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2023 Packaging Review: Acquisitions, Sustainability, Innovation

2023 Packaging Recap | INNORHINO
2023 was a transformative year for the packaging industry, marked by strategic acquisitions, sustainability initiatives, innovative trends at key expos, AI and automation advances, fiber-based packaging developments, and regulatory changes in the EU.

As we step into 2024, let’s take a peek at the major highlights from the packaging scene. The year 2023 was bustling with significant events and trends that left a lasting mark on the industry’s landscape. Join us on this blog post adventure as we dive into these pivotal moments together.

Strategic Acquisitions and Divestitures

Early in the year, Stora Enso acquired De Jong Packaging Group for €1.02 billion, significantly expanding its presence in the European packaging markets. This acquisition increased Stora Enso’s influence in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the UK. Additionally, Stora Enso sold its paper production site in Maxau, Germany, for around €210 million, demonstrating a strategic focus in streamlining operations. Sealed Air’s acquisition of Liquibox for $1.15 billion in February marked another significant deal, highlighting the industry’s consolidation trend

Sustainability and Circular Economy Focus

2023 Packaging Review - Sustainable Packaging Summit 2023 | INNORHONO

Image source: Packaging Europe

The Sustainable Packaging Summit 2023 emphasized the need for collaboration and harmonized guidelines across Europe to achieve true circularity in packaging. The discussion highlighted the challenges in balancing rigid recycling criteria with the protection of the Single Market and the need for enhanced recycling processes.

Innovations and Trends at Pack Expo 2023

Pack Expo 2023 showcased sustainability as a dominant theme. Innovations like Scrapp’s consumer-facing app for recycling, Evowave’s edible seaweed-based cups, and Paperfoam’s injection-molded products were notable highlights. The event also emphasized the growing trend of ‘fiberization’ in packaging, with companies like WestRock and 3M presenting paper-based solutions like WetTech corrugated board and Scotch Cushion Lock.

AI and Automation in Packaging

2023 Packaging Review - Amazon AI Optimized Packaging | INNORHINO

Image source: Amazon Science

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have become crucial in the packaging industry. For instance, Amazon has used AI to significantly reduce cardboard waste by optimizing packaging sizes. This technology is increasingly being used for sustainable material selection and production line efficiency.

EU Regulations on Packaging Waste

The EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive underwent significant revisions, aiming to make all packaging on the EU market reusable or recyclable by 2030. A notable target is the reduction of packaging waste by 15% per capita by 2040, compared to 2018 levels. These revisions are pivotal in shaping the industry’s sustainability and waste management practices

Advances in Fiber-Based Packaging

2023 Packaging Review - Releaf Paper | INNORHINO

Image source: Releaf Paper

Ukrainian start-up Releaf Paper developed a process for turning cellulose fibers from fallen leaves into paper packaging products, receiving a €2.5 million grant from the European Commission. This advancement is part of a broader trend towards paper-based packaging solutions, with companies like Paboco and Stora Enso innovating in this space.

In summary, 2023 was a transformative year for the packaging industry, marked by strategic acquisitions, sustainability initiatives, innovative trends at key expos, AI and automation advances, regulatory changes in the EU, and fiber-based packaging developments. These events and trends not only reflect the dynamic nature of the packaging industry but also its commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Partnering with experts who speak packaging professionally

At INNORHINO, we have a team of experienced packaging specialists, designers, and in-house engineers who are dedicated to elevating your brand to the next level. We provide innovative packaging solutions that cater to your needs. Interested in collaborating with us? Send us an email at hello@innorhino.com!


This article is written by: Sharon Y. Yu – INNORHINO Design Team
Image source: INNORHINO, unsplash, pexels 

#packagingindustry #2023review #packagingnews

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