Metsä Board Magazine – Winter 2023


Future-ready packaging in

demand Recyclability, biodegradability and renewable materials are features companies and consumers increasingly seek from packaging.

Maria Latokartano, photos: Jussi Hellsten

I f you wanted to describe the global packaging market in a single word, you might go for huge . In 2021, the value of the global packaging market was nearly USD 1,015 billion, and Smithers Information expects this fig- ure to rise by an annual average of 3.9 per cent up to 2026. The packaging market’s development is driven by megatrends such as pop- ulation growth, urbanisation and growth in online shopping, which boost the demand for consumer product packaging in particular. Currently, more than half the packaging produced worldwide is used for consumer prod- ucts, including food and hygiene items. “According to estimates, population growth and urbanisation will increase the need for food packaging, for example,” says Anu Rehtijärvi , Metsä Board’s Market Intelligence Manager. This prompts an interesting question. What material will future products be packaged in? Today, the packaging market is dominated by two major options: plastic and paperboard. Each accounts for more than a third of the market. Plastic recycling is still in its infancy The advantages of plastic are widely known. Plastic packaging is hygienic and durable and helps protect products from damage and spoilage. How- ever, the same chemical properties that make plastic durable also make it problematic.

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