Roundup: The Latest Research on Corrugated Packaging

Corrugated Packaging Research and Trends

We’ve been at the forefront of challenging convention in order to create a more sustainable future, which means our teams read, subscribe to, attend and watch the latest industry news. Here is a collection of valuable resources and research on corrugated packing.

The first section pertains to consumer topics — how consumer buying behavior may or may not be influenced by packaging sustainability.

The second section is a collection of key statistics comparing corrugated package solutions with recyclable plastic containers (RPC), as well as a list of recent (within the last 10 years) industry and academic research on corrugated vs RPC. A ($) next to the publisher indicates that a subscription is required.

Consumer Topics and Corrugated Packaging

Billerud Consumer Panel 2017: Views on Packaging Sustainability From Around the Globe

In 2017, Billerud assembled a consumer panel to survey how consumers make buying decisions based on packaging. We asked, “What is packaging sustainability to me?” and 22.6% said, “Easy to recycle.” Find out what the other respondents said in this important white paper on packaging sustainability from Billerud.

Key takeaway: Consumers are ready and willing to change their behaviours regarding the way they consume and recycle, but they expect education, support and help from their local governments and brands themselves. It must be easy for consumers.

More Statistics on Corrugated Packaging and Consumer Preferences

  • 43% of surveyed consumers said they want information about package recycling on the label. Asia Pulp and Paper
  • 75% of consumers said living a sustainable lifestyle helps with their feelings of well-being. Pro Carton
  • Women (90%) are more likely to change purchasing habits than men (77%) in a survey that asked if they would change purchase decisions if the product’s packaging reduced carbon emissions. Sustainable Brands
  • In the UK, results from a survey of 7,000 shoppers suggests that 88% of shoppers want on-label information about environmental friendliness, 90% want the government to enforce environmental friendliness disclosure. Packaging News
  • A Nielsen survey said 48% of U.S. consumers will change buying habits to meet environmental standards, and American spending on fast-moving consumer goods increased 20% to $128.5 million. FoodDive
  • A survey of consumers who live in 16 megacities in the European Union,. Asia, North America, and Africa indicates consumers have positive attitudes toward packaging as potential problem-solver for sustainability. Billerud     

Source: Pro Carton

Corrugated vs. Reusable Plastic Containers

  • Corrugated containers are the largest source of municipal solid waste in the United States, with 31.3 million tons, or 11.9% of all MSW generated.
  • Corrugated boxes are the largest category of recycled product in the U.S. at 92.3%.
  • 40% of all plastic produced is for single-use packaging. National Geographic
  • Globally, less than 20% of plastic is recycled. Europeans recycle the most (30%) and China is second (25%). The U.S. trails behind at 9% of plastic trash. National Geographic
  • Plastics take 500 years to decompose in landfills. Cardboards take two months. The Balance SMB
  • In the U.S., 100% of single-use corrugated food containers met acceptable sanitation standards, vs. as low as 50% of reusable plastic containers passed the same inspection. Corrugated Packaging Alliance

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More Reading on Corrugated vs. RPC

Source: IVL Swedish Environmental Research & Billerud

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