The Role of Reusable and Refillable Packaging in Achieving a Sustainable Future
by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director, ThePackHub
Sustainable packaging is the main focus for innovation among brands, retailers, and suppliers. ThePackHub's Innovation Zone platform has tracked over 6,700 packaging innovations in the past six years, with 25 new entries added each week. This allows us to see current trends and predict where the market is headed. Recently, over 75% of innovation launches have been focused on sustainable packaging. Recycling and recyclable content are the most common sustainable initiatives reported.
The Innovation Zone also tracks substrate substitutions, plastic reduction, bio-material developments, and single-use packaging reductions. The desire to reduce single-use packaging and improve recycling success rates has led to an increase in refillable and reusable packaging, which now makes up 17.2% of all sustainable packaging initiatives. At the time of writing, the Innovation Zone has tracked 569 initiatives tagged as 'refillable' or 'reusable,' which is 8.9% of all entries. In 2022 so far, 14.8% of all entries have been refillable or reusable, indicating a growing trend. ThePackHub believes this trend will continue in 2023 and beyond.
One challenge for refillable and reusable packaging is making it more convenient for consumers. The industry must work to shift consumer mindsets and make them see packaging in a different way, not just as a convenience. The industry must also work to make refillable and reusable packaging appealing to a wider range of consumers, not just early adopters.
ThePackHub has recently launched its latest refillable and reusable packaging innovations covering initiatives across the beverage, consumer goods, food, health & beauty, household, industrial and pet care categories worldwide. The examples detailed are at different stages of development, with some being concepts and pilots, some still in development as well as those that are ‘launch ready’ and already introduced into the market. We also interview industry experts and include our vision of the market from ThePackHub’s resident refill and reuse expert Wayne Barron. More information here: