Metsä Board’s Urbanisation radar explores urbanisation and the implications for future packaging

23.10.2017
Markku Leskelä

The impacts of increasing urbanisation – the big numbers – are shaping all industries, and urbanisation is a key driver also for the packaging industry.

Take a look at the staggering numbers:

  • 55% of the global population
  • 70% of the gross domestic production
  • 70% waste generation
  • but only 2% of the land area

This is what global cities represent. And the future projections indicate that the size of cities will continue to grow.

The challenges and opportunities are well known. The growth of cities requires natural resources, such as water, energy and raw materials and increases stresses on municipal services including waste management. However, the dynamics of cities have shown the capability to create prosperity and solve challenges over time. Singapore is often cited as an example. There is growing optimism here that the local resource challenges can be managed at a city level through appropriate city planning and development.

At Metsä Board we feel that we have a role in developing sustainable future cities. Urbanisation means more consumption and more packaging. The growing cities will need a smart and sustainable way to transport goods, and renewable, fibre based and lightweight packaging plays a role here. We believe that e-commerce is a major part of the future system for transporting goods. Dense populations also require the development of smart solutions for reusing packaging, recycling packaging materials or collecting it to be used as a source for city energy.

To prepare for the future, Metsä Board has established an ‘Urbanisation radar’ to better understand the effects of urbanisation on lifestyles, consumption and packaging, and to contribute to more sustainable solutions. Our ‘Urbanisation radar’ is an umbrella approach to collect, share, interpret and implement the findings. Stay tuned – we look forward to discussing and collaborating on the key themes in our channels.

 Markku Leskelä, Metsä Board

 Markku Leskelä
VP, Research and Product Development, Metsä Board 

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