What is Flexible Packaging?

Flexible packaging is a means of packaging products using non-rigid materials, which allow for more economical and customizable options. It is a relatively new method in the packaging market and has grown popular due to its high efficiency and cost-effective nature.


Flexible packaging is any package or part of a package whose shape can readily be changed when filled or during use. Flexible packaging is produced from paper, plastic, film, aluminum foil, or any combination of those materials, and includes bags, pouches, liners, wraps, rollstock, and other flexible products. 


Flexible packages are particularly useful in industries that require versatile packaging, such as the food and beverage, personal care, and pharmaceutical industries.

It’s the Total Package! The Dow Chemical Company

It's Convenient

Approximately 2/3 of all packaging is for food and beverages, and about 90% of flexible packaging is used for these products today. The benefits of flexible packaging are fueling its growth into new product categories as well. To add perspective, flexible packaging currently accounts for 39% of packaging globally, and about 19% in the U.S. The total global packaging market is approaching $1 trillion annually. 


Flexible package’s features make life more convenient. 

  • Easy to store 
  • Extends product life 
  • Easy to reseal 
  • Easy to carry 
  • Easy to open 
Convenience is King infographic about flexible packaging

Studies have shown that in addition to the product and price, shoppers pay close attention to packaging and the benefits offered. In many cases, people will pay more for flexible packaging that delivers key benefits. Busy shoppers value convenience, product safety, longer shelf life – and brands are working hard to develop innovative flexible packaging solutions that will set their products apart from competitors. 

Flexible Packaging Samples
Food Packages

A Flexible Path to a Circular Economy

Industry leaders are coming together in the Consortium For Waste Circularity to drive change to create a world in which: 

  • Waste is treated as a valuable resource that can be converted to feedstock for virgin materials. 
  • Landfilling and incineration have been replaced with waste conversion processes that support circular economy sustainability.
  • Molecules derived from nature’s precious resources can be used and reused in an endless loop of circularity.

Science-based solutions such as Regenerative Gasification offer opportunities to solve intractable recycling challenges posed by modern multi-layered, multi material products and packaging. The Consortium for Waste Circularity (CWC) supports the pursuit of robust and flexible waste conversion solutions through education, research and outreach. CWC seeks to align the packaging industry to pledge use of this eco-methanol™ as recycle content that will be plentiful.

A Flexible Path To A Circular Economy

Flexible packaging represents the majority of packaging used globally, yet historically has not been proportionally recycled. The industry in Europe has come together to develop new guidelines to work towards the goal of a circular economy which can be broken down into the following 5 steps:


Flexible Packaging: It’s Not JUST Plastic

Did you know that flexible packaging is not just plastic? It can be made from one material or a combination of materials such as paper, plastic, and aluminum foil. Packaging created with a combination of these materials is known as multi-material packaging. 


What Is Flexible Packaging?

You may have heard a lot about flexible packaging, but many are not entirely sure what the term actually means. Allow us to explain. In its most basic form, flexible packaging is any package or part of a package whose shape can readily be changed when filled or during use. 


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