The current packaging landscape might not be stable, but that isn’t a negative thing as growth is on the horizon, says Marta Paprocka, marketing manager for Polish packaging manufacturer Silbo: “The packaging industry is in exploration mode, and exploration leads to growth. This process is ongoing and has not ended yet, so we will have to wait for the result and stabilization. It's certainly an intense time. What is characteristic here, is the development of ecological aspects in packaging. We can clearly see on the market that manufacturers are moving towards mono-material solutions and replacing plastic with paper. This trend looks likely to continue as the recycling regime becomes more stringent.”
Although a lot of businesses see trade slow down for the Christmas period, this wasn’t the case for the packaging industry, Paprocka explains. “Holidays are always associated with a slight slowdown, but prudent customers in our fruit and vegetable industry book their packaging purchases well in advance. However, we plan production as flexibly as possible. If I were to sum up the past year, it was a year of caution. Customers in Europe did not stock up on packaging, due to the suspension of legal guidelines for packaging vegetables and fruit.”
According to Paprocka, the reduction of plastic is still an ongoing process for manufacturers: “The trends that we currently have to meet were already revealed last year; minimizing plastic, replacing plastics with natural materials and minimizing the weight of packaging. There is also something new this year. The EU Parliament will verify all eco-labelling as part of the fight against greenwashing. Therefore, it is necessary to take specific action that can not only be declared, but also proven. Such as measuring the carbon footprint of packaging, using only certified raw materials and authorizing guarantees of recyclability or compostability.”
“At the beginning of this year, we will publish the measurement of the carbon footprint of our packaging. We were preparing for it already in 2023, now it is time to share it with our customers. We’re still working on the certification of the next versions of our packaging and we expect to offer our customers even more certified packaging this year,” Paprocka states. “We also want to expand our activities in the field of packaging for snacks and sweets, dry products, convenience dishes and non-food products. Our main activity is still packaging for vegetables and fruit, but we definitely intend to enter other industries.”
It’s going to be an exciting week for Silbo next week, as the team departs to Berlin: “Fruit Logistica has been our most important trade fair event for several years and we are preparing for it very intensively. Last year, we received many positive comments, our stand was visited by many people, and we really like such direct meetings with potential customers. We are happy to welcome everyone and share our knowledge and resources. During the fair, we’ll present new packaging for vegetables and fruit, which may change the market and simplify the packaging system for many customers. For us, Fruit Logistica is a time when we give 100 per cent of ourselves and always come back with the feeling that it was worth it,” Paprocka concludes.
Silbo will be exhibiting during Fruit Logistica. You can find them in Hall 21, stand E-22.