Flexible packaging continues to take the industry by storm. According to the 2015 Flexible Packaging Market Assessment by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, its unique benefits have made it the second largest packaging segment. The dynamic format promises huge potential for brand owners in food, beverage, pharmaceuticals and other products as it can adapt to a wide range of shapes and sizes and features innovative components. Additionally, flexible packaging offers sustainability, extended shelf life, cost savings and convenience – major factors that consumers consider before purchasing a product.

Pre-cycle over recycle

Flexible packaging is not without its own sustainability challenges. It is common knowledge that while manufacturers benefit from minimizing material use with flexible packaging, the format is less likely to be recycled. On the other hand, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pre-cycling is the preferred method of waste management because it reduces material use at its source. That is, trash is eliminated before it is even created.

The 3 R’s of sustainability stand for Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – and it is in that order for a reason. The goal is to generate the minimum amount of waste possible in households and businesses.

Flexing convenience and functionality

Many new product developments have helped demonstrate the potential of flexible packaging. For example, Bemis Co. was recently honored at the 60th Annual Flexible Packaging Awards for its self-venting retort pouch, developed for Campbell’s Soup ready meals. The pouch allows consumers to heat up a fresh meal in 60 seconds with no cooling necessary. It is then transformed into a bowl once opened, allowing consumers to eat directly from it and significantly reducing clean up.

Moreover, as one of the most trending flexible packaging characteristics among consumers is the ability to reseal in order to extend freshness, innovations in zip and press closures is projected to support the increase in demand for the format in the coming years.

More innovation at PACK EXPO International

Packaging that offers sustainability, greater convenience and functionality can significantly strengthen brand loyalty. At PACK EXPO International 2016 (McCormick Place, Chicago; Nov 6-9), brand owners will have the opportunity to connect with the industry’s top suppliers and experts to explore novelties in packaging. The show will feature over 2,300 exhibitors throughout 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space and is expected to attract 50,000 attendees from all over the world. Three different Innovation Stages will also serve as destinations for education as exhibitors present 30-minute seminars on breakthrough technologies. Furthermore, attendees can learn how to maximize profits and sustainability at features like the Reusables Learning Center – where case studies and best practices for integrating reusables into the supply chain are presented.

To learn more about PACK EXPO International 2016, visit packexpointernational.com.


PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, represents the voice of more than 700 North American manufacturers of equipment, components and materials for processing and packaging. We work to advance a variety of industries by connecting consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through the world class PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, leading trade media and a wide range of resources to empower our members. The PACK EXPO trade shows unite the world of processing and packaging to advance the industries they serve: PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Pharma EXPO, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México, EXPO PACK Guadalajara and ProFood Tech, launching in April 2017.PMMI Media Group connects manufacturers to the latest solutions, trends and innovations in processing and packaging year-round through brands including Packaging World, Automation World, Healthcare Packaging, Contract Packaging and Packaging + Processing OEM. PMMI Business Drivers assist members in pursuing operational excellence through workforce development initiatives, deliver actionable business intelligence on economic, market and industry trends to support members’ growth strategies, and actively connect the supply chain throughout the year.

Learn more at PACKEXPO.comPMMIMediaGroup.com and PMMI.org.