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Packaging Sustainability 2030

October 15, 2020

Over the last years not only the awareness of the impact of packaging waste has been raised, also the whole approach of sustainable packaging has been revolutionized. Therefore, our newest study "Packaging Sustainability 2030" has identified sustainability in packaging as a success factor for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.

During the last year, more than 500 billion plastic bottles were sold globally, while only 15 % of plastic packaging was recycled. These facts mobilized governments to introduce directives on circular economy and packaging waste. While the EU aims the target that the net climate impact of packaging waste must become zero by 2050, China and South-East Asia trigger a massive shift in the packaging waste value chains around the globe. Overall, the introduction of new directives regarding sustainability enables governments to push new initiatives that encourage innovative ways to make packaging in the consumer goods sector more sustainable but currently a significant number of countries is still unlegislated.


As environmental, social and corporate (ESG) governance is directly associated with a companies' brand, sustainable and ethical behavior is getting more important in all industry. Further the cost-benefit of becoming more sustainable is also a decisive factor for businesses, as they can benefit from governmental incentives.

This study identified three main pillars to improve sustainable packaging with a focus on FMCG producers.

• Optimizing their packaging portfolio based on environmental criteria
• Developing self-sustaining waste collection and recycling networks
• Driving the use of recycled instead of virgin material for their packaging

These strategic pillars can be achieved by incentivizing all key stakeholders, embracing new technologies, innovating across the value chain and rethinking package material and design. Each of the factors and directions are elaborated in detail in this study.

Overall, the publication concludes that for the development of sustainable packaging waste strategies and the achievement of long-term targets at reasonable costs, FMCG producers need innovative solutions and also need to prioritize various initiatives across the globe.

RB Contacts 

Szabolcs Nemes, Partner 

Hani Tohme, Partner

Dragos Popa, Senior Project Manager