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Compostable packaging market hits $197.85 billion by 2032

Source:Towards Packaging Release Date:2024-02-28 157
Plastics & RubberFood & BeveragePackaging Equipment & Materials Packaging
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The surge in compostable packaging is driven by multinational firms' increased emphasis on sustainability, fueled by rising consumer awareness and governmental efforts, according to Towards Packaging

Compostable packaging, made from a combination of recycled and plant-based materials, is emerging as a strategic option for large firms looking to improve their environmental credentials while directly tackling the issue of single-use plastic packaging. This surge is driven by multinational firms' increased emphasis on sustainability, fueled by rising consumer awareness and governmental efforts like the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive.

Compostable packaging has a better end-of-life performance because microorganisms can break down it into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic chemicals, and biomass, which can be used as a natural fertilizer for agriculture. This breakdown process occurs at a rate equivalent to other organic materials and is usually accompanied by a timescale, commonly around 180 days. Compostable packaging is a sustainable solution for end-of-life disposal without leaving behind persistent environmental contamination. Packaging materials from renewable resources or waste products are remarkable since they adhere more closely to circular economy concepts.





Growing public awareness of environmental issues and the need for sustainable packaging solutions were driving substantial expansion in the compostable packaging market. The world is slowly realising the full potential of alternate packaging solutions, particularly compostable ones.


The compostable packaging market was valued at USD 88.73 billion in 2022 is projected to hit USD 197.85 billion by 2032. This growth is expected to occur at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.4% from 2023 to 2032.


Compostable packaging market trends

  • Continuous research in material science is broadening the spectrum of compostable packaging choices
  • Numerous compostable packaging materials are manufactured from renewable resources such as plant-based polymers, starches, or cellulose, in contrast to traditional plastics from petroleum-based sources.
  • Compostable packaging, composed of renewable resources and decomposes into organic matter through composting, provides a sustainable substitute for conventional plastic packaging.
  • Compared to traditional plastics, compostable packaging usually has a lower carbon footprint, especially if made with sustainable production methods and renewable resources.


Europe dominance in compostable packaging innovation



Europe is the leading region in the compostable packaging industry, owing to growing consumer awareness of the environmental effects of their purchasing decisions. This transition is seen in studies showing that more than half of European consumers are willing to invest more in sustainable items. As a result, global firms must embrace and invent eco-friendly packaging solutions that break the cycle of trash disposal.


No packaging was the preferred option, but only by a slight margin, with just over half of respondents preferring flexible packaging. Some European countries, including Italy, Spain (Cataluña), Norway, Austria, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg, have a long history of using compostable bioplastic bags for bio-waste collection. However, Germany and the Netherlands have lower acceptance levels among biological recycling facility operators. This disparity reflects attitudes and behaviours towards compostable packaging adoption between EU member states.

For Instance,

  • In November 2021, TIPA introduced T. LAM 608, which it describes as a certified, transparent laminate that may be disposed of in household compost bins.

Compostable packaging's potential in the United States is hampered by a lack of infrastructure for successfully managing food and organic waste. According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition's report "Understanding the Role of compostable packaging in North America," only 27% of the US population has access to food waste composting programs, with an even smaller fraction (11%) able to divert compostable packaging away from landfills and into composting facilities. Only 15% of composting facilities in the United States accept some biodegradable packaging. While 55% of these facilities only accept green garbage, such as yard waste and agricultural leftovers, about 45% receive food waste in addition to other biodegradable materials. Approximately 29% of facilities accept food trash, with another 15% accepting packaging materials and food waste.





Embracing compostable packaging in Food and Beverage

The food and beverage industry are a prominent adopter of compostable packaging among the different sectors pushing its expansion. Food and beverage firms are increasingly looking for compostable packaging solutions to lessen their environmental impact as customer tastes and the focus on sustainability expand. Products packaged in compostable materials are becoming increasingly popular among consumers who value eco-friendly solutions, ranging from gourmet beverages to organic snacks. Corporate sustainability objectives and regulatory pressures are pushing this change in addition to consumer demand. Food and beverage producers are spending money on R&D to create smart packaging materials that can preserve the freshness and quality of their products while also being compostable.


For Instance,

  • In May 2023, Compostable EcoPods were introduced by Peace Coffee. The plant-based,  biodegradable pods are offered via PeaceCoffee.com and Amazon.com.


Imperative of compostable packaging in environmental sustainability

Compostable packaging is vital in supply chains due to the environmental problems caused by conventional packaging materials, especially plastics. The issue of plastic pollution is a significant worry, as traditional plastic packaging plays a major role in the growth of plastic trash. This garbage endangers wildlife, contaminates water supplies, penetrates ecosystems, and harms people's health. The persistent nature of plastics, which may withstand decades in the environment without naturally disintegrating, makes these problems even more challenging.


Conventional packaging materials, like plastics, take up a lot of room in landfills, which puts increasing pressure on their limited capacity. Compostable packaging materials provide a workable answer by reducing the load on landfill space by providing an eco-friendly substitute that can be composted. Using flexible packaging, such as compostable films, is essential for promoting circularity and reducing waste. Using compostable materials derived from renewable resources makes it easier to move towards a circular economy where resources are used for extended periods.


Compostable goods help cut greenhouse gas emissions and are consistent with environmental goals. Compared to conventional polymers, the production of biodegradable materials usually requires less fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions. By utilizing compostable packaging, businesses may actively contribute to climate change mitigation and advancing a more sustainable, carbon-neutral supply chain.

Report source: https://www.towardspackaging.com/insights/compostable-packaging-market-sizing

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