A report from consultancy Smithers Pira has suggested that intelligent packaging and recyclability are the top two of 25 disruptive technologies for flexible packaging.
In the report Ten-Year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Flexible Packaging to 2023, it identifies and assesses technological, economic, consumer, sociological, environmental and regulatory developments for flexible packaging such as laminated food and drink pouches, packaging for chemical goods, electrical and other plastics, paper and metal foils.
This market is expected to grow in Europe and North America in particular and is likely to replace rigid packaging in certain situations, according to the report, as it is capable of saving materials, manufacturing and transport costs.
Intelligent packaging, where the packaging will be able to assess the shelf-life of food within it for example, is expected to become much more widespread due to reducing costs, increased emphasis on food safety and brand owner demand.
The report also said that improved technologies are likely to be introduced in the next decade to improve the recyclability of flexible packaging including monolayered packaging that will be easier to recycle.
Fourth on the list were biobased polymers which are expected to grow in use over the next decade.