What are the main packaging trends taking today’s market by storm? With the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) forming the basis of the circular economy, refill packs are the new solution that responds to all these needs.
The combination of refillable containers – designed to be repeatedly refilled and reused – and refill packs, is perfect for reducing plastic, and is now becoming a familiar sight on supermarket shelves.
As an additional bonus, refill packs use less plastic, meaning they are generally cheaper for both producers and end consumers.
In this article, we look at the keys points that will affect refillable packaging over the next few years.
SUSTAINABILITY: ESSENTIAL FOR THE PACKAGING SECTOR
Recycling is a rapidly growing trend in today’s society. Some figures in recent years have shown that the public is recycling more and wants to attain a circular economy. One example is the use of the yellow bin for recycling metal and plastic in Spain, which was 8.5% higher in 2020 than in previous years . And if we go back five years, it is up by 41%.
These figures demonstrate the public’s desire for systems that promote sustainability. This means many companies are adopting strategies to reduce the amount of plastic they generate, in order to reduce their environmental impact.
It is clear that this trend is going to lead to a change in consumer habits. As customers, we are used to buying liquid products (shampoo, gel, laundry detergent, conditioner, etc.) in rigid containers that we dispose of after use before buying new ones.
This new trend, however, provides the option of buying a flexible pack to refill the initial rigid container. We can reuse it simply by refilling it.
Flexible packaging has several advantages, including being lighter to carry home and cheaper, as using less plastic brings the price down. This is a competitive advantage in times like these when consumers are trying to reduce the cost of their shopping basket.
THINNER PACKAGING: ONE OF THE BEST SOLUTIONS FOR REFILL PACKS
When choosing a supplier of refill packs, it is important to ensure they can provide materials with the same properties as their rigid counterparts, without compromising the preservation and characteristics of the product inside. The packaging also has to be sustainable.
Following these guidelines means packaging can be designed to be recycled, as well as adapted appropriately to the product. It also reduces the environmental impact as it contains less plastic.
Some great examples of flexible materials for creating thin packaging are PE HB ECO and PE ECO. As well as having high-barrier properties and being tough, PE HB ECO is highly recyclable. Being a monomaterial, PE ECO is eco-friendly and is ideal for products that do not require a barrier.
These materials can be used in many industries, particularly for personal hygiene products, such as gels and shampoos, as well as for washing powder and cleaning products.
In fact, some of the best examples of refill packs are those used for household products, many of which use flexible solutions for refill packs to refill rigid containers. However, they can also be used in the food sector for sauces.
MAJOR BRANDS THAT USE REFILL PACKS
Given all these advantages, it’s not strange to see examples of large companies that have made the move to refill packs. A recent example of a product that has made good use of this type of packaging is HAAN’s hand sanitiser gel .
The use of this hand sanitiser has skyrocketed in recent years, so shops and supermarkets are now offering refill packs of gel to allow customers to refill the small bottles they use at home. These packs are not only flexible and easy to use and transport, but they are also cheaper for consumers.
In the cosmetics industry there are examples of them being used by companies such as Dove and OUAI. Again, these flexible packs are a very useful alternative for consumers, who can use them to refill containers at home. These companies have developed programmes to introduce refill packs as part of a move towards sustainability and a circular economy.
SP Group continues its commitment to developing new formulations so that the materials we manufacture can be reused and remain useful for extended periods of time. For more information, read all about our sustainable packaging.