COVID-19: How the packaging industry’s been affected

5 mins

COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) has swept across the planet with devastating effects. Many people have lost lives, unemployment rates have risen, and over 100 countries have enforced travel restrictions.

As an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, we’re having to adjust to new restrictions on movement and practise social distancing. This has had a major effect on several industries, and packaging is no exception.

Here we’ll be discussing how the packaging industry has been affected by COVID-19 so far and what we can expect in the future.

An increase in demand for essential packaging

Given the current situation and with the world on hold, it’s easy to think the importance of packaging has dropped. Although the demand for industrial and luxury packaging has decreased, the demand for the packaging of medicines, food, and other essentials has risen tremendously. Packaging for these essential items is more important now than ever before. And with everyone stuck at home, many are turning to the internet for their essential purchases. This increases the pressure on packaging manufactures as they aim to support e-commerce stores in order to keep goods moving.

However, this sparks another conversation. The need for contact-free deliveries and drop-offs. Businesses must think about delivering their goods, as well as receiving the initial packaging from their supplier contact-free in order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.

Many packaging suppliers, including us at Swiftpak, understand there might be changes in delivery requirements. Flexibility at this time is key, so we offer our customers contact-free deliveries and take further precautions with emailing or taking photos of printed and signed delivery notes. Whatever your delivery requirements may be with COVID-19, we’ll make it work for you.

All in all, countless companies will need specialised delivery solutions while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This could include drop off points and arranged collections. Whatever your delivery solution is, safety must come above all.

The concerns with packaging and COVID-19

With the viral nature of COVID-19, consumers and organisations are becoming extra cautious about the products and people they interact with. And when it comes to packaging, you may have thought about this yourself. Can COVID-19 live on packaging and therefore be carried into your home? You’ll be glad to know, it’s highly unlikely.

Although the virus has been found to survive on the surface of packaging, experts say the chances are slim. While we do need to take caution on what we handle and bring into our homes, we’re pretty safe when it comes to packaging. If you want to take extra precaution, an anti-bacterial disinfectant spray is your best bet. A thorough cleanse will be sure to get rid of the bacteria (if any).

Furthermore, the damaged trust in the hygiene of products has resulted in the re-design of packaging products as well as the use of different packaging materials. Believe it or not, it’s plastic that’s becoming more appreciated during this time. With the hygiene advantages that plastic has to offer, consumers seem to be parking their concerns around plastic waste and the environment for a more hygienic option. For example, plastic bags are making a comeback in the fear that reusable bags could spread COVID-19.

Another concern comes with the suspension of some recycling services. Where certain packaging products rely on being recycled to prevent harming the environment, other packaging products should be considered. Now’s the perfect time to introduce biodegradable solutions into your packaging. For instance, use PLA packaging to ship food during this time. Not only is it compostable, meaning you don’t need to worry about the suspension of recycling services, it’s a sterile solution too! Perfect for the current concerns around hygiene.

The rise of e-commerce packaging

COVID-19 is changing the way we shop. With everyone social distancing, we’re now ordering online more than ever before. Yes, e-commerce was popular previous to COVID-19, but now it’s really thriving. In fact, it could become our new normal faster than expected. This leads to a strong acceleration of e-commerce shipments, which requires personal, protective packaging solutions for success.

Take a look at this slideshow on how to navigate the world after COVID-19 to see more on what to expect in terms of shifts in consumer behaviour.

Packaging needed for home office setups

With millions setting up their workstation from home, there are many needing more than just a second screen. People will need to transport specialised equipment, machines, advanced video/audio setups, and other electronics to accommodate this change in lifestyle.

When it comes to transporting these highly expensive and often fragile pieces of equipment safely, protective packaging is needed. Often, bespoke packaging solutions are required to ensure perfect protection, and that’s where a packaging supplier like Swiftpak comes in. If you’re looking for a quick packaging solution to ensure optimal protection, contact us today, we’d love to help.

To conclude

The impact COVID-19 has had on the packaging industry is mixed. Some industries require packaging more than ever, where the need for packaging in others has declined.

The demand for food and drink, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and home products packaging has risen and may continue to do so. At the same time, demand for industrial, luxury and some B2B-transport packaging has declined.

We can’t predict the exact outcomes COVID-19 will have on the packaging industry in the future. But one thing is for sure, Swiftpak are here for you during and after COVID-19. You can count on us -always.