Sustainable Packaging in pharmaceutical industry plays a crucial role in ensuring the sterility and quality of a drug product, while it also provides information related to its identity and, in certain cases, dosing instructions. Pharmaceutical packaging is typically carried out under Packagingcontrolled conditions; specifically, for therapeutics that are designed for parenteral administration, fill / finish is carried out in sterile and aseptic environments. It is also crucial for innovators (or packaging service providers) to choose the appropriate, high quality primary packaging for their respective products; this is pivotal because the packaging material is in direct contact with the drug / therapy. However, the widespread use of primary, secondary and tertiary pharmaceutical packaging materials has added to the burden imposed on our environment, in terms of managing waste, and therefore, there is a dire need to shift towards alternative eco-friendly materials.
Sustainable packaging is defined as packaging that is safe for individuals, as well as the environment, while meeting all requirements for performance, cost and ease of fabrication. Further, the product should be specially designed in order to minimize usage of raw material and optimize energy use. It is worth mentioning that the pharmaceutical packaging process is well established, with several regulatory guidelines in place for monitoring. One of these guidelines encourages the use of recyclable packaging. Further, some manufactures are trying to reduce weight of packages to enable sustainability by limiting the use of starting materials. However, in this process, strength of the package should not be compromised; to achieve this, players are using several novel design approaches. Nowadays, pharmaceutical sector is continuously working to tackle the concerns related to environmental degradation by implementing a shift towards sustainable / degradable packaging materials for various drugs, devices and medical equipment.
More than 50 players claim to offer sustainable packaging solution for pharmaceutical sector across the globe
Even though sustainable packaging solutions are being offered by players based all across the globe, most of the service providers engaged in this domain (~50%) are headquartered in Europe, followed by North America, Asia and rest of the world. Pasted below is a donut chart, showing the regional distribution of companies offering eco-friendly packaging solutions for biopharmaceutical industry.
Nearly 80 collaborations have been inked in this domain between 2016 and 2021
Over the years, players offering eco-friendly packaging solutions for pharmaceutical sector have actively collaborated with several companies across the globe. Among these agreements, mergers / acquisition has emerged as the most popular (~40%) type of partnership. This trend reflects the fact that companies are continuously striving to expand their existing service offerings. Below, I have pasted figure that depicts key partnership trends along with some recent examples of agreements in this domain.
Pharmaceutical companies are also becoming cautious towards the environment and optimizing various operations, which can indirectly help in achieving eco-friendly and sustainable goals. Companies are continuously tracking the supply chain in order to optimize manufacturing rate and distribution of products, thereby, limiting overproduction, which will ultimately lead to reduction in energy use related to storage and transportation of surplus goods Below, I have pasted figure that depict some benefits and limitations associated with green packaging materials in case of the pharmaceutical industry
For further information on this domain, check out the report –
You may also be interested in the following titles: