The latest reports from the packaging products industry have found that a new trend is quickly gaining sway. While it still only comprises a small corner of the total market, its future growth is expected to be explosive, which will affect how businesses approach packaging in the long term.

Food and Beverage Packaging reported that a recent prediction saw the global plastic biodegradable packaging market expanding at a compound annual growth rate of more than 18 percent from 2013 to 2019. That means that in the future, the industry may be worth as much as $8.4 billion. Increasing consumer awareness, as well as the desire for change, has driven much of this growth. Generic and contract manufacturing activities will only drive it further.

Adoption of biodegradable packaging products will grow quickly Adoption of biodegradable packaging products will grow quickly

Specific industries expected to take charge in the biodegradable packaging market are the food and beverage industries. As consumers demand healthier and more traceable food and beverage items, the industry is also focusing on a greener emphasis in its bigger business practices. Businesses that also want to differentiate their packaging and products from their competitors may also make the leap to these items as well, seeking to reach the best levels of production that also factor in a more environmentally-friendly way.

Biodegradable packaging helps industry improve standing

The benefits of these industry improvements don't just help the companies adopting them. According to Laboratory Equipment, they may eventually lead to a high reduction in the overall use of plastic throughout the industry, helping to put a dent in the more than 100 million tons of plastics consumed annually worldwide.

Various types of biodegradable packaging at Australia's Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials have included everything from cellulose to wood pulp, with wool, silk and nanocomposites from bone material even being experimented with.

The facility is using a technique in which the natural material is fully dissolved in liquefied salt, then formed into solid materials such as films and fibers. At a rate of 10 to one, the material is dissolved and then coagulated into a water bath. The resulting film left behind can be used into sheets of almost any thickness using glass plates.

The final product of this experiment resembles plastic, and once put into work in a more widespread fashion, will likely help the industry reach its goals in a less expensive format. The research team aims to develop a base stock of natural materials that will be abundant and ready to use worldwide.  There are hopes that the use of natural polymers will be a more renewable resource, helping the industry turn away from additional fossil fuel consumption.