In this blog, we'll discuss how the pandemic is changing businesses around. Let's see how technology, along with the packaging, is helping companies to grow.

Oct. 2, 2020

Social Distancing & the role of Packaging

Updated On: Oct. 13, 2020

As everyone is struggling with the pandemic, our lifestyles are changed dramatically. 

We used to live in a fast-paced, intermingled society where we have to apply social distancing, wear masks, and ensure sanitization.

Major companies across the globe realize the need for effective hygiene and are taking steps to ensure it. The role of packaging is pretty evident in the campaign. 

In this blog, we'll discuss how the pandemic is changing businesses around. Let's see how technology, along with the packaging, is helping companies to grow.

The hospitals have started using disposable meal trays to provide food to the patients. 

It's hygienic and convenient to use disposables as it takes great effort to maintain reusable plates and utensils. It's best to use disposables and throw them after use. During the time of the pandemic, disposable packaging reduces the chances of human to human transmission.

The dine-in restaurants are greatly affected by the pandemic and greatly rely on online orders. With the online orders, the taste and packaging are the two things that create your brand perception in the customer's mind. For reorders, one must get both of them right.

The disposable nature of the packaging makes it the ideal choice for serving and delivering products to the customer at the pandemic. Till now, we've discussed how packaging is the necessary evil among our society. But the pandemic has shown us the better use of packaging, which works together with the technology and helps people stay indoor responsibly.

It's worth noticing how pandemic has forced people to order everything online, from groceries to large appliances. And the packaging industry has adapted itself and accelerating this new shift.

Do Packaging transmits Coronavirus?

New Zealand reported its first COVID-19 cases in more than three months on Wednesday, prompting a swift reimposition of movement restrictions. Health officials raised the possibility that the virus had arrived in New Zealand via freight, given one of the infected people works at a cool store that takes imported frozen goods from overseas. - Reuters

The researchers consider the transmission of the virus via droplets are much more dangerous than the traces of virus found in the packaging.

It's the best practice to disinfect the packaging before opening the packaging. Or if the product delivered isn't perishable, leave the box untouched for a day as the virus needs the living host to multiply.

How is Packaging helping Now?

The disposables are the best suitable solution to restrict the spread of the virus at events, large-gatherings, restaurants, and movie halls.

Using the disposable plates, bowls, cutlery to serve your customer, which is disposed of off to the garbage bin after use, prevents unnecessary human interactions. 

In marriages and parties, its difficult to maintain social distancing. It's best to replace the reusable plates, bowls with the disposables. 

For office lunches, the pre-packed meal boxes can be distributed across the office. Office employees can eat individually without interacting with others. The person distributing the meal should wear a disposable hair cap and disposable gloves while serving or distributing meal trays.

Small & big offices should remove reusable hand towels from the washrooms and replace them with the disposable paper towel and paper napkins. It's safer and convenient to carry tissue paper with you where ever you go. Use the disposable napkins to press the button in the lift, touching handles. Make sure to throw these disposable paper tissue after every use.

The online E-Commerce platforms are on the rise. As it is not advisable to shop outside, everyone has started sopping online. From t-shirts to the packaging disposables it's all online.
The food delivery services are wrapping everything inside the plastic pouch or the paper bag. Usually, the delivery companies cover everything inside the disposable bags.

Since the delivery people will only touch the disposable pouch or the bag, it's easier for the customers to sanitize the disposable covers and not worry about the packed item inside. Another approach is to leave the bag untouched for 6-7 hours, but it's possible if we know the packed item doesn't require refrigeration.

Future of Packaging after Coronavirus

In the coming time, we will see automation happening in various industries around us. The customer goes to the Kiosk, pays the amount, and the automated machine prepares the food, packs it inside the sealed disposable container, which is directly handed over to the customer. These automated Kiosks are very much possible. 

We will see many examples where packaging and technology will help us fight against the pandemic in the coming future.

Many people might object to the new changes as they think these solutions are relevant during the time of pandemic only. But it's not the case. The automation brings efficiency in the system, maintains good hygiene, and increases the overall throughput. 

All these solutions might seem to be more relevant in the time of the pandemic, but I can assure you they will be more relevant after the pandemic. The automated hygienic Kiosk, which runs 24 hours, will generate more orders than any other offline store.

As the consumer, everyone should promote these new initiatives as these technologies can bring us closer to pre-pandemic times. The packaging industry must be ready to innovate, support, and adapt to the changing businesses around the world.