Green Packaging Trends: Opportunities and Challenges for the Beverage Industry
In recent years, the growing trend of green product consumption worldwide has driven packaging that minimizes environmental impact. Many businesses worldwide have also switched their production processes to the circular economy model…
Circular economy and sustainable development are not just about applying technology but also ensuring the “regeneration” of resources.
The circular economy is the solution to the trend of sustainable economic development when design, production, and service activities aim to extend the lifespan of materials and eliminate negative impacts on the environment. Circular economy and sustainable development are not just about applying technology but also ensuring the “regeneration” of resources. This process is carried out throughout the supply chain, from raw materials to the final product. This issue creates opportunities and challenges for businesses, including businesses in the beverage industry.
EFFORTS TOWARDS GREEN PACKAGING
Starting in October 2023, several products exported to Europe will be subject to the European Union’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM). Therefore, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is both a trend and a requirement that businesses must meet if Vietnam wants to participate in the global market. At a workshop on “Inventory and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Food and Beverage Production Enterprises,” Mr. Nguyen Tuan Quang, Deputy Director of the Climate Change Agency, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, shared: emissions from the food and beverage production industry account for about 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This figure could nearly double by 2050 compared to today.
The production process, including inputs and energy needed for processing and transporting products, is the leading cause of emissions. In addition, packaging also accounts for a similar proportion of emissions, about 5.4%, more than transportation or other supply chain factors. Therefore, the Vietnam Association of Environmentally Friendly Product Manufacturers (EPMA) believes that switching to green packaging requires businesses to change production in line with environmental protection, thereby seizing opportunities not only in the export market but also in the domestic market.
Recently, at the 2023 Sustainable Development Conference with the theme “The Green Path,” Mr. Binu Jacob, CEO of Nestlé Vietnam, emphasized that design improvements aimed at eliminating unnecessary packaging, reducing the use of virgin plastic, and replacing it with environmentally friendly materials have helped Nestlé Vietnam reduce nearly 2,500 tons of plastic packaging in two years (2021-2022). About 94% of the company’s product packaging is designed to be recyclable and reusable. Nestlé Vietnam is also moving towards using single-layer packaging to make recycling easier.
The trend of switching to green packaging requires businesses to change production in line with environmental protection.
In 2022, Tetra Pak, a Swedish food processing and packaging solutions provider, and Đồng Tiến Paper and Packaging Joint Stock Company announced an investment of EUR 3.5 million to upgrade and expand the recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Vietnam. “Supporting the development of local recycling capacity for beverage cartons is part of Tetra Pak’s global strategy for a circular economy and low carbon emissions. It also demonstrates our commitment to working with food and beverage producers to fulfill their responsibility to collect packaging after use,” said Eliseo Barcas, General Director of Tetra Pak Vietnam.
Mr. Le Anh, Director of Sustainable Development at Duy Tan Recycling Plastic Company, said that with a factory with a capacity of 30,000 tons per year, the company has collected plastic bottles in Vietnam and recycled them into plastic pellets. Some products have been recycled 20 times, helping to create a new life cycle for plastic waste. “Plastic recycling is a long process that takes 2-3 years. In particular, the stage where we and our partners test the product, sometimes it takes up to two years to meet the requirements for quality and usability compared to ordinary plastic,” said Mr. Le Anh.
Nowadays, the choice of packaging materials for beverage products has been put on the scale by businesses, as well as how to ensure product quality, environmental friendliness, and the highest recycling capacity. According to Mr. Amit Lahoti, Regional CEO of Ball Beverage Packaging Asia, more than 77% of aluminum cans are being collected for recycling in Vietnam. Evaluation from many studies shows that aluminum cans contain more than 76% recycled materials because they achieve the highest circular material score.
According to VnEconomy
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