Advanced Manufacturing Smart and Sustainable Packaging


There is an ever-increasing urgent demand for sustainable packaging from consumers, retailers, industry stakeholders, and governments. With a combination of academic excellence, advanced materials science, manufacturing digitisation and packaging automation research, Manchester is the perfect place to exploit this market which is set to be worth £309 billion by 2024.

Materials innovation and digital advancement thrive here in Manchester. This coupled with the city region’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2038 including waste reduction through the Plastic Free Pledge, provides companies with the key ingredients to develop innovative and novel packaging materials that can be reused, recycled and disposed of sustainably.

Against a backdrop of plastics production set to double to approximately 600 million metric tonnes by 2035, the UK aims to become the world leader in using resources efficiently and reducing the amount of waste we create. The Department for International Trade has recognised Manchester as a High Potential Opportunity which is further supported by the Waste and Resource (WRAP) UK Pact, a £20 million Plastics Research and Innovation Fund, the implementation of a new plastics tax in 2022 and the UK Made Smarter programme.

In addition to the wealth of centres that support the design and development of next generation packaging including the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub at the Henry Royce Institute, the Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, and the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, the North West is also home to a vibrant cluster of leading packaging services and machinery firms.

There are over 60 packaging machinery firms including ABB, Proseal and Markem-Imaje and over 200 recognised and growing packaging services with companies including Saica Pack, Saica Flex, Alpla, Bobst Packaging and MacFarlane Packaging.

There is also an abundance of customers and partners right on the doorstep, with a food and drink manufacturing and related services cluster of over 700 companies including Kraft Heinz, McVities, Heineken and Kellogg’s.

Rachel Eyre

Head of Inward Investment - Advanced Manufacturing and Low Carbon

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