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Personal Care Packaging – Shifting to Sustainability

According Greener Package, a study just released from PMMI demonstrates that companies are responding to the need to decrease their packaging and its carbon footprint.

Sustainability concerns are growing in many ways among personal care product packaging as findings are revealed in a new study from the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), “2010 Personal Care Package Market Assessment.”

The market for personal care packaging in North America is expected to total between $70 billion and $80 billion in 2010. Currently, plastics (59%) and bottles (41%) dominate package materials and formats. Yet, PMMI researchers expect rates to increase substantially as a shift away from plastics and bottles to tubes and pouches begins over the next five years. In fact, PMMI estimates rates of 38% for tubes, 51% for pouches, by 2015. The wide-spread use of plastic as a packaging agent however is expected to dramatically outpace all other packaging materials, showing a 34% growth rate by 2015.

Seeking more cost-efficient solutions and packaging processes, personal care producers are actively looking for better ways to alter packaging and reduce the overall amount of materials used. As the shift toward tubes and pouches are seen as having a smaller environmental footprint than bottles, production line integration and innovation will need to adapt as well creating opportunity for American companies to develop the proper means to making new packaging lines.

Forms of products that can be packaged in this new way vary widely—liquids, gels, powders, etc.—and each pose new challenges for accommodating innovative package formats. These challenges will increase as manufacturers move away from traditional packaging approaches, PMMI says. And with these types of demands, there is a need for greater flexibility, the report says.

Implementing more versatile packaging lines allows for greater options for consolidating lines and producing more products on fewer machines. This also provides the added capability of producing a wider variety of packages in a single day and automating complex tasks. As the industry moves forward, manufacturers need to examine all of their potential partners and their options.

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