Innovative technologies and materials that improve packaging sustainability

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Innovative technologies and materials that improve packaging sustainability

Store products smart 

In order to reduce food waste by ensuring that perishable goods are properly stored and transported, and extend product shelf life, it’s necessary to incorporate smart packaging. The solution is possible due to the use of smart sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The sensors, embedded in packaging, can detect temperature, humidity, and spoilage, providing real-time data to suppliers and retailers, allowing them to take proactive measures to prevent product deterioration.

Sustainable packaging? Only with eco-friendly materials!

The fast-emerging materials proper for sustainable packaging give us so many options that companies can’t avoid them any more. 

It’s enough to start with bioplastic, derived from renewable sources such as cornstarch, sugarcane, or algae. It’s gaining popularity as a sustainable alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. They decompose more quickly, reducing their environmental impact and dependence on fossil fuels.

It’s obvious plastic should be avoided at all when it’s possible, and it’s best to be replaced with compostable and biodegradable materials. They can be used for single-use packaging items, which will have a great influence on the reduction of rubbish in landfills and oceans.

Automated and sustainable packaging systems

The integration of digitization and automation in packaging processes enhances efficiency and minimises waste, reducing necessary effort, and labour costs.  AI-powered systems optimise packaging design and material usage, reducing excess packaging while maintaining product protection. 

What’s more, automated packaging lines also lead to higher precision, less energy consumption, and decreased carbon emissions, contributing to sustainability goals. Sparck Technologies is a great example of a company supplying the biggest companies around the world with cutting-edge technology – inline auto-packers – to size, construct and label each order, reducing the time, effort, and amount of material necessary for packing to a minimum. 

Nobody should be surprised to read about the use of 3D printing in the packaging industry, enabling on-demand production of custom-designed packaging materials. It’s the most innovative technique, resulting in the creation of precise and lightweight packaging.

Do we need sustainability? 

Talking about sustainability in the context of packaging is nothing surprising, as it’s a global trend nowadays in each industry. We have to take any possible measures to save the planet and protect the environment. 

Comparing the sustainability of different packaging materials, factors like energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and recyclability come into play. When we compare bioplastics which have a lower carbon footprint than glass and aluminium. 

Yet, high production costs of innovative materials, lack of consumer awareness, and resistance from established industries present barriers to the implementation of sustainable alternatives. Most probably advancements in material science will lead to the creation of even more sustainable and cost-effective alternatives. 

However, without the collaboration of companies, governments, and research institutes to drive policy changes and invest in research and development, the final and comprehensive change won’t be possible. 

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