will differ as per the region, and packaging which is effective in a specific region may fail somewhere else. Packaging companies should also consider protection against warehouse conditions, transit, and retailers’ condition. So, it is challenging for the vendors to create packaging that can withstand any given environmental condition.

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The rising cost of raw materials

Plastic, resins, paper, paperboard, films, and adhesives are some of the common raw materials used by the packaging companies. In recent times, the packaging industry has been hit by increasing prices of such raw materials. For instance, the increasing prices for polypropylene, used in resins, bottles, and packaging films have been on the rise due to reduced supply for the material. Also, numerous reports point out that paper prices have been experiencing a 7.5% year-on-year growth. Such increase in raw material prices has affected the packaging company’s ability to remain competitive.

Sustainability challenges

Consumers, government organizations, and environmental groups have continuously been voicing their concerns about the wastages created by the packaging industry. After the contents of the package have been consumed, the outer packaging ends up in huge landfills and ocean. Most of these materials are non-recyclable or difficult to recycle such as plastic wrappers, aluminum cans, PET bottles, and polyethylene. To improve packaging sustainability, packaging companies have to account for designs that will consider environmental issues, end-of-life disposal, and reduction of greenhouse gas and water footprints. Packaging disposal and recycling methods are very costly as it consumes a significant amount of energy and water and also creates emissions. 

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