Consumers today are becoming more environmentally conscious about the products they purchase. As the world continues to embrace eco-friendly living, sustainability has become more than just a passing trend. As such, this is a great opportunity for your brand to look into ways to incorporate sustainability as a strategy for your product packaging.
There are several solutions you can use to create sustainable packaging without sacrificing packaging quality or customer experience. Flexible packaging, in particular, is an ideal way to start because its production consumes less energy than many other forms of packaging. Apart from that benefit, it is also more frequently designed to be used as a reusable and recyclable packaging material.
If your brand team is looking into adopting this kind of packaging into your product strategy or want to know more about the subject, you can learn in this article about the various types of flexible packaging materials used by brands and how these materials can benefit you.
Defining Flexible Packaging
To put it simply, flexible packaging is defined as any part of a package where its shape can be freely changed as desired. This packaging type is typically made from flexible or easily yielding materials that can take on new forms once they have been filled out by a product.
Flexible packaging is more commonly made from paper, foil, plastic, or any kind of combination in between. Examples include pouches, tubes, sleeves, and bags.
Compared to other forms of product packaging, the flexible option can be more sustainable as it can create a low carbon footprint. Generally, flexible packaging materials can cost less to make in terms of raw materials, which can be highly beneficial for your business when mass producing a product.
Ease of use is one of the biggest selling points of flexible packaging that your brand team may consider. Customized packaging can also be easily achieved to match the design aesthetics of your brand without wasting printing space.
Product packaging designs are becoming increasingly valued by many, especially in the food industry, where 52% of all shipments use flexible material. Other markets such as pharmaceuticals, medicine, personal care, and industrial are following this trend and switching to more sustainable alternatives.
According to research conducted by the Market Research Future group, the flexible packaging market could be worth US$275.35 billion by 2027. This can lead your brand team towards several opportunities that can drive scalable growth.
Types of Flexible Packaging Materials
There are several types of materials that can be used to create sustainable and flexible packaging. Depending on the kind of product, these elements can be used in several ways that best fit your brand’s aesthetic while maintaining the quality of your goods. Here are a few examples of what you can use to create your packaging.
This type of material can efficiently prevent air, grease, and oils from diffusing into the product. Bioplastics are very common in food, baking, confectionery, and snack-packaging industries. Common examples of this material include plant-based bottles made from biodegradable plastics.
- Polymer Films
This material can be shaped into any desired form, ranging in performance factors. Out of all the available materials, plastics are the dominant choice because of their flexibility and durability. As such, they have become the most used material in the food industry.
- Corrugated Cardboard
Various industries use corrugated cardboard to protect their products against moisture and damage. While not truly categorized as flexible packaging, corrugated paper material can act as a cushion during transport to prevent damages. It also comes in many forms, such as boxes, sheets, and rolls.
- Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil provides an effective barrier against oils, moisture, and light. The material is commonly used in industries such as food, cosmetics, confectionaries, and ready meals. Due to its flexibility, aluminum foil can be shaped into any form, such as trays, cans, lids, and more.
- Kraft Paper
This material contains excellent elasticity and high tensile strength, making it perfect for products that require packaging with durability. Many industries use this material for packaging chemicals, food, cement, flour, and other consumer goods. Kraft paper typically comes in the form of multiwall paper bags and sacks.
- UV Protective Films
UV Films protect products from absorbing UV radiation that could harm their quality. This type of material is used in the food industry to help preserve goods during storage and transport. UV protective films can be incorporated in various forms such as pouches, bags, tubes, and more.
Wrapping it up
Sustainable packaging is becoming the norm among several industries as consumers grow to become more environmentally conscious. Flexible packaging, in particular, is one of the fastest growing segments in the packaging industry since it not only offers sustainability, but also versatility, customization, and efficiency. With flexible packaging solutions, you’re adopting a guaranteed method that adds value and protection to products in nearly all industries today.
For more information on flexible packaging materials, contact experts at Meyers Printing today.