Plastics will still dominate as preferred packaging material: Study

You must be aware that there is a lot of talk about how we should ban single-use plastics and most of the countries are now on target to ban the single-use plastics from commercial and personal use as well. However, it is a fact that plastic is toxic not only for us but also for the environment and wildlife on land as well as under water as well. This is the reason why people are campaigning to stop use of plastics altogether in logistics to package content. However, it is seen that plastics is still used widely in logistics because of its durable nature.

Now, we have a new study that repeats what we already know about plastics. Basically, the study says that plastics is not going anywhere at least in the near future from being used in logistics. This study reveals that plastics will be the dominant material used for protective packaging in the industry and it currently has a share of 71% which is expected to grow by 4% in the next 5 years. This study, done on Global Protective Packaging material, reveals that the “fastest growing market for protective packaging will be supported by the expanding use of protective mailers, air pillows, and other flexible products in e-commerce order fulfillment.

It is worth noting that “contributing to growth (of plastics) is increasing e-commerce shipment of delicate and fragile items, such as electronics, which require greater protection to avoid damage during transit”. Also, while paper is touted as a substitute for plastics, it is not seen to be growing in enormous numbers as just a modest growth is expected in use of paper for logistics. At the moment, paper is used in shipping lightweight items such as books, clothing etc.

The survey also reveals that “Between 2010 and 2020, protective packaging demand grew faster than manufacturing output because of increased awareness of protective packaging’s ability to reduce the rate of returns of damaged goods and the ongoing shift to value-added protective materials with superior performance”. This is because products often get returned because they are damaged in transit but use of protective packaging decreased this to an extent.

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