Packaging companies are shifting their non-essential packaging capacities to essential packaging for meeting unprecedented demand in healthcare and food sectors during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Companies in the flexible packaging for healthcare market are capitalizing on business opportunities since healthcare, personal care products, and food fall into the bracket of essential services. However, packaging companies are bearing the brunt of declining demand in non-essential industries. Moreover, lockdown and restricted movement in major countries such as France, the U.S., India, and Russia are likely to inhibit growth of the flexible packaging for healthcare market.

HDPE containers, pharmaceutical pumps, and bottles are in high demand during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. However, international trade has been affected due to heavy taxation. Hence, companies are relying on local production to main steady supply chains.

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3D Printing and New Stains in Flexible Packaging Films Reduce Waste in Landfills

Similar to plastics, manufacturers in the flexible packaging for healthcare market are increasing efforts to reduce waste. Sustainable innovations involve the introduction of 3D printing. The use of new stains and films is contributing toward the growth of the flexible packaging for healthcare market.

3D printing is being highly publicized in the healthcare landscape for reducing production costs whilst reducing flexible plastic packaging waste. Moreover, small batch production via 3D printing ensures faster route to the market. This increases product uptake and boosts overall market growth. Manufacturers are increasing their production capabilities to develop products using eco-friendly and lightweight materials. New stains in flexible packaging films enable fast degradation of packaging waste in landfills.

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Plastics: Hero or Villain in Flexible Packaging for Healthcare?

Lately, plastics are under scrutiny for its various advantages and disadvantages for pharmaceutical applications. Its disadvantages involve poor physical stability after interaction between the formulation and the container. However, plastics are expected to dictate the highest value share among all material types in the flexible packaging for healthcare market.

Resistance to leakage and lightweight attributes of plastics tend to offset its disadvantages. Manufacturers in the flexible packaging for healthcare market are adopting different plastic molding techniques such as injection molding, blow molding, and thermoforming to meet specific requirements of pharmaceutical clients. They are producing flexible tubes, sachets, and blister packs among others to scale revenue streams.

Manufacturers Shift Focus from Material Type to Less Material for Extending Packaging Lifecycle

The flexible packaging for healthcare market is projected to advance at a CAGR of 5.3% during the assessment period. This is evident since manufacturers are innovating in sustainable materials such as compostable starch-based and biodegradable films. They are adopting production strategies such as consolidation to fewer films in order to maximize order quantities. On the other hand, manufacturers are increasing their production capacities in squeezable bottles used to package nasal sprays, ear drops, and eye drops.

Companies in the flexible packaging for healthcare market are increasing efforts to extend the lifecycle of materials by reducing the carbon footprint. Instead of focusing on material type, manufacturers are utilizing less volume of material to extend the lifecycle of flexible packaging options. In order to achieve this, manufacturers are maximizing their warehouse space by lessening their packaging waste. Re-using plastic materials is emerging as a key alternative to minimize plastic waste.

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