Sustainability is the key word

According to the Collins Dictionary the word “single-use” was the word of the year in 2018. The word/term means “made to be used once only”. This term is closely associated with the plastic pollution crisis that we face today. In 2018 many of the packaging trends was to move away from single-use plastic packaging by widespread bans and reductions on single-use plastic items. Consumers are also expecting to see food packaging that is more socially responsible and sustainable which in turn motivates the manufacturers to develop eco-friendly options. From 2014 studies (Source: SA Food Review) found that 81% of millennials wanted the companies they buy from to support sustainable and ethically-minded businesses. Another factor that plays a part in moving towards sustainable packaging is the reality of the banning of or penalties on non-sustainable packaging. After November 2016 California State (USA) set the trend to ban plastic bags from major retail stores. This has become a worldwide trend on a legislative platform supporting less in plastic and single-use materials and more in recycling and sustainable food packaging.

Boosting a circular economy

Packaging options that include recyclable, biodegradable, compostable and even reusable material are gaining momentum in the market place. This type of packaging material supports the cradle to cradle concept where the raw material is processed, consumed, recycled and returned back to nature.

Consumers are also expecting brands and retailers to show their social responsibility by reducing their carbon footprint. By 2030 Coca Cola wants to collect and recycle one bottle or can for each it sells. Investors in companies are also demanding the choice of packaging to reflect social responsibility of the brand or retailer.

Landfill sites are under pressure due to lack of space or incorrect management and as a result will have negative effects on the environment. Sustainable packaging will divert the waste load to landfills and boost the development of circular economies. A prime example is plant-based packaging made from PLA. The increase in the production of PLA resin from which bioplastic products are made plays a crucial role in a circular economy. PLA products can be chemically or mechanically recycled or composted.

‘Transitioning to a circular economy for all packaging through models such as refillables, take-back schemes and increasing the use of recycled content would not only align businesses with emerging consumer preferences but also drive decarbonisation benefits ” (Source: Christie Clarke, analyst at CDP).

Innovative Packaging

Innovation is likely to set the pace of change as creative ideas evolve to manage future food packaging. Companies worldwide are looking at new ways to develop food packaging that decreases environmental damage and still maintains a good shelf life which limits food waste.

There is a trend towards healthier and organic grown foods and with this the consumer wants healthier packaging. In a survey (Source: Evergreen Packaging) the majority of shoppers buying natural and organic products agree that the producers need to use alternatives to plastic packaging.

Important factors for the consumer are the following, is the packaging recyclable, or from renewable or plant-based material.


Multi-cup Solutions, as a well-established food and beverage packaging supplier in the South African market, made the responsible decision to add a new range of environmentally friendly products to their extensive product list. As an alternative to the mainstream packaging Multi-cup Solutions offers a selection of PLA clear cups with lids, paper cups with PLA sip lids and bagasse meal boxes. Multi-cup Solutions noted the high demand for paper straws in the market place and has added white and black wrapped paper straws in different sizes to the stock range.

At Multi-cup Solutions we are definitely following the packaging trends and are aware of the demands from the environmentally conscious consumer.

For more information on our full range of recyclable and enviro friendly food and beverage packaging contact us on 011 058 4200.