Packaging and paper

What does the future look like?

It is an exciting time to be working in the packaging and paper industry, which is valued at several hundred billion dollars globally. And it doesn’t stop there. The global packaging market is set to grow exponentially over the next few years to reach $1 tillion by 2024. Over the upcoming series of blog articles, I will analyse the trends that are driving, influencing and shaping the future of the packaging sector.

I lead Proco Global’s Packaging & Paper practice, where we specialise in senior level recruitment. My focus is to develop excellent client relationships with leading global organisations. We aim to deliver on the most challenging and sensitive search requirements though our network of high-calibre contacts. With my 15+ years of search experience, my goal is to provide an unrivalled understanding of the market and the talent pool within it.

Multiple conversations are taking place across the packaging and paper industry. These range from sustainability to innovation to ecommerce. The definition of sustainability is still up for debate. As a result, we’re seeing companies develop ingenious solutions to challenges in the industry. Not to mention that the boom of ecommerce in the wake of COVID-19 resulted in a massive shift and spike for the entire packaging industry. I intend to publish four articles over the next few months discussing the future of the following sub-sectors and materials:

Paper and board

Paper is a constant in all of our lives, but its constituents are constantly changing. The future of paper and board is innovative, creative, and rapidly approaching. Some of the latest developments in paper include the use of materials never considered before. I’ll be discussing some of the brightest innovations taking place in this sector. And how the industry is changing to support sustainability?

Flexible plastics

Plastic companies are constantly innovating, attempting to reduce the material’s environmental impact. I’ll be taking a look at some of the newest developments in this area. Which packaging businesses are leading the way in making the world more environmentally friendly without compromising on the convenience of and need for plastic?

Rigid plastics

The plastics conversation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Some plastics companies are reinventing the way we see the product. They are pioneering ways to implement stronger recycling programs to help develop the circular economy.


From the world’s lightest beer bottle to sustainable sea glass, every day the future of glass is becoming more inventive. As potentially one of the most eco-friendly packaging materials out there, there’s plenty to discuss about the future of glass.


It’s a very interesting time for metals, both as a commodity and as a packaging material, due to the pandemic’s influence on the industry. A strong interest in ‘green’ metals is prominent. I will discuss what all of this means for the industry, especially regarding hiring trends. Additionally, there is an explosion of growth in aluminium beverage cans and a huge opportunity for businesses in this space.

I will also highlight the recruitment challenges for these functions in the packaging and paper industry. With the insight gained from this research and direct interviews with several senior executives, I hope to compile an extensive report on the future of the packaging sector. Once complete, I’ll publish our research in the form of an insight report. In this report, we hope to explain the major challenges our key sector experts have faced with attracting and retaining talent, as well as connect them with our interviewees.

Proco Global is a specialist recruitment firm focused on partnering with our clients to fill senior level roles within their supply chains and operations. We operate across six global industry sectors: Consumer Markets, Life Sciences, Mobility, Packaging & Paper, Process & Chemicals, and Retail. I will highlight the specific challenges that face the Packaging & Paper industry over the next few months. We hope that you find these insights useful – should you want to provide your thoughts on any of these topics, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me here.

This article is part of our series about developments in the paper and packaging sector:

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