There are three primary factors that have made flexible products the preferred protective packaging type:
- Sustainability: Flexible products are frequently made from recycled materials and are often recyclable themselves. For instance, paper fill is accepted by most municipal recycling programs. While air pillows may not be recyclable in traditional curbside pickup programs, they can be taken to stores that offer plastic drop-off bins.
- Light Weight: Flexible products are generally lighter than either foam or rigid packaging, making them relatively inexpensive to ship. This makes flexible packaging more desirable for end users who wish to reduce their shipping costs.
- Onsite Inflation: Both bubble packaging and air pillows can be inflated onsite by end users with a machine that is leaded from a packaging supplier. Transportation costs are therefore reduced, as the uninflated packaging takes up far less dimensional space.
More information regarding the study can be found here: https://www.freedoniagroup.com/industry-study/global-protective-packaging-3741.htm