Clearly consumers are anxious about packaging volumes. As retailers such as Marks & Spencer come under fire for the level of packaging on their shelves, such concerns need to be taken seriously if businesses are to protect their brands and reputations.
Many packaging companies are developing alternatives to much of the packaging seen on the retail shelf. Bio-based films are certainly worth considering as they can provide not only the protection required by food products, but also the ability to incorporate high-quality printed designs, generating that all-important shelf appeal. The ability to promote the use of such packaging, as well as the use of plastics derived from non-fossil fuels, offers a way for consumers to have the best of both worlds - product protection and integrity without the guilt. Other alternatives exist in the use and promotion of recyclable and energy recoverable options or by simply reducing the volume of packaging used, perhaps a barrier film pouch without the addition of a box as well.
As we move further into a carbon and waste-conscious future, packaging concerns will certainly need to be addressed. However, through continued packaging development there are solutions to these problems and while we are likely to see less extravagant packaging on retail shelves, it is bound to be innovative and creative.