1. Innovations Tackling the Curse of Single Use

To date 25 countries have initiatives banning single-use plastic, including China and Thailand. In Asia packaging demand growth is outpacing global growth rates, and waste-collection systems—let alone recycling—are not in place at the required scale. Additionally, more and more Asian countries have started to ban inefficient imports of unsorted recyclables from the West, allowing regions to focus on domestic waste challenges. As such, reducing packaging at-source or producing biodegradable alternatives seems like common sense.

Reuse innovators I-Drop Water and EcoSPRIRTS ensure packaging is reused multiple-times, ideally to the end of its useful life. I-Drop Water’s B2C in-store water purification dispensing modules are targeted at regions where tap water is mistrusted or poor quality and aims to reduce single-use water bottle use. Although, welcome with consumers these solutions can face opposition from well-established and well-resourced incumbents. In the case of EcoSPIRITS, their B2B closed-loop premium spirit distribution system is addressing single-use glass reducing packaging and transport costs as well as carbon footprints. Following their success in Singapore they are launching in Europe starting with London, UK.   

Innovators MiTerro and Erthos have created biodegradable bioplastics with bio-based feedstocks and addressing hard to recycle plastics and the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing conventional plastics. Asia is the largest producer of bioplastic in the world, while currently not the largest consumer packaging use and regulations on single use are both increasing.

The sustainable packaging market is expected to grow to $117 billion by 2025 from $89 billion in 2020, we expect ratified policies to target single-use and tax incentives for reuse and biodegradable alternative to accelerate this market in Asia, particularly on the manufacturing side.