Packaging World October 2021

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Augmented Reality Labels Enliven Jones Soda Bottles 26

Brand’s Path to Zero Waste Leads to Circular Labeling 32

QR Tracking & Authentication Smarten Up D2C Shippers 44

“Tacobots” Pick, Place Hot-to-Handle Tortillas 50

Lasting Labels Key to Rarely Used Fire Extinguishers

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Jones Soda, “The People’s Craft Soda,” known for its unconventional flavors and user-designed label artwork, brought its packaging to life with a series of limited-edition augmented reality (AR) bottle labels that showcase 15 extreme athletes and edgy artists in action. 26


24 How To Re-use Corrugated Shippers 20 Times Two Australian manufacturers are trialing an innovative system for the return and reuse of corrugated cases.

26 Circular Label System Assists Baker with Zero-Waste Goals As a way to help meet its ambitious zero-waste commitments, FGF Brands joins a label liner recycling program that collects and recycles waste liner for incorporation into new label facestock. 44

30 Eckes-Granini Launches 100% rPET Bottle Headquartered in the German city of NiederOlm, Eckes-Granini has been using 25% rPET in its PET hohes C juice bottles since 2018, but now that has changed.

32 E-COMMERCE Supplements’ Tamper Evident Label Takes QR Path to Smart Features

38 AUTOMATION Air Flow Monitoring Supports Colgate-Palmolive’s Sustainability Initiatives IIOT-enabled flow sensor helps consumer products company reduce the wasted energy from its pneumatic systems.

44 CTI Foods Automates Its Hot-to-Handle Taco Packaging Line Tacobots efficiently upgrade and automate production with a unique two-pick mechanical tool. The recent line integration project wins a 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award from Packaging World’s sister publication, ProFood World.

50 Label Precision is Paramount for Fire Extinguisher Products Even though consumers hope they never have to use Amerex’s products, if needed, the company’s fire extinguishers must be ready to go, with durable labels that provide clear instructions and certification that the product meets critical UL standards.

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Packaging Machinery: State of the Industry

7 Lead Off 18 The Legal Side 20 The Big Picture 22 Sustainable Packaging 54 Shelf Impact! 60 The Insider



8 News 14 Quotables/By the Numbers 56 Industry Watch

Craft Brew: State of the Industry



16 First Person PRODUCTS

Photo by Sue Rice @suericecreative

42 Automation Technology 57 Technology



Is Paper the New Plastic?

59 Advertiser Index

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Aladin Alkhawam Director, Packaging Operations, Par Pharmaceutical Jan Brücklmeier Technical Application Group Packaging Technology Expert, Nestlé David France Packaging Research Fellow, Conagra Foods Patrick Keenan R&D Packaging Engineer, General Mills/Annie’s Organic Snacks Mike Marcinkowski Global R&D Officer, GPA Global & Hub Folding Box Co. Paul Schaum Chief Operations Officer, Pretzels Inc. David Smith, PhD Principal, David S. Smith & Associates Brian Stepowany Packaging R&D, Senior Manager, B&G Foods, Inc. Jasmine Sutherland President, Texas Food Solutions; Vice President, Perfect Fit Meals

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ART David Bacho Creative Director

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Be Ready for Gen Z I’ve frequently opined on what I think is an admirable brand owner and CPG trend toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. As such things relate to packaging, they’re realized either via a physical change in packaging structure that makes the product more accessible to some group, or by a change in graphics and text on the packages themselves that promote a brand’s internal diversity and inclusion policies. While I consider this trend a good thing overall, we should probably remind ourselves that it isn’t driven by altruism alone. If these changes weren’t profitable, they likely would not get done at all. Consider cases of structural changes to packaging, like P&G’s etched Herbal Essences bottles for people with vision impairment ( or Unilever and Degree’s accessible deodorant for people with limb disabilities ( Those projects get the greenlight, at least partially, thanks to an underlying brand owner realization and financial calculation that significant portions of the global market are underserved, and their dollars are being left on the table. But what about when it’s just new graphics and not a functionally new package structure that attempts to achieve diversity goals? (Think Land o’ Lakes eliminating the Native American woman or Mrs. Butterworth’s sidelining the matronly Black grandmother figure.) These adjustments in graphics don’t directly open a new and unserved market the way the above-mentioned structural changes do, which is why they often made me think they were more window dressing than anything else. That way of thinking underwent a big change at the Craft Brew Conference in Denver, Sept. 9-12. There it became clear to me that brands are championing inclusiveness and celebrating diversity as a matter of future survival, and the financial underpinnings of this trend are in society’s changing demographics. According to Bart Watson, Chief Economist with the Brewers Association, the whole brewing industry is going through a big transition based on demographic and generational changes. Craft brew is a microcosm of what all the big brands are going through, and through that lens, the other big-brand attitude shifts toward inclusiveness become more understandable. Watson’s annual State of the Industry included some fascinating macroeconomic trends. He described a landscape where the average craft brew drinker is growing older, and fewer new alcohol drinkers are replacing them. That’s because Generation Z isn’t gravitating to the category like their Gen X and Millennial predecessors. Why? Partly because Gen Z is much more culturally diverse, with more diverse tastes that range outside of the traditional IPA, lager, and stout categories that dominate craft brew. Women, who have traditionally been targeted more by wine, and more recently by RTD spirits and seltzers, are drinkers, and traditional craft brew may be missing out. “To call out one stat in particular, 21- to 25-year-old women now drink at a slightly higher rate than 21- to 25-year-old men,” Watson said at the conference. “Though young men likely consume more volume of alcohol overall, young women are more likely to be drinkers in the first place than are young men.” Watson also cited an interesting report from Rabobank looking at spending shifts in the beverage alcohol industry. “If I were to summarize it in a couple of lines, spending on alcohol today is increasingly female and increasingly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color),” he said. “And this goes above and beyond the overall demographic shifts. We are becoming a higher percentage minority country in general. But those percentages and those indexes were increasing even faster than the overall demographic trend.” Meanwhile, craft brewery ownership is 93% white and 76% male. No wonder the Brewers’ Association was so noticeably pro-active in reaching out to new communities and demographics. Check out the Brewer’s Association website for information on their Thrive program designed to “build safe, inclusive, and equitable cultures” in craft breweries, or the #NotMe application and platform designed to make it easier to report unwelcome sexual advances in brewery business settings. This is a microcosm of the demographic calculation that bigger brands and CPGs have also made—diversity, equity, and inclusiveness are good business, not just feel-good taglines. Far from engaging in mere window dressing when they show Aunt Jemima the door, big brands and CPGs have made a calculation on what the future will look like, and how to stay relevant. That comes through in the packaging. Hockey great Wayne Gretzky is famously credited for saying he skated not to where the puck was, but where the puck was going to be. In this analogy, where’s the puck going to be? Sounds like it’ll be with an increasingly diverse and inclusive Generation Z. PW

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Reusable, Recyclable Glass Toothpaste Bottle is ‘Noice’ Who says toothpaste has to come in a tube? Certainly not Noice Care. In developing its “Good for You & the Planet” toothpaste product, startup Noice looked at traditional toothpaste tube packaging, as well as some out-of-the-tube options, but determined that glass was the most sustainable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing package for its new all-natural oral care product. As CEO Morgane Soret explains, Noice was created to address the challenges she and co-founder Clement Hochart faced while on separate personal journeys. Hochart was attempting to live a more organic lifestyle with more natural personal care products; Soret was working toward a zero-waste lifestyle, removing single-use plastics from her home. Neither one had success when it came to finding a natural toothpaste product that was effective, fresh, and good tasting and at the same time reduced plastic packaging.

“Together with our two other co-founders, Maximilien [Masson] and Valerian [Fauvel], we decided to create a toothpaste that would be healthy, would clean and preserve teeth effectively, and would not create waste—a toothpaste that is good for people and good for the planet.” Noice was founded in 2019 in Singapore—a part of the world that is significantly impacted by marine pollution from plastic packaging. After a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2020, Noice began production of its Anti-Plaque Charcoal Toothpaste in Thailand, releasing it in January 2021 in the U.S. and the U.K. Says Soret, it took Noice two years to develop a formula that combined all-natural ingredients and a great taste. While the resulting toothpaste is a gel, it is more liquid and foams less than conventional toothpaste products. It’s also black in color, due to the charcoal added to the formulation for stain removal. Additional ingredients include licorice root powder, which fights the bacteria that causes tooth decay, tea tree and eucalyptus, chosen for their antibacterial properties, chamomile, which provides calming properties, and peppermint and menthol, to freshen breath. When Noice began looking at packaging formats, the traditional multilayer plastic-and-aluminum tube used for conventional toothpaste was an absolute non-starter, given its non-recyclability. Says Soret, according to information supplied by Colgate, approximately 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes end up in landfill globally each year. “And it takes up to 500 years for a plastic tube to break down,” she adds. “When it eventually

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breaks down, it is into microplastics that we can’t see but that are here, everywhere, polluting our planet and oceans.” Before it settled on glass, Noice considered several other packaging materials. It looked at recycled and recyclable plastic, but felt the recycling rates in the U.S. and U.K. for plastics were too low. It also looked at paper-based packaging, which Soret says in the end was not ideal, as there was the potential for leakage. “We chose glass because of its higher recycling rate and the fact that if it’s not recycled, at the end of its life, it goes back to being sand,” explains Soret. “Functionally, it is a robust material that is conducive to reuse, and it can stand by itself, which gives it a nice appearance and makes it easier to display on the retail shelf. And, aesthetically speaking, it is heavier, so it’s handy to use and sits nicely on a bathroom counter.” The 1.5-oz amber glass bottle—the color was chosen to protect the formula inside—is sourced from China and is topped by either a reusable, white polyethylene dispensing pump, from a Thai supplier, or a metal screw top. Soret shares that Noice is constantly evaluating its carbon footprint, so it’s looking for suppliers for its glass bottles that are closer to its U.S. and U.K. markets as well as options for its dispenser, including a monomaterial pump that does not use a metal spring. “Even if our dispenser is meant to be used endlessly, this option could make it easier to recycle the closure if necessary,” she says. Another option it’s considering for its dispensing pump is one made from sugarcane-based PE. Currently, the primary distribution channel for Noice is direct-toconsumer, either through the company’s website or via the Loop circular shopping platform. Consumers purchasing Noice through the company can buy the product either as a one-time order or on a subscription basis. As a subscription, consumers first receive a trial bottle, fitted with the dispensing cap, for $4.95. Six weeks later, they receive their first refill pack, for $19.80, which contains three bottles of Noice topped by metal screwcap closures. To dispense the product, consumers remove the screw cap and add the reusable dispensing pump. From then on, they receive a refill pack of three bottles every four months. Bottles are packaged in a shipper made from 100% FSC-certified paperboard, optimized with just the right amount of material to keep the bottles safe from breakage. With its participation in the Loop reusable packaging shopping platform, Noice offers consumers a way to reuse the toothpaste bottle as well. “Loop is a partner of choice aligned with our ethos of making sustainable choices easy,” says Soret. “Noice was the first toothpaste to be sold on Loop, and after the joining the U.K. program, we also joined Loop in the U.S. and Canada. I have a strong admiration for Loop and its mission of developing reusable containers with the giants of our world and making it easy for consumers to get their favorite products in a 100% reuse model. “From our partnership with Loop, we learned that the pure players, the retailers, were ready to implement circular models, and that consumers are ready too. More than that, the demand is here and again follows one of our key values, which is accessibility—easy to access and easy for consumers to implement.” Noice is also distributed at retail, in 10 locations worldwide, mainly in smaller refill and zero-waste shops. The company’s aim is to expand its reuse model so that eventually every bottle is washed, refilled, and returned to consumers. To this end, it is running pilots with its retail partners to implement the collection of the bottles. Noice’s plans for the future include the introduction of more oral care products, such as mouthwash and a toothpaste product formulated for kids. —Anne Marie Mohan

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Coca-Cola HBC Takes Carton Route to Cutting Plastic Waste On its journey to a “World Without Waste,” Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) Ireland and Northern Ireland enlisted fiber-based consumer packaging provider Graphic Packaging International (GPI). The partnership will result in new

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paperboard solutions across all multipack can configurations. Coca-Cola HBC’s larger multipacks of 10, 12, 20, and 24 cans are now available in a new fully enclosed carton. This follows the introduction of GPI’s new KeelClip™ in late 2020, which saw smaller multipacks (four, six and eight cans) transition to a paperboard format. Both packaging types were designed and developed by GPI, who says that in total, transitioning to these new secondary packaging solutions will eliminate 500 tonnes (551 tons) annually of hard-to-recycle shrink wrap plastic, according to the company.

Coca-Cola HBC has also introduced prominent on-pack messaging to communicate its sustainability message directly to consumers, highlighting that the packs are recyclable. The more premium feel of the pack will enhance the brand and elevate shelf appeal within the multipack aisle, improving point of sale and the consumer experience, GPI says. The product development team at GPI worked closely with Coca-Cola HBC to ensure the plastic replacement solution was in harmony with the company’s sustainability plans, while upholding high quality standards. The bold yet practical design is made from paperboard–a substrate made from renewable resources–and reflects Coca-Cola HBC’s ambitions to lead in sustainable packaging design and innovation. To support the production requirements of the venture, GPI has installed its QuikFlex™ machine in Coca-Cola HBC’s plant in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, producing a variety of configurations from four- to 24-packs. Reflecting the company’s continuous pursuit of sustainable operations, the Coca-Cola HBC Group was recently ranked the global No.1 sustainable beverage company by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. —Matt Reynolds

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Jones Soda Bottles Come to Life with AR Labels Jones Soda, “The People’s Craft Soda,” known for its unconventional flavors and user-designed label artwork, has brought its packaging to life with a series of limited-edition augmented reality bottle labels that showcase 15 extreme athletes and edgy artists in action. The AR labels are being used on five of Jones’s top-selling soda flavors, with a total of 1.5 million bottles produced for the campaign overall. The labels are activated by consumers through a new Jones Soda smartphone app, developed in partnership with experiential marketing agency Triggerhouse. “Our labels have been our calling card for over two decades, establishing and reinforcing our brand personality with constantly changing photographs submitted by Jones fans,” says Mark Murray, President & CEO of Jones Soda. “Our new AR labels retain that authenticity and focus on consumer stories while also moving from still images to video to take advantage of newer technology. It’s a way of expanding our fan base and shelf appeal, particularly for ‘Gen-Z-ers,’ who are avid content creators themselves, while remaining true to our roots as the people’s craft soda.” Explains Jones Soda VP of Marketing Maisie Antoniello, because the company has a heritage in grassroots marketing, for the AR labels, it chose to highlight up-and-coming content creators who have a unique point of view and express themselves in creative ways, many of which are tied to Jones’s roots in action sports and the arts. “We have everything from a tattoo artist and skateboarders, which are very much old-school Jones, combined with ‘new-school craft,’ like jewelry design and scooter tricks,” she says. Other influencers highlighted in the campaign include a street muralist, a BMX rider, a beach volleyball player, a break-dancer, a roller skater, and a surfer, as well as a circus performer who says she lives for the adrenaline rush of fire spinning. Each one is featured on 100,000 bottle labels. To access the action, after downloading the dedicated Jones app, consumers use their smartphone camera to scan the image on any Jones Soda bottle having a Reel Label icon. The scan triggers a short video “bringing the viewer inside the unique world of its creator, whether he or she is

painting a mural in time-lapse, dropping into a scooter bowl, or doing a hardflip at the skatepark,” says Jones. Taking the user-generated content concept one step further, the company is accepting video submissions on its site from consumers for the next AR label cycle, scheduled for March 2022 release. Commenting on how AR reflects the changing role of packaging, Antoniello says, “For Jones, our consumer-driven labels are our biggest single point of difference within craft soda. We believe our labels are the ultimate platform for consumers to express themselves. We view AR and our labels as an incredible vehicle for both brand storytelling and consumer engagement. For the brands that can execute in an authentic way, we will continue to see packaging and technology integrate.” Jones Soda’s AR labels were launched in the U.S. and Canada in July and appear on the company’s Orange and Cream, Cream Soda, Berry Lemonade, Root Beer, and Green Apple flavors. —Anne Marie Mohan

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Spotlight on Sugarcane-Based Toothpaste Tube


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According to a number of sources, it’s estimated that 400 million toothpaste tubes in the U.S. and 1.5 billion globally are discarded in landfills every year. Among the oral care companies leading the charge to change this is Spotlight Oral Care. Based in Ireland and launched in 2016 by practicing cosmetic dentists and sisters Dr. Lisa and Dr. Vanessa Creaven, Spotlight has a goal to revolutionize the oral care industry by creating a range of products that are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, free from toxins, ocean safe, and 100% recyclable. With its toothpaste tubes, Spotlight has met the goal of 100% recyclability by using Braskem’s I’m green™ brand of bio-based polyethylene, a drop-in bioplastic that provides the same functionality as petroleum-based plastics, including 100% recyclability. Says Dr. Lisa Creaven, “Generic toothpaste tubes are made from a combination of materials, including crude oil and aluminum, which makes them non-recyclable. Sugarcane is one of the greatest carbon sinks that exists, metabolizing CO2 as it grows and regenerating itself from its own roots. Grown in Brazil using fair labor, each ton of Green Polyethylene produced captures up to 3.09 tons of CO2, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our tubes are fully recyclable and won’t end up contaminating our precious oceans.” The biopolymer tube is being used for Spotlight’s line of five toothpaste varieties, each formulated for a specific concern, for example, cavities, bad breath, gum health, and others. The 3.5-oz package is decorated by offset printing, with a crisp, white background and color coding with pastel colors to differentiate the varieties. The tube uses a polypropylene cap supplied by Witoplast. Spotlight also considered the sustainability of the secondary and tertiary packaging for the toothpaste as well. Explains Dr. Vanessa Creaven, “Our toothpaste tubes are packaged in 100% recyclable cardboard packaging and are delivered in a 100% biodegradable mailer bag that can be directly deposited into a compost bin. Also, when ordering online, we offer customers a choice at checkout whether to go with or without the cardboard packaging.” And Spotlight’s focus on eco-conscious packaging doesn’t end there. For example, for its whitening products and for some product bundles, Spotlight uses a 100% recyclable aluminum canister, and for a pack of tooth whitening strips for men, it uses a cloth pouch with drawstring. Its products are eco-friendly as well, including a bamboo toothbrush and dental floss made from 100% recycled PET bottles. It also offers a Dental Aligner Recycling Program, where consumers can ship the company all brands of aligners, and Spotlight will handle the recycling. Say Spotlight’s founders, conveying the benefits of its unique range of sustainable products and packaging—such as a plant-based plastic tube—requires consumer education. “Sustainability is a significant part of Spotlight Oral Care, and we do our best to educate our consumers on the ‘why’ behind our sustainable packaging and beliefs,” they Watch Spotlight’s explain. “We recently shared our efforts with our comvideo, “The Life of a munity by launching videos showcasing the life span Toothpaste Tube”: of a toothpaste tube, as well as how our Dental Floss, made up of 100% recycled plastic bottles, is created. In addition, over the span of August, we rolled out various marketing emails, including statistics and polls, informing customers on topics such as animal testing and encouraging engagement with prizes. We plan to continue to release education materials, as well as have conversations around the importance of sustainability in the oral care industry.” Spotlight Oral Care products are available in the U.K., Ireland, and the U.S., through the company’s website and other e-commerce sites, including,, and Amazon. They can also be found in select Ulta Beauty and CVS retail stores. —Anne Marie Mohan


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Inks and IML Handle HPP for Guacamole Pack Spanish producer of fruit- and vegetable-based juices and sauces Avomix selected shelf-life improving high-pressure processing (HPP) technology for its Fresh Mix product range, specifically its guacamole. Needing packaging and labels that would withstand this HPP technique—which exposes packaged product to extreme pressures to extend shelf life—the brand teamed up with packaging converter Berry Superfos Pamplona and label and IML expert MCC Verstraete. The former delivered the ideal polypropylene packaging to the brand, and he latter provided high-quality, fully recyclable labelling with inks and lacquers suitable for the high-pressure process. “At Avomix, we want our products to be as natural as possible. Therefore, we focus on eliminating chemicals, any additives, and preservatives,” says Juan Antonio Reyes, CEO, Avomix. Pressurization via the HPP process–not chemicals or additives—inactivates vegetative microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, or fungi found in food products. The process respects the products’ organoleptic properties and preserves its original freshness throughout its shelf life. “To maintain a natural product full of flavor, it is important that the packaging is of high quality. This is where Superfos comes in,” Reyes says. “In addition, Superfos’ SuperLock packaging allows the product to be closed once it has been opened. We liked the design of the easyopen, air-tight lid. “Before switching to MCC Verstraete’s labels, we applied normal self-adhesive labelling, which was much more complicated and less productive. Once print runs started to increase, we needed packaging that enabled us to automate the process and to get more out of the production cost. Of course, the European regulations are very strict and all inks used, whether or not they come into contact with food condiments, must meet certain requirements,” he says. MCC Verstraete contributed with specialty dyes and lacquers that are able to withstand high-pressure technology. Plus, the in-mold labeling (IML) technique used allows for sustainable and fully recyclable packaging, as it constitutes a mono-material pack Says Benedict Adins, Regional Sales Manager, Europe, MCC Verstraete, “Avomix was looking for the best label solution, which is exactly what we could offer: the print quality of the IML labels is excellent, and we can cover the entire packaging with a single label. In addition, the labels are strong, hygienic, and resistant to moisture and extreme temperature fluctuations. All this makes IML the ideal solution for a product like this guacamole, for which this HPP technique helps to increase its shelf life, guarantees food safety, and preserves all its flavor and freshness.” “This alliance between Berry Superfos Pamplona, Avomix and MCC Verstraete, has allowed us to achieve a product of the highest level,” concludes Reyes. “Not only is the final presentation impeccable and the image attractive, but it also has a series of advantages that differentiate us from competitors. We want final customers to know what product they are buying. The consumer doesn’t look at the small print on a label, instead we put our efforts on showing that he’s enjoying a natural product without preservatives or chemical additives.” —Matt Reynolds

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9/21/21 3:52 PM

14 PW OCT2021



The percentage of shoppers who say they’re concerned about plastic and packaging waste, with 47% saying they would opt for recyclable products over compostable, according to a survey from Consumer Brands/Ipsos

4.9 lb

The amount of trash produced per person in the U.S. each day; considered one of the most wasteful developed countries, the U.S. produces more than 292 million tons of trash yearly

15 days

The shelf life of cucumbers in properly designed compostable packaging, compared with less than 10 days in conventional plastic, according to scientists at the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Institute (Israel)


The estimated growth in revenue of the global paper bottles market from 2021 to 2028, totaling $48 million by 2030 versus $25 million in 2020, according to a study from Fact.MR

QuotablesBTN_1021.indd 14


“The new [Snapple] package substitutes post-consumer recycled plastic, or rPET, for glass and nonrecycled plastic, and it also contemporizes the Snapple brand look and feel. The consumer reception has been very strong … However, an unexpected shortfall in committed glass bottles from our supplier required us to transition our new rPET packaging faster, which pressured material availability from our supplier of rPET and stretched the startup curve for our new production lines.” –Robert Gamgort, CEO of Keurig Dr Pepper, in a call with investment analysts, as reported by in an article, “Keurig Dr Pepper cautions ‘2021 arguably more difficult … than 2020’ despite strong Q2 results”

“The plant-based and lab-grown dairy space has hugely accelerated in the last year, thanks to heavy investments, including investment banks ‘pouring money’ into the industry. And this is likely to speed up more acutely with the entry of big consumer companies, such as Nestlé and Danone, who are investing in start-ups that are ahead of the game.” –Maria Mascaraque, Industry Manager at Euromonitor International, in a release from the company, “Non-Soy Milk Alternatives Becomes The Fastest Growing Dairy Category”

“Food safety is our company’s top priority. I urge consumers to take this recall seriously and return any and all recalled products to the place of purchase for a full refund or discard the product. Do not serve it to humans or pets, as illness or injury could occur. We take this situation seriously. We have already begun aggressive steps to prevent this from happening again, including the rigorous examination of long-standing raw materials suppliers.” –John Weber, President of Smith Provision Company, Inc., in a press release from the company regarding its recall of over 2,900 pounds of smoked and fully cooked boneless ham because the product may be contaminated with extraneous metal

“Omnichannel sales of produce are influencing packaging design in that we need to find ways to provide a package that is easy for selecting in-store for curbside pickup, but also creates a sturdier barrier to protect fruit if it might be shipped through non-traditional retail.” –Chuck Sinks, President of Sales and Marketing for Sage Fruit Co., in an article from The Packer, “Online sales and omnichannel expansion bring challenges to packaging”

9/22/21 1:16 PM

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9/22/21 1:16 PM

16 PW OCT2021



The Rise of Refillable Michael Rutchik, Creative Director of the OLIKA brand of hydrating hand sanitizer, answers PW questions about his brand’s pivot to durable, refillable packaging. Packaging World:

Is there a unique process or methodology behind outside-the-box package design thinking? What’s your approach?

Michael Rutchik: These last two years marked a turning point in the urgency we felt toward the environment and personal well-being. From extreme weather conditions to stay-at-home orders, we’re more aware of what’s in our home. Sustainability became top of mind and a dominant conversation topic for our team. We started the OLIKA outside-the-box package design with the brand’s imperatives: form & function, emotional experience, skin wellness, and sustainability. I designed with a focus on form and married it with an ergonomic, yet eco-friendly, portable consumer experience. Our team knew there was a heightened focus on hand care and especially hand sanitizer as a “rescue category.” Predecessors in the space delivered a less-than-stellar experience with boring plastic bottles, harsh chemicals, and wasteful packaging. We were primed to build a better-for-you experience with a blank slate. I designed our hand sanitizer forms as [durable, refillable] “forever bottles,” and developed the packaging with paper that uses a hybrid between a die-cut card and a carton for the secondary packaging, allowing it to stand on the shelf while using the minimal material usually associated with a simple card. To our knowledge, no other personal care or cosmetic product uses the same form and packaging as OLIKA. By eliminating single-use plastic in packaging, the customer experience is amplified with the product before it’s even purchased. The limited use of packaging materials allows shoppers to experience the hand sanitizer as if it wasn’t packaged at all. OLIKA gives a consumer the accurate experience of the product without getting in the way—we encourage the consumer to see, feel, and experience the product even while it’s protected.

How has package design changed in the last few years? We’re seeing the rise of the refill. Previously, the refill was an afterthought or a secondary purchase. Now it’s becoming the actual product. With the changes over the years, I now envision a world where nothing needs to be thrown away. This time will come soon as producers and manufacturers will be held accountable for everything they put in the waste stream.

FirstPerson_1021.indd 16

While consumers may never live a zero-waste lifestyle, what if brands were responsible for taking back all the waste materials from primary and secondary packaging? This isn’t a novel idea but something I’ve been considering. What if we created the packaging to serve as a 2D mailer that aligned with USPS standards and made mailing back the package as easy as throwing it away? Companies could then treat the packaging as raw material—worst case, the brand recycles the material for the consumer. And best case? The material is reused. Overall, the goal is nothing is thrown away.

R p la fo c

How does the rise of durable, reusable packaging with refillable contents impact how you approach design? Sustainability in product design is now non-negotiable. I recently read that there are 500 times more microplastics in our oceans than stars in our galaxy. So as product designers, we need to ask ourselves: are we part of the problem? The rise of durable, reusable packaging is both a challenge and an opportunity. For example, how do you sell an empty bottle? As product designers we’re responsible for making it attractive enough to sell. But we’re now putting a price on something that consumers believed they were getting for free as the cost of the bottle was baked into the whole product. But again, I’m encouraged by the success of categories such as refillable water bottles which makes me hopeful to transform other categories such as beauty, hygiene, and personal care. What design trends are you seeing emerge moving into 2022? By 2025, our goal is zero waste but some trends to reiterate include that forever bottles will be well-designed, tastefully branded, and created for a one-time purchase. Think of what happened with plastic water bottles. A whole new market opened up with consumers now spending $40+ on a forever reusable bottle that they love. I also see packaging becoming the return shipper. Used refill containers will be 2D and easily flatten when emptied, and the secondary packaging will transform into a prepaid return shipper for the empty refill containers. The consumer will simply need to slide the empties into the shipper and place it in their mailbox to be picked up by USPS. The returned empties will be transformed back into packaging materials to create a zero-waste cycle. Removing the friction allows consumers to participate in sustainability. —Matt Reynolds

9/21/21 7:07 PM

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9/21/21 7:07 PM

18 PW OCT2021


By Eric F. Greenberg, Attorney-at-law

What One Court Case Can Teach sumer would assume that the tea is low in sugar and therefore is also To help understand the recent scourge low in calories. The court said consumers are likely to think “slightly of private lawsuits brought against food sweet” is a description of the tea’s taste instead of an assertion about packagers over the information on their product labels, let’s dive its calorie or sugar content. This court believed “slightly sweet” was deeply into the recent decision in Mazella v. The Coca-Cola Company, just about the same as a claim that a beverage is “Just a Tad Sweet,” a in which consumers in New York State sued Coke claiming its bottled phrase that had been found by another court to be merely “puffery,” Gold Peak iced tea was misleadingly labeled as being “slightly sweet.” that is, not an assertion of a fact but instead a promotional phrase. Spoiler alert: The case was dismissed—that is, thrown out—by the The court was also persuaded by the fact that the label contained judge. I’ll discuss the judge’s lengthy Opinion and Order from July 21. clear and accurate statements about the tea’s sugar and calorie (I can send you a copy if you ask for it at my email address below.) contents in its Nutrition Facts. The court said, “where an allegedly These cases commonly involve individual consumers accusing deceptive practice is fully disclosed, there is no deception claim.’ companies of saying things on their labels that are false or (Incidentally, I am not sure that is always the interpretation courts misleading, such as that the product is “all natural,” or that it or regulators would make, so be careful—it’s better not to have any contains no genetically modified organisms. Often the cases are allegedly deceptive practices in the first place.) brought on behalf of all affected consumers, in what are called What lessons can we learn from this decision? I can think of at “class actions.” These lawsuits are not based on accusations that least two, and they are both sources of uncertainty. the company violated FDA’s requirements or other federal law, but First, lawyers often refer to any relevant that they violated a state’s prohibition on marketing products to consumers in a false The trouble is, a settlement of case from the past as “precedent,” and legal tradition says judges should try or misleading way. The cases seek money a case doesn’t clearly resolve our to follow the precedents (by interpreting damages and, if the state’s law allows it, the question of whether the the words of a specific law a certain way, even the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees. for example), unless there’s a really good The plaintiffs’ complaint asserted plaintiff’s claim was valid. reason not to. several separate claims, but the central Can a judge look at what another court did and be persuaded one was the alleged violation of a New York State law called the that it’s a good way to go, even if it’s not literally a precedent she is General Business Law that prohibits deceptive business practices and bound by? Yes, certainly, and sometimes they do that. In fact, the false advertising. The court listed the “elements” of claims under court in the Mazella case took that “puffery” idea from a case from that law, and evaluated them one by one. After all, legal claims are California applying California’s law. The problem for industry seeking just a collection of elements, a checklist of puzzle pieces, and the guidance from these decisions is that, while usually judges will follow judge or jury has to ask themselves if they all are present. If they the lead of a prior case from the same state because it’s a controlling are, the plaintiff wins. For purposes of a motion like this, the judge precedent for that court, you can’t always be as certain that a judge was deciding if the plaintiff had at least a reasonable shot at proving will borrow a good idea from another state’s court. every element of the claim. Second, learning from these cases can be tough. This particular To make out a claim that a defendant violated the New York case was decided by a judge in the company’s favor, and that was General Business Law, the plaintiff “must allege that a defendant helpful, but most of these cases get settled without rulings or trials. has engaged in (1) consumer-oriented conduct that is (2) materially And the trouble is, a settlement of a case doesn’t clearly resolve (meaning significantly) misleading and that (3) plaintiff suffered injury the question of whether the plaintiff’s claim was valid. Sometimes as a result of the allegedly deceptive act or practice,” said the court. companies change their label claims as a result of cases, but may The “materially misleading” element was trouble for the plaintiff not admit any fault. It’s useful I suppose to note that someone sued here. New York courts define “misleading” as “likely to mislead a someone over that particular label claim, so if you want to avoid reasonable consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances.” bad publicity and legal squabbles, you can stay away from that label In other words, the company won’t be responsible for every kooky claim, but when cases settle, it’s not clear the plaintiff was right. interpretation by every kooky consumer. Careful packagers will keep eyes and ears open about the The court said, sorry, but the assertions that the iced tea was accusations that plaintiffs make, and note the victories, like conclusive “slightly sweet”, and that that was misleading because the tea does court rulings, when they come along. PW contain some sugar, do not “plausibly” allege that a reasonable conEric Greenberg can be reached at Or visit his firm’s Web site at INFORMATIONAL ONLY, NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

LegalSide_1021.indd 18

9/21/21 3:41 PM

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9/21/21 3:41 PM

20 PW OCT2021


By Sterling Anthony, CPP, Contributing Editor

Best Practices for Undertaking Package Redesign warranted, and if yes, the form it should take (graphic, structural, Every package redesign is a gamble, but the odds for a favorable or both). It’s easier to achieve consensus when vested parties outcome are enhanced by following best practices. Unlike lists of believe that decisions are supported by the numbers. While it’s misguided reasons and good reasons for package redesigns, sequence fair to argue against an unquestioning reliance on analytics, even matters with this list of best practices because they are step-wise. more detrimental would be such reliance on going with one’s gut (a Have the support of top management. That’s not to suggest common cause of corporate indigestion.) that top management should be directly involved in package Compose a redesign brief that’s comprehensive but concise. redesign. Support should take the form of making it clear throughout Every package redesign project has to its advantage a history, the company that packaging is a strategic tool and a source of compiled by the present design. The redesign brief must retain the competitive advantage. As a logical consequence, package redesign features valued by the target consumers, while incorporating revisions receives the same recognition. Of the various ways to demonstrate for overall improvement. The approach favors incremental changes. support, none are more convincing than giving packaging a position On the other hand, a major overhaul would suggest that there was on the organization chart reflective of its prowess. something fundamentally deficient about the process that produced Have a realistic packaging philosophy. At the core of this best the present design. A redesign brief should practice is understanding what packaging be of exacting detail, regardless of whether can and can’t do. Without that distinction, While it’s fair to argue against the redesign alternatives are generated by package redesign can be undertaken for an unquestioning reliance on an outside agency or in-house. the wrong reasons and with the wrong analytics, even more detrimental Conduct streamlined evaluations. expectations. Packaging’s capabilities are When the redesign is not done in-house, limited to these functions: containment, would be such reliance on invite several design agencies to present protection, communication, convenience, going with one’s gut (a common their credentials. Vet them down to one. and utility. The functions don’t only apply to consumers, but to partners throughout cause of corporate indigestion). Have that agency come up with several redesign alternatives. There’s no need to the supply chain. A package redesign is get inundated with alternatives, thinking that among them will be misguided if it will not improve one or more of those functions. the perfect redesign. Perfection is as mythical as are unicorns—except Take an interdisciplinary approach. Marketing is not the only one would certainly recognize a unicorn, if ever encountered. discipline with a vested interest in package design. Others include Conduct streamlined testing. Rather than pursuing perfection, sales, line operations, distribution, legal, and purchasing—just to the pursuit should be for a redesign that does not embody a major name a few. The various interests can conflict, requiring compromises error. Examples of such an error might be consumer confusion about and trade-offs for an optimal net result. No discipline should have product category, or colors that have negative connotations relative to carte blanche authority. An advisable alternative is a committee, its the product category. Qualitative and quantitative tests are numerous, members representing the various vested interests, and headed by and a company should not get bogged down with an unwieldy battery someone with a packaging-related title. of them. Limit testing to a few methodologies, chosen for what they Have effective channels of communication and information. purport to measure. Indicators that might warrant a package redesign can be numerous Document in detail. The need for a package redesign should not and dispersed. Effectively funneling them requires monitoring come down the pike often, at least not for the same product. That, in relevant environments, tapping relevant informational sources, and itself, is reason to document each instance. What’s to be avoided is conveying what’s learned to the right parties. The objective is to reliance on the recall of past participants (who may have moved on, convert information into intelligence and to make that intelligence anyway.) Another benefit accrues to companies with multiple brands actionable. The network should not be more complex than needed; or different products under the same brand. There’s no need to start however, in all cases, what’s needed is more than just a 1-800 from zero, procedurally, with every redesign project. Lastly, detailed consumer feedback line. documentation provides a basis for grading how well a project was Make data-driven decisions. All the preceding practices will managed, and therefore, a basis for improving the process. PW facilitate making the fundamental decisions: whether a redesign is

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22 PW OCT2021


By Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor

Grove Collaborative is First with Plastic-Free Refillable Deodorant Pack Dove did it. Secret and Old Spice did it. And now, sustainability-focused disruptor brand Grove Collaborative has done it. They’ve introduced a refillable deodorant system. But in Grove Collaborative’s case, the deodorant package—a cylindrical, aluminum “forever case”—is plastic-free, which is not the case, it says, with the packaging offered by its larger CPG competitors, as well as by some other, smaller personal care producers. Grove’s Peach Deodorant & Body Care Refill System, launched in mid-May, is an expansion of the company’s Peach clean, vegan personal care line, which, like the rest of its product lines, “is on a mission to eliminate plastic from the personal care routine.” “Peach’s purpose is to spark a mass movement to sustainable living by proving that sustainable beauty and personal care can be highly efficacious and fun,” says Luana Bumachar, VP Owned Brands and Innovation for Grove Collaborative. “Thus we are on a mission to eliminate plastic from the personal care routine. We started in the shower with hair, face, and body cleansing, but we knew that was just the beginning. From the inception of the brand in 2019, we have been exploring new categories in which we could deliver an amazing plastic-free experience. And deodorant and body care were the next obvious steps in the journey.” In developing a more sustainable packaging option for deodorant and body lotion, Grove looked at other non-plastic formats such as the paper tube, a package that is rapidly being adopted by a number of natural deodorant brands. But, says Bumachar, there’s a significant tradeoff in consumer experience with paper packaging. “With many of the paper tubes, there is not a seamless propel/repel mechanism that consumers are accustomed to with conventional packaging,” she says. “The consumer needs to keep holding the bottom of the deodorant for it not to slide down during application. The top of the paper packaging also does not hold up well and gets quite messy or degrades over the lifetime of the product. For Peach, our objective was to design a product that is not only 100% plastic-free, but also has no experience tradeoffs—both on the actual product and on the packaging.” Instead, Grove Collaborative opted for aluminum, a material Bumachar says has several advantages over plastic. “First, as we are trying to eliminate single-use plastic, the aluminum forever case of Peach deodorant and body care encourages consumers to reuse an item that traditionally they would toss after the product is finished,” she explains. “Second, aluminum is infinitely recyclable. So even if someone decides to stop using their case, or when disposing of their refill, the materials can be fully recouped and will reenter the value stream without any tradeoffs—unlike plastic. And lastly, it helps set a new expectation of what responsible consumption looks like, and that taking steps towards living more sustainably does not have to be difficult or come with tradeoffs.”

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The Peach brand, Bumachar adds, is highly consumer-centric, so with the design of the refill system, the consumer experience needed to be uncompromised, both functionally and aesthetically. This meant the packaging needed to be engineered in a way that made it intuitive and simple for the consumer to remove a used deodorant insert and replace it with a new one. It also needed to be easy to travel with, “so consumers can live plastic-free wherever they go,” she says. Aesthetically, the packaging needed to be decorated in a way that reflects the optimism of the brand—to put a smile on the face of the consumer every time they use the product, Bumachar says. Package development was done in collaboration with an outside design firm, while a team inside Grove focused on the consumer experience of the product. Although Grove’s design partner brought deep engineering and manufacturing expertise, Bumachar shares that there were challenges related to working with aluminum. One is that aluminum is more malleable than stainless steel, which was a consideration when designing the case and refill cartridges to be as lightweight as possible for on-the-go convenience. A mechanism used on the refill cartridge also required tight tolerances to ensure the components would not bend or alter shape during the manufacturing process or in transit. To ensure the components fully comply with Grove’s approved specs so that consumers only receive “impeccable products,” the company implemented a tight Q&A process. The resulting packaging system comprises the forever case, with the body and cap made entirely from aluminum, that can be refilled with any of the 1.78-oz Peach deodorant sticks or 1.67-oz Peach body care refill sticks. The refill inserts come in a 100% aluminum cylinder and are designed with a platform and a threaded spindle on the base that clicks into a hexagonal opening at the bottom of the forever case, “so that you experience the same propel and repel functionality as a conventional deodorant,” Bumachar explains. Included in the line are three clean-ingredient, vegan deodorant varieties—Cucumber Sage, Citrus Vetiver, and Coconut Jasmine—a body balm stick in a Coconut Pineapple scent, and a body lotion stick in Lavender Coconut. The refillable deodorant cases and refill sticks

9/22/21 2:58 PM


Watch a video of the Peach deodorant and body care system at: are packaged in 100% recyclable paper cartons made from FSC [Forest Stewardship Council]-certified paper with some recycled content. Graphics for the packaging were done in-house by Grove Collaborative Creative Director Nicholas Guy with the goal of conveying the optimism, inclusivity, and sustainability of the Peach brand. “The brand system uses messaging to encourage consumers on their journey to plastic-free, not shame them into it,” says Bumachar. “We make sustainability fun.” Both the case and carton include the logomark, “peach not plastic™.” The body of the case reads, “A little care goes a long way,” while copy on the carton includes the words, “Look at you being all sustainable” and “Sustainability looks good on you.” In addition, cartons for each product include copy on the primary benefits/reasons to believe, focusing on performance and scent experiences. A color-coding system on both the forever cases and the cartons is used to differentiate product varieties. Says Bumachar, the bright and vibrant hues of orange, lime green, yellow, lavender, and blue are meant to be a welcome change from the neutral tones consumers expect with natural products and were chosen to convey the bright and positive personality of the brand. She adds that the forever cases are decorated using a powder-coat process that enhances the vibrancy of the colors. Looking at the expansion of the Peach line in a larger context, the new packaging supports Grove Collaborative’s Beyond Plastic initiative. Announced last year, Beyond Plastic is a comprehensive plan to help the company achieve its goal of becoming 100% plastic-free by 2025 and to lead the industry out of single-use plastic. Noted Stuart Landesberg, co-founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative, at time the new Peach products were launched, “Plastic is everywhere. In order to solve that problem, we have to create better products for consumers one product at a time. The Peach deodorant and lotion line builds on Grove’s leadership in sustainable packaging and is the

industry’s first-ever 100% plastic-free deodorant and body care refill system. …The launch is a result of our continued focus on sustainable product innovation, as we develop new formats that are planetfriendly and built based on input from our community.” Each Peach Forever Deodorant Case + Deodorant Refill Starter Duo and Forever Lotion Case + Lotion Refill Starter Duo retail for $19.95 per set, with each refill retailing for $11.95 —Anne Marie Mohan

Read more about durable, refillable packaging on page 16.

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9/22/21 2:58 PM

24 PW OCT2021

How To Re-use Corrugated Shippers 20 Times Two Australian manufacturers are trialing an innovative system for the return and reuse of corrugated cases. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Reusable packaging

Savings on corrugated

By Pat Reynolds, VP Editor Emeritus On the sending side of the trial is Wiring Solutions Plus (WSP) of Underdale, which makes wiring looms (also known as a wire harness, wiring harness, or cable assembly). On the receiving side is REDARC Electronics, which makes a range of electronic voltage converters, inverters, power supplies, battery chargers, brake controllers, and trailer braking products—in other words, products that require wiring looms made by WSP. WSP ships thousands of corrugated cases of wiring looms to REDARC annually. In the past, the cases were taped closed. When REDARC received them, the tape was cut off with knives and all four top flaps were also cut off to facilitate ease of access to the components inside. The flaps and the cases were then disposed of. Not only is this procedure labor intensive and suboptimal from a sustainable packaging standpoint, it also poses the real risk of personnel lacerating themselves as they cut the tape and flaps. In the ongoing trial, instead of taping the cases closed, WSP will close them with Box Latch™ products. These are durable injection molded devices from Box Latch Products that are anchored to case flaps to make it possible to securely close corrugated cases for transfer from WSP to REDARC. At REDARC, the top flaps are easily opened and the contents removed. When a case is empty, an operator opens the bottom flaps, collapses the case, and stacks the collapsed cases so that both cases and latches can be returned to WSP to be used all over again. Due to the uneven spread of weight in the single-wall cartons, WSP is trying two Box Latch™ Large on the bottom and one on the top to temporarily close the cases for shipping. Early testing at the WSP facilities by Phil Southam of KHP Business Solutions, the Australian Associate and Sales Representative for Box Latch™ Products, indicates two latches will hold the 11 kg weight in the current cases. “If WSP’s pilot program works as expected, it is likely WSP will move to double-wall corrugated cases to provide more strength, longevity, and security,” says Southam. More durable cases will cost a bit more but will prove to be cost-effec-

WiringSolutions.indd 24

Wiring Solutions Plus is taking a greener approach to shipping its wiring harnesses. This is how the reusable corrugated cases are closed and stacked for shipment from WSP to the customer participating in the trial. tive in the long run as well as reducing the need for two Box Latches™ on the bottom. “We’re interested to see how this goes and hopeful for success for all involved,” says WSP Managing Director Mark Pickering. The goal is to reuse the cases up to 20 times, yielding thousands of dollars in savings and, perhaps more important, keeping the corrugated material from having to be recycled after only one use. REDARC will also use another product from Box Latch Products called the Clip & Stack. Designed to hold carton flaps out of the way for packing or unpacking, one or two Clip & Stacks can be used to keep flaps open and out of the way as contents are added or removed. This eliminates catching on roller systems feeding the assembler. By using four of these Clip & Stack units, cases can be stacked two to four high saving considerable floorspace. This also prevents employees from being hit in their faces or bodies by box flaps on shelves, provides for neat and well-managed shelf and rack space, and prevents employees from tripping as a result of open-flapped cases sitting out on the plant floor. As with the Box Latches™, the Clip & Stacks can be used hundreds or thousands of times, so only a small number may be required depending on how many open cases are required for packing or assembly at any one time. Since this innovative product allows for cases to be stacked while open, pre-constructing them during slow times allows for them to be ready when needed at peak times. PW

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Circular Label System Assists Baker with Zero-Waste Goals As a way to help meet its ambitious zero-waste commitments, FGF Brands joins a label liner recycling program that collects and recycles waste liner for incorporation into new label facestock. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Label liner recycling

Recycled-content label facestock

By Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor FGF Brands is a large, baked goods manufacturer with eight facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada, and two in San Antonio, Texas. Among its range of specialized baked goods are flatbreads, including naan—one of its most notable brands being Stonefire—pizza crust, and specialty flatbreads; sweet goods, such as muffins, loaves, sliced cakes, and decadent bars; and laminated products, including butter croissants, chocolate croissants, and Danishes. Its products can be found in retail and foodservice facilities across North America as well as in Australia and the U.K. But despite the company’s extensive lineup of savory and sweet baked goods, FGF says it doesn’t consider itself a bakery. Rather, it views itself as a tech company that likes to bake. “We are a consumer-focused company, always in harmony with ever-evolving consumer preferences, and we master technology to create the food people want—affordable and artisan quality, with the cleanest possible ingredients,” says Darren Rafter, Sustainability Program Specialist for FGF Brands. Started 17 years ago in a 5,000-sq-ft facility with six team members, the baked goods company has grown consistently, year over year, and now employs more than 3,000 team members in 10 facilities that cover more than 1 million sq ft. With such a broad footprint, both productand operations-wise, FGF is ever conscious of its impact on the environment and has made extensive commitments to improve its environmental sustainability performance across all its business areas. One of FGF’s boldest sustainability goals is around waste reduction and diversion. Shares Rafter, “To ensure we initiated programs to reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste, we set a very ambitious target of having our facilities be certified zero-waste in 2022 to drive internal action.” One action that has so far netted significant

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FGF Brands uses UPM Raflatac’s FSCcertified RAFNXT+ label range for products such as its Stonefire flatbread line. waste-reduction benefits for FGF has been its participation in the RafCycle™ by UPM Raflatac label release liner collection and recycling program. Since joining RafCycle in October 2020, FGF has recycled over 210 metric tons of paper release liner, which, with the new UPM Raflatac LabelLoop™ solution, is being used to create new label facestock, resulting in a completely closedloop solution for the label value chain.

Half-a-million pounds of liner recycled each year In late 2018, pressure-sensitive label supplier UPM Raflatac brought to North America its label liner recycling solution, which had already achieved great success in Europe since it was launched there in 2010. Traditionally, up to 90% of release liner material—the siliconized paper or PET backing that carries a pressure-sensitive label until it’s applied—ends up in landfill upon disposal. Through the RafCycle by UPM Raflatac pro-

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Sustana has two mills—one in De Pere, Wis., and one in Breakeyville, Quebec, Canada—that together can process up to 1,100 tons, or 2.2 million pounds, of recovered material every day. “That’s 55 truckloads of material diverted from landfill daily,” says Bond. “Currently approximately 5% to 10% of the incoming collected material is release liner, and we are hoping to increase the input volume, as many of the paper-based release liner contains valuable fiber.”

gram, converters and brand owners can gather their waste label liner for collection and recycling by UPM Raflatac and its partners. There are now more than 250 partner companies globally participating in the program. In fall 2020, UPM Raflatac announced it had brought RafCycle full circle with its new LabelLoop portfolio of paper labels with facestock made in part from recycled paper label liner. Until LabelLoop, the waste liner material was going back into the typical pulp or PET recycling stream. But after a rigorous two-year process that involved extensive supplier vetting and R&D, UPM Raflatac developed a line of labels using facestock containing up to 30% post-consumer waste material, some of which is collected via RafCycle. Says Juha Virmavirta, Director, RafCycle Solutions, UPM Raflatac, “Silicone and adhesive residue on waste liner causes major contamination so liner that does get recycled is often downcycled into lower-quality material. However, through LabelLoop, we are developing truly closed-loop solutions where materials from the label value chain will remain there and will be given a possibility to remain in the label product chain for several circles.”


Recycler has prowess to create premium fibers from liners To supply recycled pulp material of the quality needed to produce the new label facestock, UPM Raflatac works with Sustana Fiber, a recycler that leverages cutting-edge technology and innovative proprietary processes to de-siliconize the waste materials and convert them into sustainable, FSC™ [Forest Stewardship Council]-certified fiber for use in the labels. Mark Bond, Recycled Fiber Sales Manager for Sustana Fiber, explains how the waste release liner collected through RafCycle is handled once it reaches Sustana’s facilities: “At our mill, the bales of release liner are placed into a hydropulper. A hydropulper is like a giant blender where the release liner material is mixed with water and spun together. It takes about 25 minutes for this mechanical process to break down and separate the usable fibers from any non-fibrous material.” Three release-liner processing steps follow: screening, cleaning, and washing. “The material goes through loops of screening to further filter out non-fiber material. Cleaning and washing steps include cleaners, flotation cells, and other advanced washing systems, including clarifiers,” Bond explains. “Once the fibers are cleaned, it’s time to cut them into sheets to make finished recycled fiber bales ready to ship to the paper mill to be made into new paper products.” The resulting product, Sustana’s EnviroLife® brand premium sustainable recycled fiber, is compliant with FDA standards, containing zero fluorescence, and is OBA (optical brightener agents) free. In addition, compared to virgin pulp, EnviroLife has a 26% lower impact on climate change and uses nine-times less water to produce.

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Partner selection, R&D critical Finding a fiber supplier was one step in the process for UPM Raflatac. The other was finding a facestock supplier. Says Scott Conrad, Segment Manager, Prime Papers, Americas, for UPM Raflatac, “Being a big company, we have many suppliers, but we had to select one that was not just a high-quality supplier, but one that was a like-minded sustainability partner. We really put some of our suppliers through the ringer, if you will, to find someone willing to do this for us. We really needed someone who could use this pulp and turn it back into a high-quality facestock, and the only way they could do that was by taking extra care within their process and making sure they had all their quality stations in check.” Ultimately, UPM Raflatac selected Pixelle Specialty Solutions, which produces five facestocks, including four different semi-gloss, or

prime, materials, and one laser direct-mail option for the LabelLoop line, using Sustana’s EnviroLife fiber. As noted, the label facestock includes 30% PCW, including release liner material from RafCycle, along with a variety of other sources in Sustana’s standard recycling stream. After Pixelle creates the facestock, UPM Raflatac manufactures the label laminate stock, which is a sandwich of the recycled paper facestock, an adhesive, a silicone, and the label liner. From there, a label converter prints and die-cuts the label material to the end-user’s specifications. According to Conrad, a lot of work was required on UPM Raflatac’s end as well to develop the LabelLoop products. “We had to think about whether the facestock was compatible with the adhesives we’re using, was it going to function as a label out in the market, and was it strong enough to convert,” he explains. “We also had to take printing into consideration and a lot of other technical parameters. All of that work was

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done behind the scenes by our technical team, and they did a fantastic job with this particular face.” According to UPM Raflatac, LabelLoop labels offer the same high standards of print quality and high-speed converting as its standard offerings and are suitable for a variety of end-uses. While the line currently comprises five products, Conrad says UPM Raflatac plans to expand the number of offerings in the future.

“As of March, we had saved approximately $9,200 CAD [approximately US$7,300] on regular waste disposal fees since the program started,” Rafter shares. “However, the implementation of the release liner recycling program at FGF was never about cost savings. We found a waste stream that we could remove from our regular garbage and recycle it. The positive environmental results are what instigated this program and what continually drive its success.” PW

213 metric tons and counting of label liner recycled by FGF With its 2022 deadline for achieving zero waste in its facilities fast approaching, in 2020, FGF Brands was eager to find new waste reduction strategies. Through an introduction to UPM Raflatac by its label printer, it learned about RafCycle. “At UPM Raflatac we have a great relationship with the label printer,” says Conrad. “Like UPM Raflatac, this label printer and FGF Brands share a commitment to sustainability and are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. FGF Brands was specifically looking for a way to reduce waste within their process and needed a solution. Label liner waste was a noted contributor to their total waste stream. With the help of the label printer to make a connection, UPM Raflatac was able to introduce the RafCycle liner recycling concept to FGF Brands.” Says Rafter, “We recognized RafCycle as a great way to reduce our waste that is sent for incineration. This program provides an important contribution to help us achieve our zero-waste goal.” In another nod to sustainability, FGF uses the UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+ label range, which Conrad says is the world’s first label material verified by The Carbon Trust to help mitigate climate change. According to UPM Raflatac, RAFNXT+ enables a superior carbon performance compared to standard labels through the product design’s smarter use and choice of natural resources. RAFNXT+ paper faces and liners are FSC certified, and the paper fibers originate in sustainably managed forests and other controlled sources. Explains Rafter, FGF recycles the label release liner at all of its facilities in both U.S. and Canada, however, it is only recycled specifically through the RafCycle program at its eight Canadian plants. To prepare the material for recycling, FGF collects the waste liner on its production floors and then transfers it to gaylords on-site. Once the company has enough gaylords to fill a trailer, it delivers the trailer to a local paper recycling company active in the program, which then transports the material to Sustana. Between October 2020, when it joined RafCycle, and the end of July 2021, Rafter reports that FGF recycled nearly 213 metric tons of label release liner. The program has also resulted in cost savings for FGF due to no longer having to pay incineration fees.

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Eckes-Granini Launches 100% rPET Bottle Headquartered in the German city of Nieder-Olm, Eckes-Granini has been using 25% rPET in its PET hohes C juice bottles since 2018, but now that has changed. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Reducing carbon footprint

Importance of preform geometry

“Considering the EU’s plastics strategy and the increase in recyclate quotas this prescribes, we’ve now decided to switch to using recycled PET only,” says Hermann Naumann, plant manager for Eckes-Granini in Bad Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony. “We want to be a pioneer with regard to the circular economy and set a good example for the beverage industry.” Europe’s leading producer of fruit juice beverages has pursued an ambitious sustainability strategy for years, adds Naumann. “We aim to continue steadily reducing our carbon footprint in production and in our packaging. This means not only cutting down on Eckes-Granini responded to increases in recyclate quotas by going from the amount of material used but also 25% to 100% recycled content in its 1-L juice bottles. closing the recycling loop.” the preform is essential for efficient processing, especially when a high With help from the KHS Group, since the middle of May the firm’s percentage of rPET is used. Through extensive testing it was established 1-L hohes C juice bottle has consisted entirely of recycled plastic (rPET). that both makes of preform function soundly on the block system. All KHS’ Bottles & Shapes experts in Hamburg were responsible for optimithat was needed for optimum bottle production were minor adjustzation of the bottle. The new containers will continue to be produced ments to the heater on the stretch blow molder. No major changes to on the tried-and-tested InnoPET FreshSafe block. the machinery or geometrical properties of the preforms were required. According to Eckes-Granini, the changeover of the 1-L hohes C bottle “This enabled us to achieve a very high level of process efficiency while to rPET will save over 4,000 metric tons of new PET annually. This in retaining the container quality, thus fully meeting our customer’s return means that the bottler will cut its carbon emissions by about 8,000 quirements,” says Kruse. tons a year. Eckes-Granini will continue to benefit from FreshSafe PET barrier Finding ways of saving on resources was not the only focus of the protection also after converting to 100% rPET. The beverage company ambitious project. The ability to do so on the KHS InnoPET FreshSafe has relied on the environmentally-friendly system from KHS since 2006. block in operation at Eckes-Granini since 2017 also had to be investiThe oxygen barrier of chemically pure glass, a wafer-thin coating on the gated. “One of the concerns was whether either the preforms or mainside of the PET bottle, not only effectively protects the juice from oxychine would need modification,” explains Dr. Matthias Kruse, head of gen pickup but is also fully recyclable. The coating can be easily washed PET Technology at KHS. “So we carefully assessed the quality of the off Eckes-Granini bottles during the recycling process. The sustainable recycled PET material. This is crucial, for large variances in color, mopackaging alternative therefore permits pure-grade bottle-to-bottle relecular length, or inhomogeneity can quickly reduce the efficiency of cycling. “By combining rPET and future-proof product protection, Eckesproduction.” Granini and KHS are again demonstrating their pioneering role for the The fact that Eckes-Granini procures its preforms from two different circular economy,” claims Kruse. —Pat Reynolds suppliers presented an added challenge, Kruse adds. The geometry of

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Supplements’ Tamper Evident Label Takes QR Path to Smart Features HEBE LIFE’s D2C nutricosmetic products use a label that delivers on consumer engagement, product authentication, and brand protection. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Geolocation and tracking

QR-driven bespoke landing page

By Matt Reynolds, Editor Packaging’s primary function has always been to protect a product and keep it intact as it travels through the supply chain to reach its end consumer. This foundational duty has been put to the test as packaging originally designed for retail evolves to accommodate the many-touch, multiple-handler world of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer (D2C). And for high-end, high-margin products that are using these emerging D2C channels, the functional expectations placed on packaging go even further. A product in the luxury space often requires a pack to match in style, aesthetic, and expanded ability to engage with the consumers using smart technology. Plus, if that luxury product is intended to be consumed or applied to the body—as is the case with high-priced

alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, personal care products, nutraceuticals, or supplements—packaging is often tasked with additional security and anti-counterfeiting measures. HEBE LIFE®, a UK-based supplements and nutricosmetics company, launched in 2019 its SE85® and Core ASX® supplements—rejuvenating products that check all the boxes listed above. These are D2C, luxuryminded, all-natural supplements with a discerning customer base that will expect to receive their purchase in packaging that exhibits a lot more care and consideration than can be imparted by a standard kraft corrugated shipper containing HDPE pill bottles. “We offer premium supplements with high-end ingredients, and

Primary packaging for HEBE LIFE’s two nutricosmetic offerings involve durable, p-s labeled glass jars using a desiccant and metallized foil seal. A holographically printed, tamper evident label with external QR code and die-cut tear strip spans the gap between shipper sidewalls and top.

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we are targeting A++, VIP customers who are lifestyle and health oriented,” says Heba Elshourbagy, director of HEBE LIFE. “We designed our products inside-out to be high-end with regard to the ingredients, using all-natural, premium raw materials and ingredients that are highly efficient and deliver very good results.” To get an idea of a HEBE LIFE target consumer, a kit of SE85 HEBE LIFE supplements, which contains six labeled bottles, each with 60 soft-gel capsules (a six-month supply), is sold D2C for £3,185 (US$4,388). A separate, single-bottle Core ASX product is sold for US$371. Further, due to scarcity of the ingredients HEBE LIFE sources, wouldbe buyers are asked to inquire about product availability before they are even able to make a purchase. Clearly, these can be considered premium, expensive products. And those in the industry know that when nutraceuticals carry such a heavy price tag, counterfeiters may smell opportunity. This is doubly true when there’s a distribution, shipping, and handling gap between original producer and the end consumer. “In thinking about providing these products to customers, we thought about how or what possible ways that these products could be copied [counterfeited], which is something that happens all the time,” Elshourbagy says. “We started to search how to authenticate our products, how to give credibility to our products, and how to provide a very special customer experience and trust within our products.” The HEBE LIFE product line was launched in December 2020, and from the very beginning, Elshourbagy sought to bake authentication into the whole system, starting with the product design and ingredients and extending to both the primary and secondary packaging.

durable and intended to be kept in the consumer’s home long after fulfilling their initial purpose. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that glass of any kind can be tricky to ship through e-comm and D2C channels. Ahmad Attar, marketing director at HEBE LIFE, says that the secondary package the company uses simultaneously fulfills LA102-Half-Page-Island-Spread-2.pdf 2 7/21/20 10:26 AM the pack’s top-

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Primary and secondary package considerations The primary package is a reusable tinted glass bottle that uses counterfeit-resistant labels by Royston Labels. Elshourbagy says these labels are printed in such a quality of text and decoration that it would be prohibitively difficult even to approach reproducing the existing quality and specification, much less duplicate with equivalent reprints. While the closure is standard and no child-resistant features are necessary, a metallized film seal is applied after filling the bottles and before adding the closure, accomplishing both enhanced shelf life and improved tamper evidence. The product doesn’t require an oxygen barrier, but a Clariant desiccant is added prior to sealing and closing the bottle to combat moisture. Batch number and expiry date are coded onto each bottle to further enhance traceability and protect against counterfeiting. The sturdy glass bottles used in the application are





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A tamper evident label seen here affixed to the secondary packaging for the SE85 supplement variety.

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line protective job while also delighting discriminating customers expecting a luxury experience. Made of a lightweight natural wood with a piano-style finishing, plus a leather sleeve, the secondary pack is as much a presentation case as it is a protective vessel. “Secondary packaging ensures safe transport, but it is not only for transport,” Attar says. “For the SE85 product, each case contains a sixmonth course of supplements, so the purpose of the package is to keep the bottles and everything else in it for six months, perhaps even on display. It’s for high-end customers who wouldn’t appreciate low-quality packaging. We made it rigid, so it can keep and protect the glass during storage and transportation. At the same time, it will be good looking and presentable when someone puts it in the bedroom or office.” Attar notes that among many of HEBE LIFE’s affluent customer base largely in the U.S. and the Persian Gulf region, health products like these are often given as gifts. The secondary package not only scores high from a presentation perspective when the high-end gift is given to a recipient, it also continues to beautifully display the product through the six-month life of the kit. The wood presentation cases are enclosed in more traditional recyclable shippers, but even these packs smack of luxury. Supplied by Wrapology, the heavy-gauge paperboard cartons are debossed and entirely covered with a slick, black stock paper topsheet that’s printed black on black in UV ink, and also uses silver foil for the SE85 product logo. Meanwhile, the lower price point (per-unit) Core ASX product, sold as a single glass bottle with no presentation case, uses only the Wrapology heavy paperboard carton shipper as secondary packaging. This product’s shipper is also topsheet-covered and debossed, allowing it to stand out on a doorstep just like the pricier SE85 kit. Despite being decidedly high-end—to the point of shipping product in piano-finished wood—packaging to this point has been reasonably standard for both HEBE LIFE’s offerings. But at the shipper level, HEBE LIFE employs a unique printed seal, imbued with smart packaging characteristics via encrypted QR code and attendant software, that allows for all sorts of nifty features befitting expensive D2C nutricosmetic products.


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Tamper evidence for nutricosmetics To scratch the authentication itch, Elshourbagy approached European specialty and secure label maker Eltronis with a problem in need of a solution. Initially, she was simply looking for a secure tamper evident seal that would reliably adhere to the shipper—she had had some trouble with earlier tamper evident seals and strips that hadn’t been able to adhere to the sleek printed carton. Eltronis solved that problem with a proprietary adhesive that cures on the carton in such a way that it allows for complete adherence prior to distribution, so the partnership was off to a good start.

ers to entry and no CapEx involved for the brand owner. Consumers do not need to download any apps or software to use engage, they simply use their camera on a standard smartphone.” In the HEBE LIFE application, Eltronis’ engage seal is a circular label with adhesive only applied to its upper and lower quarters. A central band portion of the round seal remains adhesive free, intended to straddle the open gap between the side walls and top or cover panel of the




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Upon tearing open the tamper evident label, consumers are asked to authenticate the product via QR code, leading to further engagement opportunities while capturing tracking, timing, and geolocation insights for HEBE LIFE. The basic goal of the seal, of course, was to provide customers the peace of mind that the supplements received were the real, authentic product from HEBE LIFE, and no tampering had occurred along the supply chain. But after some discussion about this underlying goal, Eltronis and Elshourbagy saw even more opportunity via Eltronis’ new engage™ cloud-based software intended to provide brands with a tool to link products to the internet through consumers’ smartphones. “Engage is the result of quite a lot of market-led innovation that we’ve done, and it’s evolved over time to where it is now,” says Pete Smallwood, Business Development Manager, Eltronis. “It came from some work that we did to help some of our pharmaceutical companies with the implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive and our work with several governments looking at authentication labels. Alongside this we have worked with a number of global brand owners to develop the brand protection side of engage. And more recently, we’ve launched the marketing side as well. “Our focus has always been on having products which are accessible to customers and consumers and this is particularly so with engage. There are no barri-

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Presentational secondary packaging for the SE85 supplement, which contains a sixmonth supply of product, is durable and intended to be displayed. paperboard carton shipper. The belly portion of the seal is die cut to create a tear strip that is printed underneath with additional information that remains hidden until the strip can be removed. The seal adheres to the side wall and top panel of the printed paperboard shipper to act, at its most basic functional level, as a physical tamper evident indicator. When the tear-off strip is removed, the remaining top and bottom portions of the label remain adhered to the packaging. If the seal has already been broken, that tells consumers that the package has been compromised. Like the labels used on the glass jars, printing is done with such quality—including the HEBE LIFE logo using holography via rainbow cold foil—that counterfeit reproduction should be prohibitively difficult. But the authentication process goes much further than top notch label design.

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The engage software underpinning the seal’s advanced features works with two QR codes. The outward-facing side of the seal is printed with a QR code that’s smartphone readable, transforming the seal into a consumer-facing marketing tool. It may also simultaneously serve as a back-end data collection tool, allowing HEBE LIFE to track, trace, and glean market insights from the pack as it travels through the supply chain. But to the consumer, this external code is the starting line of an interactive path, and it acts as an initial a call to action asking him or her to scan the QR code with a smartphone as a first step down the road toward product authentication. That first QR code will take the customer to a bespoke landing page that tells the customer what to do next, what to expect, how to open the product via the tear strip label, how to authenticate it, and any other pertinent information. “In this instance, for all intents and purposes, the landing page is HEBE LIFE’s landing page,” Smallwood says. “It’s there to get the end user to authenticate the product once they open it, but it also can be used to provide additional information. These bespoke landing pages are always a reflection of our customers’ branding. We use their logos and we use their marketing rules.” For example, since HEBE LIFE has two products that can be consumed in a complementary fashion—Core ASX and SE85—the first landing page encourages buyers of one product to seek out the other. But the really neat stuff starts with the second QR code. By following the first QR code’s directions, a second, authenticating QR code hidden within is revealed on the inside of the label’s tear strip. Having broken the seal and scanned the second QR code, a consumer confirms that this is the genuine, authentic product. In an ideal world, this would always happen. But in the rare but possible event that the second QR code has already been scanned when the customer first scans it, or if the code doesn’t exist in HEBE LIFE’s database at all, a brand protection protocol will go into action. The software will recognize the incongruity and instruct the consumer on next steps. This isn’t ideal, of course, but it’s information that the brand owner is going to want to know, and information exchanged between brand and consumer on these scan errors can help the brand investigate the cause of the problem and prevent a consumer from using counterfeit product. 844-293-2814

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Depending on the application, brands employing this system might also use the secondary QR authentication step to reveal a hidden bonus for customers. It could lead to discount offers or get customers to sign up for gift giveaways, newsletters, refill subscriptions, or loyalty programs. “There is also a geolocation element to the software within the second QR code, so a brand can see if the product is being authenticated, where its market strategies have been implemented, and it can align its marketing according,” Smallwood. “That can also be used to identify gray [illegal] import and make sure that your distribution channel has not being compromised.” “The seal isn’t just all about security; an equally important role for the seal is in tracking,” HEBE LIFE’s Attar agrees. “The outer or external QR code in the system is unique, so in every logistical step in our supply chain, we can track it. We will know that a given box has been tracked to a given location and know where it has been. Since we’re dealing with an open market, and dealing with a lot of distributors, it’s always good to know statistics on where a given box has been opened.” They noticed, for example, that often boxes are purchased in the U.S., but opened in Canada. Or boxes purchased in the U.K. are opened in the Persian Gulf. This gives Attar and Elshourbagy good, real-time tracking information and informs future marketing.

ogy with other technologies, you will find that many ask for a retainer, or minimum orders, even if they don’t provide all the tracking services like Eltronis. But if you compare the value of money in a product—even less expensive or lower value items, as this can serve even a £1 product—you will find that engage has real value for these products, combining use of the tracking system, authentication, and all their other IP services. We are already recommending them for everyone.” PW

Finding the right fit Elshourbagy and Attar landed on Eltronis and its engage platform after a lot of shopping around, even among some other suppliers purporting to offer the same technology. What tipped the scales in favor of Eltronis’ engage for HEBE LIFE? “Engage was very flexible and we found that their system is very reliable,” says Attar. “It’s especially easy to manage, and again it’s not only for security. For us, if we compare how we use the functionality, the security piece is maybe 30%, but the tracking is 70%.” Also, customization of the bespoke web pages was an easy process. Elshourbagy says she and Attar worked closely together with Eltronis to form and design the landing page templates to improve the user experience with the landing pages served up by the engage platform. “We work together still now, we have an open communication with Eltronis too for feedback and enhancements and to provide better options and solutions for future products,” Elshourbagy says. “We always liked, as we said, that we had the opportunity to work with Eltronis, testing the products and facing all the issues that would come out. We have then been able to enhance and find a better solution, ultimately providing better options for continuous improvement.” Adds Attar, “Eltronis’ engage has been a very good value-to-money product and this is the key to any recommendation. When you compare the same technol-


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Air Flow Monitoring Supports Colgate-Palmolive’s Sustainability Initiatives IIOT-enabled flow sensor helps consumer products company reduce the wasted energy from its pneumatic systems. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Dashboard analytics

Continuous improvement via metrics

Leaks happen. And even the best designed pneumatic systems will at some point in time suffer from leaks. A fitting may work its way loose, or the seals in pneumatic components may wear over time. The resulting leaks are wasteful and costly—both to your bottom line and to the environment. You can, however, effectively combat leaks by implementing a real-time compressed air monitoring system. Continuously monitoring compressed air usage will let you quickly identify and respond to those inevitable leaks.

Mounted in-line as a stand-alone device or as part of an air preparation system, the AF2 monitors compressed air usage in real time. Equally important from an energy reduction standpoint, compressed air monitoring can provide insights that help you optimize the supply pressures to match the true demand requirements of your pneumatic processes. This approach stands in contrast to the commonplace, but potentially wasteful, practice of simply relying on nominal supply pressures recommended by pneumatic component manufacturers. Colgate-Palmolive is a caring, innovative growth company that’s reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets, and our planet. As part of an ambitious plan to achieve net zero carbon in operations by 2040 (go to to see the full plan), the company has

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Colgate-Palmolive is a caring, innovative growth company that’s reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets, and our planet. embraced compressed air monitoring as an essential tool in its efforts to reduce wasted energy in its manufacturing plants. “With a brand that is in more homes than any other, Colgate has the responsibility to find innovative solutions to sustainability challenges such as wasted energy. One of the main drivers of energy consumption in many of our plants is compressed air,” says Andres Bejarano, Colgate-Palmolive’s Global Technical Director for Home Care Products. “We see compressed air monitoring as a valuable tool not just to reduce waste from leaks but also to optimize our pneumatic processes so they use compressed air more efficiently and, ultimately, contribute to our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.” Over the past year, Colgate has implemented real-time compressed air monitoring on several of its production lines in South America. Bejarano reports that the company first piloted continuous compressed air monitoring on a single toothbrush tufting machine in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The success of that project led Colgate engineers to install a similar monitoring system on all tufting machines in Brazil and toothpaste packaging lines, also in Brazil and Mexico. “The toothpaste packaging lines now have compressed monitoring from filling to palletizing,” he says, adding that the company has plans to expand compressed air monitoring to additional manufacturing and packaging operations across the globe.

Flow sensing gets smart At the heart of Colgate’s approach to compressed air monitoring is the Emerson Aventics AF2 Smart Flow Sensor. Mounted in-line as a standalone device or as part of an air preparation system, the AF2 flow sensor monitors compressed air usage in real time. Its calorimetric sensing cell accurately measures air flow, pressure, velocity, volume, and energy.

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Prioritizing Sustainability at Colgate-Palmolive Reducing compressed air leakages and improving energy efficiency are part of Colgate-Palmolive’s global sustainability and social impact strategy. Here are some of the other steps the company has recently taken to reimagine a healthier future for all people, their pets, and our planet:


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• Increasing recyclability. Colgate introduced a first-of-its kind recyclable toothpaste tube and is openly sharing the design with other manufacturers. The company is also actively educating stakeholders in the packaging and recycling sectors to adopt this new tube. • Decreasing waste and emissions. Sixteen Colgate manufacturing facilities on four continents have achieved a Zero Waste certification from the U.S. Green Building Council—a number that includes more facilities in more regions than any other company. In addition, Colgate’s manufacturing facility in Burlington, N.J., has achieved LEED Zero certifications for waste, carbon, energy, and water, a world first. • Saving water. Since 2016, ColgatePalmolive’s “Save Water” program has conserved roughly 155 billion gallons of water. Less water also means less energy usage—and a reduction of about 8.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. During Climate Week at the United Nations General Assembly, Colgate even hosted a panel discussion to further gain support for water conservation. In addition to these steps, Colgate-Palmolive is listed as a leader within the United Nations Global Compact—the world’s guiding leader on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The company was also added to the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices, and was named a Household Industry Sector Leader. Most recently, Colgate received a 2021 U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for the 11th consecutive year and was honored as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2021. To learn more about sustainability at Colgate-Palmolive, go to

The device calculates and stores descriptive statistics on the usage data—including minimums, maximums, averages, and total energy consumption. The AF2 surfaces all this historical usage data via an integrated web server or over Ethernet IIOT communication protocols such as MQTT and OPC UA. AF2 also features IO-Link connectivity. In Colgate’s implementation, the AF2 communicates usage data to a SQL-based data historian via OPC UA. Colgate-Palmolive also makes use of the AF2’s integrated web server and an analytics dashboard. According to Bejarano, the AF2’s Ethernet connectivity

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chines have seen roughly a 15% reduction in compressed air usage. He expects similar or even greater savings as the AF2 rolls out more widely. The savings have come primarily through optimization of supply pressures, rather than simply finding leaks. As Bejarano explains, Colgate already had a successful leak reduction program in place—based on acoustic imaging. That system, however, didn’t provide insight into how much compressed air a given machine really needs. “AF2 gave us a better understanding of how to match air supply and demand,” Bejarano says. “The system let us see the peaks and valleys of our processes and not The AF2 flow sensor’s calorimetric sensing cell measures air flow, pressure, velocity, just rely on recommendations from our pneuvolume, and energy. The device also calculates and stores descriptive statistics on the matics suppliers.” usage data. Given the heavy reliance on pneumatics in large-scale consumer goods manufacturing, reducing the wasted eneroptions made the system easy to deploy with the web server, providing gy associated with compressed air makes a substantial contribution to immediate insights at the machine level and the IIOT standards paving Colgate’s sustainability mission to create a healthier, more sustainable the way for plant-wide or even global analysis of compressed air usage. future for all. But Bejarano describes flow monitoring as just part of a larger digital transformation strategy that includes other IIOT monitoring devices that together can support not just sustainability efforts but Armed with the compressed air usage insights provided by the AF2, also overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). “Air flow monitoring is just Colgate has already made substantial progress in reducing air consumpthe tip of the iceberg,” he says. —Pat Reynolds tion—and the associated energy use. Bejarano reports that the first ma-

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CTI Foods Automates Its Hotto-Handle Taco Packaging Line Tacobots efficiently upgrade and automate production with a unique two-pick mechanical tool. The recent line integration project wins a 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award from Packaging World’s sister publication, ProFood World. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

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By Joyce Fassl, Senior Executive Editor, ProFood World There are many different interpretations as to exactly how the popular phrase “Taco Tuesday” originated. But at CTI Foods based in Saginaw, Texas, every day is taco day. The culinary-driven company was founded in the early 2000s by a group of industry veterans, and today, it is owned by a private equity firm and has seven plants throughout the U.S. The 187,000-sq-ft Saginaw facility was built in 2010 and started taco production in 2011. “We’re mainly focused on high-quality, casual, fast casual and quick serve food products,” states Will Davenport, CTI Foods’ senior director of engineering. “Our plants make a wide variety of products, almost all protein products and cooked meats. We make a dehydrated refried bean right here in Saginaw at the facility next door. We also produce a variety of soups and sauces on-site.” Producing fresh tacos for major fast food chains and packaging them while still warm was a labor-intensive and repetitive task. In fact, the company employed 16 workers on each shift to manually load filled, soft tortilla tacos into chipboard trays that were also manually formed. The workers would orientate the tacos and load two stacks of 25 into each tray. “The tacos have always had a very unique packaging orientation, where there’s 50 to a tray,” explains Davenport. “We’re packing them hot, and then, they go through a spiral freezer.” To keep the tacos from misshaping through the freezing process and transit, they were interwoven within the trays by hand. “We were constantly having to shift people from spot to spot to not have a repetitive motion injury,” he adds.

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Fresh tacos that were once too hot to handle manually are now placed into trays by JLS Talon robots.

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At the Saginaw facility, white corn is cooked, washed, hulled, stone ground, and formed into tortillas. “That’s roughly a 12-hr process from the time we start cooking the corn to the time we’re making tortillas,” states Davenport. Next, meat made at an adjacent CTI Foods processing area is ground, mixed with seasoning, and cooked before it is deposited into the tortillas. “The tortillas go through an oven with about a 40-second retention time, and then, as they exit the oven, they pass by fillers that deposit the meat,” says Davenport. “When they’re packed, they’re a little over 100°F,” he states. “It was not a fun job packing them by hand.”

Unique approach to robotic end-of-arm tool CTI Foods had been looking for ways to efficiently upgrade and automate the taco line and started discussions in 2019 with JLS Automation. “We’ve been familiar with JLS for a long time through different industry connections,” Davenport says. “As we started talking about it [the project] more, and they gained an interest in it, it just seemed like a good fit. They brought what Fresh tacos on four lines enter the robotic packaging system at CTI Foods. I felt was a different approach to the project.” botic pick-and-place systems, including three IP69K-rated delta robots The new robotic packaging taco line started production in Novemper unit. The new taco line includes the following equipment: ber 2020. The project had a phased approach, where JLS developed an •N CC Automated Systems—custom high-speed infeed conveyors end-of-arm tool (EOAT) first and brought it to Saginaw to test it on warm • IESM—taco folding and turning conveyors tacos. “It was a very manual operation, just an end-of-arm tooling with • Syntegon (formerly Kliklok-Bosch)—tray erectors some push buttons on it,” says Davenport. “We were doing it by hand, • Nordson—glue system for trays but we were able to actually pick up the product. We were able to see •B &R Automation—robotic system controls that if you didn’t fire that motion just right, it wanted to unfold the taco, • Cognex—vision system or it would make the fold uneven. It was very beneficial to do that test • S ealed Air/Shanklin—tray wrapper ahead of time.” •W ipotec-OCS—checkweigher and X-ray inspection According to Steele Burchell, program manager at JLS Automation, •V emag/Reiser—shuttle conveyor with retracting belt the EOAT is a mechanical gripping solution, as opposed to a vacuumJLS also developed new algorithms for handling three-headed robased solution. “It’s what we call a spatula tool,” he says. “The thing bots, with products going in the same direction as the cartons. “We call that’s really unique about this is it’s actually a two-pick mechanical it co-flow or parallel flow,” says Burchell. “With more than two heads, it tool. We’ve got individual actuation of the two different sides. And to was a very challenging algorithm to develop.” my knowledge, I don’t think anyone else in the industry has done or is Processors never want to send cartons or cases out of a system unless doing that.” they are completely full. “The ideal thing is to have as much supply of A warm, soft tortilla with a warm portion of meat is not a stable products as what you want to pick and place into that carton,” explains item to pick up. CTI Foods tried to develop a way to re-thermalize tacos Burchell. “With the one [carton] that’s just about to leave your system, from a frozen or a chilled state to better simulate it at the JLS facility. you always know you’ve got a product to fill it. If lines are running in the “We never really could get it back to that same texture during the testing same direction, you’re picking things at the first robot. Where you want at JLS, but we were able to get it fairly close. It was a very hard thing to the supply to be the heaviest is down at the third robot.” simulate,” explains Davenport. “We were trying to run up to 960 a min, so you need a lot of tacos to prove a concept.” After using the robotic taco line more than a half a year, CTI has seen significant improvements in efficiency and output. In addition, staffing Most equipment manufacturers, including JLS Automation, are up challenges have been reduced by eliminating the manual packing opto date on hygienic standards. But CTI Foods developed some of its own eration. “Our pounds per man hour is up significantly,” says Davenport. standards and wanted to review equipment specs in advance to ensure “It’s roughly double, maybe a little more.” JLS designed four Talon roall equipment was cutting edge in terms of sanitation, and all cleaning

Open-frame hygienic design is worth the investment

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surfaces could be accessed easily. Before installing the new robotic line, CTI removed all equipment from the taco packaging room, deep cleaned the room and equipment, replaced lights, and made cosmetic repairs while it had the opportunity. “Anytime we can remove manual operations from a process, there’s food safety to manage,” Davenport explains. “Redesigning the [taco packaging] room offered us an opportunity to review all aspects of the hygienic design of the new equipment. JLS was very open and accommodating to all our input and requests to improve the hygienic design.” Davenport also discussed whether tubular design is easier to maintain and clean. “Hygienically welded tubular framework was the industry standard for many years. However, over time, the welds can fail or holes created in the framework can be contaminated and become harborage areas,” he states. Davenport says an open-frame design is easier to clean, because there are no hidden places. It After being placed in trays robotically, tacos are overwrapped and then head to a spiral may cost more in some cases, but CTI Foods freezer for 4 to 4.5 hr. decided to make the investment. The JLS integration project included an open-frame design. “Originally, we were not going to do the open-frame design,” says Davenport. “But after really understanding the differences, we elected to go that route.” The taco processor also tries to avoid Lexan or plexiglass and go with Many food manufacturers faced increased staffing issues during the a more hygienic cut stainless-steel-type guard, which also provides a recent pandemic. Davenport says he can’t imagine the kind of problems sight line into the system. CTI would have suffered if it didn’t have the robotic taco line in place. Instead of trying to fill scores of jobs during the height of the virus outbreak, the company now has to fill fewer positions. Social distancing was one of CTI’s first lines of defense on the taco line. “When COVID first hit, we were still packing by hand and had people shoulder to shoulder,” explains Davenport. Each CTI facility was closed for a short period of time. “We were able to get employee separation partitions up before we reopened and put other COVID protocols in place.” Because CTI already had automation plans prior to COVID-19, it was not affected by the long lead times faced by other manufacturers that struggled to install automation at the height of the pandemic. Despite pandemic challenges, JLS was able to meet CTI’s project deadline. Burchell says components like cylinders, which are traditionally available in a week or less, were taking eight to 12 weeks for delivery. “To this day, we’re still doing a lot of virtual FATs [factory acceptance tests], but on this project, on this scale, everyone felt that it was important to do it in person, and that we could find ways to do it safely in person,” he adds. In fact, CTI Foods conducted early FATs, particularly for its ancillary equipment. “The engineering manager went to the FATs and did a video Will Davenport, CTI Foods’ senior director of engineering, would conference call with our team back here,” states Davenport. “We did advise others undertaking a similar robotics upgrade project that with the tray former and the conveyor systems that we bought as to thoroughly understand all aspects of the existing manual part of the package. When it came time to do the main FAT with the operation. JLS equipment, a small team of us did go to York, Pa., to witness that.”

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Under normal circumstances, Davenport says the FAT would have likely included a slightly larger group. “We had representatives from QA, operations, maintenance, and engineering there. We probably would’ve had a safety person and maybe another operations person if we could have, but we were able to do it through a web conference and get those people involved. It worked out really well.” CTI also brought a tech operator to the FAT and sent another one a

week in advance to help assemble and test the equipment to get ready for the FATs. This provided plant floor workers to obtain early training on the equipment CTI is able to pull data from the four JLS Talons or tacobots, as the CTI team has affectionately named the JLS Talons. The data tells plant management the number of successful picks, if a pick was not successful, and why the machine did not pick it—whether it’s a bad fold, incorrect meat placement, or orientation issue. It allows the taco processor to review data on an hourly or daily basis to solve production issues. CTI Foods uses Redzone for its overall equipment effectiveness programs, as well as Redzone philosophies, such as huddle meetings. Davenport says the focus here is on ensuring CTI is measuring the correct machine actions. In other words, focusing on the right areas, the proper actions to take, and which code faults to reset to make the data easier to understand. JLS also set up remote equipment monitoring for performance evaluation, program updates, and other services. Burchell says the system has a central point that is for remote access, but also serves as the nerve center for collecting data. The NCC conveyor cabinet serves as JLS’s central point of communication, because there’s a conveyor between every piece of equipment. “We’re using that to allow the feeding of some data back to their SCADA systems,” states Burchell.

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Working within the small footprint of the existing taco packaging room was definitely a challenge for this project. “The way JLS approached the project and didn’t look at it as one line, but split it into four separate lines with four separate tacobots, made a lot of sense,” says Davenport. Looking back, Davenport would advise others undertaking a similar project to really understand all aspects of a manual operation. “We’ve always known that employees are our last line of defense, our last quality check doing a visual observation. A person can do more quality attribute checks than you can do with an X-ray or a metal detector,” he says. When CTI switched to the automated line, it found it wasn’t easy to pick up every action employees were making. Their actions were not obvious. “They were fixing some of the folds or making minor meat placement adjustments. It made product presentation even more important when installing the JLS equipment,” he states. Davenport says the new line’s advantage is a predictable output. “We know what we’re getting. We know we don’t have to adjust the line, because only 10 of the 16 hand packers showed up. We get better every day with the start-ups and equipment operation. We have no doubt we’ll meet our project objectives. We’re very close to them now,” he says. PW

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Label Precision is Paramount for Fire Extinguisher Products Even though consumers hope they never have to use Amerex’s products, if needed, the company’s fire extinguishers must be ready to go, with durable labels that provide clear instructions and certification that the product meets critical UL standards. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Labels for fire-suppression products There are many things to consider when designing a product label. From presenting the brand at the point of purchase for a potential or repeat consumer, to in-hand use, every touchpoint requires different levels of information. The graphics and text, in combination with the label substrate and finishing effects, should reinforce consumer consideration and support brand positioning. This is certainly the case for grocery products. It’s also the case for industrial-type labels that have to provide long-term durability in demanding environments, as well as meet liability requirements and present the brand identity.

Labels on Amerex Corp.’s line of hand, portable, and wheeled fire extinguishers provide critical instructions on the type of fire the unit is designed to handle and how to operate the device.

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UL Certification Mark

There’s a lot of trust at stake for food, beverage, personal care, and health and beauty products—items we use daily. But, what about products we buy with the hope we never have to use, for example, fire extinguishers? They sit next to the recycling bin in the closet, hang on the wall in the garage, are tucked in the trunk of a car, stand six feet away from a welding station at a manufacturing plant, or are mounted on a cart parked at the ready on the airport flight line. Wherever they’re kept and for however long they wait, when you need a fire extinguisher, it better be ready. And that includes the label, with instructions on the type of fire the unit is designed to handle and how to operate the device. Amerex Corp. of Trussville, Ala., is recognized worldwide as a leading manufacturer of hand, portable, and wheeled fire extinguishers, along with other fire suppression systems. Though its products are a true necessity, they don’t really lend themselves to a quick “I’ll try that!” opportunity like a candy bar at the checkout. It’s a bit cost prohibitive. Nonetheless, how do you establish trust in a product most consumers have never used, and frankly don’t want to use because it means dealing with an unpleasant situation: fire. For Amerex, that responsibility rests firmly on the label. “We make life safety products, and that’s why trust is the most important element of the Amerex brand promise,” notes Guy Jones, Product Manager – Portable Fire Extinguishers for Amerex Corp. “Our market leadership position stems from the fact every Amerex fire extinguisher is UL [Underwriters Laboratories] certified. And, because UL is recognized as a regulatory expert, that perception provides essential credibility to authorities and the marketplace. This helps promote user confidence by confirming Amerex products have been tested to applicable standards.”

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Compliance labels require strict standards Underwriters Laboratories is responsible for developing the standards that guide the safety, performance, and sustainability of products and services worldwide. UL leverages its regulatory expertise for product labeling through its Authorized Label Supplier Program (ALSP), which protects the integrity of the UL Certification Mark. It also deters product counterfeiting, which helps further build user confidence. According to UL, under the ALSP, each label supplier location that prints and/or distributes the UL Certification Mark is visited four times a year by UL representatives. During these unscheduled visits, an audit of any label in production is conducted, along with a review of the label supplier’s systems to ensure they meet the requirements of the program. In addition, the label supplier must submit samples to UL of all the approved constructions annually so they can be lab tested to confirm the designation still meets all the UL requirements. The visit also provides the opportunity to discuss label printing questions or concerns with UL.

The UL-listed label is a key part of the Amerex brand identity, ensuring consumers they’re getting a product that’s been designed and thoroughly tested, and is proven safe to operate. ALG Labels & Graphics of Birmingham, Ala., participates in the ALSP. This allows it to print the UL Certification Mark as well as provide tested and approved material constructions for broad end-user applications, like fire extinguisher labeling for Amerex. ALG has been manufacturing product labels for Amerex for more than two decades. “Compliance labeling directly impacts the user experience and plays a significant role in strengthening consumer bonds,” says Steve Cramer, Product Manager with ALG. “Our responsibility is to help Amerex effectively market their products and build brand recognition with product labeling. The objective is to combine creative design, effective printing, and innovative material science to produce engineered products that meet the challenges of demanding end-user environments.” ALG’s participation in the UL label program enables

OEMs like Amerex to effectively take their UL-confirmed products to market with UL-approved labeling. “Any OEM with a UL-listed product needs a UL-listed label or decal,” explains ALG Account Manager Rachael Heiser. “They go together and confirm that UL testing has been performed and that it meets the applicable standards, from the product to the label.

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“The UL-listed label is a key part of the Amerex brand identity. It tells consumers worldwide they’re getting a product that’s been designed and thoroughly tested, and is proven safe to operate. This offers a strong sense of security and directly reflects Amerex’s global commitment to the fire extinguisher industry in the way they care about quality.” The primary UL label specifications are derived from UL 969 and UL 299 standards. UL 969 is the Standard for Marking and Labeling Sys-

tems for all adhesive-backed labels, decals, and nameplates. UL 299 specifically addresses portable fire extinguishers and the necessary labeling. Labels bearing information, instructions, or identification are intended to be used by manufacturers for application to their products. While every UL standard defines the UL label requirements, many UL standards only require meeting the UL 969 standard for labels and decals. Basic UL 969 tests including the following: • Legibility: Label surface rubbed 10 times back and forth. • Defacement: Blunt blade scraping the label. • 10 Day Air Oven: Testing for maximum service temperature. • Carbon Arc: 720 hrs to simulate three-year outdoor weather exposure (outdoor use only). • Cold Box: 7 hrs of testing for minimum service temperature. • Water Immersion: 48 hrs of testing for suitability to high-humidity areas. • Common Agents: (If applicable) 48 hrs of exposure to oil, gas, detergents, kerosene, etc. • Adhesion: After each of the above tests to verify peel values.

Labels use many processes, materials Labels for Amerex are printed using a combination of processes on different material constructions. The labels carry one to six colors, depending on the design and the substrate. Various grades of facestock are used with a range of laminate options, the combinations of which depend on where the fire extinguishers are deployed. After printing, the labels go through finishing, where the variable barcodes are 100% inspected by way of a video defect system to ensure a passing ISO grade, as well as confirm there are no duplicate numbers. “Given the wide usage timeline, we understand the critical role trust plays in the consumer’s mind,” Jones says. “This is why we take ongoing measures to ensure product reliability and authentication.” Over the years, Amerex has executed various brand protection measures with its labels to deter counterfeiting and secure its goodwill. Labels have included ultraviolet and infrared taggant-based inks with visual and audible authentication properties. Today, the labeling on all its products is designed with special tamper-evident features that render the labels physically non-transferable. “UL takes counterfeiting very seriously,” says Jones. “Knowing that only authorized organizations can print and apply UL labels helps validate Amerex products immediately, giving the consumer peace of mind. Through the anticounterfeiting features of the UL label, our customers can easily identify authentic products. It’s vital that consumers are able to count on authentic Amerex products to meet their fire protection needs. “ALG has been instrumental in product develop-

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ment and product intelligence. We have an extremely durable, high-quality nameplate thanks to their product insights, particularly in offshore environments. The 2D code on the Amerex nameplate is an industryleading development that helps our distributors work more effectively and efficiently.” Out of sight is out of mind, so it’s not unusual consumers don’t usually think about how the environment could affect a fire extinguisher—from ongoing freeze/thaw cycles to moisture, heat, and UV exposure, or harsh chemicals or unknown substances that might come in contact with the label. While consumers most likely don’t, UL does think about all the potential applications and has set the standards to ensure everything is fully intact whenever and wherever a consumer calls on the product. “Regardless of how long the wait, when you need a fire extinguisher, it better be ready,” says Jones. “And that includes the label, with instructions for the type of fire the unit is designed to handle and how to operate the device. For Amerex, it’s about ensuring our customers can fully trust every one of our products. That’s the Amerex life-safety brand promise, delivering ‘high-quality safety products built to perform and protect.’” —Anne Marie Mohan

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The industry standard for reliable operation, quick change-over and versatile product range. The Model 949 Pic-N-Place tandem case packer picks the product from the infeed conveyor and gently places it into the bottom of the empty case The perfect solution sol for both partitioned and partitionless partitionle case packing. Designed for 24/7 2 production and built to last las for decades.

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By Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor

Pelee’s Aluminum Wine Bottles Blossom

Read a related article, “A ‘Cottled’ Wine for Every Occasion,” at With the expansion of its canned wine into three other varieties— Pinot Grigio, Secco, and Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon, in addition to the Sparkling Rosé—Pelee sought to enhance the consumer experience with the more sophisticated hybrid bottle can. “While we originally worked with traditional aluminum cans, we landed on aluminum bottles due to the convenience of resealability and integration to our current packaging lineup, along with their dynamic design,” says Gale. “An added benefit is that the bottles don’t look like beer cans and have a distinct appeal to wine consumers.”

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Photo by Sue Rice @suericecreative

With its graceful, taperedshoulder silhouette and stunning floral artwork, a new 250-mL bottle from Pelee Island Winery for its Lola line of four wine varieties artfully brings the aesthetics of a traditional wine package to an aluminum bottle format. Introduced initially in Ontario, Canada, the bottle and brand extension generated considerable buzz among the winery’s retail and on-premise partners as well as excitement from Pelee’s loyal followers when it was launched in spring 2021. Pelee Island Winery gets its name from the island on which its vineyard is located. The largest island in Lake Erie, Pelee Island is Canada’s southernmost inhabited point and is the country’s warmest grape-growing region. From its 700-plus-acre vineyard, Pelee produces what it describes as a “diverse selection of approachable wines,” primarily sold in Canada. Its wines can also be found in the U.S. in the Midwest, as well as in Europe and Asia. According to the company, being able to have control of its grape supply allows it to grow and care for each and every vine to specifications strictly outlined by the World Wildlife Fund’s Sustainable Vineyard Practice. Pelee’s Lola series includes nine wine varieties that until recently were only available in glass bottles. One exception was a 250-mL slim can format for its Blush Sparkling Rosé. “We launched our wines in a slim can in spring 2020 with success,” shares Matthew Gale, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Pelee Island Winery. “We were searching for more wine-friendly, greener packaging options to reduce our carbon footprint and respond to more consumer demand for single-serve, sustainable packaging. Lighter-weight and denser packaging options appeal to us as a way to reach our ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral.”

The stock bottle, from Trivium Packaging, is direct-printed in up to six colors, with each variety decorated with a floral pattern that matches the label used for their 750-mL glass bottle counterpart. According to Gale, designing the packaging on 250-mL aluminum bottles required a rethink from the 750-mL cohort. Three of the varieties use a pattern of roses, with different colors employed for the flowers and background depending on the wine. The fourth, the Pinot Grigio, is decorated with delicate pink wine lilies against a green background. “The gorgeous floral illustrations on the bottles are an extension of the wines inside—high quality, great style, and approachable,” says Gale. “These wines are appropriate to bring to a formal dinner party or a bonfire in the backyard.” Each variety is topped by a silver screw cap that acts as an anchor to tie the line together. Shares Gale, to coincide with the retail launch of the new line, Pelee ran an integrated campaign—“and the engagement was excellent,” he says. “Lola is a strong brand with a strong following. Social posts featuring news and new product launches for this family are often some of our most popular. “We are very excited to see how this grows as we move in through the first year of offering these products.” Pelee Island Winery offers its Lola line in the 250-mL aluminum bottle on its website for $65.40 for a variety pack of 12; single bottles are $5.45 apiece. PW

9/22/21 1:32 PM

Each of the following market-leading companies* participating in Packaging World’s 2021 Leaders in Packaging Program are named sponsors of PW’s Future Leaders in Packaging scholarship. This year’s recipient is Purdue Northwest (PNW), College of Technology. We appreciate the support of all participants on behalf of packaging education.

M *These logos represent some of the recent Leaders in Packaging Participants. Sponsor recognition will alternate every other month. ©2021 PMMI Media Group

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Companies Ranpak announced the North American launch of AutoFill, a high-speed, fully automated, end-of-line packaging system that optimizes void-fill dispensing and maximizes throughput. Hamrick Packaging Systems, Inc. broke ground on a new 63,500-sq-ft manufacturing facility in Brimfield, Ohio. Multivac signed a collaboration agreement with packaging machine manufacturer Italianpack, expanding its product portfolio in the tray sealer sector. A $10.8 million gift from Amcor to the Michigan State University School of Packaging will establish an endowed faculty position focused on sustainability and support renovations to the School of Packaging building. Beckhoff Canada opened an office in Burnaby, BC, that offers increased space for training, sales, and support in western provinces and will house an XPlanar motion lab. Also, Beckhoff USA appointed Steve Rastberger Regional Director – Eastern U.S. and hired Ryan Dusk as Northeast District Sales Manager. NCC Automated Systems was acquired by ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. C-P Flexible Packaging acquired privately held Fruth Custom Packaging, Inc. and affiliated company Cleanroom Film and Bag, Inc. located in Placentia, Calif. Heat and Control constructed a new facility in Lancaster, Pa., expanding its North American presence. Lifoam Industries, LLC, a business segment and subsidiary of LifeMade Products LLC, announced the commercial launch of its Envirocooler insulated shipper with Bioffex technology.

People Robert Pyle was named President, CEO of Graham Packaging. Denis Adam was appointed Regional Sales Manager for the Western and Midwestern U.S. for NJM. Pregis announced new commercial leadership roles for its expanded blown film operations: Russ Joseph, Vice President of Sales; Beth Scherpenberg, Vice President of Sales Operations; Chad Perre, Vice President of Technology; and Jonathan Quinn, Director of Market Development and Sustainable Flexible Packaging. It is also investing $80 million in a new, state-of-the-art blown film extrusion facility in Anderson, S.C. Pasha Solel joined Michelman as Senior Business Development Manager, focusing on Michelman’s flexible packaging market. Jordan Brown was appointed Outside Sales Manager, Aftermarket Solutions for Allpax. Michael Reed joined Spartech as VP, Business Management, M&A & Sustainability, and Jiang Li was promoted to Technology Manager for Spartech’s Innovation Center. Gareth Meese was appointed Regional Sales Director-EMEA for Eriez.

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9/21/21 3:09 PM

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Checkweigher/Metal Detection Systems Mettler-Toledo’s CM33 Washdown and CM35 Washdown combination systems are designed to address the needs of manufacturers operating in harsh production environments that need both metal detection and checkweighing.


Recyclable Bottle Carrier Graphic Packaging launches Cap-It, a recyclable paperboard clip designed as an alternative to traditional shrink-film packaging for PET or rPET bottles.

Graphic Packaging International

Conveyor Belt Labeler Multivac’s L 310 conveyor belt labeler is designed for labeling bakery products in hinged trays at speeds to 120 packs/min and can accommodate label widths to 500 mm.


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Flip-top Carton ACMA launches Ecoshell, a recyclable paper-based carton designed for the confectionery industry, but applicable to any compatible product.


Reliable Motion Feedback Encoders Designed for Packaging Automation

Robotic Depalletizer Pearson Packaging launched a robotic depalletizing solution designed for mixed/irregular pallet stacks using AI/vision technologies from Plus One Robotics.

Pearson Packaging

Flow Wrapper Formost Fuji’s hygienic flow-wrapping system is designed to package ground meat without the use of the foam tray.

Formost Fuji

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Fiber-based Tray for Fresh Vegetables and Fruit AR Packaging introduces a tray for products such as fresh vegetables and fruits, herbs, and seeds that contains more than 95% fiber content and can be combined with a lidding film that provides consumer convenience such as easy-peel opening and reclosure.

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AD INDEX Search for additional information on any of the advertisers listed or visit their website directly ADVERTISER WEBSITE PAGE

ABB Motors & Mechanical


Advanced Barrier Extrusions



Michelman, Inc.


Modular Conveyor Express

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Allied Technology LLC



BEUMER Corporation



21, 49

CTM Labeling Systems




Domino Amjet, Inc.


Packaging World


Econocorp Inc.




Emerson Industrial Automation


PDI Packaging Distributors, Inc.


PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies


Emirates Printing Press Emirates Printing Press


Encoder Products Company


Propack Processing & Packaging Systems


Eriez Magnetics


Schneider Packaging


Festo Corp.


Serpa Packaging Solutions


Fibre Box Association


Shurtape Technologies


Fortress Technology Inc.




FoxJet, An ITW Company


Sleeve Seal


Heat and Control, Inc.


Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery


High Tek USA


Standard-Knapp, Inc.


ID Technology


Triangle Package Machinery Company

IIntralox, Inc.


U.S. Tsubaki, Inc.


Vacuum Barrier Corporation




Klöckner Pentaplast PHD


Van der Graaf

Label-Aire, Inc.


Weber Packaging Solutions

MASSMAN Automation Designs, LLC




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Connect with a Leaders in Packaging supplier and support packaging education!

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60 PW OCT2021


By Ben Miyares, Packaging Sherpa

Packaging EPR: Idea Trending; Implementation Moot Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging is trending. But it’s unlikely to work in the U.S. marketplace as we know it. Here’s why. The 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gave states rather than the Federal government the right to manage their waste streams. Under RCRA the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deals with but does not regulate packaging waste. Consequently, there has been little federal policy covering packaging waste since RCRA was enacted. RCRA effectively dumped the regulation of packaging waste in the laps of the states. And even though concern about packaging waste—particularly plastic packaging waste—appears to be growing, there is no consensus in the states favoring EPR and little agreement about who would be charged with what share of the responsibility for handling the waste. Also muddled is which materials and packaging formats would be targeted. Nor are there signs that the Feds are inclined to take action on their own or be goaded into regulatory activity by the U.S. Congress. In the unlikely event there were to be national regulation of packaging waste in the next three to five years, it would come from the states, regions, and municipalities rather than be decreed by national fiat. Even some of EPR’s champions concede that Extended Producer Responsibility policies by themselves won’t work. “While EPR is a necessary and vital part of the solution to packaging waste and pollution, it is by itself insufficient and needs to be complemented by a wider set of policies, and voluntary industry action and innovation towards a circular economy for packaging,” says The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, arguably the staunchest of EPR’s proponents. Innovation is industry’s lifeblood. But there’s little business appetite for disruptive policies that insert government further into the works and create a rat’s nest of compliance red tape in the bargain. “Plastics are inundating the Planet.” That’s the headline of a recent opinion column in The New York Times by the trio of Marty Mulvihill, co-founder of venture capital fund Safer Made; Gretta Goldenman, environmental consultant and board chair of the Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI); and Arlene Blum, Executive Director at GSPI. Ignoring anything the petrochemical industry has said regarding the societal benefits of, and technological advances continuing to be made by, plastics, the three scold the industry for what they call “misleading messaging” about plastics, specifically indicting the sector for claiming that “plastic waste gets recycled; if not, it’s the consumer’s fault; and the chemicals used in plastics are harmless. The reality,” opines the column, “is that plastic waste is often exported to places in Africa and Asia and elsewhere lacking the capacity to recycle or manage the waste.” Still, the columnists are not advocating EPR. Rather, they focus on the end-of-life waste generated by plastic products. They assert that in

the U.S., that waste “often ends up as garbage in landfills and as trash in rivers, along the sides of roads and in oceans. It also accumulates in the bodies of marine mammals, seabirds, and humans.” They aren’t waiting for EPR policies to address plastic waste. Rather, they contend, “large investments are needed to develop safer chemicals and alternatives to plastics.” As a rule, packaging waste regulators blame packaging materials and formats not produced by their constituents and, because of this, EPR’s prospects for becoming national policy in America are not good. As of mid-year 2021, Maine and Oregon were the only states with state-wide EPR policies. Oregon (in 1971) and Maine (in 1987) were early adopters of state-wide bottle deposit laws. Oregon has the most effective bottle deposit law we’ve heard of anywhere, collecting a whopping 86% of the beverage containers covered by its EPR policy, according to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC), which administers the policy. The bottle bills in these two states no doubt provided entre for the states’ 2021 EPR laws. To date, no other states have succeeded in introducing statewide EPR initiatives, even after several attempts. One group of states are weighing a collaborative push for EPR policies covering packages produced within or transported into their borders. The effort to mount a geographically diverse yet legislatively coordinated effort to make “producers” take responsibility for managing their postconsumer waste streams is being facilitated by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). The collaborative represents California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, several of which have EPR initiatives of their own but believe a coordinated advocacy campaign through their EPR for Packaging Network will be more effective than individual state approaches. Still, a close examination of these states’ EPR positions shows there is still little consensus within individual states about what EPR should cover. If (and that, as my father used to say, is a big if ) the various flavors of EPR being outlined by Oregon, Maine, and the dozen or states who’ve expressed early interest in EPR can be homogenized into a viable policy proposal palatable for all its stakeholders—brand owners, packaging producers, distributors, and retailers—that will be a massive achievement. But, as the MacArthur Foundation notes, before EPR becomes the law of the land, “a wider set of policies, and voluntary industry action and innovation towards a circular economy for packaging” will be needed. I doubt that packaging EPR will become the law of the land in the next few years because I believe industry’s packaging innovation trajectory and its push for greater recycled content and recyclability make a national EPR policy decidedly moot. PW

Ben Miyares, Packaging Sherpa, is a packaging market and technology analyst and is president of The Packaging Management Institute, Inc. He can be reached at

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