Sean Cairns, general manager Europe, Sonoco – Consumer Products The simple answer is ‘rigid paper’. With rising metal prices, and the need to find more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions, manufacturers and customers are increasingly looking at rigid paper as a viable alternative. This is not to suggest that rigid paper will necessarily replace metal or indeed plastics containers, all of which have their place, but rather that manufacturers are steadily overcoming existing prejudices towards rigid paper.
James Crick, business development director, Nampak Plastics I would love to have a crystal ball to predict what 2012 holds in terms of packaging technology developments. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on a much greater emphasis on enhancing existing technologies to achieve Defra’s proposed new packaging recycling targets, rather than major investment in new technologies. Reduction in weight and its carbon implications will be key in 2012, so any new technology needs to help achieve both these objectives.
Nick Verebelyi, director, Equals Design There remains a lot of opportunity to close the gap between what packs do to protect products but fail to do for their consumers. Packs that need potentially lethal measures to get into them, such as blister-packed wire-tied toys, or fail half way through their life or packs that demand more effort to use than running a marathon. It’s not for lack of technologies or inventiveness – its just business complacency and the failure to realise that these things do matter in the battle to win consumers’ hearts and minds.
Kevin Vyse, founder, KBV Consultants First will be digital carton printing, where there will be tighter control over stock and lower minimum orders to make it cost effective. Some years back I gave a paper to the printing industry and asked the 200 strong audience what they thought they would be doing 10 years time. None of the answers included electronics but this now is the way it is. Digital is fast overtaking traditional methods of print. Second will be the introduction and growth of reclaimed plastic bottle banks for fuel, as is being championed by Sita.