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The Evolution Of The Stand-Up Pouch

In the 1950s cellophane was the only clear film material available as flexible packaging material. In the 1960s, flexible packages started to evolve, with new processes and material innovations introduced at a daily basis. While many bags and pouches were made of coated papers, polypropylene and polyethylene came along, followed by co-extrusions, coatings and laminations, which were hailed as two of the biggest breakthroughs in flexible packaging.

According to the FPA (Flexible Packaging Association), plastic consumption by flexible packagers grew at double-digit rates throughout the 1960s and 1970s as preformed pouches got jump-started.
Four or five decades later, in 2008 the European flexible packaging market totalled USD 15.22 billion in sales, thanks mainly to the green credentials flexible packaging is supposed to have in comparison with other packaging formats. To underscore this statement, the FPE (Flexible Packaging Europe) is emphasizing the “product-to-packaging ratio”, along with full life cycle analyses. For example, in contrast with a metal can, plastic jar and flexible “brick-pack” (each holding 11.5 oz/325 gr of coffee), the flexible packaging wins hands-down. Its 29:1 ratio versus the can’s 5:1 and the jar’s 3:1 clearly shows “flexible packaging as the most resource-efficient.
Although recent studies indicate the end of a strong grow of converted flexible packaging in the USA and Europe, the flexible packaging will see, in my opinion, many more new applications as no continental market on the planet is “eco-hotter” than Europe in terms of sustainability and recyclability.

The flexible packaging market includes all kinds of pouches, but the popular stand-up pouch was and still is the most impressive driver in the flexible packaging market, particularly with the breakthrough of the various material compositions, the re-closable zipper and other fitments that enhance consumer convenience, and have led stand-up pouches move dramatically into new applications.

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