Circular economy shift drives digital transformation in packaging

The packaging industry is still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the paradigm shift towards online shopping, stricter regulatory standards for packaging waste and increasing consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions. Packaging suppliers are under significant pressure to offer alternative and eco-friendly packaging solutions from manufacturers, retailers and consumers themselves, driving the transition to a circular economy, says GlobalData.

“Packaging companies are using smart and sustainable packaging solutions to minimize their carbon footprint,” says Manish Dixit, Practice Lead at GlobalData. “It is noted that seven deals among the top 10 investment deals in Q2 2022 fall under the theme ‘sustainability and ethics’, reflecting interest from global investors. Even global consumer brands like Cola-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, Danone and Nestle have committed to using 100 percent recycled plastic in their packaging and have adopted reusable or recyclable packaging.”

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“Regulators and non-governmental institutions alike are encouraging the packaging sector to move towards a circular economy to maximize efficiency and minimize resource wastage,” said Prathyusha Paruchuri, Senior Disruptive Tech Analyst at GlobalData. “As the importance of sustainability to the packaging sector becomes more evident, many packaging companies are adopting a regenerative nature by nature and are improving their circular economy buy-build and partnership strategy to avoid falling behind their peers, competitors and customers.”

GlobalData’s latest report, Digital Innovation Case Studies in Packaging, highlights the implementation of new technologies with real-world use cases and assesses the return on investment.

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LivingPackets develops sustainable packaging solutions

LivingPackets, which provides eco-friendly packaging solutions for e-commerce delivery, has partnered with NXP Semiconductors to develop and launch IoT-based sustainable “THE BOX” to ship packages with zero waste with end-to-end visibility of the package path in the supply chain.

Dell is developing a solution to track recycled plastic

Dell intended to create a circular economy to prevent plastic from entering the oceans by recycling and reusing it in its supply chain. So it partnered with VMware, a virtualization software provider, and used blockchain technology to help product end-users see the history of recycled material and ensure the long-term sustainability of its supply chain.

Harpak-ULMA introduces intelligent packaging solutions

Harpak-ULMA, a manufacturer of packaging equipment, together with Rockwell Automation, a provider for digital transformation and industrial automation, used IoT and augmented reality for intelligent packaging solutions. These digital solutions are integrated with real-time analytics to improve operational efficiencies and increase employee productivity.

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“Sustainability has become so important that plastic packaging companies are struggling to access capital as investors tighten their policies on unsustainable packaging,” says Paruchuri. “Packaging companies’ adoption of end-to-end technologies into their supply chain results in operational improvements, supplier reliability and customer loyalty. Global suppliers are accelerating innovations such as the development of advanced materials, products with embedded technology and customized solutions to promote reusable, biodegradable and sustainable packaging.”

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