Happy New Year! We hope you had a great Christmas and are ready for the new opportunities and challenges that the next 12 months may bring.

To help you plan your packaging activities, we put together five packaging trends to watch out for in 2019.

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle
The impact of waste on the environment has been a hot topic for some time and we believe it will remain the top trend as discussions about reducing packaging waste and improving sustainability continue into 2019.

Recent research by an eco-cleaning products brand Ecover has revealed that British customers are becoming increasingly concerned for the environment and the effects plastics have on the oceans and wildlife.

Two third of us (60%) recycle at home as often as we can, however, there’s still some confusion around what can and cannot be recycled as far as packaging is concerned.

Retailers and manufacturers can help customers by including clearer recycling information on the packaging and switching to packaging solutions that are eco-friendly and sustainable. They can also:

  • reduce the amount of packaging they use to minimise packaging waste
  • use packaging that can be reused in the future for returns or other purposes, optimising its life span
  • consider packaging solutions that are recyclable and / or made from recycled materials

2. Less is more
A recent unboxing survey from Macfarlane Packaging has found that almost 24% of parcels received from online retailers in the UK arrive overpacked. This can be a serious problem as overpacking generates unnecessary packaging waste and leaves customers with excess packaging to get rid of.

Research shows that British public is concerned about packaging waste and its impact on the environment but believes it is the goods producers, retailers and the government who should be responsible for reducing it.

Show customers you care about their concerns by using only as much packaging as it’s necessary to protect your products. Begin by reviewing your packaging – Do you send tiny items in big boxes and fill voids with excess cushioning? Is there another packaging solution that could be used to ship your items more effectively?

Smaller, optimised packages not only creates less packaging waste, but also looks smarter and helps save on material costs and courier charges. They are also less likely to burst in transit (due to excessive cushioning), offering better protection of your products. Remember, when it comes to packaging, less is often more.

3. Packaging automation
Where labour may be in short supply, an option for your packaging could be to automate some of your processes and let machines do the work for you. This will help ensure consistency, reduce the time it takes to pack each item and free up existing staff to concentrate on other tasks.

There are different automation options available, depending on your budget and needs, and you can automate pretty much everything from your boxes, bags and cushioning to tape, stretch wrap and strapping.

Visit our packaging automation page to see different options available, discover how they work and what benefits they can offer.

4. The High Street crisis
Sales figures from the British High Street have been in decline for some time and the latest Black Friday figures unfortunately don’t give reassurance about its future.

Retail sales in November reached its lowest level since the 2008 recession (down by 3.2%), as more and more customers prefer to shop online.

Make sure your packaging is eCommerce optimised to ensure your products arrive with customers in their best condition and offer a memorable unboxing experience. Packaging that is easy to open, easy to recycle and can be used for returns will help impress your customers, helping to build strong brand loyalty and ensure future purchases.

5. Eco-friendly packaging
We’ve been receiving more and more enquiries from customers asking about sustainable packaging solutions and ways to make their packaging operations “greener”.

Environmerntally-friendly packaging will be one of the top trends in 2019, as customers are becoming more concerned for the environment and the impact of packaging on our planet.

At Macfarlane Packaging, we can help you find the best, most cost-effective packaging solutions for your products and improve your existing packaging process to ensure your operation runs as smoothly as possible.

Contact us today to discuss your packaging requirements.

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