Latest blog

Packaging trends for 2021

Happy New Year! The Network Packaging team are back in the office refreshed after a short break over Christmas. As we think about the year ahead our packaging experts have been discussing the packaging trends for 2021. Here’s what our team think you can expect this year…

  1. Recycled content packaging materials & switching to paper

Consumer concern with sustainability is growing and the UK Plastic Packaging Tax is set to be introduced in 2022. Based on this we predict that many businesses will seek to switch to high recycled content plastics. Alternatively, companies will look t ditch plastic entirely in favour of paper packaging solutions.

  1. Packaging automation to increase efficiency

More companies will turn to packaging automation in 2021 to increase efficiency and help reduce labour costs. The lasting impact of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic will also see businesses seek to future proof their businesses and automation can help them do this. It enables greater social distancing and can help increase efficiency where companies have unfortunately had to reduce their workforce. Click to learn more about automation.

  1. Continued demand for outstanding ecommerce packaging

Another legacy from the pandemic will be the huge increase for online shopping. Many businesses have had to diversify their product offering and shopping channels, which will continue to create a huge demand for outstanding ecommerce packaging.

The hospitality industry is a prime example of this, with many restaurants having to adapt to offering meal kits which are delivered to customers homes and require both protective and temperature-controlled packaging solutions.

  1. Biosafe materials

Many people are concerned that coronavirus may contaminate packaging. This worry could see many providers offer specialist anti-viral or antimicrobial materials or coatings this year.

A recent example of this is DS Smith partnering with Touchguard to develop a new range of bacteria and virus-safeguarded cardboard packaging. We expect more products like this to become available during 2021.

  1. Increased stock holding services to ensure continuity of packaging supply

The huge increase in demand for packaging materials during 2020 meant that lead times were significantly extended for everyone who uses or supplies packaging. So in 2021, we predict that many businesses will be looking to increase the packaging stock they hold at their own sites. Plus, we believe that many companies will look to take advantages of stock holding and inventory management services like the one we offer to ensure continuity of supply for longer periods of time.

What do you think the latest packaging tends will be?

If you need help with your packaging this year, book a packaging review with one of our team. Simply complete our contact form or email