As society continues to experience upheavals in many different sectors, analysts indicate that the paperboard industry is also set for a challenging, yet exciting future.
In the UK, the government hopes to build one million more new homes by 2020. With the construction industry creating extra demands for raw materials such as timber, it will be in direct competition with the paper industry, resulting in an even greater need for recycled paper products. With the population predicted to reach 60 million in the next few years, there is also likely to be a greater role for paperboard and chipboard in the new businesses that will be created.
More consumers than ever are making their purchases online, a trend that is certain to continue increasing. However, the decline of traditional retail outlets has seen a dramatic rise in goods being delivered to millions of homes around the UK with vast quantities of recycled paper board packaging being required.
As developing countries make progress in achieving greater prosperity, their emerging paper industries will be competing for a larger share of the global market. India for instance, has already become the fourth largest paper recycler in the world and will no doubt be hoping to improve.
Society is becoming more aware over the urgent need to preserve the environment, increasing facilities for recycling and using sustainable products. Paper board packaging is a perfect example of an ecological product and predicted to completely replace plastic trays and containers on the supermarket shelves in the near future.
The futuristic IoT (Internet of Things) technology that creates interactive links between unrelated objects such as household appliances, vehicles and smartphones continues to develop. However, the decline in white paper products due to an expansion of online communications is offset by an estimated 18% increase in requirements for recycled paper board packaging for all the extra smart hardware.
Changes in society such as an increasing population and larger cities will see greater competition for raw materials, while the preference for online shopping is already causing alarm amongst traditional shops. However, recycled paper board products are in ever greater demand for fast food outlets, parcel deliveries and point of sale display packaging. Although competition from abroad could be damaging, there are challenging opportunities ahead for the UK paper board industry.