WWP says demand first set up its physical presence in China 15 years ago and currently has three sites with its regional headquarters in Suzhou.
Since then, the firm has observed huge shifts in the market such as the rise of domestic Chinese brands such as Marie Dalgar, Chando and Florasis.
In the last two to three years, the company has had more and more customers enquiring about sustainable packaging.
According to Howard Ou, VP of sales, these requests were mainly coming from local arms of the international brands that were triggered by the controversies surrounding plastic waste that emerged in the past couple of years.
This year, however, it has been receiving more interest in sustainable packaging from smaller local Chinese brands.
“Now in China, more and more indie brands raise their sustainability requirements and underline this to make their target consumers happy. These consumers are the younger generation in China and have spent the last 10 or 20 years being educated about how we need to protect the earth.”
Furthermore, Ou said that the rising interest could also be attributed to the clean beauty movement which has been gaining momentum around the world and in China too.
“This has been partly driven by the clean beauty movement. Because of clean beauty more indie brands are not just paying attention to the formula, but are looking more eco-friendly packaging as well,” said Ou.
Ou highlighted that indie brands were becoming an increasingly significant market for the company.
“From our experience, and this is not something we just see in China, we are seeing more people embrace indie brands. While the global brands are definitely important, I would say the biggest growth will come from the indie brands.”
He added: “These indie brands are the most dynamic, innovative and will continue to drive the market as they are focused on specific demands of the consumer. We think indie brands are the future of the market.”
To keep up with these brands, the company has been working on its portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions.
Most recently, the firm launched the Eco-Pac Tube, which is made from 100% Bio-PE, a bio-based plastic resin derived from sugarcane, a sustainable and renewable resource.
According to the firm, for every million Eco-Pac tubes produced, five tonnes of plastic is saved.
Moving forward, Ou said the company is actively working on furthering its research and development towards sustainable options. He revealed that one of the avenues the firm is looking at is the use of plant fibre polymer.
He highlighted that that there were many other ways to achieve sustainability and the firm would explore all of them so as to not constrain itself.
“We will follow the market trends and work with brand owners on their direction. Also, we will continue to develop our technology, continue our innovation into sustainability and make sure we can keep up with the different strategy requirements of different brands.”