packaging innovations
The plastics industry is always changing and evolving, which is why we feel it’s important to share updates with you about any new developments. With some companies migrating from glass to PET, the implementation of smart packaging, and much more, there have been a variety of significant innovations in the packaging industry during 2018 that have really made waves.

Keep on reading to discover six key recent innovations!

1. Package-Free Packaging

packaging innovations


You may have heard Lush in the news in the past year, not only for their forward-thinking plastic polymer packaging, but also for their package-free products!

They have created a packaging solution by providing products like shampoo and body washes in bar form, similar to a soap bar, so customers will have nothing they need to dispose of.

Another fascinating development was seen with the package-free water that made its way across social media in the past year. This product is simply an orb of water contained in a gelatinous sphere that is compostable, and even edible!

2. Moving from Glass to PET

Recently, two major companies made the switch over from their traditional glass bottles to PET – Snapple and Campbell’s Prego brand.

Making the move to PET has had a lot of benefits for both companies. Prego, for instance, lowered the weight of their bottles from 1 lb. to 95 grams, reducing the weight by nearly four-fifths! On top of that, they also maintain recyclability and clarity, while gaining shatter resistance.

We hope that this forward-thinking move can inspire other companies that still use glass jars and bottles to make the switch to PET in the coming years.

3. Smart/Active Packaging

You may be wondering, what is smart packaging? Also referred to as active packaging or intelligent packaging, smart packaging, as Jabil notes, denotes solutions with two-level interaction for greater consumer engagement by utilizing digital technologies.

Essentially, smart packaging allows consumers to find out the packaged content’s status or any other important facts through “smart” interaction, such as by way of scanning a QR code.

A subset of smart packaging is active packaging, which helps enhance the product’s functionality. According to the LaManna Alliance, “Active Packaging involves the ‘sensing and/or manipulation’ of the packaging environment, primarily to better retain the microbiological quality of the contents. It includes barriers, absorbers, scavengers and other controllers of active variables.”

Overall, moving into smart packaging can help brands to market more effectively, add safety features to their products, and help resolve issues with products that have a limited shelf life.

4. Flexible Packaging

As usability has always been a focus of packaging, having a flexible package is something that has been seen as a global focus within the industry. And recently, there have been advancements that allowed for manufacturers to develop a type of packaging for the food and drink industry that is flexible to the desired mass volume.

With an advancement like this it could mean big things for the food and drink industry!

5. Focus on Sustainable Solutions

Even though it has been a trend for a number of years now, many brands this year are beginning to move toward being more sustainable. Whether they’re migrating from glass to PET or moving from plastic to biodegradable material, much like this brewery is doing, all of these efforts help the environment and lower the businesses’ carbon footprints.

Considering the recent bans on plastic straws, companies who develop new methods for sustainability will certainly get a lot of attention for their efforts, and will likely reduce their own costs as well.

6. Clear Cans for Foods

packaging innovations

Credit: Raab Sales

Similar to how Prego consumers will be able to see the product better with the company’s plastic containers, according to Raab Sales, one proposed innovation is moving away from standard metal cans for food goods and utilizing plastic cans.

Moving to this clear packaging would help the consumers see their product and help brands reduce damage and increase reusability for the customer.

Overview of Packaging Innovations

As a recap, the innovations we talked about being popular in 2018 included:

  • Package-free packaging, which has been supported by major brands like Lush
  • Replacing glass bottles with PET as seen by Snapple and Prego
  • Intelligent and active packaging helping to make products safer and more advanced
  • Flexible and sustainable packaging to boost functionality and environmental friendliness
  • Moving from metal cans to clear plastic cans for shelved goods

As 2019 approaches, there will surely be more innovations coming to help businesses save time and money, and to help the planet. Stay on the lookout for them and come back to Shini USA for more posts!

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