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  • Ankit Shah

Increasing Preference of Paper for Food Packaging

The use of paper for food packaging is experiencing rapid growth, while the utilization of plastic in food and beverage packaging is declining.


The use of paper for food packaging has been deemed highly suitable. In late November, the EU Commission put forth a proposal for the reform of packaging, with emphasis on the reuse and return of empty plastic bottles and aluminum cans. This proposal presents a challenge for Italy's recycling system. The European objective is to reduce packaging waste by 15% per capita for each country by 2040. The proposed regulation stipulates that, by 2030, 20% of takeaway beverage sales must be served in reusable packaging or using customer-provided containers, with the aim of achieving 80% by 2040.


Furthermore, Italy stands out as one of the most environmentally responsible nations with respect to recycling. As per the Sustainability Report published in November, the recycling and recovery of packaging facilitated by Conai resulted in €1,525 million worth of environmental benefits in 2021. Luca Ruini, the President of Conai, stated that recycling aids in the conservation of raw materials, primary energy, and reduction of CO2 emissions. Italy is already a front-runner in the European circular economy, leading the pack in per capita packaging recycling among major nations.


Paper Packaging
Paper for food packaging

Consumers' Perceptions

The issue of sustainability in packaging extends beyond just bottles and cans and includes all types of food packaging. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of packaging and are making purchasing decisions based on the sustainability of the packaging. In fact, in the past year, 65% of Italian households have bought a product specifically because it had a more eco-friendly package, while 19% have refrained from buying a product due to its non-sustainable packaging


The most crucial features of food product packaging, as per a Packaging Observatory for Consumer Goods are its recyclability (56%), avoidance of overpacking (58%), and reduced use of plastic (47%) according to Italian consumers. For beverages, cardboard is seen as the most sustainable material (59%), while glass is considered the most eco-friendly option (67%) for packaged products.



Preference of Paper is High

Natura Nuova was one of the pioneers in Italy to introduce eco-friendly and FSC-certified bricks and packaging. They also managed to reduce cardboard usage by 30% by changing their secondary packaging last year. Meanwhile, even in a sensitive sector such as glass delivery, paper is gaining ground. For instance, The Gin Way, a start-up based in Brescia, opted for Eco-Self Seal Cardboard to safeguard their cylindrical products. This specialized packaging is crafted from corrugated cardboard and covered with a natural latex adhesive coating.


Lower Usage of Plastic

The primary objective for food packaging is to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic, which is a shared goal. Coca-Cola Hcb was recently acknowledged by the 2022 Dow Jones Sustainability Index for being the most proactive company in this regard. Over the past ten years, they have achieved several targets, such as a 20% decrease in Pet packaging, a 28% reduction in glass, and a 15% reduction in aluminum. Additionally, they have reduced their reliance on virgin plastic for bottling by using 100% recycled Pet (Rpet) bottles. Another notable innovation introduced by the company is the "Tethered Caps," which are caps that remain attached to the bottle.


The Nestlé Group, a major player in the food industry, has achieved a recyclability rate of 85% for its plastic packaging across Europe and decreased its use of virgin plastic by 14%. In Italy, where the target of 97% recyclable packaging has already been met, there is still a commitment to invest in building infrastructure for packaging recycling.



Innovative solutions are being sought by some, such as Apepak, which won the 2023 Green Oscar - Coldiretti Giovani Impresa award. This product is intended to encase Calabria Dop black pig sausages, maintaining their quality, safeguarding them from mold, preserving their flavors for an extended period, and being reusable. It is a linen handkerchief infused with 100% natural beeswax, and it is washable, reusable, sustainable, and eco-friendly. Apepak replaces plastic and vacuum sealing, and it ensures excellent preservation even when stored outside the refrigerator. Another example is Cosaporto, which exclusively uses biodegradable packaging and chooses recycled and reusable cotton bags instead of traditional boxes for deliveries.


With over 45 years of combined experience, Logipack is equipped to assist you in determining the most suitable style for your paper packaging requirements. Our team will work together with you to provide a customized solution that matches your budget and corrugated application requirements.

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