Smart packaging market ‘to grow to $2.6B in 10 years’

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A new report has revealed that the market for smart packaging electronics is set to be worth $2.6 billion by 2033.

The report by UK market research firm IDTechEx said that a value of $2.6 billion is based on the value of the electronics hardware in packaging. Though IDTechEx said the market could be valued at a lot more if the infrastructure, software, and services required for smart packaging are also included.
IDTechEx noted that despite widespread interest in the technology adoption at scale has thus far largely proved challenging, aside from RFID tags and QR codes. The report also looked at the potential use cases for the technology, which uses sensors, printed electronics and wireless communication to create smart/intelligent packaging.

Among the most likely uses for smart packaging, the report said, is condition monitoring and location tracking for packages sent through the logistics chain.

According to IDTechEx, the use of technologies such as printed/flexible batteries and sensors can help reduce costs and bulk, allowing the condition of individual deliveries to be tracked and resulting in greater consumer confidence.

Logistics companies and even insurers can track when and where individual items are being lost, stolen or mistreated, enabling any problems to be dealt with swiftly as well as providing a considerable deterrent effect.

Smart packaging could also be used to improve recycling, the report noted. Modern recycling processes are capable of recycling only about 10 percent of all waste, largely due to difficulties in sorting materials with extremely similar properties or determining the extent of the contamination.

To address these issues, the EU is exploring technology solutions based on smart packaging, which would use a ‘digital watermark’ to identify the product and recycling requirements.