The depletion of fossil resources and the growing demand for plastic waste reduction has put industries and academic researchers under pressure to develop increasingly sustainable packaging solutions that are both functional and circularly designed. In this review, we provide an overview of the fundamentals and recent advances in biobased packaging materials, including new materials and techniques for their modification as well as their end-of-life scenarios. We also discuss the composition and modification of biobased films and multilayer structures, with particular attention to readily available drop-in solutions, as well as coating techniques.
Moreover, we discuss end-of-life factors, including sorting systems, detection methods, composting options, and recycling and upcycling possibilities. Finally, regulatory aspects are pointed out for each application scenario and end-of-life option. Moreover, we discuss the human factor in terms of consumer perception and acceptance of upcycling.