The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by rising environmental awareness, urbanisation, and sustainability, and the growing importance of technologies, such as connected packaging, sustainable/eco-friendly packaging, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 310,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environment Sustainability in Packaging: Waterproof organic packaging paper.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

80+ innovations will shape the packaging industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 87,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, mechanical waste processing, flexible receptacle type refuse containers, and blow moulding with energy recovery are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Sustainable packaging paper coating, MFC coated packaging paper, and hydroponic culturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are starch biopolymer packaging and dismountable greenhouse coverings, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the packaging industry

Waterproof organic packaging paper is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Waterproof organic packaging paper refers to the paper packaging type that does not get damaged when exposed to water.  Moreover, being organic makes it an environmentally friendly packaging material.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of waterproof organic packaging paper.

Key players in waterproof organic packaging paper – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to waterproof organic packaging paper

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Stora Enso 132 Unlock company profile
International Paper 29 Unlock company profile
delfortgroup 24 Unlock company profile
Yagna 19 Unlock company profile
Clariant 19 Unlock company profile
Kuraray 13 Unlock company profile
Kemira 13 Unlock company profile
Humanitarian Scientific 12 Unlock company profile
Ashland 12 Unlock company profile
AGC 10 Unlock company profile
Mondi 8 Unlock company profile
Daikin Industries 7 Unlock company profile
Tetra Laval International 7 Unlock company profile
Solenis Technologies 7 Unlock company profile
Philip Morris International 7 Unlock company profile
Oji Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Visy Industries Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
HS Manufacturing Group 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Stora Enso is one of the leading patent filers in waterproof organic packaging paper. Some other key patent filers in the space include International Paper, Delfortgroup, Yagna, and Clariant. Delfortgroup’s transparent paper bags, called thinwrap® papers, are claimed to be a “game changer” in the packaging industry. These lightweight speciality papers help to protect products from humidity, dust, moisture, and UV rays during transportation.

In terms of application diversity, HS Manufacturing Group leads the pack. Visy Industries Holdings and Daikin Industries stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Yagna held the top position, followed by Ashland and Clariant.

Waterproof organic packaging paper will potentially become the approach favoured by many future packaging players. The importance of this packaging solution is reflected by the significant investments made by packaging players.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.