Here are the trends expected to influence sustainable packaging in the coming year.

A recent article on took an in-depth look at the packaging trends that are likely to affect manufacturers in 2022. Here are six trends they said to watch out for!

Extended Producer Responsibility – The concept of extended producer responsibility, or EPR, has been established in other parts of the world for a while, but it just became widespread in the U.S. in 2021. It means that manufacturers are required by law (on a state-by-state basis) to help fund the collection and processing of their packaging, whether or not those packages are traditionally recyclable. Oregon and Maine already passed such laws, and New York, Washington, and California are considering them. They are expected to move on them in 2022, as are Vermont and Connecticut. Requiring package producers to contribute to the recycling or responsible disposal of their packaging will be a growing trend in the coming year.

Laws to Enforce Truth in Labeling – Consumers often look for labels that reflect whether packaging is recyclable or biodegradable, but the truth is there is usually no real standard for or enforcement of those claims. Deceptively labeled packages are fooling consumers and contributing to contamination in the recycling chain. Laws aimed at solving this problem and clarifying recycling-related packaging claims are expected to emerge in 2022.

Action to Get Toxins Out of Packaging – According to an EPA study cited in the article, “The circular nature of the recycling economy may have the potential to introduce additional chemicals into products.” It issued this warning after finding greater amounts of fragrances, flame retardants, solvents, biocides and dyes in products made from recycled materials. Consumer demands for safer packaging will likely grow in 2022, particularly if these materials are found to be linked to serious health concerns

A More Holistic Approach to Packaging – Packagers are eager to move the conversation about sustainable packaging beyond more and better recycling, better single-use products, or the best material to use. Reducing overall impact of product packaging is the broader goal. According to the article, a more holistic approach means thinking about packaging not as a product, but as more of a service and designing reusable, refillable supply chains.

Slow, Steady Growth on Reuse and Refill – It’s a big change for consumers, but reusable containers are growing around the world and are expected to scale up in the United States in 2022. Reusable and/or refillable containers will soon be offered in retailers like Kroger, Walgreens, and even Burger King. Reuse and refill standards might even be included in future environmental legislation.

Accountability – The coming year is going to be about accountability. As we get closer to 2025, which is the deadline that many companies have set for reaching their sustainability benchmarks, manufacturers are going to have to start making some tough decisions, and both consumers and regulators are watching.

Read the full article on the GreenBiz website here.

No one ever said sustainability is supposed to be easy, but AMGRAPH can help you make the kinds of changes that are going to be necessary in the coming years. If you are concerned about reaching your sustainable packaging goals in 2022, call us! We’ll assist you in developing packaging solutions that work for you, your customers, and our planet.