Not Easy Being Green


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     The market for green packaging, already a juggernaut in terms of sheer growth over the past few years, is looking to expand further. The global green packaging market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.84 percent from now until 2019, according to a new research report from TechNavio.
     The report suggests that the food and beverage industry is the largest consumer of green packaging materials, a trend that is expected to continue.
     “Companies like Cadbury, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, Nestlé, and PepsiCo use sustainable packaging materials, which gives them a competitive advantage over other market players,” said Faisal Ghaus, Vice President of TechNavio.

     Surely, the benefits to be gained over competitors is a primary driving factor behind the expansion of green packaging. But, it appears that legislative demands are beginning to play a larger role, as well.
     The introduction of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach in many states is one example. EPR mandates that manufacturers pay for the recycling process and safe disposal of their products. The EPR approach is based upon the idea that because brand owners and converters have the greatest control over product design, they are the ones who have the greatest responsibility to lessen a product’s environmental footprint.
     There’s no question that the more proactive a company has been in its sustainability efforts, the less it will have to worry about possibly intrusive legislation. But for those companies late to the green game, they may have to contend with having a little less control over how they implement their plans.
     “As a consequence of stringent policies,” Ghaus said, “many manufacturers prefer using green packaging materials for sustainable products rather than incurring the additional expense of handling the packaging at the end of its life cycle.”

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