While there is much in common between packaging trends and markets in Europe and the United States related to corrugated board, there is one major difference: corrugated board is 20% heavier in the U.S. versus the European Union (EU).
That was one of the major findings shown in a study published in late April by RISI, “The Future of Lightweight Containerboard in North America.” Packaging trends in Europe are compared with the U.S. since they occupy similar geographic areas, have similar climates and topographical features, and their containerboard companies supply many of the same global food, beverage and consumer goods companies.
Why the 20% disparity? According to RISI, this reflects a proactive cultural change in Europe. Sustainability is high on the agenda, which features government environmental initiatives with targets and penalties for non-compliance implemented across the supply chain, supported by trade groups and non-governmental organizations.
The customer-driven containerboard market sees Walmart, the largest global retailer, aiming to reduce 5% of packaging across its supply chain by 2013. The report anticipates that the lightweighting trend will continue, providing an opportunity for corrugators that invest in fast, versatile modern machines that produce high-quality material.