According to Eco Flexibles, the packaging market will see a marked shift in 2022 as data takes a more central role in sustainability strategies.

Eco Flexibles, which helps brands reduce their carbon footprint with lightweight, monopolymer flexible packaging designs, believes that how FMCG food and grocery businesses are shaping their ‘green’ strategies has evolved — with new considerations for brand owners.

Simon Buswell, sales & marketing director at Eco Flexibles, says, “We are essentially seeing a ‘hard reset’ in sustainability thinking. Consumers have made it clear that simple claims don’t wash, and of course the market is reacting accordingly. Especially with the Green Claims Code now in place, which is designed to tackle the challenge of greenwashing, it’s all about bringing meaning and value back to the term ‘sustainable’. As it stands, unless the messaging around it is tight and specific, it doesn’t mean anything anymore – for either consumers or the brands. 

“2022 is set to be a big year of change in terms of sustainability, and nowhere will this be more apparent than in packaging. We are expecting data-driven decisions to take center stage, which is a must, given the huge volumes of packaging in today’s high-speed marketplaces. Historically, sustainability data, if calculated at all, has been a by-product of packaging design, measured and kept on file, but not really used. We expect a hard switch for the new year, with data needs leading design, not the other way around and the packaging industry needs to be able to validate its environmental recommendations.

“From an initial assessment, measurable metrics such as carbon footprint calculations through scopes 1,2 and 3, waste generation and legislative compliance are crucial. In the coming year, rather than choosing a pack design or solution and tweaking its characteristics to lower environmental impact, it’s clear that data will inform design in the first instance.”