VOLUME 13.5 – 2018
SMURFIT KAPPA’S BETTER PLANET VISION BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY • INTRODUCING LATE-STAGE CUSTOMISATION FOR GLASS
Head of Content Tim Sykes
Head of Commercial Operations Jesse Roberts
Elisabeth Skoda Libby White
Head of Sales
Head of Studio
Senior Sales Executive
Advertising Coordinator Data Manager Kayleigh Harvey
VOLUME 13.5 – 2018
Executive Assistant Amber Dawson
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© Packaging Europe Ltd 2018 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. ISSN 2516-0133 (Print) ISSN 02516-0141 (Online)
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Editorial Tim Sykes Smurfit Kappa Envisioning a Better Planet Sustainability Awards 2018 Announcing the 24 finalists Recycling-ready Amcor launches polyolefin high-barrier film Watermarking & Tracers Sorting the plastic recycling problem Near Field Communications A trillion reasons why recycling is getting easier A New Generation in Glass 3D digital print for late-stage design Dow Awards Taking the pulse of global innovation Direct to User The model that can create deeper connections Innovation Spotlight Tetra Pak helps brands attract shoppers’ attention Labelling Developments in the label technology Beverage Packaging Conference preview Closures & dispensing Surveying the innovation drivers Innovation Spotlight Flint’s swift, efficient label printing solution Sustainable Human SUP bans can lead to discrimination Innovation Spotlight SP Group’s tray2tray project Digital Nomad It’s good to talk
EDITORIAL Few deny that human consumption patterns have brought the natural environment to a point of crisis – but perhaps too few are aware of the breadth and depth of commitment on the part of the packaged goods value chain to minimising our footprint. As the unprecedented engagement which this year’s Sustainability Awards has underlined, demand for zero impact packaging is defining corporate strategy and setting the R&D agenda. Ahead of the competition finale at Scanpack, we present the finalists picked by our independent jury in each of the six categories – a cross-section of today’s pivotal trends in green technology.
ndeed, sustainable innovation is a recurring theme in this edition. In our cover story, Arco Berkenbosch offers a paper industry perspective on plastic waste, and introduces Smurfit Kappa’s new, radically open Better Planet Packaging vision, which embarks on a collaborative innovation journey whose ultimate destination they don’t precisely know. In addition, we report on the cutting edge of technology deployed in the race to solve the plastic circularity problem. Amcor exclusively shares the story of its revolutionary new polyolefin film, which is recyclable in existing waste streams while delivering highbarrier, retortable performance comparable to today’s composite structures. We take a look at the exciting R&D around tracers and digital watermarks, promoted by initiatives such as P&G’s ‘Holy Grail’ project. These just might be a game-changer in the ability of recycling plants to efficiently sort and separate incompatible polymers – if industry and infrastructure can coalesce around standards. Thirdly, Gillian Ewers of PragmatIC suggests that Near Field Communication could be part of the mix in facilitating cost-effective sorting. This has been a big month more generally for packaging innovation. We’re excited to report on perhaps the biggest advance in container glass since the 1990s: O-I’s launch of digital, 3D printing technology to offer latestage customisation on bottles. For marketeers this rewrites the possibilities and upturns the commercial proposition of glass. Meanwhile, Dow has at last
Tim Sykes head of content
announced the results of its venerable Awards for Packaging Innovation. I’ve been itching to write the story of the winners since taking part in the judging in May: there are some deeply impressive innovations in the field (including some notable overlaps with our Sustainability Awards finalists). Also in this magazine: Jocelyne Ehret challenges us to consider the impact of kneejerk plastic bans on already marginalised groups, Anthem’s Kirsty Cole explores the opportunities of the emerging direct-to-consumer model, and the Packaging Europe team reviews the latest developments in closures, dispensers and labelling systems. Packaging Europe magazine will be back in November – but in the meantime we cordially invite you to join us at the Sustainability Awards and Sustainable Packaging Summit on 23 October at Scanpack, in Gothenburg.
Tim Sykes Tim Sykes email@example.com @PackEuropeTim
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ENVISIONING A BETTER PLANET As the industry and wider world wrestle with plastic waste and the relationship of packaging to the environment, Smurfit Kappa has been rethinking its own engagement with the sustainability challenge. Arco Berkenbosch, VP innovation and development, speaks to Tim Sykes about Smurfit Kappaâ€™s view of the problem we face â€“ and the radically outward-facing approach it has adopted.
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he year 2018 has seen European consumers and regulators put packaging waste and single-use plastics in particular under the heat of the spotlight. While the paper industry can feel more relaxed than most in this climate, representing a renewable, widely recycled, and biodegradable product, Arco Berkenbosch approaches the plastic debate with welcome nuance. “The first thing we have to understand is that the fundamental problem with packaging waste is litter,” he states. “I’m a believer in innovation, and I’m confident that if waste is collected in a controlled way, we can apply all the R&D resources we have in the packaging industry and beyond to find ways to solve or at least reduce the problem. Therefore, the first principle is that we should be solving the litter challenge, not waging a war on plastic. When you look at it from this point of view, debates around reusable vs recyclable formats are rather academic. Even if we have multi-use plastic packaging, it’s still a material that will stay on the planet for 500 years. Whether we want to use plastic packaging once or forty times, it’s imperative that it stays under our control.”
What paper can – and can’t – do In addition, Mr Berkenbosch readily acknowledges the properties that make polymers uniquely suitable in certain applications. “We have to recognise that in certain contexts plastic is the most functional material available,” he says. “Take the example of the cucumber: we know the plastic film protects more environmental resources than it uses itself, and at the moment there is no real alternative material that can fulfil this role. We always need to interrogate whether a packaging material is fit for purpose in its core function of protecting the product. In a case like the cucumber it is almost by definition sustainable.” Therefore, our responsibility as a society is to minimise the amount of uncontrolled waste as soon as possible – without creating negative sideeffects in relation to resource efficiency. The dual challenges are to develop systems that ensure we collect and recycle much more plastic, and develop easily recyclable alternatives. Smurfit Kappa believes that it has a role to play in both. “We have the obligation to share what is necessary to make the recycling system work,” suggests Mr Berkenbosch. “Paper packaging is recyclable firstly because it is economically viable without subsidy and secondly because we solved the purity problem, meaning, from a consumer point of view, anything from newspaper to corrugated can go into the same stream.” Smurfit Kappa also aims to bring, where appropriate, the inherent sustainability of fibre-based packaging to applications currently dominated by SUPs. “First of all, let’s be clear about our limitations,” Mr Berkenbosch observes. “As an R&D guy, I intrinsically believe in innovation but producing transparent paper based packaging or high oxygen / liquid barriers are challenging goals for the paper industry right now. However, there are some obvious opportunities to use fibre-based materials, starting with packag-
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ing formats where they were traditionally used, such as trays for salads or hamburgers and punnets for fruits and vegetables. These were utilised for many years before being displaced by plastics – for cost or marketing purposes, not functionality. We all recall the time when six beverage cans were aggregated on a paper-based tray on the shelf, rather than in shrink film. Another obvious opportunity which ought to be higher on the agenda is buffering. The polystyrene used as protective packaging and as void-fill in e-commerce can be replaced by plenty of recyclable products that are available today.” At a time when the debate around SUPs has been dominated by a focus on visibly impactful applications where there is an emotional connection for consumers, such as drinking straws and coffee cups, the short-term reduction in plastic waste that could be achieved via the low-hanging fruit (void fill, trays, pizza boxes) can easily be overlooked. In such applications, according to Mr Berkenbosch, paper offers an attractive alternative. “At Smurfit Kappa we have 31 different flute designs, which means a lot of scope to play around with the structure to maximise efficiency and marketing impact,” he says. “In the context of omnichannel retail and agile marketing, it’s also a big advantage that board offers a lot of flexibility in altering the structural design and graphics of a tray, compared to the cost involved in redesigning a plastic tray.” A study conducted on UK consumers in August 2018 using Smurfit’s ShelfSmart tool to measure relative impacts found that 75 per cent preferred paper-based trays. While similar tests are being undertaken across other geographies, the working hypothesis is that a marketing shift in favour of fibre is underway. Meanwhile, if governments follow through on recycling levies, it is expected to tilt the cost proposition in the paper industry’s favour.
Extending the possibilities Beyond the low-hanging fruit, the cutting edge of Smurfit Kappa’s R&D emphasises developing additional functionalities without compromising recyclability. “Enhancing gas and moisture barrier properties is a key innovation focus, and we’ve seen a shift in approach here,” Mr Berkenbosch reveals. “In the past there was a lot of research into biodegradable coatings, which were problematic because they needed to be separated from the paper, which required special collection streams and lots of consumer education. Today we are performing research on coatings that can go through the standard paper collection stream, meaning we can harness the existing infrastructure – with its 91 per cent collection rate – without re-educating the supply chain or consumers.” Under this model, material separation takes place after collection: the bio-based coatings dissolving in the typical paper recycling process. Another advantage of the current research approach is that whereas coatings have in the past have usually been applied early in the production process, here it takes place at the printing stage, meaning it can be applied selectively where required. This translates to reduced pressure on volumes and flexibility in creating dedicated solutions.
Sustainability leadership While such fundamental R&D efforts are yielding exciting advances, Smurfit Kappa has come to see this model of innovation, leveraging internal knowledge along with research partnerships, as somewhat within its comfort zone. As such, the business has undergone a radical rethink of the role it has to play in sustainable innovation. The result is its ‘Better Planet Packaging’ initiative, the pillars of which consist of inspiration and education, design, innovation, and external cooperation. Smurfit Kappa’s transformative idea is that it needs to adopt an even more open relationship than today with the wider industry and community, providing leadership and know-how, along with a platform for a much wider ecosystem of design creativity. “We’ll be setting an innovation agenda,” Mr Berkenbosch says. “We are developing a set of guidelines to reimagine how things would look if we designed packaging differently. When it comes to design, the key challenge is to produce packaging that fulfils its protective role while reducing the chance that it will become litter. A classic example is the non-detachable ring pull invented for cans so they don’t turn into litter. For plastic bottles it would be beneficial to create a similar mechanism that keeps the cap connected to the bottle. With fibre-based packaging, it could mean producing tapes that remain attached to the box after opening, or a twopiece box that isn’t detached, so no elements are diverted away from the recycling stream.” While Smurfit Kappa looks to set the agenda, it recognises that it can’t monopolise it if the objective is to think outside the box. “We’ve launched Better Planet Packaging in part with the intention of mobilising not just Smurfit Kappa’s designers, but the global design community,” Mr Berkenbosch states. “I think the industry has had something of a blind spot. In the IT world it’s common to hold sessions where you put 200 developers in a room to solve a problem. In Smurfit Kappa we have proven to be a strong believer in the packaging industry shedding its conservative habits and embracing new approaches. Why shouldn’t we, like Apple or Google, bring together 200 brilliant designers and set them a challenge to forget how we used to do things and come up with new, sustainable solutions? Maybe there are designers from the automotive industry or other sectors who can approach our challenges in a totally different way.” The company is adamant that Better Planet Packaging isn’t about promoting its portfolio. “We mean to start an innovation journey that asks what we need to do to develop sustainable packaging, with a particular focus on end-of-life scenarios,” Mr Berkenbosch concludes. “We see ourselves as a leader in setting this agenda but the honest truth is that we don’t precisely know where this journey will end.”
Arco Berkenbosch, VP innovation and development
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24 FINALISTS COMPETE FOR THE TOP SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING ACCOLADE Packaging Europe has announced the top four submissions in each of the six categories of the Sustainability Awards 2018, as judged by the seventeen-strong, independent jury representing the breadth of the European packaging value chain. The six category winners and one overall Sustainability Awards 2018 winner will be unveiled at Scanpack in Gothenburg on 23 October.
Best Practice finalists
ow in its fourth year, the Sustainability Awards has gained a reputation as the most comprehensive and rigorously judged initiative examining the state of sustainable innovation in packaging. Conceived as a way to stimulate scrutiny, uptake and cross-fertilisation of the best ideas around improving the environmental footprint of packaging, the competition challenges the industry to take a holistic approach to sustainability, rather than satisfy itself with gains according to one metric at the expense of losses elsewhere. The 2018 competition attracted 110 submissions from all over Europe - from household brands to academic research.
More with Less The ‘Resource Efficiency’ category is designed to showcase the best packaging innovations that downgauge materials or reduce carbon footprints without increasing the environmental impact of the packaged product. The first of the four finalists in this category is BillerudKorsnäs’s disappearing
cement sack which, when subjected to mechanical action, aggregate and water in the cement mixer, disintegrates into tiny fibres that are bound into the concrete or mortar. The next is Stora Enso’s EcoFishBox, a leak-proof corrugated board alternative to the expanded polystyrene widely used in the fish industry. The third contender is the Horizon 2020-funded NanoPack project, which is developing state-of-the-art antimicrobial packaging solutions for perishable foods based on natural nanomaterials that will prevent food-borne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage. The novel packaging films will display antimicrobial activity against a range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast and moulds which cause food spoilage and extend the shelf-life of food products by up to 25%. Last but not least is a biodegradable, waterless flower packaging solution by Uflex that creates significant energy reductions in the supply chain while prolonging the freshness of flowers for 20 days without water.
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Circular Economy finalists
Big Brands The ‘Best Practice’ category was conceived to celebrate achievements by brand owners or retailers in minimising the environmental impact of their packaging. First of the finalists is Iceland Foods, the supermarket which shook the packaging world by becoming the first retailer to go Plastic Free in January 2018. The next is a collaboration between Garçon Wines and RPC M&H Plastics to develop a recycled PET ‘letterboxable’ wine bottle especially devised for resourceefficient e-commerce delivery. Meanwhile, the retailer M&S and the giant brand owner Coca-Cola present respective sustainability strategies. Plan A 2025, submitted by M&S, commits to creating all packaging with the circular economy in mind: reducing materials used, reusing packaging where possible, making all packaging widely recyclable by 2022 and developing a monopolymer roadmap. This is Forward Circular Economy by Coca-Cola Western Europe commits, among other things, to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, actively working to ensure collection and recycling of packaging, and at least 50% PET packaging coming from recycled feedstocks.
Designed for Recycling The ‘Recyclable Packaging’ shines a spotlight on innovations in packaging materials that promote recycling. The first of the finalists, EnShield Natural Kraft by WestRock, is a fully recyclable paperboard providing oil and grease resistance without the use of poly coating. Meanwhile, Mayr-Melnhof Karton’s FOODBOARD pure virgin fibre is a ‘next-gen’ cartonboard with an innovative barrier that shields packed food against the migration of mineral oils, phthalates and bisphenol A. The third finalist is Braiform’s garment hanger recycling system, which brings broken hangers back as raw material for new ones. Lastly, RPC bpi protec’s X-EnviroPouch matches multilayer film functionality with a 100% polythene, therefore fully recyclable, alternative.
Engineering In the ‘Machinery’ category the judges were looking for innovations that increased environmental efficiencies in the production line or facilitated more sustainable practices. The finalists include Aseptic Combi Predis, submitted by Sidel, which merges dry preform sterilisation with aseptic blowing, filling and sealing functions within a single production enclosure, eliminating water and minimising use of chemicals, while facilitating lightweighting. The solution is estimated to have saved seven billion litres of water and 57,000 tons of PET across the production of 46 billion bottles. The second entry competing for the award is Amcor’s breakthrough LiquiForm technology, which uses consumable liquid
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Resource Efficiency finalists
instead of compressed air to simultaneously form and fill the container – in the process eliminating the need for blow-moulding equipment and high-pressure air systems, delivering significant energy savings while facilitating lightweighting of bottles. The next finalist is Made2Fit by DS Smith: a technology which improves operational efficiency, eliminates void fill and lowers transportation costs for e-commerce. Ardagh completes the quartet with its implementation of hybrid battery storage to secure a reliable supply of green energy, providing a back-up during peak consumption and delivering energy back to the grid when demand is low.
Circularity The category ‘Driving the Circular Economy’ marks breakthroughs in recycling or reusable packaging systems and initiatives promoting increase in recycling rates or demand for recyclate. The finalists include the 2500C Temperature Controlled Container submitted by SkyCell AG, a recycled plastic airfreight solution that delivers drastic reductions in CO2 emissions, and Coca-Cola’s re-usable intelligent bottles scheme, piloted at the University of Reading. Also competing in this category is James Cropper’s CupCycling technology for recycling disposable cups on a commercial scale, and Henkel’s Pattex – the first consumer adhesive packaging entirely made of post-consumer recycled resin.
Renewables The next category - ‘Bio-Based’ - celebrates the development or innovative use of bio-based materials with significant positive potential in packaging applications. The first contender is AgriRAP, developed by Rapid Action Packaging, a sandwich-wedge using fibres salvaged from the inedible waste left over from crops and featuring a peelable film for easy separation prior to recycling. Competing against this is a cellulose-based packaging material by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland – a compostable three-layered substrate that looks and performs like plastic with strong gas and moisture barrier properties. The third contender is SIG Combibloc’s SIGNATURE PACK, a world first aseptic pack 100% linked to plant-based renewable material, utilising tall oil (a waste by-product from the paper industry) as raw material. Tall oil is also the basis of Dow’s submission – a sustainable feedstock for bio-based LDPE production. Want to be the first to know the winners of the Sustainability Awards 2018? You’re welcome to join us at the Awards ceremony and the Sustainable Packaging Summit at Scanpack in Gothenburg on 23 October 2018. Visit: sustainabilityawards2018.com
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RECYCLABILITY REVOLUTION IN HIGH-BARRIER FILMS Amcor has set out to transform the circular capability of flexible packaging with the launch of a new polyolefin barrier film – a platform technology for packaging a huge variety of products. The culmination of several years’ R&D and a major step toward achieving Amcor’s pledge to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025, this innovation appears to have reached the El Dorado of flexibles: a polyolefin-based substrate that can be used for ambient and retort high-barrier applications – and can be recycled. Amcor spoke exclusively about the launch with Packaging Europe’s Tim Sykes.
oday, many products are protected by high barrier packaging that is not easily recyclable due to their multi-material structures. A good example is retort pouches, which today use polyester, aluminium and polyolefins as base materials to achieve protection and deliver high-barrier performance. Due to different melting points, polyolefins, PET barrier films and aluminium cannot be recycled together, and their recycling requires pure feedstocks. Evidently, a purely polyolefin alternative that would be recyclable through existing waste streams would be a game changer. But could industry find an alternative that matches the barrier and heat resistant performance of multi-material laminates?
Amcor’s answer to this question is: yes, it can. “Our breakthrough innovation is a high-barrier OPP film with SiOx (silicon oxide) coating that has met the challenges of delivering outstanding performance for barriers, sealing, and withstanding high heat processing, such as retort and heat sterilisation,” Luca Zerbini (VP of sustainability, marketing and innovation for Amcor’s Flexibles business in EMEA) revealed to Packaging Europe. “This new polyolefin film will be a building block to develop flexible packaging for a huge variety of products, from ready-meals to wet pet-food, coffee to nuts and snacks.”
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The circularity transformation
At a time when many players on the flexibles market are investing in monopolymer innovation, the importance of this development lies in its range of high-performance applications. Many of the solutions the industry has brought to market have been medium- to low-barrier solutions, unsuited to retort applications, or often developed as bespoke solutions for particular applications. Amcor has taken a different approach, by working on a platform that can be applied across a whole range of packaging contexts. The ambition is bold: nothing less than transforming the whole industry. The new platform will be available in three basic grades: ambient medium barrier, ambient high barrier and retort high barrier. According to Amcor, the retortable grade is offering barrier performances of <1cc oxygen and <1g moisture after converting and retort (numbers which align with the top performing non-recyclable barrier films currently on the market, for instance PET barrier films). The figures for the ambient high-performance grade are below 0.1 cc oxygen and 0.1 g moisture. “No other polyolefin film on the market approaches these properties,” commented Andrea Della Torre (senior R&D director, EMEA). “This film is a true breakthrough for high barrier and retort pouches, and is a huge step forward toward meeting our own, and our customers’ sustainability commitments.” | 16 | Packaging Europe
Making its 2025 pledge in January this year, Amcor became the first global plastic packaging company to commit to develop all of its packaging to be recyclable or reusable – and the launch of the new family of recycling-ready polyolefin films should be read as the first milestone in realising that goal. However, the story of Amcor’s strategic readjustment and R&D groundwork stretches back much further. “Historically, flexible packaging emphasised its ability to protect the product with utmost efficiency and reduced carbon footprint,” Mr Della Torre told Packaging Europe. “We tended to see sustainability through the prism of LCA, but already some time ago we recognised that waste management was an Achilles’ heel for composite materials. Today I think it’s fair to say that providing viable solutions for end-of-life is a prerequisite, a basic licence to operate. Today, dedicated R&D teams are working on the challenge, codified more recently in the pledge, of converting the entire product portfolio to be recycling-ready with existing and emerging recycling infrastructure.” The journey to this destination has been long and tortuous. “Before applying material science we do thorough analysis of shelf-life requirements in partnership with our customers,” Mr Della Torre continued. “Applying these insights, we first worked on eliminating aluminium and then PET from barrier films. Concentrated R&D on surface coating for polyolefin films, using Amcor’s SiOx vacuum facility (the only one of its kind in Europe), has taken place over the last three and a half years.” Now Amcor is in a position to start rolling out the achievements of its longterm platform research across multiple market segments. The full market launch
will be underpinned by investment in a second SiOx facility to support the necessary volumes. For the moment, however, the new film is undergoing a series of tests at the customer level. “We are currently running trials of the new film with several customers who have made pledges similar to Amcor’s own regarding recyclability of packaging and the initial feedback is extremely positive,” Mr Zerbini reported. “In fact, this is going to defy a lot of expectations across the market. When we made our recyclability pledge there were some who interpreted it to mean that Amcor was vacating the retort market.”
Sustained commitment If the public 2025 pledge acted to accelerate existing efforts to move towards recyclable packaging, it also sets the agenda for future innovation. “We have an exciting opportunity to drive the industry forward,” remarked Mr Zerbini. “This is just the first solution we are launching in the process of meeting the commitments of our pledge. There will be further announcements: more key projects in the pipeline to convert the remaining areas of the Amcor product range to recycling-ready.” As everyone knows, the recyclable packaging innovation challenge only satisfies part one of the overall societal problem. “We’re aware that ‘designed for recycling’ is only the first stage and means nothing if the packaging isn’t collected and recycled,” said Dr Gerald Rebitzer (sustainability director, Amcor Flexibles). “Many recycling systems don’t accept flexible packaging today. This is an area where engagement with industry, policy makers and cross-value chain organisations is critical.” Standardisation will be essential in effecting the required investments and
Andrea Della Torre
creating demand for recyclate – which is why forthcoming guidelines from organisations such as the Ellen McArthur Foundation and CEFLEX have such an important role to play. These align raw material suppliers, converters, brand owners, retailers, sorting and recycling facilities and regulators on how to realise a circular economy for flexibles. The recycling blueprint, encouraging polyethylene and polypropylene while proscribing PET and PVC, illuminates the business sense behind Amcor’s resource-heavy R&D program. “The new film has the potential to generate financial as well as environmental savings,” commented Mr Zerbini. “In markets where our customers pay Extended Producer Responsibility fees, Amcor’s new development will offer the potential to reduce these fees, especially with upcoming regulations where fees are modulated based on recyclability.” Another repercussion of any breakthrough in struggle against unrecycled plastic waste is that it works against complacent distraction from an arguably greater threat. “Building a circular economy is a demand that we fully accept but we also need to look at sustainability holistically,” concluded Dr Rebitzer. “We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that climate change is the number one challenge. Implementation of the Paris Agreement is slow. We know that if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest CO2 emitter in the world. In parallel with our ongoing activities to make all our packaging recyclable, we continue to work on downgauging and developing packaging that reduces food waste and other damage and loss. And in bringing to market high-performance films that can meet the demand for zero waste, we enable flexible packaging to continue to deliver the resource efficiency a growing global population desperately needs.”
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SORTING THE PLASTIC RECYCLING PROBLEM As Smurfit Kappa’s Arco Berkenbosch observes elsewhere in this magazine, a key to the success of paper recycling is the fact that everything from corrugated board to newspapers can go into the same stream. Simplicity for the consumer is crucial to a high collection rate. Given the multiplicity of polymers used in packaging, raising recycling rates based on a single collection stream depends on solving the challenge of efficiently identifying and sorting different plastics. Having explored a number of approaches to this challenge, a number of value chain stakeholders are now investing in research around two technologies that could make an important contribution: tracers and digital watermarking. Tim Sykes reports.
one of the biggest players in FMCG, and with a brand portfolio heavily reliant on plastic packaging, Procter & Gamble is actively engaged in the task of driving up recycling of the 15 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste the EU produces annually – only 30 per cent of which is currently recycled. At the Sustainable Packaging Summit at Gothenburg’s Scanpack on 23 October P&G’s principal scientist
– packaging R&D, Gian De Belder, will introduce the pioneering ‘Holy Grail’ project, which is developing an industry-wide programme for tracer and watermark technology. “To give innovative recycling technologies a chance, it’s crucial to establish international standards,” Gian De Belder suggests. “Both tracers and digital watermarks have the potential to simplify the sorting of packaging waste. Packaging Europe | 19 |
Digital watermarking offers a second role in consumer interaction
Although it’s a positive that the EU Commission has recognised these technologies and encourages R&D, we currently lack a shared vision or common standards. That’s why we have instigated Holy Grail.”
How do they work? Tracer-based sorting uses fluorescent pigments incorporated into the plastic substrate. These are only visible UV light at the sorting plant. Meanwhile, digital watermarks are codes that are integrated into design of the packaging, and detected by cameras on high-speed sorting lines. An additional nuance of watermarks is that consumers can ‘read’ them with their smartphones to check recycling information. Oliver Lambertz, business development manager Segments at TOMRA Sorting GmbH – one of the partners in the Holy Grail project, elaborates. “Tracer systems based on UV fluorescence have UV markers are integrated either directly in the material matrix or in sleeves,” he tells Packaging Europe. “Sorting technology can then identify the fluorescence and separate marked objects from non-marked objects.” Within digital watermarking a number of different systems are possible. “Watermarks can be printed, for instance on in-mould-labels or on sleeves, or they can be integrated in 2D or 3D moulds,” Mr Lambertz explains. “A watermark can carry a lot of information about the product and its packaging and could help to sort the materials based on defined specifications.” Three-dimensional watermarking technology for plastics such as PET-bottles and trays, such as that developed by the Dutch company FiliGrade, provide waste sorters a unique method for selection. Nearly invisible to the human eye, | 20 | Packaging Europe
Oliver Lambertz, business development manager
the code can be read by a camera, in infrared, daylight or ultraviolet conditions. Covering the full product, the watermark’s readability is not affected by dirt, distortion or orientation. In addition, there is no chemical residue and therefore no impurities entering the recyclate. However, it might be the potential of watermarking to double as a medium for consumer interaction that proves crucial supplying the added value that persuades stakeholders to make the investments required for widespread adoption. Consider for a moment the possibilities introduced by smartphone readability – from nutritional information and provenance details to marketing communication. With big stakeholders such as P&G and TOMRA already showing interest, and converters such as Multivac already producing prototypes, it seems the value chain has taken note of this point.
Projects and potential If these technologies can be made to work efficiently under industrial conditions in waste sorting installations, they can help distinguish materials that today are difficult to separate. “The main focus currently is on materials which are difficult to sort and recycle today, such as carbon black coloured plastics, food vs non-food packaging or fully sleeved bottles,” Mr Lambertz says. There are still a number of innovation challenges between where we stand today and widespread implementation. “The variety of systems within digital watermarks and tracers requires different technologies for detection and sorting, of which some are more challenging than others. Development work is for some of these
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technologies still in an early stage. There is still a lot of work to be done, also on the detection and sorting side.” As with every endeavour at innovation in the recycling infrastructure, alignment across the value chain will be essential to meet these challenges. “For well working circular systems the involvement of all stakeholders along the value chain is needed, starting from material suppliers, converters, brand owners, retailers, consumers to waste management and recycling companies,” Mr Lambertz comments. “It is very positive that this dialogue between stakeholders has significantly increased in the last years, also thanks to systemic initiatives like for instance the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy. Implementing such new technologies requires a wide acceptance of different stakeholders, a certain standardisation and a feasible business model along the whole value chain.” The Holy Grail project is one such collaborative effort, focusing on solutions for improved sorting efficiencies and setting standards for tracer and watermark solutions. As part of the initiative TOMRA is helping assess the technical feasibility of new sorting technologies. TOMRA has also been involved in the PRISM project, along with partners including Nextek, Brunel University, CCL, Mirage Inks, Cleantech Europe and WRAP. PRISM has developed coded labels using non-rare earth based luminescent compounds as well as materials recovered from fluorescent lamp recycling. In addition to assisting recovery of PP food packaging, HDPE milk bottles and sleeved PET, it is envisaged that the technology will open up new markets for recovered fluorescent compounds. So are tracers and/or watermarking likely to transform the recycling landscape? It’s a bit early to make bold predictions. | 22 | Packaging Europe
“It’s still difficult to assess their impact on the recycling landscape, as it will largely depend on a wide acceptance both by packaging producers, brand owners, retailers and the possible business model for the waste and recycling industry,” says Mr Lambertz. “Any technology that can help to increase and improve recycling should be assessed. However, solutions for very fragmented streams are usually difficult to establish in the recycling industry. A certain volume is needed to make it economically feasible.” Nevertheless, there’s broad consensus around the fact that ineffective separation is one of the fundamental reasons that so much plastic in Europe ends up in landfill or incineration. Mr Lambertz concludes: “Recovering these lost commodities would make a huge contribution to increasing recycling rates. Meeting future recycling targets requires holistic action and improvement, including design for recycling and increased collection rates – but improved sorting technologies will play a critical part.”
P&G’s principal packaging scientist Gian De Belder
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A TRILLION REASONS WHY RECYCLING IS GETTING EASIER There are some staggering facts that highlight the challenge the world is facing in terms of the waste we produce. The World Bank estimated that in 2012, on average globally, each person generated 1.2kg of waste per day. Of that waste, only 18 per cent is being recycled, with almost half going to landfill, and the rest litter. In the developed world we generate twice as much waste per person, and although some countries do significantly better than others at recycling: 60 per cent in the Netherlands and Germany, 45 per cent in the UK. There is plenty of room for improvement â€“ writes Gillian Ewers, VP marketing at PragmatIC.
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why don’t we do more? Many studies have looked into this and it usually comes down to some very simple things: first people are confused about what can and can’t be recycled, secondly there are no incentives to recycle. The confusion is pretty easy to understand, there have been many conflicting articles in the news and online, and often what can be placed in the recycling bins varies both within countries and between countries.
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NFC (Near Field Communication) offers a great solution to improve recycling. A low-cost inlay could be added to the packaging at manufacture allowing the consumer, with a simple tap of their NFC enabled smartphone, to access information about the packaging and how to recycle it. With NFC each item can be uniquely identified, and the data given to the consumer can be personalised to reflect the recycling information in their local area. Thirdly, NFC on packaging could also be used to incentivise the consumer, the manufacturers as well as the retail supply chain. For example, a smart recycling bin could count the number of items that are placed into it and give the consumer credits for how much is collected. Promoting positive behaviour rather than the negative “Pay to Throw” schemes which propose to charge for the amount of unsegregated waste. NFC could help to expand the bottle deposit system to more countries and more containers, reducing the number of bottles that end up on the streets when their contents are consumed outside the house. The Pfand system has increased the recycling of beverage bottles in Germany to over 97 per cent. Many of the systems use barcode readers. If this was replaced with NFC the machine itself could pre-sort the bottles, reducing cross contamination of plastics. These are all exciting prospects, especially if scaled to multiple countries and packaging types; but will it happen? The deployment of RFID/NFC technology has so far been restricted to brand engagement low volume marketing campaigns, due to the cost of the solutions. FlexICs are poised to bring intelligence
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at a cost point orders of magnitude lower than possible with traditional silicon integrated circuits, making it feasible to integrate inlays into potentially trillions of consumer products. Let’s turn to the question on whether RFID/NFC makes packaging more difficult to recycle. The technology is added to packages via inlays – small additional labels that are usually placed under the graphic label we are all used to seeing. Advances in adhesive technologies by the big label manufacturers, for example, from Avery Dennison, MCC (Multi Color Corporation) and UPM Raflatac, have resulted in labels (and inlays) that cleanly float off during the recycling process so they can be separated from the valuable plastic bottle flakes or glass bottles. If the glass is going through a crushing process, then the labels and inlays are burnt off when the glass cullet is melted. For cardboard packages Smurfit Stone demonstrated that the inlays and labels could also be easily separated in the pulping process and for laminated packages, for example Tetrapak or SIG, there are already recycling processes that separate the plastic and aluminium barrier layers from the cardboard pulp. In summary, the reducing cost of implementing RFID/NFC on everyday goods offers a great opportunity. As well as delivering clear, localised information about the recyclability of the packaging, it can be used to incentivise the consumers to recycle more. It could make serious inroads into achieving the EU’s challenging goals to reduce landfill to a maximum of 10 per cent of municipal waste by 2030 and play a significant part in the war against waste.
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A NEW GENERATION IN GLASS: O-I INTRODUCES 3D DIGITAL PRINT FOR LATE-STAGE DESIGN O-I has unveiled a technological leap forward that (almost literally) breaks the mould for container glass. Two days before the official launch, Tim Sykes met Vitaliano Torno (president) and Arnaud Aujouannet (chief sales and marketing officer) to put the innovation in context.
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he word ‘innovation’ sometimes has a paradoxical ring when applied to glass, the most ancient of packaging materials still widely used today. However, the ‘O-I : EXPRESSIONS’ service launched by Owens-Illinois teleports the world of container glass to the cutting edge of technology, addressing the most pressing demands of the marketplace. For an industry that has spent decades investing in industrial processes to deliver efficiencies of scale, the recent shift in demand away from large volumes in favour of shorter runs, proliferation of SKUs, speed to market and agility represents a quite a challenge. O-I : EXPRESSIONS, the result of four years of in-house R&D, is a radical response. In essence, the technology introduces photo-realistic and three-dimensional digital print to the container glass industry. Printed with organic UV inks and using a Drop-on-Demand process, it enables fast and reliable curing, with CMYK offering the full spectrum of Pantone hues. The even more exciting news for brands is the capacity for tactile, three-dimensional effects: embossing, and even coloured embossing, offered by the premium version of the package, named O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF. This has transformative implications. Until now a custom bottle has required costly and time-consuming investment in designing and producing a bespoke mould, making it unviable for most short runs and small brands. We rarely see a craft brewed beer or a seasonal promotion vodka in a custom designed bottle. This looks set to change. With 3D printing, brands can apply late-stage differentiation that make stock bottles a canvas for the marketeer’s creativity. The economic proposition and shorter design/approval cycle bring glass into the conversation as a viable medium for the mass-customisation, personalisation, premiumisation, nimble marketing and occasional packaging that are driving much of the growth in our industry. In addition to the market possibilities, O-I are keen to portray this as a sustainability gain. The organic inks do not impact on recyclability. Moreover, it is foreseen that flexibility will lend new efficiencies along the supply chain, with increased use of stock bottles, reduced inventories and (eventually) more localised customisation. In addition, it raises the possibility of marketing premium products in lightweight bottles.
Paradigm shift If this is a revolutionary advance in technological terms, it springs from a fundamental strategic change. “O-I has prospered for over a century thanks to its culture as an innovative company,” observed Vitaliano Torno, president of O-I Europe. “For many years the driving focus of our R&D was on the engineering side: bringing incremental improvements to our machines and furnaces. However, we realised that many of the old paradigms and models were changing. O-I therefore set a transformation agenda which shifted our focus much more to addressing consumer market trends and customer needs, and being less self-contained in our innovation.” O-I : EXPRESSIONS, which Vitaliano Torno regards as one of the most significant developments he has seen in 30 years in the glass industry, is the first major manifestation in this new approach to growth and innovation. “This development is an outcome of O-I’s strategic agenda and reflects our vision to emphasise high value segments by leveraging new technology and product innovation along with new attractive customised and flexible service offerings,” commented Arnaud Aujouannet, chief sales and marketing officer. Packaging Europe | 31 |
“Alongside the demand for differentiation and personalisation, the other value we identify as driving glass is sustainability and health. Of course, we are proud of the generic advantages of glass – recyclable, sustainable, inert. However, this is also an area of major ongoing R&D.” This is another area informed by O-I’s changed vision. “Pushing the boundaries on scale isn’t enough in today’s marketplace,” said Mr Torno. “We have to be humble, to rethink how to make glass that is light, unbreakable and has a low carbon footprint. The sustainability task requires thinking outside the box.” The tantalising suggestion is that here, too, innovation is in the pipeline…
When is EXPRESSIONS available? The new service will be launched first in Europe, which accounts for 24 per cent of the global personalised packaging market. O-I is making an initial investment in two direct2glass industrial digital printers, which will make O-I : EXPRESSIONS commercially available on industrial scale by mid-2019. The North American launch will follow soon after Europe. Thereafter, expansion of production facilities is expected to shadow the regions (such as Scotland and the west coast USA) where key markets (like Scotch whisky and Californian wine) are located. In the meantime, small-scale collaborations are likely to see light. We wait in anticipation for the for the first promotions on the European market of digitally decorated and embossed glass. Further details: www.discoverexpressions.com
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DOW AWARDS TAKE THE PULSE OF INNOVATION The winners of the Awards for Packaging Innovation, one of our industry’s most prestigious competitions, have been revealed. Packaging Europe’s Tim Sykes, a member of the global judging panel that assembled in Houston to scrutinise the 2018 entries, looks back on the competition and the deserving winners.
he Awards for Packaging Innovation gained recognition over decades under the stewardship of DuPont. Taken over by Dow for its thirtieth edition, the competition maintains both the high profile and the seriousness on which its reputation has been built. Judges representing converters, machinery, brands, retail and the industry as a whole (deftly guided by lead judge David Luttenberger, global packaging director for Mintel Group) flew in from all over the world to spend forty eight intense hours rigorously evaluating and debating each of the 200+ submissions to the 2018 Awards. We flew home overwhelmed and stirred by the magnitude of innovation we had encountered. Among the macro insights, it was striking - though unsurprising - that a lot of the big innovations for developed markets were driven by the sustainability and e-commerce - trends. At the same time, as a truly global competition, the judging exercise presented a unique insight into the way packaging is making a difference across very different markets. Alongside groundbreaking R&D, there were also applications of existing technology in developing markets. Bringing affordability and shelf-life to perishable commodities in Nigeria and pioneering circularity of plastics in India may not be ‘novel’ but may end up having as great an impact as world-firsts.
Procter & Gamble — Air Assist packaging technology
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Submissions were judged according to three criteria – technological advancement, responsibility and enhanced user experience – and the big prizes were earned by entries which demonstrated excellence in all three. Among these, the highest honour, the Diamond Award, went to Procter & Gamble’s Air Assist, a breakthrough in performance and sustainability for e-commerce and brick-andmortar packaging. This liquid packaging technology uses compressed gas to provide tailored rigidity to create structure in flexible films. By utilising a proprietary one-way valve, the new packaging form delivers cleaner dispensing, more controlled dosing and more convenient one-handed use while still being tough enough for e-commerce shipping without extra protection. Air Assist also uses 50 per cent less plastic than a traditional rigid bottle and has a 360-degree palette for design, making it a more resource-efficient solution.
Delivering Happiness Limited’s T/A Garçon Wines — Flat Wine Bottle
In addition to the Diamond Award, the top honour of the competition, nine ‘Diamond Finalist Winners’ were selected – among them, three packaging innovations which have subsequently won the admiration of the judges in the Sustainability Awards 2018.
Flat Wine Bottle Garçon Wines is the inventor and granted IP holders of a flat wine bottle, which is specifically designed for e-commerce so that it could fit through mail slots or letterboxes. The primary package, a slender 750 ml recycled PET bottle, lays flat in a dye-cut cavity in the same shape as the bottle within the postal pack in which it gets delivered. Using 100 per cent post-consumer recycled PET instead of glass significantly reduces shipping weight and cost, eliminates potential breakage in transit and offers a more eco-friendly packaging material solution than regular plastic or glass. “Round, glass bottles have remained relatively unchanged since the 19th century,” Santiago Navarro, CEO & co-dounder of Garçon Wines, told Packaging Europe. “However, the sales and supply of wine has changed significantly since then. The traditional bottles, which consumers know and like, work well from an emotional perspective – they look beautiful on a dining table – but from a functional perspective they’re not fit for purpose for distance selling and home delivery. The existing, successful developments in wine primary packaging – bag-in-box or carton – achieve many functional benefits but totally lack emotional benefits; we believe most consumers would not proudly place a box of wine on their dining table. “We’re creating meaningful innovation and disrupting both the emotional packaging of round, glass bottles and the functional packaging of bag-in-box or carton. We’re launching the ideal wine bottles for ecommerce and the ‘Amazon Generation’ which additionally set a new eco-friendly and sustainability
Amcor Rigid Plastics — LiquiForm™
benchmark in the wine industry, essential for the health of our planet. Consumers increasingly recognise the importance of safeguarding our environment and demand this from the brands they engage with. “In order to build the most solid foundation to achieve our adoption goals for these innovative bottles, we believe that generating reputational traction in the early days is as important as driving commercial traction. Therefore, we actively engage with the media, we welcome testimonials from influencers, we submit our best applications for industry awards and we take-up public speaking opportunities to share our innovation. Winning awards cements our position as a serious and credible packaging format, a real innovation with relevance and a significant opportunity for the long-term. Being awarded the top tier Diamond Finalist Winner at the prestigious 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation will do exactly this. It confirms our position as having the strongest pedigree in real packaging innovation as these awards represent the best packaging innovations for technological advancement, sustainability and enhanced user experience.”
LiquiForm™ The next Diamond Finalist, LiquiForm®, claims to have the potential to revolutionise the future of liquid packaging. The technology uses the customer’s liquid product instead of compressed air to simultaneously form and fill containers. The liquid product essentially forms its own rigid plastic container. “This game-changing process helps design, develop and deploy products through fewer steps and a single source, creating a world in which manufacturing is nimbler, supply chains are tighter, systems are more efficient, facilities are more localised and the entire process is more sustainable,” according to Ashish Saxena, vice president and general manager of Amcor 360 Packaging Solutions: Packaging Europe | 35 |
Uflex Limited – Waterless Internet Flower Packaging
Waterless Flower Packaging India-headquartered Uflex Limited scored highly with its Waterless Internet Flower Packaging, based on Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging Technology (AMAP). Uflex has engineered a special proprietary patented polymeric film to offer a packaging solution for fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. A fast respiration meter is used to determine the respiration rate of flowers, and associated software then calculates the required film permeability. A special laser system uses the information to adapt the permeability of the film offered by Uflex through micro-perforations. This proprietary polymeric substrate is the first biodegradable film that maintains the hydration of flowers during transpiration – put simply, evaporation causing loss of moisture during respiration – thus creating a closed loop system. “Uflex invested in the AMAP solution in 2014 for Tropical products such as Mango, Green Chillies, Okra etc., which are exported to the Indian Diaspora across the world,” N. Siva Shankaran, VP, business development told Packaging Europe. “Our first trial using the technology with conventional polymeric film ended up in a disaster. There was too much condensation leading to decay of the products, growth of moulds etc. When we checked with the available solution across the world, the most common shelf life extension systems were using Polyamide (Stepac) or conventional PE with macro perforations, which did not maintain the modified atmosphere and would let out the humidity. Most solutions also worked in near frozen conditions (0-4 Deg C) which led us to have a firm conviction that the same polymer might not work well for Tropical Produce. Our search did not yield any results and we started looking at Biodegradable polymers. Since the biodegradable polymers did not offer key requirements | 36 | Packaging Europe
such as mechanical strength, clarity and Permeability, we designed our own formulation using the available biodegradable polymers. Our initial trials gave us great results and we shared this with our technology partner Perfotec B.V., Immediately, they saw the opportunity and took up distribution for Flexfresh for Europe, Africa and Americas.” In addition to multiplying the shelf-life and slashing energy consumption in the supply chain for flowers, Uflex is applying Flexfresh to a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Shower-friendly Paper Bottle The next Diamond Finalist, Seed Phytonutrients, is the first brand to launch a shower-safe paper bottle made completely from 100 per cent recycled postconsumer paper. A source reduced inner plastic bottle is also made from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic and contains 60 per cent less plastic than a comparable size rigid container. The container contains a small seed sachet inside to add to the overall consumer experience. “Seed Phytonutrients came to fruition due to a culmination of partners dedicated to creating a harmonious environment of beauty, agriculture and sustainable business,” Shane Wolf, general manager, Worldwide L’Oréal USA, Founder of Seed Phytonutrients told Packaging Europe. “Each person in the US creates 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day, of which 30 per cent is attributed to packaging. In a given year, this equates to roughly 133 pounds of packaging waste; this a statistic that we are driving to alter. “We partnered with the team from Ecologic to create a shower-friendly paper bottle, knowing that paper is far more likely to be recycled than plastic.
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Ecologic Brands, Inc. — Seed Phytonutrients Shower-friendly Paper Bottle
The paper that we use is post-consumer recycled and we use a mineral complex which allows the paper to get wet without disintegrating. We are excited to introduce the first ever shower-friendly paper bottle because we strongly believe that as an industry we need to begin to take more responsibility by shifting more sustainable options for the consumer and the planet.”
the warehouse space required for storing shipping cartons,” commented Pam Davis, senior global communications manager, Product Care. “The technical challenge consisted in the need for this new flexible parcelling film to be fully opaque for package concealment yet thin enough for easy processing and strong enough to protect packages up to 55 pounds in the small parcel shipping environment. The implementation of StealthWrap in lieu of shipping cartons takes an operational visionary within a company. Even though it’s a big change for companies, decision makers need to be willing to execute on transformative change within their organisation.”
Sealed Air’s StealthWrap™ protects many e-commerce goods, while eliminating the need for extra shipping cartons and packaging materials. The innovation increases distribution efficiency, reduces packaging waste and enhances user experience. StealthWrap™ shrinks to the dimensions of primary packaging to create a damage-resistant covering, and reduces billable freight weight by up to 18 per cent. “StealthWrap cartoning film was developed to create a small parcel shipper that reduces packaging weight by more than 90 per cent when compared to corrugated boxes, reduce the billable weight for small parcel freight and increase the speed of packaging by up to 20 times compared with boxes, while reducing
Next in the pantheon is Tubairless® - a hybrid packaging solution that bridges the gap between squeezable tubes, soft pouches and airless pump bottles. The packaging forms a ‘bag-in-squeezable-tube’ by using a vent hole in the middle of the sleeve and integrating an internal flexible pouch. Tubairless® reduces product waste by 80 per cent, enhancing natural ingredient preservation, easily dispensing viscous creams, controlling the flow and
Sealed Air — StealthWrap™
Pumpart System® — Tubairless®
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size of each dose and retaining the shape, aesthetics and ergonomics of the tube. Tubairless® is also 50 per cent lighter than traditional airless pump packaging because the pump is replaced with a lightweight PE pouch. Tubairless® can be made of bio-based and PCR PE and is 100 per cent recyclable. The packaging eliminates the need to twist, crush, flatten or cut a squeezable tube to get all of the product. “Our vision is to change the game of packaging through frugal, disruptive and sustainable innovations,” revealed Xavier Sutty, CEO, PumpArt System. “The first challenge we faced was manufacturing: how to assemble a very soft plastic pouch inside a squeezable tube, at a precise position while ensuring tightness and scalable production. The second challenge was to create the demand and convince early adopters brands to use our disruptive technology. We have succeeded in meeting both challenges. Tubairless has already been adopted by cosmetic brands throughout Europe. However, the market goes far beyond the cosmetics market as it can embrace any viscous, thick and sensitive products in food, home and industrial markets.”
Procter & Gamble — Febreze ONE
Febreze ONE has the same odour elimination power of other Febreze products with a unique two-in-one formula that makes it perfect for removing odours from air and fabric. By leveraging Flairosol sprayer technology, Febreze ONE produces an ultra-fine mist without the use of aerosols and comes in a refillable package with no dyes and no heavy perfumes. “Febreze continues to raise the bar and challenge how we deliver true malodour removal with simply delightful experiences for our consumers,” said Martin Hettich, VP Home Care North America & Global Air Care. “Febreze ONE combines the perfect balance of fresh and simple with no dyes, aerosols or heavy perfumes. We achieved bringing Febreze ONE to our first market in less than 8 months from concept into mass manufacture, over-coming challenges in designing and starting up new equipment, lines, and staff training, while in parallel building rapid global expansion plans. We are proud to say we have delivered a unique proposition to our consumers and have been honoured with the 2017 Product of the Year in our category.”
ECOM Dispensing Pump
Rieke — LDS 2cc ECOM Dispensing Pump
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In line with its e-commerce strategy, Rieke has developed its latest dispenser pump designed to address the e-commerce issue of liquid leaking when shipped. The LDS 2cc ECOM dispensing pump has patented technology, which meets ISTA-6 e-commerce packaging specifications. Rieke’s highly qualified engineers have incorporated a range of innovative features, including a plug seal feature to ensure no leakage that enables it to withstand the challenges of frequent handling and movement during packing, transportation and delivery. The LDS 2cc ECOM also aims to reduce merchandise damage during shipping, which would provide a savings to the e-commerce market channel. Rieke’s LDS 2cc ECOM is available for a variety of applications for the personal care market. In addition, it gives consumers the in-store experience, since it eliminates the need for additional protective packages, such as wrapping paper, bubble wrap and excess material that the consumer needs to remove. This also helps to reduce processing time and the cost of preparing the package for shipping, while helping the environment with less waste.
The Coca-Cola Company — Simply® Beverages Recycle
Simply Beverages Recycle Code No. 1 Extrudable PET Juice Container Last and certainly not least among the Diamond Finalist winners, the material for Simply® Beverages’ 89-ounce recyclable juice container was developed and commercialised through close collaboration between The Coca-Cola Company, Indorama Ventures and converting partner CKS Packaging Inc. to reduce the package’s weight by nine per cent while also increasing recyclability and maintaining the familiar form of the previous bottle. “We received hundreds of very strong submissions this year, collectively demonstrating a deep global commitment to serving consumer needs and addressing worldwide challenges,” remarked Diego Donoso, business president for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “This year’s winners display customerfirst designs with improvements in material technology and responsible resource use, from new formats in food packaging and e-commerce protection to improved medical and hygiene packaging.” “It’s amazing to see first-hand these innovations that are improving consumers’ lives throughout the world,” David Luttenberger commented. “I’m humbled to be a part of this experienced, expert judging panel, and excited to see companies around the world innovate to create packaging that meets ever-changing consumer demands and sustainable practices.” Visit: www.dowpackagingawards.com
Gold Award Winners
Diamond Winner • Air Assist – Procter & Gamble
Diamond Finalists • Febreze ONE – Procter & Gamble • Flat Wine Bottle – Delivering Happiness Limited T/A Garçon Wines • LDS 2cc ECOM Dispensing Pump – Rieke • LiquiForm® – Amcor Rigid Plastics • Seed Phytonutrients Shower-Friendly Paper Bottle – Ecological Brands, Inc. • Simply® Beverages Recycle Code No. 1 Extrudable PET Juice Container – The Coca-Cola Company • StealthWrap™ – Sealed Air • Tubairless® – Pumpart System® • Waterless Internet Flower Packaging – Uflex Limited
• Doritos Crunch Prism Pack – PepsiCo Frito-Lay • Doritos E-Z SnackPak™ – ProAmpac • Dual Hoop Catheter DISK – CleanCut Technologies • Extra Rich Rosy Foam Facial Wash Packaging – Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. • Green Giant® Veggie Spirals™ PrimaPak® – Sonoco Products Company • Head & Shoulders Beach Bottle – Procter & Gamble • VOLTAREN® “No Mess” Applicator – GSK • Wave Seal Technology – Wave International
Silver Award Winners • ASAHI SUPER DRY ICE COOLER PACK – WestRock, K.K. • CleanPouch Aseptic Spouted Pouch System – Scholle IPN • Danoninho para Levar – Danone Brazil • Downy (Lenor) Parfum des Secrets Package – Procter & Gamble • KitKat Celebreak Box – CBA B+G • Mix On Command® (MOC®) Shaker Bag – JPro Dairy International, Inc. • PaperBoat Thandai Retortable Profile Pouch – Huhtamiaki PPL Ltd. • PurClean™ Package – Procter & Gamble • PushPop® Technology – Amcor Flexibles • Stain Remover Qualitá - New Again Plastic Container – GPA Group • Two-Layer Laminate Sachet for Packaging Margarine – PrimePak Industries Nigeria Limited
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HOW TO CREATE DEEPER CONNECTIONS BY GOING ‘DIRECT TO USER’ Explore the exciting opportunities of introducing your brand to an effective direct-to-user model – proposes Kirsty Cole, Head of Growth, Anthem Benelux.
igital network service brands such as Airbnb and Uber have not only shaken up traditional industries but have had a huge impact on consumer behaviour, what people are open to, and what they expect when it comes to brand engagement — an impact with ripples felt far beyond the travel and leisure markets.
In recent years, we’ve seen a myriad of direct-to-consumer offers disrupting traditional brand and business models. Dollar Shave Club is perhaps the most salient example. According to Fortune, within just five years of Dollar Shave Club’s launch, P&G’s North American market share in razors fell from 71 per cent to 59 per cent — setting the ball in motion for Unilever’s acquisition of the direct-to-consumer brand for a cool $1 billion. However, many of these direct-to-consumer offers are missing a trick by behaving primarily as e-commerce or subscription services and not maximising the opportunities afforded by their direct customer relationship — so much so that we question whether they are in fact sustainable and fit for long term growth.
Reframing our approach. We need to stop thinking of ‘consumers’ and start thinking of ‘users’. Beginning from a ‘direct to user’ (DTU) rather than a ‘direct to consumer’ perspective significantly broadens a brand’s horizons when it comes to engagement. A DTU approach allows us to design not for what users think of a brand at each touchpoint, but what they experience at each touchpoint. We can also design for different user groups simultaneously, extending engagement opportunities across B2C and B2B for example. DTU is also an opportunity to avoid the retail costs and fierce battle in competition with large established brands that have billions of dollars in marketing budget behind them. For categories where brand loyalty is strong and long-standing, this is a challenge but also an opportunity.
The user journey isn’t fixed. Within the FMCG sector, it’s no longer about fighting for stand-out on shelf, but thinking creatively about delivering moments of delight and surprise at each touchpoint in the user journey, aiming to constantly exceed user expectations. Take feminine care for example. Great steps have been taken to remove the taboos surrounding menstruation by the media and in the communications of both large and small brand owners, yet the actual brand offers are still hugely lacking when it comes to fulfilling user needs. | 42 | Packaging Europe
IMAGE CREDIT: Lola - https://www.mylola.com
Many challenger subscription service brands, such as Lola, have significantly improved the user experience from a convenience, peace of mind, privacy and design perspective. However, there are still so many more moments to connect with users along the journey that aren’t being properly explored. At 11 years old, a feminine care user requires a range of products but also certain levels of educational support and reassurance. Product and support needs change from month to month and from year to year as the user grows up. It’s only fitting therefore that a brand’s offer should be able to grow with the user. When the user journey is complex and bespoke, direct-to-user models can really make an impact.
A value-driven exchange.
Looking beyond trust, which should be a foundation for all brands, imagine the implications for these statistics if users could receive a direct or even personalised benefit from an exchange of data. When designing an effective DTU model, we need to operate by creating a series of value exchanges between the brand and the user; and, importantly, the model must be flexible to evolve over time in line with changing user needs.
Closing the gaps, growing the opportunities. Done well, a DTU model is also an opportunity to have a closed-loop user relationship — an uninterrupted exchange to retain and protect user engagement for long-term growth.
The relationship we’re seeking to foster is a direct connection with users — allowing brands to take control of the path to purchase, to build personalised, interactive and responsive relationships with their users. At the same time, we’re seeking to be more effective with our marketing efforts. Wundermans recent ‘Wantedness’ research is an invaluable read! In relation to DTU, it shows us that we can also use data exchanges to invest in relationships with the right types of users — users who share your brand’s values: Trust is of course a key issue when it comes to data exchange, especially given the arrival of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A comprehensive consumer survey by IBM and Econsultancy Study found that 72 per cent said they would share their geographic data with a brand they trust, and that 61 per cent would be willing to share their personally identifiable information with a brand they trust. Packaging Europe | 43 |
IMAGE CREDIT: Quip - https://www.getquip.com/products
Quip is a DTU oral care brand delivering toothbrushes and toothpaste through a direct subscription service. The brand focuses on simplicity both in terms of its design but also in its communication style: honest and authentic. These values are of particular importance to the millennial user — a user group also known for its high levels of early adoption, the perfect audience for exploring DTU. We all know we’re meant to change our toothbrush head every three months, but which of us ever remembers how long we’ve been using our current brush head for? The extra special thing about Quip is the additional value it provides its users through creating best-practise hygiene habits, automatically delivering new electric toothbrush heads every three months, exactly when you need them. This unique benefit is built right into the heart of the business and brand model and makes the user experience all the more invaluable as a result. Quip aren’t stopping there and have recently secured a whopping $10 million funding round from Silicon Valley Bank and its acquisition of dental insurance start-up Afora. A smart move as it will allow the brand to further extend its relationships with its users, to add even more value before and after checkups with dentists for example — perhaps even securing the data from oral hygienists to provide individually personalised products and services. We can expect to see a series of smart and valuable innovations across oral care services, platforms and products in the coming years. The Quip brand is certainly one to watch. | 44 | Packaging Europe
When it comes to DTU and creating deeper connections with your users, the sky really is the limit! Here are nine opportunity areas to consider when thinking of introducing your brand to an effective direct-to-user model: 1. Redesign the brand experience. Design for use, in the home or on the go, not just on the shelf. 2. Connect your packaging. Create new moments of digital engagement postpurchase, extending the brand/user relationship. 3. Encourage trade-up. Entice users with more premium offers through your direct connections. 4. Create cross-selling opportunities. Integrate your portfolio within the DTU model to maximise impact across categories. 5. Personalise your offers. Encourage brand identification at the individual consumer level through both your communications and your products. 6. Innovate in an agile way. Continuously surprise and delight users with new offers — an efficient and low-risk way to explore new product development (NPD). 7. Stand for more than just your product. Explore sustainable packaging and opportunities to strengthen brand equity through social responsibility. 8. Connect your business. Bring together key stakeholders across disciplines to share resources and maximise success, including incorporation of existing retail models. 9. Make informed decisions. Use the data secured through continuous exchange with your users to evolve your business, brand, product and service offers. Above all, when looking to introduce your brand to an effective direct-to-user model, ensure that your brand’s purpose is fit for the job; and, most importantly, behave small but think big!
TETRA PAK LAUNCHES NEW PACKAGING MATERIAL EFFECTS TO HELP BRANDS ATTRACT SHOPPERS’ ATTENTION
Tetra Pak has launched a suite of new packaging material effects, known as Tetra Pak® Artistry, to help food and beverage producers revitalise the look and feel of their products.
etra Pak® Artistry is a ‘plug & play’ offering, helping brands attract shoppers’ attention without the need for the manufacturer to switch to a new packaging format or invest in new equipment. Each of the different effects on offer is created using different materials and processes. Tetra Pak® Reflect incorporates holographic effects onto the package. They are created using ‘holographic’ films, which are applied directly on the packaging materials in converting factories. Tetra Pak® Metallized creates a metallic effect thanks to the use of metallic films. The Tetra Pak Sharp® printing method allows unique metallic and holographic effects on the package. Tetra Pak® Craft give the package the natural look of bare paperboard with wood fibres. The effect is created using an uncoated, un-bleached paper board, which is then converted. The FlexoLine printing method is used to give the package a natural look of bare paperboard with wood fibres More offerings are being developed, including Tetra Pak® Sculpt, an embossed surface texture for an innovative consumer experience. The first Tetra Pak® Sculpt pattern, which was customised for our Chinese customer Want Want, has been launched in China with initial positive market feedback. The whole range of effects will be available for the majority of Tetra Pak® package formats and offered to customers worldwide.
Tetra Pak® are also currently working on multiple patterns for a range of package formats. Charles Brand, Executive VP, Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak said, “In a world where almost everything needs to be ‘personalisable’, we want to provide customers with something unique to help their brands rise above the noise and reach the shopper. The new suite of effects and expressions will help our customers enhance their brand at no additional investment, making it a cost-effective solution to their needs.” He highlights the fact that consumers are increasingly looking for novelty and fun in their products, as they use consumption as a way to express themselves. “The Tetra Pak Index 2018 reveals that brands are expected to appeal to consumers on an ever more personal level, with customisation of products and personalisation set to be key differentiators moving forwards. The importance of sensory stimulation and customisation has increased in recent years, and stimulating the senses whether through look, feel, smell or taste is a key way for brands to stand out and succeed. Tetra Pak® Artistry is helping food and beverage producers respond to these consumer trends and engage with consumers on an increasingly personal level, building relationships and driving customer loyalty.” Packaging Europe | 45 |
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BEYOND THE LABEL “If the label continues to do its job effectively in line with consumer demand and emerging trends – even if it goes completely unnoticed – we are happy with its performance,” muses Benoit Gourlay, European consumables manager and business development manager at SATO France. Labelling innovation can generate momentum for change across the supply chain. Libby White profiles innovations that have impressed, providing differentiation, achieving sustainability goals and optimising performance in challenging conditions.
Retail channel influence
he importance of labels in the packaging ecosystem is often overlooked. Benoit Gourlay comments: “Technology is developing at an exponential rate, and sometimes – as consumers ourselves – we see disconnects between the available technology and the result we want to achieve. For example, a superior in-store experience does not necessarily equate to a great online experience with the same brand. New auto-identification and labelling solutions ensure that products can be tracked and traced wherever they are in the system, helping to streamline processes and resources for a wide range of applications. “A high percentage of consumers now expect retailers to be able to track goods wherever they’re located in the system, order them online for home delivery, into store or to a local delivery locker and so forth. In China, RFID enabled labels now allow consumers to enter staffless stores, make a purchase and walk away. At SATO, our aim is not to educate the consumer but to make it easy for operatives to deliver on their expectations.” For example, SATO and food services specialist Comerso have partnered to help combat food waste for one of France’s largest grocery retailers. An on-demand solution helps draw the consumer’s attention to end-of-life products. The system, which utilises SATO’s TH2 and PW2NX Series portable label printers and is specially designed hands-free adaptor kits for trolleys, connects automatically to the retailer’s network and database to automate mark-downs for operators. Mr Gourlay says: “The system removes the possibility of input error and saves on paper and backing liner waste. At a glance, the customer can identify
the saving they’ll make if they choose a marked-down item. We’ve also added value for the customer by implementing linerless labels, which offer substantial environmental and cost-saving benefits. Not only are we supporting the prevention of unnecessary food waste, we are helping the retailer to reduce its carbon footprint.” By incorporating SATO’s intuitive printers, the retailer has increased its resale rate of marked-down items by up to 85 per cent. Furthermore, integrating the system into track and trace technology allows the company to review its unsold items against future orders.
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“The solution enables the retailer to scan the barcode of a product, search the retailer database and select the appropriate label setting for ‘standard’, ‘on sale’ and ‘donation’. A multi-coloured labelling system is then used to allow users to quickly identify the stage of products on shelf,” explains Mr Gourlay. “Taking our Comerso partnership as an example, we can influence consumer buying decisions by encouraging them to easily identify end of life products. This allows them to make an informed decision on whether they prefer to buy a marked down product or let it go to waste,” Benoit Gourlay underlines. “In this way, we are contributing to solving global challenges with preventative measures, rather than finding a cure or ‘quick-fix’. SATO solutions are specifically designed with consumer demand and the challenges of our users in mind, not just for today but looking forward to tomorrow. This ensures we have a more significant impact on wider global issues such as food waste and sustainability.”
Maximising flexibility and performance Of course, labels are also key components of any brand marketing mix, allowing manufacturers to differentiate their products and give end consumers the information they need – and increasingly expect. Precise application of high-quality labels is a core element in a good brand experience. In today’s competitive beverage market it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd, and the growing variety of beverage types and bottle formats has made labelling increasingly challenging. As such, flexibility is an increasing priority for brand owners. Top priorities today are faster product and format changeovers, simple operations and optimised processes that use the same equipment for different label types and formats, maintaining uptime while catering to a fragmented market. To meet these demands, Sidel has developed its new EvoDECO labelling solutions. Based on a common core and optimised design, they enable producers to deliver different SKUs. This might comprise several labelling applications in one multi-technology machine or a single labelling application through dedicated equipment, for optimised uptime, reduced footprint and low total cost of ownership. Sidel’s most flexible labelling solution to date, the EvoDECO Multi, brings modularity into labelling. It offers a standardised carousel that can be equipped with up to four different labelling technologies: roll-fed, self-adhesive, cold glue and hot melt. This allows manufacturers to set up the machine for their unique labelling needs, as they can easily apply several types of labels to different types of containers and packaging materials (PET, HDPE, glass), of varying formats and dimensions (from 0.1L to 5L), on a single machine at speeds from 6,000 up to 81,000 containers per hour. Switching between various labelling modules is quick and easy, thanks to Plug & Play connections, offering producers the freedom of labelling choice and total flexibility. Boasting four carousel sizes, up to three labelling stations and 24 configurations, the Roll-Fed can generate outputs of up to 72,000 containers per hour at an efficiency rate of 98 per cent. It is particularly suitable for water, carbonated soft drinks, juices and dairy producers. Using hot glue to apply wrap-around plastic labels, it can handle lightweight containers and ultra-thin labels, yet allowing for better glue control and distribution, together with reduced consumption. The Adhesive labeller is designed to apply labels at high speed with increased efficiency. It can be equipped with six different carousel sizes, up to five labelling
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stations and 36 configuration possibilities. Able to apply plastic or paper pressure sensitive labels, it has been optimised to suit the needs of beer, water, food, home and personal care producers. The Cold Glue labeller is available in six carousel sizes and can feature up to five labelling stations, making it easy to configure according to bottle size, output need and product type. Capable of generating outputs of up to 81,000 containers per hour, the solution handles partial pre-cut paper labels, as such it is particularly suitable for the beer, food, home and personal care markets.
Beating the cold Boosting operational efficiency by performing equally well at -20° C as at normal temperature was the goal of Industrial Labelling Systems Ltd. The company has introduced FlexWipe, a new, versatile automated pallet labelling solution for the food industry. Innovative thinking coupled with clever engineering by manufacturer Evolabel has turned standard print and apply equipment into multi-side labelling, extreme-temperature beating technology – a must for the frozen and chilled sector as FlexWipe can take employees out of the cold by removing operators from manually labelling pallets in uncomfortable conditions. Phil Molloy, business development manager at ILS comments, “Pallet labelling solutions are not often at the forefront of innovation. We felt that pallet labelling hadn’t evolved much over the past 15 years or so and saw a demand for a less cumbersome solution that provided safety for operators. Typically, the solutions on the market use pneumatics and can be quite slow and dangerous machines with a necessity for safe guarding.” With the food processing industry evolving quickly and digital manufacturing playing a greater role day by day, companies are now able to source a state-of-the-art pallet labeller that is simple and straightforward to install and functions well at low temperatures – offering a costeffective alternative to building specialist temperature-controlled labelling areas within warehouses. FlexWipe’s twin-motor technology ensures totally accurate positioning of labels and a unique identity – key to multiple logistics functions such as shipments, warehousing, expiry dates and storage location, which enables companies to comply with the strict GS1 SSCC barcodes regulation. It also eliminates the need for expensive guarding and has the ability to provide single pallet labelling on up to three sides or dual pallet labelling without requiring the pallet to stop, thanks to its motorised and controlled movements and lightweight arms. It can even handle situations where pallets are not sent down the conveyor with uniform spacing. ILS’s managing director Denis Brett said: “The FlexWipe is revolutionary equipment years ahead of its time. Many pallet labelling machines struggle to cope in extremely cold conditions but not the FlexWipe. This is a technical breakthrough that can help food companies operate at maximum efficiency in tough industrial environments.” Firms that have struggled with hand labelling pallets in freezing temperatures down to -20° C are being urged to think again about automation. FlexWipe operates comfortably in the harshest conditions and can help food companies achieve maximum efficiency with minimum staff. ILS believes that FlexWipe is the future for low and sub-zero temperature pallet labelling.
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ARENA INTERNATIONAL PRESENTS THE 7TH ANNUAL BEVERAGE PACKAGING CONGRESS IN BRUSSELS This event is billed as the only conference in Europe that focuses on both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage markets. It will bring together over 170 industry experts under one venue to network and exchange ideas. This two-day event will include exclusive studies, interactive roundtables and panel discussions from top industry experts. Not only does the agenda highlight the success of major brands, it will also include success stories of SMEs and start-ups, which will give the audience a full overview of the current innovations in the beverage packaging industry.
he focus on this yearâ€™s event is the digital transformation the beverage packaging industry is currently facing through E-commerce, IOT, and augmented reality. It will also cover consumer trends in product customization and packaging innovation with a purpose. Over 21 presentations will be delivered on the latest trends and the most recent disruptive technologies currently in the beverage packaging industry. | 50 | Packaging Europe
Sustainability is also included in this yearâ€™s agenda as public pressure is rising for brands to be more ethical and ecological. The programme will not only cover a detailed explanation of what regulations brands need to adhere to, it will also include innovative solutions and materials for eco-packaging as well as how to communicate with the public about their values and transparency.
Key Agenda Highlights for 2018 • Hans van Bochove, Vice-President Public Affairs and Government Relations, Coca-Cola • Delving deeper into Coca-Cola’s sustainability Strategy • Santiago Navarro, CEO, Garçon Wine • Case study: Disrupting wine delivery & retailing: engaging consumers with an eco-friendly solution • Olivier Depas, – Global Category & Channel Sales Development Director, Nestlé Waters • Online vs Instore shopping: analysing packaging differentiation to identify and engage a targeted audience • Caitriona Murphy - Global Brand Manager, The Absolut Company • Spotlight Case study: Provide experiences beyond products. Following Malibu bottles’ digital transformation into interactive touchpoints • Shameem Kazmi - Director of R&D, Britvic • Exploring Britvic R&D strategies to deliver novel packaging solutions
As the shape of the beverage packaging industry changes and more emphasis is put on sustainability, there is a higher need for the industry to come together to exchange ideas and experiences on how to adapt their packaging. This two-day event will also provide a networking opportunity for attendees to find innovative ways to package their beverages for the near future.
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OPENING UP THE WORLD OF CLOSURES Elisabeth Skoda looks at key trends in area of closures and dispensing systems, and explores how key industry players are working to address challenges such as convenience, sustainability and connectivity.
Convenience and an aging population
n innovative closure or dispensing system can help to make life easier for consumers, who may struggle to open a bottle or have to go through great lengths to get all the product out of a tube, including cutting off its ends. In order to address this issue, bridging the gap between plastic tubes, soft pouches and airless pump bottles, the patented Tubairless® system arose from a collaboration between Dow and PumpArt System to reduce product waste by up to 80 per cent. Whereas traditional tubes only dispense around 75-80 per cent of content, the Tubairless® design has an evacuation rate of almost 100 per cent, without resorting to a pump. “The Tubairless® design is the first airless squeezable tube that does not require a dispensing pump and retains its shape. Its innovative venthole design enables accurate flow control, efficient dispensing even on thick formulas, and ease of use in any 360º position. In addition, by retaining its shape until the last drop, the design enables brand owners’ messaging to remain intact,” says Fabrice Digonnet, Dow’s new business development leader in EMEA.
“As people get older they have less strength in their hands and lose the ability to squeeze a tube hard to evacuate the last bit of a product. Tubairless® helps them to get the product out of a tube easily.” Opening bottles can also pose a challenge for senior citizens. UNITED CAPS came up with a solution. The product development process needs to take into consideration the needs of ageing consumers who can find it hard to open a bottle of water, because their hands may not be as strong, and the closure not easy to handle. “UNITED CAPS came up with a patented design, responding to these needs: the Wattwiller closure,” Benoit Henckes, the company’s managing director, explains. “Its unique flower shape makes the product stand out on the shelf, and it also makes the opening of the bottle easier than a regular closure. Simultaneously, it meets the customer’s requirement for speed on the capping line.” An important factor for consumers of all ages is convenient opening. This is driving the move of products such as canned fish and infant formula toward peelable ends. Packaging Europe | 53 |
“For fish products, this can virtually eliminate splashback from the oil or brine packed in the containers; for infant formula, a peelable end is far easier to open quickly, helping busy parents whose time is at a premium,” adds Laetitia Durafour, marketing and communication director, Crown Food Europe. Also catering for the demand for easy openability, Aptar recently launched UNO 38mm, a new a one-piece closure sport cap made of PP to suit the requirements and performance of the flip-top design and to provide the option of translucent or opaque colours. UNO provides one-hand opening and reclosing. “The development in this larger, wide mouth neck finish is driven by the combination of three factors: The continuous growth of aseptically processed, shelf stable beverages such as juices, drinkable dairy, ready-to-drink coffees and teas, preservative free drinks and water, the dynamic growth of on-the-go beverage
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consumption in single serve packaging formats and the increasing consumer demand for on-the-go beverage convenience, hygiene and resealability provided by a flip-top sport cap with a larger neck finish,” adds Jean-Marc Philbois, president global market development, Beverage.
Green closures It’s no secret that sustainability is the primary buzzword in the packaging industry, with consumers and the media pushing for less waste-intense solutions. The challenge for manufacturers is to cater for these needs without compromising performance. “Where we look to reduce material use through lightweighting, we always have performance in mind,” Ms Durafour explains. “Crown’s Peelfit™
technology delivers the same performance across the supply chain as a regular dry food can but is 16 per cent lighter. Peelfit™ utilises Direct Heat Sealing Technology (DHS) to seal an aluminium foil to a collapsed bead within the can body. This optimises product protection, enhances sustainability and represents a 32 per cent saving in energy. In addition, metal packaging across the board is 100 per cent recyclable and infinitely recyclable – meaning it can be recycled again and again with zero loss of properties.” Consumer demand for renewable materials and reducing the usage of plastic material is steadily increasing. “This offers a chance for brand differentiation, which is hard to copy, and a market-driven requirement for recyclable products and packaging,” explains Mrs Astrid Hoffmann-Leist, chief marketing and innovation officer for UNITED CAPS. “An example for this are UNITED CAPS’ GREENER closures, which were delivered in collaboration with Braskem, a leading Brazilian petrochemical company. These bio-sourced plastic caps and closures are made from sugar cane, a renewable alternative to traditional fossil feedstocks. Being a renewable feedstock, sugar cane captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere with every growth cycle, which occurs annually. This means that the production of bio-based polyethylene contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional polyethylene, made from fossil materials.” Many packaging companies offering post-consumer resin and other sustainable resin alternatives, however, their limited offering and cost can still be a barrier for adoption. “Therefore, in parallel to these initiatives, Aptar has been working on its ‘Stay-With’ technology, where a tamper band attaches the closure to the bottle throughout its life cycle, further ensuring it won’t get lost once the package is disposed and can be recycled in the correct way,” Mr Philbois says. The reduction of plastic used in a closure or dispensing system and the capability to empty a product can also play an important role.
“Tubairless® boasts a reduced use of plastic parts by up to 65 per cent, With less raw materials required for manufacture, the tubes are also lighter weight than pump-driven alternatives, in turn reducing the carbon footprint from transport. Moreover, in order to recycle a product, it is important that it is clean. If the product is fully dispensed, it is cleaner and therefore easier to recycle,” explains Mr Digonnet. Meanwhile, as consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious, there is an increased desire for products that are deemed natural, i.e. free from preservatives and additives. With smart packaging design, the need for these preservatives can be reduced or removed altogether. “The Tubairless® design is the first airless squeezable tube that does not require a dispensing pump and retains its shape, allowing a reduction of the use of preservatives,” Mr Digonnet say. “Dow will soon be unveiling the new Tubairfree®: a 100 per cent air free system. This will enable clean dispensing, avoiding oxidation and unsightly changes of colour, as can be the case in applications such as conventional ketchup packaging.”
Connectivity Packaging has an important part to play in brand protection. Advanced packaging solutions can provide support in the fight against counterfeiting. UNITED CAPS’ QR+ technology is a combination of a QR code and secure fingerprint that helps brands enhance consumer confidence. Holographic technologies are integrated into the closure, forming an intrinsic and irremovable security feature, providing immediate verification of product authenticity with no need for additional scanners or other equipment. The closure market represents a vehicle to embed connectivity in consumers’ everyday life and further enhance brand-consumer engagement through data management and instant feedback. Packaging Europe | 55 |
“Aptar has recently introduced a new line of connected solutions called c-Devices for the pharma market which provides convenience and actionable feedbacks to patients and providers,” Mr Philbois reveals. “Our connected devices can demonstrably improve patient outcomes by helping to identify patients with the highest levels of non-adherence. Delivering precise information and prompts to take medication results in greater levels of engagement, improved dose adherence and therefore improved health outcomes among those patients.”
On-shelf differentiation Meanwhile, alongside smart technology and improved functionality old-fashioned sensory impact is still driving innovation in closures. The new format for Nescafé Gold coffee is a nice example of a brand using the cap for emotional impact. “Nestlé wanted to create a package for its Nescafé Gold coffee to present a premium image in line with market trends for coffee products,” Mr Henckes explains in conclusion. “The company was aiming for a classy brushed metal look. This required a 100 per cent metallic material to be wrapped around the skirt of a closure, something that had never been done before. The closure consists of three pieces: an ‘inner’ (inside piece), a ‘liner’ (a foam gasket ensuring isolation of the coffee from the exterior) and an ‘outer’ (outside piece) that includes an IML. Each piece is made from a specific material: the inner is made with a different type of polypropylene, the liner is in polyethylene foam with an aluminium seal, and the outer is made with special PP. The in-mould labelling included in this outer is multilayer. The base is PP in order to stick to the cap and includes aluminium to attain the metallic appearance.” | 56 | Packaging Europe
AN EFFICIENT AND SWIFT SOLUTION FOR LABEL PRINTING Meeting the demands of the ever-changing customer needs combined with a fast evolution of technology, markets are forced to adapt quickly and to change the way they operate. To meet the needs of an efficient and swift method of printing labels, Flint Group Flexographic developed another innovation addressing the balance of quality and cost by developing the nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processing System.
he nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor incorporates the speed of thermal plate making with enhanced plate and print quality, offering a smart design with an enhanced user interface. The distinctive characteristics of the processor provides unprecedented control and allows for more consistent and stable plate production, promising ‘Thermal like you’ve never seen before’. “We believe our new, integrated solution, is in a class of its own,” remarks Friedrich von Rechteren, Global Commercial Vice President of Flint Group. “We achieved this result by looking at the thermal process holistically. By combining the best in equipment design, plate development and engineered fabric, Flint Group is offering a system which leads to reduced costs, improved quality and improved sustainability.” There are four components of the system, each with unique and innovative features that combine to form a comprehensive solution for lightning-fast platemaking and high-end flexo printing. At the heart of the processing system lies the nyloflex® Thermal Printing Plates. Inherent flat top dot plates are projected as seeing the most future growth, as they provide the benefits of flat top dot geometry without adding steps to the workflow. Furthermore, they bring a significant reduction in complexity, and increased efficiency in the prepress and plate making process, while offering the highest print quality. Flint Group addressed this customer need with thermal flexo printing plates for high-quality printing on paper substrates with the nyloflex® XPH Digital and XPM Digital. The thermal flexo plates are specifically developed for printing high line screens; superior resistance to UV inks, and are suitable for water-based inks. The wide tonal range for reproduction on fine image elements and smooth vignettes provides highest quality.
Moreover, Flint Group announced, that additional thermal flat top dot flexo plates for use in multiple high-quality printing applications will be launched this year. Inherently flat top dot plates, with no additional equipment, processing steps or consumables required help printers and cliché makers to create highquality, legible labels. After the imaging the raw plates are first exposed in the nyloflex® Exposure ECLF before being processed. Flint Group‘s thermal plates are specifically formulated to perform exceptionally well in the nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor. Further benefits can be realized in the engineered fabric of the nyloflex® Developer Rolls, designed to be highly efficient and environmentally friendly. “At Flint Group we work daily on all customer critical topics to satisfy our customers’ needs for ever improving cost and quality according to our key principles of ‘Better, Faster and Easier to use’,” stated Friedrich von Rechteren.
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SUSTAINABLE HUMANS: SUP BANS LEAD TO SOCIAL AND LOCAL DISCRIMINATION People all over the world have realised that waste is a big environmental issue and that decisions need to be taken to solve this problem. But we also need to understand the consequences of our actions: a ban on single-use plastic packaging could create social and local discrimination as we have overlooked the human side of the issue – argues Sustainable Packaging Summit keynote speaker, Jocelyne Ehret of www.therightpackaging.com. Social discrimination
iscrimination can be based on many different characteristics and money is one of them. People below the poverty line need the best prices for their food, and packaging is needed to preserve what they buy. Not everyone is sufficiently time-rich and money-rich to have the opportunity to buy fresh food from a fancy butcher or local delicatessen several times a week. Media tell them that single-use plastic is bad and responsible for earth and ocean pollution but how do they preserve food with the necessary shelf-life at an affordable price? Don’t you think they will feel more isolated or guilty?
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Disability is another component of discrimination. A ban on single-use packaging emphases this. If you are disabled and can’t use your hands, how will you feel in a restaurant drinking your soda with a straw when everybody thinks that using a straw is bad for the environment? In addition to your disability, should you also feel like the destroyer of the planet?
Local discrimination People in some parts of the world need single-use packaging to preserve their food from contamination and thereby to protect their health. In addition, plastic
packaging is one of the most important contributors to protecting food from spoiling. The FAO has reported that ‘in developing countries food waste and losses occur mainly at early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to financial, managerial and technical constraints in harvesting techniques as well as storage and cooling facilities. [...] The packaging industry could help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.’ Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Moreover, we know that we use our available annual global resource earlier each year and by 2050 we would need three times more resources than we currently use. Is it right to communicate to these people that by using a single-use plastic, they contribute to pollute the planet and that they should not to use it, is it better to starve due to a lack of food? This extensive communication generates discrimination. Single-use or plastic packaging is not the issue. We are missing the main problem and not treating the real cause. What we need to understand is why we have so much plastic waste and then implement the right solutions. We need to ask ourselves questions such as the following: • Do we have an over-abundance of food and products in different shapes and formats? • Did we go too far in convenience? • Do we have wrong packaging, meaning wrong use of one type of material for the requirements, creating unnecessary packaging? • Do consumers perceive the function of the packaging?
I believe the fundamental issue is not plastic, but the mismanagement of plastic waste in combination with irresponsible individual behaviour. Unfortunately, it seems easier to ban a type of packaging than changing long-term and more complex issues. Let’s be the ‘sustainable human’ and vote for a sensible use of single-use plastic packaging – and focus our efforts on effective waste management instead of a discriminating ban.
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SP GROUP DEMONSTRATES COMMITMENT TO CIRCULAR ECONOMY WITH TRAY2TRAY PROJECT SP Group began its TRAY2TRAY project two years ago, offering clients the opportunity to be an active part of the circular economy while contributing to improving the economic results of waste management. Today, the SP Group affirms its offering which fits in line with the European Commission’s Europe 2020 structural economic strategy.
ray2Tray is created within SP Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility action framework. This Circular Economy project seeks to turn waste materials into second-generation raw materials. Specifically it is based on the recycling and reuse of all the APET and APET/PE rigid laminate, with or without a barrier, so that it can form part of new trays or other types of packaging. The materials recycled and separated for later reuse consist of the excess and defective plastic from the SP Group manufacturing process, and the subproduct resulting from the packaging process of the food manufacturers.
How Does Tray2Tray Work? Tray2Tray is a closed process in which SP GROUP takes care of everything. The company provides clients with reels at their manufacturing plant where they can thermoform film and package their products. The client collects the tray remnants and waste resulting from the production process and enters them into a waste press (provided free of charge by the SP Group). The next step: three bale pallets are combined ready for loading. Once the client has 30 pallets, Ferrovial, a waste management company will remove the materials at no cost and will take them to an authorised waste management plant. There they will separate the materials and return them to SP Group as clean flakes. All this is performed using a traceability system that guarantees the origin of the material is known at all times. Once SP GROUP has the flakes at its factory, it returns them to the manufacturing chain by means of the extrusion process, so that they return to the client’s facilities in the form of new reels. This way SP Group is able to close the circle, turning waste from the manufacturing process into new trays.
What Are The Advantages Of Tray2Tray? One of the main benefits of the Tray2Tray project is that it allows clients to state their collaboration in the circular economy. The European Commission has adopted the efficiency in the use of resources as the basis for its Europe 2020 structural economic strategy; therefore a committment to the Tray2Tray project is in line with its objectives. | 62 | Packaging Europe
Using recycled materials helps preserve the environment, due to the reduction in the use of resources, waste and carbon footprint. Companies that join Tray2Tray will not need to manage waste, as SP GROUP will do it free of charge. As there is no waste, there is no need to pay burial or incineration taxes, and by not incinerating the waste there are no toxic gas emissions. Companies that sign up to Tray2Tray will be awarded the EcoSense certificate by the PLASTIC SENSE Foundation. Check out the video of Tray2Tray project here: https://youtu.be/irZaxucpLyE SP GROUP will be present at FACHPACK, visit them at their stand in Hall 7-722 from the 25th to the 27th of September in Nuremberg, Germany.
DIGITAL NOMAD IT’S GOOD TO TALK Re-invention isn’t easy but of course sometimes it’s a necessity (as the saying nearly goes). Each and every one of us at some point in our lives goes through this process, often subliminally but if you are like me, then you secretly relish the journey. Moving from one passage of life to the next takes courage and commitment but ultimately is nearly Richard Askam always worth it. How many times in your own life Digital Nomad have you asked yourself the question, “Why didn’t I make this change six months ago?” Some of us seem to be pre-programmed to resist change and as a result we ride out a storm for longer than sense would normally allow. Be that a personal relationship, a work situation or a living situation. It’s a human condition to attach irrational fear to situations when we are not sure of the outcome – the fear of going to the dentist or doctor is often worse than the outcome and to worry twice is to double the pain – hence why we resist the change that is often needed.
the world we live in with a ‘what’s next’ generation who can’t wait for the next groundbreaking innovation, brand owners need to be careful to ensure that strategy and creativity are the drivers of campaigns. Don’t just see the technology as the game-changer in itself. It needs to be seen as the enabler. If brands want younger consumers to buy and engage with their products then they must understand that for them, technology is not just a pleasure – it’s an expectation. Having been through the early stages of the digital revolution already, we are starting to see the refinements that are needed to allow the mass market consumers to adopt this behaviour as the new normal. Already this year we have seen further breakthroughs with direct to object printing revolutionising the sports world with photo-personalised footballs courtesy of the new ecommerce brand Ballpix and the emergence of a true
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in-store solution for nearly all personalised products with a collaboration between Infigo Software and Afinia Labels. But is this just the tip of the iceberg? The industry still sees digital as a bolt on to traditional print, a business that continues to get harder with constant downward price pressure being dictated by market forces. Yet as Winston Churchill once said: ‘When you are going through hell – keep going!’ Ask yourself this: does the benefit of change outweigh the cost of change or the cost of not changing?
Richard Askam Richard Askam Digital Nomad