Sustainable Packaging Market Size to Reach USD 490.73 Bn by 2032

The global sustainable packaging market size was valued at USD 276.08 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach around USD 490.73 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 6.6% between 2023 and 2032.

Ottawa, March 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global sustainable packaging market size is calculated at USD 293.19 billion in 2024 and is projected to surpass around USD 429.02 billion by 2030, a study published by Towards Packaging a sister firm of Precedence Research.

Report Highlights: Important Revelations

  • Pioneering sustainable packaging development in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Emergence of North America as a key player in sustainable packaging innovation.
  • Paper holds dominance as the leading material in sustainable packaging.
  • Evolution of sustainable packaging: bags leading the way.
  • Growing importance of reusable packaging in today's sustainable packaging landscape.

Sustainable packaging is the use of environmentally friendly materials to package, store, distribute, or display products. Sustainable packaging incorporates materials with a low environmental impact throughout their existence. This strategy entails employing environmentally friendly and renewable materials, reducing waste, and lowering carbon emissions connected with packaging manufacturing, transportation, and disposal. The entire weight of packaging was 3.6 million tonnes in 2022.

Unsurprisingly, more businesses are switching from plastic-based packaging to eco-friendly, plastic-free alternatives, as 76% of consumers actively seek sustainable items to fulfill their eco-friendly pledges. Flexible packaging was utilised in 29.88 million tonnes globally in 2023. The demand for high-performance, low waste packaging is now much more pressing, given the sharp rise in online shopping and e-commerce delivery.

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The primary purpose is to protect the product while also minimizing the environmental impact of its packaging. Packaging can achieve sustainability through a variety of means, including the use of recycled materials, the implementation of reusable packaging to extend its lifespan, and the adoption of production practices with low environmental impact. Sustainable packaging procedures have various benefits, including reduced waste, lower carbon emissions, and a better reputation for organizations that adopt eco-friendly strategies.

Sustainability goals extend to packaging, which accounts for $1 trillion in global spending each year. According to studies, these promises focus on three major areas: prioritizing full recyclability and a significant increase in recycled materials (60% of commitments), reducing overall plastic usage (26%), and encouraging innovation to promote packaging usage changes (14%).

Sustainable packaging also comes with problems and constraints, such as more excellent material and production costs, more efficient recycling and waste management systems, and potential implications for packaged items' quality and safety. Sustainable packaging has gained popularity as a realistic approach for reducing the environmental impact of product packaging over its entire lifecycle. With a growing population and more consumer knowledge of environmental issues, India enthusiastically embraces this trend. This study investigates the many types of sustainable packaging used in India, performing a thorough market analysis and forecasting future trends.

For Instance,

  • In December 2022, introduced Greenpackt, a novel approach to packaging that employs only recyclable materials, streamlines production, ensures humidity resistance, protects children's safety, and reduces the carbon footprint of each package created by the equivalent of about 4 million young trees in a year.

Sustainable Packaging Market Trends 

  • Increasing trend for packaging materials that biodegrade spontaneously, minimizing packaging waste's environmental impact.
  • Trending lightweight packaging materials, eliminating unnecessary layers, and adopting minimalist designs to reduce material consumption and transportation-related emissions.
  • Sustainable packaging materials include edible packaging, films made from seaweed, and mushroom-based packaging.
  • Increased use of e-commerce and packaging solutions that minimize waste while safeguarding goods during transportation is required.

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Leading the Charge of Asia Pacific's Role in Sustainable Packaging Development

The Asia Pacific region is leading in the development of the sustainable packaging industry due to growing concerns about sustainability, especially in Asia's developing countries. Comprehending the viewpoint of consumers is crucial for packaging enterprises seeking to leverage the rapidly expanding expansion potential in this area. Asia's position as the primary growing market for packaging solutions has been cemented as China has surpassed the US to become the most significant global packaging market.  With the increasing use of packaging materials in Asia, there is also a rise in the ecological footprint due to significant packaging material leakage into the environment. The fact that there needs to be more infrastructure for recycling and waste collection to keep up with the rapid increase in demand for packaging materials exacerbates this situation.

China, India, and Indonesia are the three rapidly developing Asian economies that have the most influence over the development of the sustainable packaging industry. Customers in these nations are more conscious of and concerned about sustainability issues, and they are also more prepared to pay for products that are better for the environment. Compared to consumers in other countries, they place comparatively less emphasis on waste generation and instead focus primarily on air and water pollution.

For Instance,

  • In August 2023, Amcor, a leader in the global field of developing and producing sustainable packaging solutions, said it has expanded its presence in the rapidly increasing Indian market by acquiring Phoenix Flexibles.

Manufacturers, merchants, and legislators of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) have united in their attempts to reduce packaging waste due to increasing pressure. Even with these efforts, there is still a noticeable level of consumer anxiety; respondents from China, India, and Indonesia exhibit the most significant concern worldwide. Interestingly, this worry has grown since the COVID-19 outbreak, highlighting how vital sustainable packaging practices are in the current socioeconomic environment.

For Instance,

  • In October 2023, compostable packaging solutions producer Pakka Limited (formerly Yash Pakka Limited) unveiled India's first flexible compostable packaging. In keeping with pakka's emphasis on sustainability, the partnership with Brawny Bear, an Indian leader in date-based food processing.

North America has emerged as the second most important region in the sustainable packaging arena. Consumer opinions of sustainable packaging have evolved significantly. Before the pandemic, there was a notable increase in public awareness of the environmental impact of packing materials. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses and retailers actively committed to sustainable packaging techniques, while regulatory agencies took decisive action to address the issue.

For Instance,

  • In January 2024, Mondi plc (Mondi), a leading global producer of environmentally friendly packaging and paper, successfully acquired the Hinton Pulp plant in Alberta, Canada.

The United Nations highlights a frightening reality: if the global population hits 9.6 billion by 2050, the resources equivalent to roughly three planets will be required to support existing lifestyles. This emphasizes the necessity and relevance of adopting sustainable practices across various packaging industries. Packaging recycling prevents the production of greenhouse gases during the decomposition process in landfills, increases the life of a priceless natural resource, and decreases the quantity of waste dumped there. In the US, 50% of packaging made of all materials gets recycled.

The increasing significance of sustainability considerations in consumer purchasing decisions. As awareness grows and consumers become more discerning about the environmental impact of products, the demand for sustainable packaging solutions is expected to continue its upward trajectory in North America and beyond. Consequently, businesses and regulatory bodies must prioritize sustainability initiatives to meet evolving consumer preferences and address pressing environmental challenges.

For Instance,

  • In January 2023, Print & Pack, a leader in the sustainable packaging sector, announced its official launch, ushering in a new age of eco-friendly packaging solutions for small businesses and environmentally concerned brands across North America.

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Sustainable Packaging Market, DRO


  • Growing consumer concern over the effects of packaging materials on the environment is fueling the demand for sustainable substitutes.


  • The expense of switching from conventional packaging materials to sustainable substitutes is one of the primary barriers to sustainable packaging in the market.


  • Smart packaging materials can be made using plant-based polymers, bio-based plastics, and cutting-edge recycling techniques.

Paper Reigns Supreme Leading Material in Sustainable Packaging

Paper is the dominant material in the sustainable packaging sector. Paperboard cardboard stands out as an excellent example of sustainable packaging. Crafted from recycled paper pulp, it is lightweight, easily shaped, and cut, making it an ideal choice for shipping boxes. Consumers choose paper-based packaging because of its eco-friendliness, such as recyclability and compostability, as well as practical benefits, such as storage convenience. Glass packaging is praised for its reusability and ability to protect items, making it a popular choice among customers. In contrast, plastic packaging does not rank first for any attribute, showing a lower consumer preference.

For Instance,

  • In February 2024, the UK-based manufacturer of paper and board, Mondi plc, will be getting ready for a possible takeover offer for another UK-based manufacturer of paperboard and packaging, DS Smith plc.

Based on consumer preferences, packaging made of paper and cardboard stands out as the most sustainable option. Features that make paper-based packaging more appealing to consumers include its ease of recycling, environmental friendliness, and home compostability.

Recycle rates for cardboard and paper packaging are remarkable; 88% of cardboard and 73% of paper packaging are recycled. Despite this, a significant myth persists among consumers: 41% think that more than 50% of paper packaging in the United States is recycled.

The widespread acceptance and use of paperboard cardboard as a sustainable packaging option demonstrates its importance in resolving environmental concerns while meeting consumer desires. As customers prioritize sustainability in their purchase decisions, the demand for eco-friendly packaging materials such as paperboard cardboard is expected to rise further.

For Instance,

  • In March 2023, the new packaging for AEG and Electrolux small appliances will be made of paper and recycled materials and will use 70% less ink, according to the Electrolux Group.

Bags Are Shaping the Future of Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable bags have emerged as the leading product in sustainable packaging, attracting customers and retailers from various industries. These bags are strong and dependable shopping companions, whether for food, clothes, electronics, or decorative items, and they provide significant environmental benefits.

Paper bags, in particular, have attracted attention for their adaptability and resilience in transporting a wide range of things while easily enduring transportation problems. Their outstanding performance is due to the high quality of the material and the bag's construction. Paper bags are made from pure kraft paper and built explicitly for demanding packaging demands. They have long natural fibers that give mechanical solid strength. The use of glue and the skillful fabrication of handles improve the longevity of these bags.

Sustainable bags have a much lower global warming potential than low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Furthermore, these bags biodegrade in a relatively short time, usually two to five months, helping promote environmental sustainability. Using natural water-based colors for printing and starch-based adhesives enhances their eco-friendliness, ensuring they do not harm the environment.

Paper bags are not only environmentally friendly, but they also function as valuable marketing tools. According to research, a substantial majority of passersby, around 85%, notice messages printed on paper bags they come across on the street. 80% of consumers think companies printed on paper bags are more appealing and engaging, indicating the opportunity for brands to use sustainable packaging to improve their image and successfully communicate with their target audience.

In the world of sustainable packaging, paper bags, in particular, are becoming increasingly popular because they offer a pleasing balance between environmental responsibility, practicality, and marketing effectiveness.

For Instance,

  • In October 2023, Walker, dubbed the "favorite" crisp brand, introduced new paper outer bags for its Walkers Baked multipacks.

Prominence of Reusable Packaging in Today's Sustainable Packaging

Reusable packaging is a comprehensive system of containers, crates, pallets, or other packing materials precisely constructed to withstand several uses throughout its lifecycle rather than being discarded after only one. These creative solutions are made from long-lasting materials like plastic, glass, metal, or composites, ensuring their resilience and utility. The global market for reusable packaging has grown dramatically, with a projected value of $107 billion by 2023. This increase in demand reflects the recognition of the environmental imperative and the preference for sustainable operations among global enterprises. Environmental responsibility has become a non-negotiable goal for businesses looking to reduce their ecological footprint and embrace sustainable practices in today's quickly changing business landscape. In this context, reusable packaging has emerged as an essential approach for mitigating the negative environmental implications of traditional single-use packaging technologies.

For Instance,

  • In December 2022, Kickbag GmbH was acquired by Swiss Post, advancing eco-friendly packaging. Swiss Post is committed to promoting sustainable packaging alternatives and has set high sustainability targets.

Reusable packaging, which allows for the reuse of packaging materials, provides a realistic and effective method to reduce waste generation and resource consumption throughout the supply chain. Reusable packaging saves necessary resources by eliminating the need for frequent disposal and replacement and reducing pollution and garbage accumulation in landfills and the ocean. Reusable packaging solutions contribute to a circular economy in which materials are continuously cycled, reused, and repurposed rather than discarded after a single use. This disruptive packaging method is consistent with the overarching aims of sustainability and resource efficiency, resulting in a more responsible and resilient business ecosystem.

For Instance,

  • In 2022, Nestle achieved a % recyclability or reusability rate of 85.8% for its total packaging production. Additionally, 6% of their packaging was crafted from recycled and renewable materials.

Pallets, reusable plastic containers (RPCs), handheld crates (like totes, trays, and bins), tanks, drums, barrels, dunnage and other cargo protection, carts, dollies, racks, and liners are just a few of the many packaging types that are used. Unit-load-sized containers like intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and complete--, half-, or quarter-pallet-sized bins are also used. All varieties of returnable transport packaging (RTP) are essential to improving the economic and environmental value of the supply chains in which they are used.

Reusable packaging demonstrates the potential for new solutions to address today's serious environmental concerns. As businesses recognize the importance of sustainability, adopting reusable packaging is expected to rise further, producing beneficial environmental consequences and fostering a more sustainable future for future generations.

For Instance,

  • In December 2022, PepsiCo declared a global packaging objective to increase the proportion of beverage servings it sells from 10% to 20% by 2030 in the proportion of beverage servings provided through reusable models.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the sustainable packaging market is dominated by established industry giants such as Amcor Plc, WestRock LLC, Berry Global Inc, Huhtamaki Oyj, Detmold Group, Pactiv LLC, DS Smith Plc, International Paper Company, Smurfit Kappa Group PLC and Genpak LLC. These giants compete with upstart direct-to-consumer firms that use digital platforms to gain market share. Key competitive characteristics include product innovation, sustainable practices, and the ability to respond to changing consumer tastes.

Amcor and industry leaders highlight sustainable opportunities and illustrate real-world commitments that benefit businesses and the environment. Amcor has vowed to make all their packaging recyclable or reused by 2025.

Westrock innovates to help customers achieve their sustainability goals and succeed in the market. They set science-based goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, serving natural resources, and working for complete safety. Become the employer of choice. Through these and other activities, we hope to help businesses, customers, team members, investors, and communities realize the promise of a sustainable future.

For Instance,

  • In September 2023, Westrock has been recognized in Newsweek's America's Most Responsible Companies, Barron's 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies, and North America's Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year running.

Berry Global provides ideal solutions adapted to your company's sustainability requirements, regardless of the manufacturing process. We have the manufacturing capability to serve different markets for any customer of any size, including injection molding, extrusion, and nonwoven technologies.

Browse More Insights of Towards Packaging:

  • The global metal packaging market size was at USD 126.95 billion in 2022 to hit an estimated USD 185.21 billion by 2032, registering at a 3.9% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global sachet packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 8.89 billion in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 15.2 billion by 2032, at 5.5% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global seaweed packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 491.2 million in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 952.76 million by 2032, at 6.9% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global cold chain packaging market size was at USD 24.86 billion in 2022 to reach around USD 72.83 billion by 2032, registering at a 11.3% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global aluminium foil packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 35.23 billion in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 56.57 billion by 2032, registering at a 4.9% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global tobacco packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 15.37 billion in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 21.05 billion by 2032, registering at a 3.2 % CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global seafood packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 13.95 billion in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 24.31 billion by 2032, at 5.7% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global green packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 303.83 billion in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 510.93 billion by 2032, at 5.3% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global pet food packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 11.38 billion in 2022 to set a foot on USD 22.08 billion by 2032, at 6.9% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The packaging 4.0 market incorporates innovative technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain into packaging solutions to improve functionality, efficiency, and sustainability across the product lifecycle.

Sustainable Packaging Market Players

Amcor Plc, WestRock LLC, Berry Global Inc, Huhtamaki Oyj, Detmold Group, Pactiv LLC, DS Smith Plc, International Paper Company, Smurfit Kappa Group PLC and Genpak LLC.

Market Segments

By Material

  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Others

By Packaging Type

  • Bags
  • Boxes
  • Trays
  • Pouches
  • Bottles

By Process

  • Reuseable Packaging
  • Recycled Packaging
  • Compostable Packaging
  • Biodegradable Packaging

By End Use

  • Asia Pacific
  • North America
  • Europe

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About Us

Towards Packaging is a leading global consulting firm specializing in providing comprehensive and strategic research solutions. With a highly skilled and experienced consultant team, we offer a wide range of services designed to empower businesses with valuable insights and actionable recommendations. We stay abreast of the latest industry trends and emerging markets to provide our clients with an unrivalled understanding of their respective sectors. We adhere to rigorous research methodologies, combining primary and secondary research to ensure accuracy and reliability. Our data-driven approach and advanced analytics enable us to unearth actionable insights and make informed recommendations. We are committed to delivering excellence in all our endeavours. Our dedication to quality and continuous improvement has earned us the trust and loyalty of clients worldwide.

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