Flexible packaging - gusseted pouchesI was lucky enough to attend the Global Pouch Forum West, an industry event focused on flexible packaging pouches, in December in Anaheim. As an industry, flexible packaging is making the right strides and doing a good job of understanding our global impact and footprint, BUT we can and must do better.

It was enlightening to find out that flexible packaging pouches makes up a very small, minute part of the overall landfill mound.  Most of the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions from landfills are directly related to food waste, therefore there is an opportunity for packaging and consumer as the packaging needs to offer longer shelf life and the consumer needs to maximize their buying power more efficiently.

Resin Suppliers Working on Recycling

Resin suppliers like Dow Chemical are working on recyclable opportunities.  The raw material film suppliers like Jindal Films are working on down gauging opportunities with same overall performance.  Brand Owners like Trader Joe’s are demanding the utilization of these upstream opportunities from converters like us.  Coalitions like SPC are creating awareness and education.  Millennials, such as me are impatient and demanding, and at the same time more than willing to spend a little more if I know I am reducing my carbon footprint potential.  Legislation is clearly still behind.  And as a result from all these changes the flexible packaging industry as a whole is evolving.  We are flexible after all.

The spirit and buzz was positive.  A couple of presenters showed the same exponential trend projections from 5 years ago for the next 5 years as more and more rigid business morphs to flexible packaging.  And due to this trend there was a lot of talk around flexible packaging with fitments, spouts and rigid component hybrids with the evolutionary element of ever increased speeds and machine efficiencies.

It is very exciting participating in an event such as the Global Pouch Forum representing Label Technology knowing how far along we are as a culture and trail blazing pioneer, as well as, knowing that where our growth opportunities arise are not out of reach.

Want to learn more about how flexible packaging supports provides a sustainable solution? Download Flexible Packaging Case Studies.

Dan Blackburn, Technical Director for Label Technology