Sustainable packaging materials for grocery stores

Sustainable packaging materials for grocery stores

Around the world, consumers are increasingly preoccupied with sustainability, and packaging waste is high on the list of things brands would like to become eco-friendlier. Brands, too, are aware of the role they play in driving sustainable change and are prioritizing incorporating sustainable packaging into their product lines. 

Superstores: considering sustainability

Particularly for superstores that have their own label lines, however, sustainability and recycling is presenting some tough – and exciting – questions. Eco-friendlier packaging is a priority, but it’s not as simple as making a switch from one day to the next: technical properties, shelf appeal, functionality and the supply chain all play a part.

Simultaneously, the range of products superstores sell under their own brands is often so broad that it the questions around sustainability become far reaching.  Could this also be the opportunity to consolidate material suppliers? Could one supplier offer multiple materials and expertise that span different packaging applications within a supermarket’s own line of goods? Could it be the right moment for a rebrand?

"Sustainability is a pressing topic, but it’s also presenting some opportunities for bigger brands. As they think about potentially making a switch to different materials, they are also exploring what different suppliers and materials can offer. That might be in terms of added shelf appeal, functionality, a rebrand or just in terms of sustainability."

Wendy Cross, Sales and Business Development Director North America.

AR Metallizing: Uniquely positioned to support superstores

AR Metallizing is uniquely positioned to support superstores in their switch to sustainable materials, given we offer materials for comprehensive packaging and label applications. Our products can be used for labelling (IML, WSL, PSL and general labels) and for packaging (including packaging board, litho lamination top sheets, blister board and functional food packaging for both direct contact and non-direct contact with consumable goods).

"We are able to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for supermarkets who are looking at sustainable packaging materials. Our team have decades of experience with different types of packaging and labelling, rather than only having experience in a specific sector. As such, we can support both the provision of a label or packaging material and act as a single supplier for end-users who have an extensive portfolio of products. Because we supply both metallized film and metallized paper, we can also assist superstores meet their sustainability goals regardless of the substrate material, from the perspective of mono-material packaging," says Wendy.


It’s widely known that mono-materials facilitate recycling. As such, packaging or labeling materials which support mono-material packaging are in high demand by supermarkets who want to switch to more sustainable and easily recyclable packaging materials.

Where AR Metallizing’s papers support recyclable paper-based packaging, our metallized and holographic films support recyclability for PET packaging and bottles.

"From a sustainability and recycling perspective, we often talk to our customers about the advantages of IML applications using our metallized and holographic films. Likewise, our full wrap film is an ideal recyclable label material when used with PET bottles."

Lindsey Barbee, National Account Manager

Shelf appeal & sustainability

While there’s been appetite for sustainable packaging and materials for a while, shelf appeal has sometimes been a challenge for brands.

"Brands don’t want to give up the looks for which customers recognize as part of a sustainability shift. Likewise, shelf appeal isn’t something they want to lose.  Traditionally, switching to a recyclable material might have meant choosing plainer looks for labels and packaging than a brand might have enjoyed previously. The result is they’ve been dissuaded from making a switch to a more sustainable alternative. Metallized papers and films offering mono-material options presents the perfect alternative: a recyclable material that doesn’t compromise stopping power," adds Lindsey.