The use of paper in the food service sector is said to be one of the fastest growing packaging markets, according to a report.
Consultancy Smithers Pira has predicted that demand from the food-service market would grow faster than overall demand for recycled paper packaging.
Use of paper currently represents less than 1% of the overall market for recycled paper packaging but its report says growth in the sector, and increased consumer awareness of litter caused by discarded plates and glasses, would drive the demand for the recycled material.
According to the report, paper packaging is the “most obvious choice” to replace polystyrene packaging. As an example, Smithers Pira said that Starbucks only uses paper cups and is involved in recycling initiatives around the world.
Further developments will drive down the cost of recycling, which in turn will increase demand for the product.
Smithers Pira also said that global demand for recycled paper is set to exceed 1.5 million tonnes by 2018, thanks to the manufacturing economies of China and other emerging countries.
Paper packaging is currently the largest sector in the worldwide recycled materials sector, accounting for around 65% of all recycled packaging.