As e-commerce continues to be a consumer preference and technological advancements and sustainability continue to be priorities, the jewelry packaging industry has implemented and adapted to various industry trends across the globe. The development direction of the jewelry packaging industry is diversified, so what factors will affect its development?
The main issues facing the jewelry packaging industry are productivity, precision, and quality control. Most companies are still actively using manual packaging inspection processes, leaving a lot of room for error in packaging quality. Manual packaging inspections are inefficient and risky, and may lead to packaging recalls, resulting in unnecessary losses. It is necessary for the jewelry packaging industry to move to automated production processes for more accurate results. Especially in the e-commerce "renaissance", we're currently in, packaging needs to be well-structured and durable to withstand any potentially harsh shipping and handling conditions. To protect themselves, especially consumers, jewelry packaging manufacturers have invested heavily in the automation of packaging quality control. In addition to individually controlling each stage of product production, automation technology enables manufacturers to implement an all-in-one quality control platform that can be integrated with other systems and hardware.
With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the global economic shutdown, a major change is the increased reliance on shipping. For many businesses, rising shipping costs and limited cargo space remain stubborn. High transportation costs make companies have to pay more costs. Unfortunately, custom jewelry packaging also faces shipping and cargo storage issues. Over the last two years, container prices for shipping cargo from China to the U.S. and Europe have remained historically high and are expected to rise in the coming years.
The jewelry packaging industry has seen many changes over the years, especially as customers become more environmentally conscious. With more scrutiny on sustainability and regulation, the packaging industry must evolve rapidly to ease consumer concerns and ensure they operate in an environmentally friendly manner. It also creates a lot of confusion for businesses and companies as they try to balance their own interests with sustainability. In addition, sustainability regulations around packaging are also growing, adding another challenge for businesses trying to improve their environmental impact. To benefit the environment, more improvements are needed in waste collection, recycling systems, and technologies to support changes in required materials and disposal methods.
Businesses have been relying on plastics for a long time, and the alternative is bioplastics. Bioplastics are starting to gain considerable popularity amid single-use plastic bans around the world. Bioplastics and paper have long been touted as necessary replacements for plastics, but as more research is being done on bioplastics, environmentally conscious consumers are actually starting to question the environmental impact of bioplastics. Unfortunately, bioplastics still present many of the same risks as plastics, as they can be difficult to recycle or compost — and require vast amounts of natural resources to make them in the first place. Bioplastics, while popular at first, haven't been around long enough to fully understand the practical impact of this plastic alternative. For jewelry packaging, the paper has long been considered an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. While it is still true that kraft paper is fully recyclable and made from recycled products, environmentally conscious consumers are also starting to question the impact of creating paper-based packaging. It turns out that increased use of paper could accelerate deforestation and cause other environmental problems around natural resources.
Designing reusable jewelry packaging requires thoughtful consideration of materials and construction that can withstand repeated washing and use without harming the environment. It has recently become apparent that products designed for today's reuse tend to be bulky and actually incur high environmental costs when created. While reuse plays a huge role in the future of sustainable packaging, it will experience similar scrutiny in 2021 and 2022 as consumers become more aware of the impact of reusable products. Customers now need to see more value in product and packaging reuse in order to buy into the sustainability initiatives behind it. Businesses are now investing more in innovations in reusable packaging designs that do more good for the environment than bad to better meet consumer needs in their long-term sustainability plans.
While recycling has always been a major topic of discussion among environmentally conscious consumers, recycling awareness has grown at an overwhelming rate. Businesses will try to make environmentally-friendly changes to their packaging materials, such as choosing kraft paper boxes instead of plastic boxes, but the use of paints and inks can completely change the recyclability of the material.