SPN Nov 2021

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Issue 21:4 - November 2021



Taking the lead in sustainability

Recycle And Reuse

Recycling and the journey to a net zero future


Looking at the diverse range of flexible pouches

Subscription Packaging Masterbatches

Evolved By Nature

SPN looks at the company that is turning silk into sustainable packaging!

Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London

1 & 2 December 2021 | Olympia, London

Join us at the capital’s most innovative packaging event “The show has been the perfect opportunity to speak to our current suppliers and see what they are doing, as well as scout out potential new suppliers. As a brand, we are increasingly looking for sustainable options, so the show has been great to see what’s out there.” Rhiannon Street Junior Packaging Designer Molton Brown

“A fantastic opportunity to network with people involved in the packaging industry. Many exhibitors, like us, were showcasing some amazing forms of innovative, eye-catching, high-quality products which for the visitors to the show, must have caused sensory overload! I believe for us at least; Packaging Innovations is the go-to show for the year” David Bristow, New Business Development Manager Leading Edge Labels & Packaging Ltd

Register now with action code 1143



Welcome to



Dear Readers,

November 2021

I hope that this finds everyone taking good care of themselves and staying safe. I am pleased to see that despite Covid and all the recent unsettling drama’s evident both at home and abroad, we are seeing a significant surge in the global economic bounce-back. There is also a notable sense that a positive recovery is on the way throughout our industry.

Issue 21:4 - November 2021



Taking the lead in sustainability

Recycle And Reuse

Recycling and the journey to a net zero future


Looking at the diverse range of flexible pouches

In my on-going search for the latest developments in sustainable packaging, some truly creative and revolutionary formulas are now seeing the light of day. These include the manufacture of liquified, high protein packaging materials made entirely from natural, silk-worm cocoons. This remarkable, break-through was developed by ‘Evolved by Nature’ and its 100% sustainable and biodegradable products can be applied across a wide range of consumer products. In another sector, the sustainability team at EnviroFlute have provided a lot of thought-provoking advice for our readers, as you will note when you read our special feature “The Pied Piper”. In this latest issue our focus is spread across many key areas of operation, from sustainable masterbatches, to biodegradable dispersion barriers and our all-encompassing, ‘Alternatives-toPlastics’ feature. In addition, Palletising, Pouches and Recycle&-Reuse items are also included in our latest issue. I very much hope that all those who take the time to read our special news items, will be able to adopt the outcomes and profit from them. It is worth knowing, that in many cases very little adjustment is required to upgrade existing equipment, which means that improved efficiency and sustainability can be closer at hand than you think!! Sincerely,

Subscription Packaging Masterbatches

Evolved By Nature

SPN looks at the company that is turning silk into sustainable packaging!

Director Editor Writer Designer

Kevin Gambrill Philip Yorke Emma Jane Batey Dom Thorby

linkedin.com/company/ sustainable-packaging-news/


Philip Yorke ( Editor )




Contents TOPICS

MASTERBATCHES 9 New innovation for black masterbatches 10 Masterclass in sustainability 11 Advances in healthcare masterbatches Alternatives to Plastics 12 Today’s alternatives 14 The Pied Piper 16 Evolved By Nature 19 Tensile strength

REGULAR FEATURES DIGITAL DIGEST 6 Metalic labeling SUPPLY-CHAIN SLEUTHS 8 Are companies missing targets?

Custom Boxes 22 Subscribing to subscription packaging POUCHES 24 New RetortPouch has punch 25 Polypouch INDUSTRY 27 The pick of the pack 28 Smarter moves for SME’s Palletising Potential 30 Stretching the palletising envelope Regulatory 32 Look into the EU’s crystal ball Recycle and Reuse 35 SatNav for BPF’s journey 41 REPL Group Dispersion Barriers 48 Camvac’s new Barrier-Lidding film


8 24 Issue 1 Sep 2020



22 9 Issue 1 Sep 2020

35 16




Digital Digest


In the world of sophisticated metallic labelling, one company stands out from the crowd. Actega’s latest revolutionary printing solutions mean that metal-based labels are now history thanks to the company’s advanced, ‘EcoLeaf’ printing inks. This represents a big step forward in the quest towards a true circular economy. SPN spoke to Paolo Grasso, Sales Director, and Robert Koeckeis, Head of Product Management Metal Print at Actega, about the secrets of its metallic pigments and how they will transform the challenges of metallic embossing and 3D label embellishments. 6 SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS


Actega designed Ecoleaf pigments to be flexible in its support for trigger images created that have been created with a variety of new technologies. This strategy is proving to pay big dividends for the company. The high precision of flexo-printed trigger images and Ecoleaf’s precise application of special metallic pigments creates embellishments of extraordinary resolution and of the finest detail. Today Ecoleaf can create seamless metallisation labelling since there are no plate gaps. Rotary and flat-bed screen-printed trigger images enable convertors to use Ecoleaf technology to create unique, tactile metallic effects, thus removing the need for costly embossing.

Natural, more organic feel Grasso said, “Following four years of development and subsequent patenting, we have been able to remove entirely the use of foil graphics, which have been used in label production for hundreds of years. Using the full width of the surface can sometimes cause waste of up to 90% of the metallised foil being used. With Ecoleaf, metallic effect graphics can be achieved without the use of metal foils by utilising the latest, Ecoleaf ‘no-plastics technology.

“When it comes to sustainability, we are not only looking at the production area, but also at greater efficiency and savings in our day-to-day operations. For example in the use of our renewable power sources and the overall consumption of less energy which is in addition to the recovery of more than 1,000 tons of Co2 every year. If companies will move to using Ecoleaf metallic pigments, then not only will they enjoy big savings, but also true sustainability. Furthermore, products will also benefit from the latest Ecoleaf cutting-edge technologies. This will mean that the finished product will be indistinguishable from the very best hot-foil metallic labelling applications available today” SPN believes that Actega’s latest moves towards a truly circular, and zero waste economy are demonstrably highlighted here by the company’s advanced pigment technology and its on-going investments in new digitisation platforms.

Grasso added, “We are definitely well ahead of the game when it comes to providing sustainable solutions and new digital data applications and we are able to supply pigments that creates no waste whatsoever. This is fantastic news for the wine, spirits and cosmetic’s industries. Our special silver and gold pigments provide a much more natural effect, and a truly more organic feel”.

Digitisation - the Spectrum of Change As part of the Atlana fine chemicals Group, Actega is benefitting from a major investment programme in digitisation. In the first half of this year two new e-commerce platforms went online. Over the next three years, the speciality Chemicals Group Altana, which is the parent company of Actega, plans to invest more than 40m Euro in new spectrum product development, with 15m Euro alone, being dedicated to the development of a ‘High Input Screening Facility’. This in turn will enable product testing to be executed with enormous speed and efficiency, whilst offering the highest levels of quality and image perfection. Koeckeis commented, “The key message is that Ecoleaf pigments not only offer full sustainability in their usage, but also at a much lower cost, and in the process save around 6-7 tons of waste products per year. As a result of these greater efficiencies, we can overcome the new 30% plastic content tax before it is imposed”.

“ we can overcome the new 30% plastic content tax before it is imposed ”




Supply-chain Sleuths

Missing targets?

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, (CIPS) warns that the lack of involvement of procurement departments can lead to the majority of packaging companies missing their Net Zero targets. With the advent of a new crackdown on misleading information in relation to sustainability, a new survey suggests that there is a surprising lack of involvement of procurement departments, when companies set out their corporate sustainability strategies. In fact, much of the UK’s carbon footprint is generated abroad, several tiers down the supply chain, as a result of the extraction of raw materials, overseas manufacturing and transportation. The procurement function has a crucial role in understanding, measuring and addressing the sustainability of supply chains. However, 1 in 5 (19%) of UK supply chain managers said they were not involved at all in their organisation’s sustainability strategies, whilst 43% said they were only lightly involved. A further 18% said they were unaware of any corporate sustainability strategies at all.

Ripple effect Malcolm Harrison, CIPS’ Group CEO, said, “The choices UK businesses make ripple through their supply chains to impact everything from water security and carbon emissions, to waste management and deforestation in other countries. Much of an organisation’s environmental impact will be outside their internal boundaries. Therefore, it is important that organisations understand this complexity so they can begin to track, communicate, and address the sustainability of their own unique supply chain.

“ there needs to be more initiatives encouraging competitors to collaborate together ” “Collaboration is critical to tackling climate change. This includes internal collaboration, between marketing teams and the supply chain managers, and external collaboration between suppliers across the supply chain. Not one organisation can solve climate change on their own and there needs to be more initiatives encouraging competitors to collaborate together to improve the sustainability of common supply chains.


“Sustainability strategy must be led by each company’s CEO, but it requires input from across the business and procurement is perhaps the most crucial ingredient of all. Supply chain managers can take a more active role by improving their skills in this area and being more vocal internally about the importance of supply chains in addressing sustainability issues. We all have a role to play to help meet our climate change goals and the time to act is now.”

UK set to miss 2050 deadline In 2019 the UK set a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, a target with particular importance given the UK’s role as host of the COP26 climate conference in November. However, two years on from the commitment only 59% of supply chain managers believe they will be able to deliver against the target. Worryingly, 1 in 10 (11%) of UK supply chain managers said their business has done nothing since 2019 to improve the sustainability of their supply chains. There have, however, been some positive signs of progress with 53% stating that since 2019 they have begun taking sustainability into account when choosing suppliers and 36% saying they have redesigned products to reduce waste, increased the use of recyclables or introduced more sustainable materials. About the survey : These findings were drawn from a survey of 318 UK supply chain managers, which ran from 28th July to 10th August 2021.


New NIR innovation for black masterbatches In order to meet the growing global demand for more environmentally-friendly plastic products, Colloids has developed a new, innovative range of more sustainable bio-degradable masterbatches, as Philip Yorke reports. With its commitment to reducing the levels of plastic waste that is going to landfill and incineration, Colloids now offers its packaging customers environmentally friendly ‘non-carbon black’-based masterbatch alternatives. This latest black masterbatch product innovation enables PE, PP and PET-based black plastic household and industrial mixed plastic waste to be detected. As a result, it can easily be recovered by existing waste recycling centres that use near-infrared (NIR) technology for identifying and separating polymer grades.

Today, Colloids is in the vanguard of leading masterbatch producers that optimise the use of the latest NIR technology for the benefit of their customers. SPN congratulate them on their commitment to creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging industry.

Tailor-made solutions In addition to the two standard NIR detectable black masterbatch grades available, Colloids also offer tailormade, NIR detectable black masterbatches or compounds for virtually any polymer currently used for the manufacture of flexible or rigid, black-plastic packaging. Currently, Colloids Sustainable masterbatch standard products include: ENVIRO-TEC® Biodegradable and Bioplastics masterbatches in the three Colloids ENVIROTEC® standard grades. These have been developed primarily for rigid and flexible packaging producers who are looking to offer products that can be easily degraded or recycled. This includes the production of coloured biodegradable PE and PP- based products to meet regulatory compostable standards, such as EN 1342 and ASTM 6400.




Masterclass in sustainability

Plastic recycling is increasing rapidly and adding to this welcome movement, Europe’s leading Masterbatch Company, Gabriel-Chemie GmbH, has invested heavily in its own, tailor-made, NIR-detectable system. Thereby solving any sorting and testing problems in-house. This new device is designed to accommodate the entire near-infrared (NIR) detectable product range. It is well known, that both black and coloured plastics, represent big challenges when it comes to the separation and sorting of plastic. With the industry’s advanced NIR sensor technology, the near-infrared spectrum reflected by the plastic is readily evaluated. Each type of plastic has a characteristic spectrum and can thus be identified, sorted and efficiently recycled. Since April 2021, Gabriel-Chemie has been offering customers a near-infrared inspection and certification of all masterbatches. This saves both time and money and due to the current increasing demand from world markets, this test is in greater demand than ever, especially for coloured plastics. Furthermore, an existing end-product or masterbatch, can also be tested. However, if NIR detection is not possible for any reason, then Gabriel-Chemie has an alternative sustainable solution on hand.

Pioneering NIR implementation Today Gabriel-Chemie sees itself as a pioneer in the field of sustainable masterbatches and innovative product solutions. Martin Horvath, Corporate Product Manager at Gabriel-Chemie, says: “Investing in sustainable technologies is an investment in the future. We want to make this addedvalue available to our customers.


The detectability directly from Gabriel-Chemie therefore promises product and quality safety that our customers can always rely on. The newly launched product mix, including Cotrep * certified products and the numerous customer inquiries, confirm the rapidly growing need for NIRdetectable product”. * Cotrep is an association of Citeo, Elipso, Valorplast and SRT). For further details visit: www.gabriel-chemie.com


ProVital advances healthcare masterbatches There have been some major advances in the manufacture of medical masterbatches at Ampacet as it introduces its new ProVital and ProVital+ masterbatches for medical and pharmaceutical applications. Ampacet’s ProVital+ is specifically formulated with specially selected raw materials that have been pre-tested to European Pharmacopeia section 3.1 and biocompatibility according to ISO 10993 standards. The company told SPN, “Our unique set of knowledge in the use of materials, gathered from multiple industries associated with the expertise of our regulatory experts, led to development of a portfolio of masterbatch solutions specifically designed for pharmaceutical and medical markets,” said Philippe Hugelé, Ampacet Strategic Business Manager Medical and Rigid Packaging.

For decades, Ampacet has been a reliable partner, adhering to stringent quality and performance criteria. By building strong long-lasting relationships, Ampacet helps create a robust and transparent supply chain. In keeping with the complex regulatory environment, Ampacet supports its customers with the full regulatory data package required for product design. For more information on Ampacet ProVital medical and healthcare masterbatches, email: marketing.europe@ampacet.com

Hugelé added, “Engineered with premium quality raw materials and produced under strict manufacturing conditions, Ampacet ProVital masterbatches help manufacturers of medical equipment and pharmaceutical primary packaging to meet the highest industry requirements and stringent medical regulations.”. Plastics, essential in the medical market, are replacing conventional materials such as metal, ceramic and glass for their mechanical properties, processing ease, quality, cost-effectiveness, ease of sterilisation and the ability to mould complex shapes. Consistency of performance, traceability and control of raw materials are crucial for manufacturers of medical devices, primary packaging or in vitro diagnostics equipment.



Alternatives to Plastics

Alternatives to Plastics...

today’s alternatives The Company Eartheasy is all about sustainable living. It says “Sustainable living is about respecting the limits of the earth’s capacity to provide” and has prepared a broad list of alternatives to the use of plastics. SPN says that if you would like to see less plastic on the supermarket shelves and less plastic waste, here are some durable plastic alternatives that are available for you to consider right now. Plastic Alternatives Glass whilst not biodegradable, is inert, inexpensive and infinitely recyclable. And since many food items come packaged in glass, upcycling glass jars into food storage is a no-cost way to give your food packaging new life. Jars from jam, honey, pickles, nut butters, and so much more can be added to your no-waste toolkit for shopping from the bulk bins. They can also be repurposed to store leftovers and homemade drinks, or decorated and turned into homemade gifts. Platinum silicone is made primarily of sand, food grade platinum silicone is flexible and durable. It’s also very heat tolerant, so you can boil, bake, and cook in these products without danger of denaturing. Look for silicone products without plastic fillers. Beeswax-coated cloth used primarily as a replacement for plastic wrap and platic bags, beeswax-coated fabric is easy to use and easy to clean. It also smells great. Natural fibre cloth can replace plastic bags. Sustainable clothing made from organic cotton, wool, hemp, or bamboo won’t shed plastic fibres when washed. felted or recycled, whilst wool is a versatile, safe, and compostable material for children’s toys, household containers, and more. Wood is an abundant, natural resource. The wood from sustainably-managed forests can replace plastic in household items such as cleaning brushes, kitchen utensils, and cutting boards. Bamboo is fast-growing renewable resource can replace plastic in items like tableware and drinking straws. It is lightweight, durable, and compostable.


Alternatives to Plastics

Pottery and Other Ceramics have been around for millennia, pottery and other fired ceramics offer a stable, waterproof alternative that’s good for food storage and tableware. However, be sure to look for non-toxic glazes. Paper In the past, many things were packaged in plain paper, and while better than plastic, paper can’t be recycled infinitely because every time it’s reused, the fibres get shorter, thereby limiting its use. Luckily all paper except the glossy kind is safe to put in your home compost. Cardboard is fully compostable as long as it’s not coated in plastic! Many companies are now packaging their products in plain cardboard to cut down on waste. You can also use cardboard boxes to replace storage containers in your home. Keep in mind that anything you buy has an environmental footprint. Though longer lasting than plastic, things made from glass, metal, and so on still take energy to produce and transport. For these alternatives to make sense, you need to use them over and over again. Buying well-made, durable products will help ensure you get the most from whatever you select.

“ For these alternatives to make sense, you need to use them over and over again ” BioPlastics are biodegradable or compostable plastics made from natural substances instead of petroleum. The idea is that these new, earthier plastics can replace the harmful ones in our food and around our home. This seems like a great alternative! Unfortunately, most bioplastics don’t break down in home composts, landfills, or when loose in the environment. Most require commercial composting facilities, which aren’t always available to the average consumer. Bioplastics can also contaminate municipal recycling programs when people unknowingly add them to their recycling. Many bioplastics even contain significant amounts of conventional plastic.

Scientists and manufacturers generally describe bioplastics in the following ways: Non biodegradable, these bioplastics aren’t easily broken down by organisms. Like anything (even conventional plastic), they will eventually degrade after many years. Partially bio-based, “durable” plastics that are not compostable. Microrganisms can break these down, but the process generally takes longer than 3-6 months. Biodegradable, compostable plastics that need commercial facilities to decompose. While some newer bioplastics carry the claim that they will break down in a home compost, these are not yet the norm. Made from a range of materials like corn-starch and sugar to mushrooms and agricultural by-products, bioplastics are the latest attempt to prolong our disposable lifestyle. The solution, according to plastic pollution experts, is not to continue our reliance on single-use products with different materials, but to avoid single-use products altogether.

Packaging more naturally Many companies are working on fully compostable (in some cases edible) packaging. Here are some examples already on the market. Mushroom packaging is a combination of agricultural waste and mycelium (mushroom) root, this home compostable product is “grown” on a hemp-flour mixture, and then dried to halt the growth process. It is most commonly used to replace Styrofoam packaging. Seaweed-based packaging that comes in edible and biodegradable grades is another option, In addition, pressed. Hay is being used in Poland for egg cartons and in Thailand, where the plastic problem is reaching crisis proportions, they are using banana leaves. One supermarket there has opted to go plastic-free in favour of plastic and while banana leaves may only be practical where they’re readily available, this does reinforce the idea of using local, compostable materials. Eartheasy was founded in the US by Greg Seaman over 20 years ago. His mission is to help improve the quality of people’s lives thorough information, to help them to enjoy a more sustainable lifestyle..



Alternatives to Plastics


The Pied Piper

Since global warming became a serious issue, both consumers and packaging companies have been dancing to a different tune. Enviroflute is composing a tune that many wish to follow and they are doing it on a commercial scale, as Philip Yorke reports. The huge rise in online shopping during the global pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented rise in the need for new packaging solutions. It’s no longer enough to wrap a product in bubble wrap, put it in an envelope and post it without giving it a second thought. An increasing number of brands are proclaiming their commitment to using 100% recyclable materials and to packaging being 100% recyclable. However, most have not considered how, where and who will be supplying and recycling these materials. Currently there seems to be a considerable amount of confusion in the marketplace concerning the most appropriate alternatives to plastic packaging – is it recyclable? is it biodegradable? Should it go into the compost bin?

One simple, positive change Enviroflute makes it easy for brands to choose the best sustainable packaging solutions, so that companies can make one simple, positive change. Enviroflute told SPN, “We don’t want to add to the current marketplace confusion, so all our packaging is 100% paper-based, which means it’s also 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable, now that is simple. The business case for choosing plastic-free packaging has never been clearer with 73% of people saying they would happily pay more for a product if it meant the packaging had less impact on the environment. In addition, 50% of UK consumers are saying that they have already switched brands due to concerns about packaging in relation to climate change. (Source: Sustainable Packaging Report, Media Planet). Therefore, choosing eco-friendly packaging is no longer a ‘nice to have’ option, but a commercially vital consideration towards the survival of your business… and the planet.


“Furthermore, it’s not just the environmental credentials of e-commerce retailers that customers are questioning – they also want a great brand experience. Often, the first physical contact a customer has with a brand is when they are handling their packaged item. This offers a unique opportunity to make an instant and favourable impression, whilst also strengthening brand identity. “Delivering an ‘unboxing’ experience that will please customers is the key if you wish to drive brand connection, loyalty, and in turn increase sales. Unboxing is now seen as the new on-the-shelf presence and has to be part of the whole brand experience. There’s a great opportunity for e-commerce brands to quite literally think outside the box and consider adding increased messaging, personalisation and branding to add value for customers, whilst increasing brand equity”

“ Delivering an ‘unboxing’ experience that will please customers is the key ” SPN believes that there is no better way to demonstrate how important your customers are to you, than to offer them some targeted and visually exciting, personalised packaging. This will ensure that it will make an impact the minute it is delivered. Today, Enviroflute can help companies to achieve this with its range of tailor-made services. These include full colour and monochrome logos and marketing messages, as well as all-out coverage, with bespoke peel & seal strips, and much more. So, if packaging companies and brands are interested in thinking outside the box, then contact Enviroflute - and create a top-ten tune of your own. For further details visit: www.enviroflute.com

Alternatives to Plastics

Cartonboard Packaging from Nature, Packaging for Nature.

Renewable: Cartonboard is made from wood.

Recyclable: Cartonboard is born again and again.

Biodegradable: Cartonboard does not harm the environement. MM Board & Paper, Europe’s leading cartonboard producer. www.mm-boardpaper.com marketing-boardpaper@mm.group SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS


Alternatives to Plastics

“ as a biotech company focused on providing safer alternatives to harmful toxicants rampant in the fashion world, Evolved-By-Nature is here to turn talk into action ”

Non GMO Silkworm Cocoons

Evolved By Nature

Silky-smooth transition The fashion and beauty industries have been some of the slowest to embrace changes in the new world order of sustainability. More than eight thousand chemicals and over 40m tons per year are used within fashion industries – many of them are toxic to our health and the environment. Evolved-By-Nature has some remarkable answers to an age-old problem.


Alternatives to Plastics

Cocooned in silk Who knew that the beauty industry could reflect our world’s most significant sustainability issues? The answer becomes clear when we piece together how our favourite beauty products are sourced — the ingredients that make up the sum of parts (our favourite moisturiser) all come from the environment in one way or another. Let’s take, for example, our Activated Silk™ Technology found in personal care products, such as creams, serums, and more.

Dr Rebecca Lacoutre

Evolved By Nature CEO

Evolved by nature told SPN that the ‘Business of Fashion’ recently came out with a report measuring the difference between the fashion industry’s engagement and action, revealing a significant disparity between the industry’s sustainability talking points and the industry’s movements toward mitigating the environmental hazards that accompany their supply chain. When companies learn about their footprint, it becomes an “Oh No” moment, supplemented by a desire to change ways. The big question, however, is how do companies switch gears? The answer is situational and requires a lot of relearning, creativity, and plenty of data. But knowing where you stand can be the first step in establishing a resilient supply chain that promotes transparency, mitigates emissions, replaces harmful chemicals and materials, supports worker’s rights, and closes the loop on waste. There’s a lot on the checklist, but as a biotech company focused on providing safer alternatives to harmful toxicants rampant in the fashion world, Evolved-By-Nature is here to turn talk into action.

Behind our formulation is the sourcing of cocoons from silkworms, which also rely on the health and sustainable cultivation of mulberry trees. The products right in front of us, somehow and some way, come from the earth’s natural systems. This is one reason why it is imperative to protect our planet from environmental harm, thereby safeguarding ourselves and our health. This is also one of the reasons why beauty is becoming more scientifically savvy and sustainably-focused when it comes to the industry’s future. Beauty’s planetary and social activism has developed over the past few years, creating multiple snippets of what other industries should embrace: from social inclusivity to climate change adaptation to eco-design.

Pro-active partnership Evolved-By-Nature recently partnered with Gentrue, a highend collection of sustainable activewear that is Evolved By Nature’s first apparel brand to incorporate Activated Silk™ Technology. Through our collaboration, we deliver highperforming activewear whilst eliminating the need for toxic finishing chemicals. By using Activated Silk™, Gentrue’s products have improved sweat-wicking performance up to 71% and fast absorption and drying by 38.5%, compared to other Nylon-based activewear on the market. This seemingly small change can make a significant impact by addressing the incredibly big problem of hidden toxic chemicals within the apparel industry.



The naturally sustainable choice for everyday convenvience Our D-PAK™ carton prioritizes convenience for the consumer. A naturally sustainable choice, offering an alternative to plastic bottles. Based on sustainably sourced raw materials and comes with or without a screw cap.


Alternatives to Plastics


Tensile strength In advance of July’s European legislation banning single-use plastic items like cutlery, California-based EcoTensil® has introduced its revolutionary AquaDot© range of plastic-free, neutral-taste and sturdy paperboard cutlery to Europe.

To support its unique credentials, EcoTensil set out to ensure that it could legitimately make a range of claims around the product’s environmental sustainability, including Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) compliance. Company Founder and CEO Peggy Cross, talked to Philip Yorke about the importance of making sustainability claims that could not be challenged, thus reassuring both customers and consumers alike. Unique ‘to-go’ plastic-free packaging Cross said, “When we recently launched our plastic-free AquaDot cutlery, including those designed specifically for ‘to-go’ packaging, we wanted to ensure that we had every relevant proof-point to support the environmental sustainability claims that we are making. However, we discovered that most people are confused by the many certifications around this subject, and the prevalence of ‘greenwashing’. So, to be very clear, we’ve put in considerable time and effort to ensure that we can make impeccable sustainability statements.”

Peggy Cross

EcoTensil founder

“ we’ve put in considerable time and effort to ensure that we can make impeccable sustainability statements ” EcoTensil’s patented and award-winning paperboard utensils are well known and loved in North America, and since 2010 the company has sold hundreds of millions of units globally, including to some of Europe’s largest food manufacturers and retailers. Suppliers of food services and food and packaging manufacturers have quickly embraced EcoTensil’s plastic-free AquaDot folding EcoSpoon® as a ready replacement for plastic. They are also doing so because it works seamlessly with many existing packages and processes, has a more positive impact on the taste of food than wooden cutlery, and significantly outlasts any other folding paper utensil we have tried.

Longer lasting “Multi-Tensils” Cross added , “For many years, EcoTensil products have set the standard for the greenest utensils available, and our new, longer lasting AquaDot range continues that tradition. The work Europe is doing to reduce single-use plastic sets a great example for the world, and EcoTensil is very pleased to support companies in meeting their plastic reduction goals with our wonderfully simple folding paperboard ‘multitensils’. “Ensuring we have all the relevant accreditations to support our and customer’s sustainability criteria took time and considerable attention to detail, but it is so worthwhile, as it has delivered greater confidence for our customers and their end-user consumers”



Alternatives to Plastics

Trustmark, ‘plastic-free’ status “For our AquaDot range, we are pleased our paperboard has gained Flustix ‘plastic-free’ certification, as its Trustmark is the guarantee that a product is indeed plastic-free, meeting all the testing criteria laid down by the EU’s Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD). The Flustix Trustmark is still relatively unknown, but the scheme’s auditor Din Certco is certainly well-known and highly trusted as a certification body. “EcoTensil’s AquaDot products are the only utensils made exclusively from paperboard that has been recognised and certified as being 100% plastic-free across Europe. It boasts the coveted Flustix Trustmark to identify it as guaranteed plastic-free. In fact, it is the world’s first papermill produced product to be certified under this Trustmark scheme. Certified as plastic-free by the reputable Din Certco institute, EcoTensil’s AquaDot paperboard is the most environmentally-qualified available today. It possesses compostability, recycling and sustainability certifications and is also certified as being free of harmful fluorocarbons (PFAS)”. “The legislative environment is constantly evolving and it is important to stay several steps ahead. We watch for change and ask our partners to do the same. We need to ensure that we can answer every question for our customers with robust and unambiguous answers. These often need to then be passed on to their customers, whose sustainability demands grow stronger every day. In the UK, for instance, the upcoming plastics tax is resulting in numerous companies asking: ‘is your product plastic-free and therefore exempt from the plastics tax?’. We are putting in all the necessary work to simply reply ‘yes’. As a result, you can trust that EcoTensil’s AquaDot range is compostable, recyclable, BRC, and above all, plastic-free’. That benefits our customers and their customers, and most importantly, the environment that our children will inherit.”

Re-inventing disposable cutlery EcoTensil has cleverly managed to reinvent disposable cutlery, and in doing so has really helped companies to achieve their zero-waste goals. For SPN, it is easy to see why the EcoTensil team is excited and passionate about designing practical solutions to support the growing demand for to-go convenience products, whilst reducing the amount of costly waste that burdens our landfills and oceans. This is a development from the US that will certainly make a difference. It will also make a major contribution to the world’s converters to move more quickly towards achieving their zero-waste goals.


EcoTensil’s AquaDot plastic-free utensil

SPONSORED Consumer impact


RETEC 831 ith Film made w ylene, polyprop 100% PIR lastic. no virgin p




monta reTec 831 - the sustainable & strong packaging tape The calls for increased use of plastic recyclate coupled with the progress in recycling technologies gave German tape manufacturer monta Klebebandwerk GmbH the impulse to develop a sustainable self-adhesive tape based on recycled film. Industrial plastic waste that was previously discarded is given a new life by processing it into 100 percent post-industrial recycled polypropylene at the film manufacturer’s facility. This carrier material is then coated with natural rubber adhesive at the monta plant, creating the new self-adhesive tape monta reTec 831. The raw materials utilized for monta reTec 831 have a carbon footprint that is 33% lower than that of conventional BOPP tape. Designed to securely seal medium heavy to heavy cardboard boxes, this sustainable tape offers the same technical performance as its standard BOPP counterpart. It can handle challenging deep-freeze applications and difficult surfaces like testliners. Application with hand dispensers and automated packaging lines are both possible.

Less is more Responsible use of resources is important when selecting raw materials, but also when applying packaging tape. monta tapes with natural rubber adhesive usually seal the box with just one layer. If tapes must be applied in multiple layers to achieve a reliable seal, material consumption increases significantly. Product range grows greener With a size of 30 billion square meters annually, the packaging tape market has huge potential for “green” alternatives. In 2019 “monta Greenline” was launched with the introduction of monta biopack®, a 90% bio-based packaging tape. monta reTec 831 is an additional high-performance tape, expanding monta’s Greenline portfolio. monta has gone one step further and has been compensating CO2 emissions for all monta Greenline tapes since August 2021: By supporting recognised climate protection projects that are accredited to international standards, monta now offers a “climate-neutral” product range.

Custom Boxes

Subscribing to subscription packaging More companies than ever are discovering the benefits of subscription packaging. SPN looked at how Custom Boxes are changing the face of customised subscription packaging today. By customising subscription units, they are not limited to their physical dimensions. It goes far beyond that by including strong branding and greater product appeal. It is the modern way of creating lasting brand awareness and providing additional value to the subscription services. There are numerous factors that are in favour of using customised options for creating and packaging subscription boxes.

Standard, traditional subscription boxes are not capable of housing all types of items, they are also not attractive enough to encourage frequent subscriptions. Whether it is food items that need stronger box materials to keep them fresh, health supplements that require thicker box cuts for protecting fragile bottles, or numerous other product specifications, all are enhanced by the use of specially customised subscription boxes.

Today Custom Boxes are offering a step-by-step guide to how they outperform other packaging subscription options. Here is a selection of the company’s recommendations as provided to SPN:

Evaluate packaging options

Ensure they are a good product fit What customers value most when subscribing for their favourite products, is the products’ quality. Packaging is the correct tool that ensures that customers get their orders as promised. Custom subscription boxes are suitable for a wide range of product types.

“ Your brand can become an instant favourite when it sends products in specially designed custom boxes ” 22 SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS

Packaging materials are crucial in determining how the subscribed products will look when delivered to customers. There are many options available for brands to pick the ones that they deem are the best for them. Corrugated boxes are the best option for shipping products. The box cuts include different grades of wall thicknesses. Each of the compressed air- wall-brackets provide resistance to rough handling, varied warehouse conditions, and excessive turbulence during shipping. Cardboard boxes- even though these might not be suitable for long-distance shipping.

Custom Boxes

The boxes can nevertheless be used for local transit and acting as primary packaging for products. These two materials have one thing in common; they are both eco-friendly. Subscriptions are sent every month or week and call for packaging that is attainable at short notice. Furthermore, customers value highly sustainable packaging and getting their subscriptions delivered on time. Your brand can become an instant favourite when it sends products in specially designed custom boxes, moulded into creative formats.

Design according to functionality Another benefit of customising is that there are many design options achievable. The real USP (Unique Selling proposition) of subscription boxes is their instant appeal. Customers want their subscriptions to arrive in attractive boxes. Boring and standard boxes are no longer sufficient in fostering customer loyalty; the most important factor in ensuring subscription growth. These are some of the criteria usually adopted at the design stage: • A colourful mix of printed patterns and fonts. • Distinctive logos and names printed with print enhancing features. • Creative seals that are convenient to open and close multiple times. • Personalised messages. Customers value a brand that makes an effort to communicate with them. • Inclusion of essential product details such as expiry dates etc.

“ All customers enjoy added value to their shopping habits. The increased brand value attracts higher customer satisfaction and leads to increased subscriptions ”

All customers enjoy added value to their shopping habits. The increased brand value attracts higher customer satisfaction and leads to increased subscriptions. In contrast to this, standard boxes cannot as effectively package the required promotional items in specific boxes. These boxes are often too big and can inflate costs, furthermore, they do not add any extra appeal to the brand.

Advantages of outsourcing Hiring a third-party box-maker has many advantages. • It saves the effort of trying to design boxes for every customer’s demographic. • It lowers total packaging costs, as boxes are obtained in the desired sizes using optimum material quantities. • It guarantees that products will be delivered safely. Customised boxes are specifically made for each product and take into consideration their intrinsic nature in order to keep them safe. • Customisation also imparts a professional brand identity, as expert designers pitch their ideas to improve the subscription packaging’s overall appearance and impact.

An additional factor is that the boxes arrive precisely when needed. This avoids investment costs involved in new warehousing for storage. It also dispels with waiting times and saves the tying-up of a lot of in-house time and expense.

Conclusion At SPN we can see the obvious benefits of customised subscription packaging. It may not suite all applications, however, for those who want to improve their branding and subscription packaging appeal, it is clearly the best way forward. No matter what the size of your business, or its chosen distribution channels, product categories, customer groups, or financial constraints, there is a subscription box waiting to enhance your products…and your profits.




New RetortPouch has punch In October, Mondi launched its all-new high-barrier pouch for food and wet-pet-food applications. Its latest Recyclable RetortPouch has plenty of punch as it replaces existing multi-layer and unrecyclable packaging, for a wide variety of food and wet-pet-food products Mondi has introduced a new high-barrier pouch for food and wet pet food manufacturers

Our fully recyclable RetortPouch Recyclable solution helps to lower the product’s environmental footprint and customers can be confident that their products will be completely protected throughout the manufacturing process and their transportation considerations in order for them to meet their own sustainability goals” Kornenburg added, “This is another example of our awardwinning expertise in creating sustainable food packaging, whilst delivering circular-driven solutions that work for the customer, the end user and the environment.” It is also worthy of note that in August of this year, Mondi launched a new range of sustainable corrugated packaging solutions for the online grocery market across Central Europe.

The leading packaging and paper group, Mondi, has introduced a new high-barrier pouch called: RetortPouch Recyclable, which is designed for both food and wet-petfood manufactured products. According to Mondi, moist or semi-moist foods that are heat-treated in steam or hot water retort vessels to achieve a commercial level of sterilisation, require this highly specialised, retort-packaging solution for long-shelf-life products. This new, fully recyclable mono-material is designed to protect the product as well as minimising any potential food wastage. It also offers enhanced shelf-life for any monomaterial solution. Furthermore, Mondi confirmed that it has spent more than two years working on the new product’s development as well as on a rigorous testing programme. This was carried out to ensure that it could easily meet all diverse and significant application requirements. This latest sustainable product from Mondi is part of the company’s MAP2030 strategy, which plans to make all its product’s reusable, recyclable or compostable by the year 2025. Mondi Korneuburg’s managing director Eveline WagnerHahn said: “Sustainability is a top priority for Mondi and we are committed to make this innovation available for all our customers using our customer-centric ‘EcoSolutions’ approach.


Today, Polypouches’ ‘stand-up-pouches’ are increasingly popular in the flexible packaging industry due to their versatility and environmental benefits, especially when compared to other packaging methods. Stand-up pouches are the most flexible and adaptable type of packaging, and BOPE packaging make it possible to customise the shape, size and materials according to your unique product specifications. Pouches are for our future also lightweight and reduce storage space. Plastic pouches use fewer resourcessustainability to produce than other common types of packaging such as plastic tubs and tins. They also cut down the environmental impact  Multi-layer of your products by reducing the carbon footprint during transportation and producing less wastage on disposal. mono-structures Stand-up pouches are an ideal food packaging solution thanks to their durability and ease of transportation. What’s more, Polypouch’ microwaveable food pouches are  Superior film properties made from laminated PET and LLDPE food grade materials, produced to withstand extreme temperatures and variable  Dedicated line concept high pressure. The company’s high-barrier food pouches are also an ideal choice for keeping products fresh for longer, thanks to their STRETCHING protective layer which keeps outsideelements such as Perfect match with the THE LIMITS moisture, dust, oxygen and UV light from entering the Today,

circular economy



A selection of Polypouch stand-up-pouches


Pouch Polygamy

Today’s diverse range of flexible pouches offer endless packaging solutions and continue to gain popularity with both food manufacturers and consumers alike. Polypouch is a well-known brand in this field and its portfolio diversity and novel solutions have been adopted throughout the FMCG industry. Polypouches’ ‘stand-up-pouches’ are increasingly popular in the flexible packaging industry due to their versatility and environmental benefits, especially when compared to other packaging methods. Stand-up pouches are the most flexible and adaptable type of packaging, and make it possible to customise the shape, size and materials according to your unique product specifications. Pouches are also lightweight and reduce storage space. Plastic pouches use fewer resources to produce than other types of packaging such as plastic tubs and tins. They also cut down the environmental impact of your products by reducing the carbon footprint during transportation and producing less wastage on disposal. Stand-up pouches are an ideal food packaging solution thanks to their durability and ease of transportation.

“ Stand-up pouches are an ideal food packaging solution thanks to their durability and ease of transportation ” What’s more, Polypouch’ microwaveable food pouches are made from laminated PET and LLDPE food grade materials, produced to withstand extreme temperatures and variable high pressure. The company’s high-barrier food pouches are also an ideal choice for keeping products fresh for longer, thanks to their protective layer which keeps outside elements such as moisture, dust, oxygen and UV light from entering the packaging.




Optimising recyclability

Here to help

Due to the versatility of pouches, it is possible to optimise their recyclability. It is increasingly likely therefore that the flexible packaging industry will move towards full recycling of packaging products. Thanks to their unrivalled expertise, Polypouch are able to customise them to suit their end-of-life use. Stand-up pouches also enable product manufacturers to clearly and professionally include all nutritional (food products) and marketing information without having to apply costly and time-consuming labels. Using high-quality rotogravure printing, the company can make individual products really stand out!

Polypouch told SPN, “We are here to help. As a leading supplier of flexible packaging products in the UK of both printed and tailor-made pouches, we can offer advice and value for the best possible solutions. Our stand-up pouches are available in different sizes, types and formats, in full colour or monochrome – they can be made to precisely suit any requirements.

Sustainable plastic packaging is also highly economical and Cottage-style manufacturers can quickly compete effectively in saturated marketplaces against big household name brands. This packaging format allows manufacturers to print eye-catching, high-quality custom design, and thereby increase product visibility in any retail setting. Resealable success Pouch packaging is truly consumer friendly. Customers can simply tear open the pouch to access the contents. Grip seal closures can also be used to enable easy opening or sealing for repeated use – so there’s no need to eat all of your chocolate at once anymore! The rise in the popularity of resealable stand up pouches over their non-resealable counterparts, especially when it comes to food packaging and storage, is partly attributed to the fact that it allows consumers to access food on the go, as well as being able to store anything that remains uneaten for a later time without compromising the freshness of the product. A Polypouch, otherwise known as Doypack, Stand up Bag, or Plastic Pouch, is a type of packaging produced from multi-laminate sustainable plastic films.


“ Our stand-up pouches are available in different sizes, types and formats ” “Stand up pouches for food packaging are by far the most popular choice, thanks to their versatility and protective properties which keep the products fresh for longer. However, thanks to their customisable properties, other industries have now taken an interest, making stand-up pouches the preferred option for anything from frozen food and liquids such as juice or alcoholic drinks, to tea and coffee. Perhaps the pouch type that most clearly showcases their advantages, are our own stand-up pouches, which are ideal for products found everywhere on supermarket shelves. The design makes them stand out from the crowd and grabs the attention of customers”. SPN found that in addition, lightweight sustainable plastic packaging such as those produced by Polypouch, can also reduce a company’s carbon footprint during transportation. Pouches are also popular for mail order items due to their ability to reduce postage costs when compared to boxes, plastic pots, tins and glass jars. For further details visit: www.polypouch.com


The pick of the pack Redpack’s continuous improvement of their brand-leading packaging machines has impressed apple packers everywhere. Apple growers are using the latest environmentally- friendly packaging and cutting-edge packaging machinery. They have been benefiting from tray-less packaging for some time now, thanks to Redpack’s innovative, soft-packaging machinery. The result has been more, flexible, more sustainable and more efficient packaging lines, as Philip Yorke reports. Today it is well known that Tray-less packaging offers a wide range of benefits for both the growers and packaging companies alike. RedPack machinery offers customers the benefit of using far less packaging material, as the packaging is smaller, lighter, safer and environmentally much friendlier. Redpack have ensured that the continuous development of their machines means that they are not only highly efficient and reliable, but also are able to tighten packs even further, thus saving yet more packaging material. Apples are notoriously prone to damage and bruising, so they must be handled very carefully. RedPack’s Soft Packaging” do just that. The company initially developed its P325E-FI tray-less apple flow-wrapping machines by working closely with apple packers to ensure that they developed the best possible solutions. The “Frictionless Infeed” has been specifically designed to pack apples at relatively high speeds of up to 70 ppm for a 6 pack, with the elimination of bruising. The finished pack presentation is of the highest quality and can carry retailers’ brand image to provide even greater eye-appeal to the consumer.

Redpack were founded in 1977 and initially designed and produced the “Pacer” flow-wrapping machine, which quickly became renowned for its durability and ease of use. Testimony to this is that many of the machines produced at that time are still in use today. In the mid-1990s the company’s “P-series” machines were introduced to the market for the first time, replacing its well-established Pacer series. Significant investment in R&D in the late 2000s and early 2010s has brought about their latest “NTS” Top Seal Flow Wrappers that are leading the field today.

New European HQ Opens Redpack Packaging Machinery has just announced the official opening of their large, purpose-built, European headquarters. Based in Norfolk in the UK, here the company designs and manufactures Flow Wrapping and other diverse, tailor-made Packaging Machinery and equipment. Redpack told SPN, “Our markets include industries such as fresh produce, pharmaceuticals, snack foods, household products, bakery, greeting cards, gifts and toys, etc. With a brand stretching back over 35 years, our flow-wrapping designs follow tried and tested principles. However, each application brings its own unique requirements and specifications for highly efficient, custom-designed machinery” .

“ With a brand stretching back over 35 years, our flow-wrapping designs follow tried and tested principles ” SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS



Industry 4.0

Smarter moves for SME’s Industry 4.0’s Digital Manufacturing concept offers huge potential, to company’s by improving productivity, shortening lead times, reducing working capital and improving cash flow. It can also be used to shorten the time for New Product Introduction, allow mass customisation of products, and improve the customer experience and aftermarket service of packaging businesses. Ingpro recently provided some interesting insights. Many business owners and directors see INDUSTRY 4.0 as an opportunity only for large, global, corporations, but in fact even Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can also benefit from the current range of new technologies on offer, some of which can be cheaply and easily implemented.

“ from the data and evidence collated, we are confident that industrial productivity can be improved by more than 25 percent by 2025 ”


The UK government commissioned the Made Smarter review, which revealed the following information: The work undertaken for the Made Smarter Review found that the positive impact of faster innovation and adoption of IDTs could be as much as £455 billion for UK manufacturing over the next decade, increasing manufacturing sector growth between 1.5 and 3 percent per annum, creating a conservative estimated net gain of 175,000 jobs throughout the economy and reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5 percent. Overall, from the data and evidence collated, we are confident that industrial productivity can be improved by more than 25 percent by 2025.


There is a lot of jargon and terminology that surrounds digital manufacturing: Internet of Things, 3D printing, Industry 4.0, digital pairing, Smart factories, augmented reality, virtual reality, big data, artificial intelligence and so on. However, we see the principle areas of consideration for SMEs as well as big corporations as being the need to adopt the following actions: 1. Automate processes (physical / data flow) to reduce waste 2. Connect devices to allow for improved visibility, improved scheduling, and faster throughput 3. Employ smart technologies to reduce costs, enhance product design and improve service 4. Collect data and analyse outcomes to improve; products, services, and operational performance that they may require

“ The first step is to understand from your business what would help you the most ” The first step is to understand from your business what would help you the most. Would faster, better, product introduction make a significant improvement to your business? Or productivity and reduced lead time? Maybe better visibility and control of the supply chain? Then look at some simple steps. Consider using a simple diagnostic tool to evaluate your current status as well as your appetite, capacity and capability to adopt new digital manufacturing technologies. Some examples for manufacturing companies may include; having a view of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) on crucial production machines or predictive maintenance on a key piece of equipment.

Condition monitoring If you are manufacturing a complete piece of critical equipment for a customer, then having condition monitoring embedded in the product may be a good place to start. If you have long supply chains, and high volumes of boughtin components, or complex sub-systems, you may well start with a simple method of having visibility of your supplier’s production and your parts. It is easy to post data onto a shared drive, such as Google or Microsoft OneDrive. Once data is there, from your supplier, or from your factory you can start monitoring and analysing. At first, just manually. If it is proving insightful or useful, you can then look at more sophisticated sensing and analytics.

“ One of the overriding principles here is to get data into one central repository, and in a common format ” Cost-effective option Another inexpensive and easy option, is to look at data and information flows within the company. Can you eliminate the process of people e-mailing data? Instead, can it be posted on to a shared drive, where everyone who needs it can use it, and know they have the latest version. One of the overriding principles here, is to get data into one central repository, and in a common format. It can then be more easily analysed and accessed by other systems or people that require the data to make your business more efficient and transparent.

Defining the focus The answer is to focus where you can achieve the biggest return on your investment. If you are new to the technologies there may be a good argument for starting with some simple things, that have little cost.

This article contributes to the packaging industry’s ability to become leaner and more efficient in its global quest to reach zero emissions and increase Circular Economy protocols. SPN hopes that SME’s and large corporations alike are able to take full advantage of the recommendations outlined here.



Palletising Potential

Stretching the palletising envelope New developments in palletising sustainability offers brand owners and logistics companies more efficient packaging solutions for improved pallet-load stability. By delivering significant material savings and an enhanced sustainability footprint, Dow are leading the way in overcoming today’s sustainability challenges in partnership with other key players. Load security represents a major challenge for supplychain and freight industries, and it is estimated that more than 4% of the products transported every year on the roads of Europe are either lost, or are arriving damaged. Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics has been looking at the perspective of two main industries representing the largest consumers of flexible packaging, to work on new developments that ensure a better overall performance of load packaging systems. These take into consideration the type of application and the interaction between all the different packaging components, whilst addressing cost efficiencies and their environmental impact.

Lighter and Brighter In the case of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), the requirements of a typical beverage producer were used in the trials to optimise palletisation, combining stretch wrap and collation shrink for bottles or cans packaging. Dow’s ELITE™ AT Resins enabled a reduction of the thickness of stretch wrap film, while INNATE™ Precision Packaging Resins helped to downgauge the collation shrink film. The overall optimised packaging system resulted in a 25% material saving and improved optics, puncture, tear and elongation of the films, compared to incumbent solutions. The flexible packaging consumption was also reduced from 2,606 grams to only 1,942 grams per pallet, whilst load stability performance was significantly improved. Overall CO2 consumption was also reduced by 219 MT for one packaging line per year (considering a standard line with an average productivity of 21 pallets per hour). The requirements of a typical chemical producer were examined to find a more efficient way of palletising industrial goods such as cement, chemicals, fertilizers, or seeds. In this case, Dow’s XZ89507.00 resin provided the opportunity to move from EVA-based stretch hood to an all-PE one, allowing for more robust, lighter and flexible packaging. INNATE™ Precision Packaging Resins enabled downgauging of the heavy-duty shipping sacks. The resulting all-PE optimised packaging system provided 14% flexible packaging consumption savings compared with incumbent solutions.


The flexible packaging consumption per pallet was reduced from 6,278 to 5,383 grams whilst maintaining load stability performance. CO2 emissions were also significantly reduced by 210 MT for one packaging line per year (considering a standard line with an average productivity of 15 pallets per hour).

Palletising Potential

New flexible solutions By working in close collaboration with ITENE Research Centre, Dow succeeded in addressing the challenges faced by industrial and consumer industries when packing and shipping goods and their need for combining multiple packaging components in their operations. “Months of product testing have led to the design of new flexible packaging solutions that optimise the overall performance of the packaging systems. This has resulted in significantly lighter pallets that provide up to 25% material savings and a reduction in CO2 emissions. All this whilst maintaining or improving load stability performance,” commented Helga Gomez, marketing manager Industrial and Consumer Packaging at Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “We are addressing load stability challenges by taking a holistic approach,” continued Gomez. “We believe collaboration across the value chain is critical to enable the successful evaluation and improvement of packaging technologies and for the development of load stability solutions that meet industry requirements and regulatory standards.”

Through value chain collaboration and a holistic, solutiondriven approach, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics have been able to co-design novel packaging systems that are more efficient in improving pallet load stability, whilst also offering retailers, brand owners and supply chain managers significant cost efficiencies and opportunities to enhance their sustainability footprint.

Progress through Partnership The results were presented at the Load Stability Academy onOctober 25th, co-hosted by Dow and ITENE at their testing facilities in Valencia, Spain. The event brought together stakeholders from across the value chain and provided the opportunity to discuss new legislation and standards, address market trends and challenges, and to see firsthand the benefits of the new films’ developments based on Dow’s technologies. “The load stability challenge cannot be addressed in isolation by Dow, or a film producer, or ITENE. Our collaboration with Dow and other partners throughout the value chain is fundamental to share knowledge and experience to drive new practices and innovations forward,” commented Javier Zabaleta, ITENE’s managing director. For further information visit: www.dow.com

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UNDERSTAND the transition to a circular economy for plastics. NETWORK with our international audience of packaging specialists via breakout sessions and speed networking rooms.

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Paul Jenkins: The Pack Hub


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Look into the EU’s crystal ball Recently SPN noted a special article on UK regulatory affairs. This was contributed by Laura Rimmer, Valpak’s International Compliance Manager, who published a very revealing article on the lessons to be learned from the EU on the long-awaited public consultation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). As a result, SPN felt that the following recommendations are of special interest and value to our readers. The Valpak article is published here in full and looks into the EU’s crystal ball. 32 SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS


The long-awaited public consultation on Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging Waste is upon us. We have known for some time that costs will rise substantially but, as we move closer to actual policy, the scale of the challenge ahead becomes clearer. While this is a daunting prospect for many, forewarned is fore-armed. With the right preparations, a great deal can be done to mitigate costs and participate in the move to a more sustainable future. Many of our European neighbours are already on the path to EPR-ready; we can learn a great deal from their experience.

Committed to change When the UK adopted the latest Circular Economy Package, we committed to a change in extended producer responsibility (EPR). Instead of the packaging producers – retailers and brands – funding part of the cost of recycling, they would now be responsible for 100 per cent of the net cost of recovery and recycling. As plastics come under greater scrutiny, brands which already collect information on polymer types will benefit from lower fees. What this means is that packaging producers will fund household collections and recycling. With the latest, and final consultation, the full costs have become available. In 2019 – the most expensive year in the history of the packaging recovery note (PRN) system to date – the cost to producers came to £355 million. With the full implementation of EPR in 2024, this will rise to £2.7 billion. The cost will most likely be borne by brand owners and importers, but the effect will be felt throughout the supply chain.

Across Europe, some countries have already started preparing. Patterns are emerging, and it is clear that data collection and management is critical. In Spain for example, producers are required to include polymer types in their submissions for plastics. As well as listing the volume of plastic as we currently do in the UK, polymers are split into nine different types. The fees are more expensive for polymer types which are less easily recyclable, and lower for those that that can be recycled efficiently.

“ it is clear that data collection and management is critical ” Modulated fee system This type of modulated fee system has already been outlined for the UK. In December 2020, partners including the British Retail Consortium and government launched a joint project to co-design a modulated system where costs are linked to the complexity of different types of packaging. The aim would be to financially incentivise greater use of recyclable packaging and explore ways that higher charges could apply to those producers using more problematic products. Modulated fees may introduce a type of penalty or bonus system to the UK. The French approach uses a penalty and bonus scheme. If packaging is easily recycled or – in the case of cardboard – contains a percentage of recycled content, producers receive a discount on their fees. They can also apply for a reduced fee if they are active in consumer awareness, or show pack sourcing information on labels.

Data – the key to success In each of these examples, data is the key to success. Valpak manages the largest packaging database in the UK, with 33 million SKUs, and even with such a comprehensive bank of data, it is clear that the majority of producers, while recording the right information for the current system, will need to expand the level of data being gathered in order to prepare for future requirements.




“ a major overhaul of packaging across multiple product lines is no mean feat ” Planning a major overhaul of packaging across multiple product lines is no mean feat. It must be based on genuine evidence and robust data. Brands and retailers will already be aware that the primary purpose of packaging is to protect the product inside. It also needs to appeal to the consumer. As well as meeting practical needs, changes should also be considered in light of individual brand goals, such as carbon reduction.

Collect relevant data now EPR will come into force in 2023, with a phased implementation leading to full engagement in 2024. To begin preparations, producers should start to collect the relevant data as soon as possible. Plastics are sure to come under greater scrutiny, so collecting data on polymer types is a good place to start. Other areas that might fall under the microscope relate to recyclability. In Sweden, for example, coloured plastics are taken into consideration. Where plastic packaging features more than 60 per cent black ink, a higher fee is paid.

While the fees under EPR will vary slightly from country to country, the criteria will be broadly the same. The general theme across Europe – and earmarked for the UK – is a higher fee for less recyclable material, and a focus on plastics. While individual countries have different infrastructure for recycling, some material types and polymers will always be easier to recycle than others. Perhaps more variable are the requirements of individual brands and retailers when it comes to packaging redesign. Some have already set goals which exceed the requirements of compliance; others will take a phased or targeted approach focusing on specific product lines. Each needs to look at its own portfolio and assess where the cost risk is greatest. For now, the best strategy for packaging producers is to familiarise themselves with the regulations, inform finance departments that costs will rise, and check that they are able to access the data they will need. Once these preparations are in place, they will be prepared to act on the new regulations, with the best chance of mitigating the new level of costs. Courtesy of: Laura Rimmer International Compliance Manager: env.compliance@valpak.co.uk

ZERO Technology

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS Consumers’ expectations and regulations change, and manufacturers are confronted with a growing demand for more environmentally friendly and more sustainable packaging. With the patented tools of the ZERO Technology range we offer the perfect solution for the use of mono-materials such as PET, PP and PLA which are perfectly adaptable to the FFS machines of our brands Erca, Hassia, and Intecma. Several tools have been developed for equipping new FFS lines and adapting existing ones. ZERO Technology is the technical solution for high-quality cutting and precutting of PET, PP and PLA and thus enabling easy breakable multipacks made of these materials. Using transparent PET allows consumers to see the product, which makes it more attractive on the shelf. The cup can get a PET lid and label, making the packaging completely recyclable.

More information: www.imadairyfood.com/zerotechnology/



Recycle and Reuse

A SatNav for BPF’s Journey The journey to a net zero future is long and hard - and can often be a rocky road to travel. However, out of all the confusion and darkness there is often some light at the end of the tunnel – hopefully it is not the headlamp of an oncoming express. Prof. Edward Kosier of Nextek gives us some useful Sat-Nav tools to help us reach our net zero destination. Kosier begins by taking us through some background data to our current situation. The majority of his latest paper is covered here: “If we were to crunch the data relating to our future on this planet and reduce it to one meaningful headline it would be that in less than 9 years time, we will have exceeded the 1.5 degree increase on pre-industrial temperature levels we have been seeking to avoid. We are on the edge of the tipping point as we continue to voraciously consume 3 planets’ worth of resources. “Whilst crunching the meaningful data let’s also consider that by 2040 the world will be producing 400 million tpa of plastic, which, will equate to 20% of oil production. Around the same year our global population will reach 9.2 billion people. This leads us to address the pressing issue of food waste. As it stands, we waste 35% of food annually - plastic plays a vital role in preserving food and therefore reducing food waste. What this means is that if we are to impactfully address our carbon targets we must hone our focus on managing plastic in a way it has never been managed before - as a resource rather than waste. This will require significant and systemic changes across the plastics ecosystem. So, what is society as a whole going to have to do to shift the needle over the next five years?”

“ we must hone our focus on managing plastic in a way it has never been managed before - as a resource rather than waste ”



Recycle and Reuse

“ Before we can even start discussing efficient recycling we actually need to take a step back and address collection ”

BPF’s Recycling Roadmap

Global harmonisation

“The British Plastics Federation’s (BPF) Recycling Roadmap for 2030 gives us a good indication of what can be achieved if we amplify our existing technologies. They have estimated the advance in capability and efficiency of mechanical recycling technologies will need to deliver more than three times our current 2020 capacity - from 16% in 2020 to 50% by 2030. “The report also shows minimal plastic waste going to landfill in a bid to maximise the value from all plastic and ensure it is used as high up the waste hierarchy as possible.

Kosier added, “Those countries lagging behind on their recycling infrastructure will need help to catch up. According to Greenpeace, Russia produces about 60 million tonnes of waste annually of which a mere 7 to 8% gets recycled. The Balkans has trash islands surfacing and vast swathes of the US still suffers a paucity of recycling mechanisms. Even those countries that boast a strong recycling culture, such as the UK, are still hampered by disparate recycling schemes across the nation. Policy makers are often mis-guided and information relating to best practices is frequently misleading and ill-researched. What is needed is a global shift driven by a strong set of guiding practices to start harmonising the recycling ecosystems across entire countries, not just sporadically. We also need everyone to be genuinely onboard and this starts with the major brands.

The EU too is stepping up as they phase out specific single use plastic and redouble efforts to reduce the waste we are currently generating - as of 2021 we are generating 11.2 billion tpa of solid waste - so no small undertaking. The Eu has set out targets for countries to deal with the plastic they generate within their own borders this will mean enhancing packaging circularity and product durability and ending our shameful era of discard”.

“ The Eu has set out targets for countries to deal with the plastic they generate within their own borders “ 36 SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS

Green-economy vs Green-washing “To define what constitutes an authentic green economy from a plastics packaging perspective requires both simple and cutting-edge technology to unlock the potential built into plastics materials.

Recycle and Reuse

It certainly is not about wasting time and resources exploring unrealistic solutions such as a paper bottle for carbonated beverages. This simply boils down to corporate greenwashing that leads to an obvious dead-end whilst confusing much of the public. A far more effective scenario is to focus single-mindedly on creating a circular economy that is commercially viable and that directly solves our growing post consumer plastic waste crisis. According to the BPF’s report, if all plastic were recycled globally this could result in mean annual savings of 30 to 150 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to shutting between 8 and 40 coal-fired power plants globally. “The good news is that this is achievable. Of course, it will require closing the loop on plastics of all types, not just bottles, but especially the awkward to recycle plastics such as films, pots, tubs and trays. Another reason why we don’t want to add categories to the recycling stream. It will also require organisations to have end-of-life strategies for the plastics they put onto the market which will mean the introduction of new technology and deliberate design for circular economy recycling.

Simplifying collection “Before we can even start discussing efficient recycling we actually need to take a step back and address collection a key component to the overall process. Collection needs to be streamlined - so we know what we are collecting, it has to be comprehensive, simple and easy and uniform across countries. Phillip Law, Director General at the BPF, points out there is (huge) scope for innovation in product design, collection, sorting, mechanical and chemical recycling. He is referring to the kind of innovation that strives to resolve our current challenges rather than pander to consumers’ appetite for action. “To truly create an effective circular economy we need to focus on closing all loops to ensure post consumer plastic waste is consistently and efficiently turned back into new materials. To achieve carbon neutrality as well as benefit from the properties and economics of plastics we must increase recovery of valuable resources, boost recycled materials, reduce landfill and de-carbonise the waste -to-energy industry”.

“ packaging design thinking is key ”



Recycle and Reuse

In order to meet the BPF’s goals we should be recycling all packaging produced by the retailers. Placing recycling at the heart of packaging design thinking is key, yet many brand owners are still reticent to make many meaningful changes. Despite claims to the contrary, few packaging recycling features run very deep and those that are bolted on are unlikely to be clearly thought through. Efficient recycling formulations are few and far between. The majority of packaging items on our shelves have been designed with the primary purpose to engage with the consumer, protect the contents within and tell a strong brand story. Most materials have been designed to be processed only once and recycling features that minimise recycling complexity and create closed loop opportunities are woefully low on the list of priorities.

The missing link “Drilling down to specific Polyolefins that are currently not being recycled back into food-grade packaging highlights a missing link in the recycling stream, that are the pots, tubs and trays made from Polypropylene (PP), a highly versatile polymer that dominates this non-bottle packaging stream. Polypropylene (PP) accounts for 20% of the world’s plastics. In the UK, some 300,000tpa of PP is used in packaging out of a total of 700,000 tpa used. Yet currently there is no food-grade recycled PP available for use as recycled content in new packaging. PP surfaces in those ‘hard to recycle’ packs such as pots, tubs, trays (PTT) and films in food packaging (approx. 210,000 tpa) as well as in non-food household and personal care products. Which is why closed-loop recycling of rPP to food-grade packaging is more complex due to the presence of non-food PP packaging.

“ The absence of food-grade recycled polypropylene (FGrPP) means that all PP food packaging is currently made from virgin plastics. This is a global problem ” Currently PP packaging is either being downcycled into low performance applications or going to waste-to-energy or landfill - thereby wasting precious resources. For consumer safety, the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) requires that recycled food-grade materials can only be made from (95%) food packaging and that the recycled plastic must meet the same high standards required for virgin food-grade plastics. The absence of food-grade recycled polypropylene (FGrPP) means that all PP food packaging is currently made from virgin plastics. This is a global problem.


If we can create a circular economy for food-grade PP packaging waste we would be able to reduce the production of virgin plastics from petrochemicals, in turn reducing CO2 emissions and diverting waste from both landfill and lower quality plastics. To illustrate, the production of one tonne of recycled PP saves approximately 1.7 tonne of CO2 emissions. If the UK meets the 30% recycled content target for food contact PP packaging alone, it will create annual savings of 63,000 tonnes of virgin PP and 107,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions, which equates to planting more than 1 million trees. Retailers and brands seeking to meet the 30% recycled material target by 2025 and avoid the UK’s plastic packaging tax of £200/tonne from April 2022 would see immediate benefits and we already have the cutting edge technology to identify, sort and decontaminate post-consumer plastic waste to achieve this”.



PlastiCorr® PlastiCorr®


Costs won't be the only thing Costs won't only thing you'llbe bethe saving. you'll be saving. 74% decrease 74% decrease IN CUMULATIVE ENERGY IN CUMULATIVE ENERGY 89% decrease 89% decrease IN WATER CONSUMPTION IN WATER CONSUMPTION 61% decrease 61% decrease IN SOLID WASTE IN SOLID WASTE


70+ 70+ TRIPS


Abandoning The Brown Box while Improving Sustainability in the Supply Chain Today’s companies are continuously balancing the need to reduce costs and minimise environmental impact, while protecting product integrity and improving operational efficiency. However, one-way packaging, such as the brown box, is still widely used in all industries today. Despite its flat, easy-to-break-down design, low cost, and ease of disposability, there are several disadvantages that come with the solution: risk for contamination, dust, disruption in automated lines, product damage and many more. In addition, paper and cardboard recycling uses around 800 billion litres of water every year in the EU according to an internal calculation. A sustainable replacement for fibre corrugated has been needed for many years but the difficulties of developing an automation-friendly 1 to 1 replacement have hindered the emergence of an alternative option. With PlastiCorr®, ORBIS has found the solution. It is the first direct replacement for single use corrugated packaging requiring no changes to pack-out quantity or logistics processes. All edges are sealed to reduce the potential harbour area for contaminants and improve safety and ergonomics. PlastiCorr is designed for re-use up to 70 trips, offering a significant overall reduction in the environmental impact. By switching to PlastiCorr, an ORBIS customer recognised a 74% decrease in cumulative energy, an 89% decrease in water consumption and a 61% decrease in solid waste. At the end of its service life, the boxes are 100% recyclable. For more information on how to make the switch to reusables visit https://orbiseurope.eu/en/plasticorr-brown-box-replacement/ or contact europe@orbiscorporation.com

Recycle and Reuse

Sorting the unsorted “Whilst some discussions around innovative sorting technologies have started emerging it is vital we take a holistic approach to recycling technologies, otherwise we will create multiple sub-categories of packaging in response to the perception that sorting will have the capacity to create narrower fractions of materials. While this is generally helpful it reduces the recycling productivity and efficiency. At which point the economics will diminish and issues of cross-contamination will increase. “As a consequence the likes of powerful UV-fluorescent markers (PolyPRISMTM) or digital markers that identify and separate food-grade packaging will only have an impact if we continue the journey to decontaminate and turn the well-sorted post consumer plastic waste back into high quality recycled mono-polymers that can be re-used in new products. High performance decontamination technologies that have been shown to remove all possible contaminants to very high levels to ensure compliance with EFSA and USFDA food-contact are required to deliver the penultimate stage of recycling.

“ Taking a holistic approach to recycling that combines sorting with decontamination is instrumental ” Taking a holistic approach to recycling that combines sorting with decontamination is instrumental in closing the loop on the likes of PP and other plastics. However, to be truly effective, it requires all packaging to be designed for optimum recyclability, otherwise the next cycle quality will be compromised and be expensive to operate” “As the case with Coca Cola’s paper bottle goes to show, only simplifying packaging will result in simpler recycling equipment and lower processing costs”. At SPN we thank Prof. Kosier of Nexteck for his illuminating coverage of the BPM’s recycling Roadmap and hope that our readers are able to benefit from the many conclusions on offer here. For the full, unabridged review visit: www.nextek.com

who can give their folding cartons the power of sustainability? you can. The Power of Sustainable Packaging. Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever — that’s why we’re committed to innovative folding carton packaging solutions that are good for the environment and the bottom line. At Sun Chemical, helping you meet your sustainability goals just comes naturally. Request your copy of Sun Chemical’s Guide to Sustainable Packaging at sunchemical.com/poweroffoldingcartonpackaging.

working for you.


Recycle and Reuse

REPL Group

The roadmap towards

achieving net zero

Top retail technology and sustainability expert, Graeme Hamlet gave SPN an exclusive interview. This shines new light on the awareness of sustainability within our industry and offers some new perspectives on how to optimise the roadmap towards achieving net zero. Here we publish part one. How ‘sustainability-aware’ would you say your company is and what recent measures have you taken to improve your overall contribution to the circular economy?

In your opinion what have been the most significant developments in terms of recycling and bio-degradable packaging?

“REPL has been sustainable for many years, but until recently did not badge our efforts as such. There are gaps, but we have used the 5 capitals (social, financial, natural, human and manufactured) to frame how we are sustainable, this helped us understand and increase awareness of what sustainability is.

The sheer volume of media coverage about the impact of waste and packaging on the planet and population has increased the focus on the need for change and is driving innovation at a terrific rate.

Whilst we recycle as much as possible, we have reduced paper usage and also use cloud-technology and online collaboration tools. Today, business travel is our largest Co2 emitter. The pandemic proved that we can be more successful with remote working, and continue to implement the right balance between office and remote working to capitalise on lower travel emissions, whilst maintaining engagement and team wellbeing.”

“The use of data science in retail has dramatically increased transparency. The most significant of these is being in supply chain operations. Data science is key to understanding where and how raw materials are extracted, how products are made, used and what end-of-life looks like as well as exposing the carbon emissions and physical waste associated with any supply chain. Businesses can use this data to identify focus areas for improvement, such as reduced packaging, alternate materials and where a circular economy might be possible”.

In relation to sustainability, what would you say have been your most important milestones? Every time we improve our GPTW ranking and see our end of year results – these are a fantastic testament to the team’s management of financial, human and social capital. From an environmental capital (and personal perspective) I think the biggest milestones have been gaining board support for sustainable change at REPL, passing the CISL sustainability management course and “seeing the light”. As well as witnessing the engagement and interest in the subject grow enormously, and most recently the incredible support from the team to invest in our ideas for products and services in this space.

Follow up on Graeme Hamlet’s revealing observations in Part 2, to be published in January 2022





More juicy sustainability Partners KHS and Ecks-Granini are furthering their sustainability goals by launching fully recyclable rPET I litre hohes C Juice bottles. By doing so, the company is now using rPET throughout its extensive product portfolio.

Eckes-Granini is making its packaging portfolio ever more sustainable with the help of the KHS Group. Since earlier this year its one-litre hohes C juice bottle has consisted entirely of recycled plastic (rPET). In fact KHS are Europe’s Bottles & Shapes experts, who were responsible for optimisation of the new recyclable juice bottles. These latest containers will continue to be produced on the company’s tried-and-tested Inno PET FreshSafe block. “Bearing in mind the EU’s plastic’s strategy and the increase in recyclate quotas that this prescribes, we’ve now decided to switch to using recycled PET only. We want to be a pioneer with regard to the circular economy and set a prime example for the beverage industry as a whole.” said Hermann Naumann, plant manager for Eckes-Granini in Bad Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony. Europe’s leading producer of fruit juice beverages has pursued an ambitious sustainability strategy for many years as Naumann continued, “We aim to continue steadily reducing our carbon footprint in both our production and in our packaging. This means not only cutting down on the amount of material used but also closing the recycling loop.”


Hermann Naumann Plant manager for Eckes-Granini


An InnoPET FreshSafe block from KHS has been in operation at Eckes-Granini since 2017

Eckes-Granini has made its packaging portfolio even more environmentally friendly with the help of the KHS Group. Since the middle of May its one-liter hohes C juice bottle has consisted entirely of recycled plastic (rPET).

Significant savings With its unique holistic Bottles & Shapes consultancy programme, customers can now benefit from over 40 years of expertise in container design and production. At KHS, beverage producers detail their preferences regarding the weight, shape or stability of the container and upon these specifications, the systems supplier assesses the feasibility of the design with the help of laboratory tests and simulation. In the case of Eckes-Granini the specifications were clear: switch to 100% rPET whilst maintaining the homogeneous quality of the container. According to EckesGranini, just the changeover of the one-liter hohes C bottle to rPET will save over 4,000 metric tons of new PET per annum. This in turn means that the bottler will cut its carbon emissions by about 8,000 tons a year.

“ the bottler will cut its carbon emissions by about 8,000 tons a year ” Improved barrier properties Eckes-Granini will continue to benefit from FreshSafe PET barrier protection following their conversion to 100% rPET. The company has relied on the environmentallyfriendly system from KHS since 2006. The oxygen barrier of chemically pure glass, and a wafer-thin coating on the inside of the PET bottle, not only effectively protects the juice from oxygen pickup, but is also fully recyclable. The coating can be easily washed off any Eckes-Granini bottles during the recycling process. The sustainable packaging alternative therefore permits pure-grade bottle-to-bottle recycling. By combining rPET and future-proof product protection Eckes-Granini and KHS are once again demonstrating their pioneering role for the circular economy.




“ Europe is driving the way towards a more sustainable future with the Green Deal and its new Circular Economy Action Plan ”

Sealed Air

Every little ‘closed-loop’ helps Tesco ‘closes-the-loop’ on food packaging as the result of a unique trial that has involved the participation of an entire supply-chain. The four synergistic companies collaborated in close partnership to a achieve a global first: the recycling of soft plastic to a high, food-grade standard. Impossible until now, used, soft-packaging can simply be collected from Tesco customers and be re-used to produce highquality, food-grade packaging. 44 SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS


Sealed Air, Plastic Energy, SABIC and Bradburys Cheese, all partnered with Tesco to conduct this unique trial. It proved beyond doubt that soft plastic, which would normally go to waste, can now be recycled multiple times. The scientifically based, closed-loop trial resulted in the production of uniform, high quality, food-grade plastic packaging. Traditionally, retailers have relied upon soft plastics to pack foods such as bread, pre-prepared salads, meat and cheese, as it helps them to maintain their freshness and prevent food waste. According to the 2019 UK Household Plastic Collection Survey, the UK uses almost 400,000 tonnes of soft plastics every year, but less than 21,000 tonnes of that is collected, and until now even that has been recycled into non-food-grade material. However, two years ago, Tesco stores installed ten recycling collection points for soft plastics, in order to discover new ways to resolve this problem, and in doing so created an entirely new, closed-loop system. To prove that the closed-loop concept was both effective and practical, the soft plastic material collected from Tesco customers was sent to ‘Plastic Energy’ who converted the used packaging into oil through an advanced recycling process called pyrolysis. The recycled oil was then used by SABIC in their production process as an alternative to traditional fossil materials, for making new plastic pellets that are as safe and effective as virgin plastic. The pellets were then utilised by Sealed Air who reformulated one of their existing plastic packaging designs to include this specially recycled, high-grade plastic. Rigorous testing was conducted to ensure that it met all the performance specifications of Tesco’s quality cheese supplier, Bradburys, for safe and effective use in their food packaging. The new ‘closed-loop’ packaging material contains a minimum of 30% recycled material. The production of recycled soft plastic from food-grade soft plastic packaging has been an on-going challenge for the industry due to the many limitations of existing recycling techniques. This advanced pyrolysis recycling process easily and efficiently overcomes these traditional constraints.

“ This project demonstrates the results that come from taking a leadership position and being committed to investing in the type of innovation that ultimately eliminates plastic waste altogether ” Steve Garland, Chief Innovation Officer at Sealed Air said: “This project demonstrates the results that come from taking a leadership position and being committed to investing in the type of innovation that ultimately eliminates plastic waste altogether. As we redesign our plastic packaging to be recyclable, we are working closely with key collaborators to recover the same materials before they become waste and keep them circulating throughout the value chain.” Consistently, SPN recognises that Sealed Air is at the vanguard of global companies protecting and solving critical packaging challenges. Today the company’s portfolio of advanced packaging solutions includes such well-known brands as CRYOVAC® a brand for food packaging, SEALED AIR® a brand for protective packaging, the AUTOBAG® brand for automated systems and the famous BUBBLE WRAP® brand for diverse brand packaging. Collectively they contribute to a safer, more efficient food supply-chain that protects valuable and fragile goods being shipped around the world.

“ Sealed Air is at the vanguard of global companies protecting and solving critical packaging challenges ” In 2019, Sealed Air generated $4.8 billion in sales and currently employs around 17,000 people, all of which are dedicated to serving customers in 124 countries worldwide. Today, Sealed Air is a leading global materials and solutions provider that creates packaging for food, consumer goods and medical/industrial supplies. For further details of Sealed Air products visit: www.sealedair.com




RETAL Iberia

expands into North Africa As a proudly global plastic packaging solutions provider, RETAL has an established presence with 19 production sites and customers in over 70 countries worldwide. With a strategic balance of local knowledge and global capabilities, RETAL is continually working with its FMCG customers to deliver preform, closure and film solutions

RETAL’s European heartland enjoys a range of opportunities to work with the majority of its 22 factories, with customers able to enjoy fast, reliable deliveries from facilities across Eastern, Central and Western Europe. RETAL Iberia, located close to Girona, is just 60 minutes from the port of Barcelona, which is the closest port to Morocco and much of North Africa. Having worked extensively with customers in Tunisia, the RETAL Iberia team is strategically developing its presence in North Africa in order to bring its deep understanding of the market needs for preforms. Ester Masó Donadeu, general manager at RETAL Iberia, shares how she and her team have built strong relationships with customers in Tunisia. She says, “RETAL Iberia is very pleased to be working with customers in Tunisia for over eight years now; we’ve been able to develop our understanding of what preforms our customers in the region want, and how best to serve them. For example, many of our mineral water customers in Tunisia appreciate our 30/25 neck preforms, which are available quickly and in high volumes if needed, and we can also deliver the lighter weight 29/25, as well as our latest DIN preform which is ideal for cosmetic and personal care applications.”


Masó continues to explain the RETAL Iberia’s excellent location allows its deliveries to reach Morocco, Tunisia and other parts of North Africa within just four days. She adds, “We are so close to the port that we can be very efficient with our preform deliveries to North Africa; no time is wasted. We keep a good stock of preforms and have a round-the-clock production that allows us to meet orders effectively. Shipping to Morocco can take just two days, with a little time either side for the necessary maritime transactions and logistics.”

“ we’ve been able to develop our understanding of what preforms our customers in the region want, and how best to serve them ” The speed of the delivery is well supported by the expertise of the team at RETAL Iberia. Masó is joined by commercial manager Raquel Oller Bosch, with a full complement of experienced sales, procurement and logistics colleagues, bringing a multilingual service to customers across Spain, Portugal and North Africa.


Oller works closely with customers across the food and beverage industries, including local partners, co-packers, and global brands, with her knowledge of the RETAL portfolio well matched with her close understanding of what customers want.

“ We have extensive knowledge of creating and manufacturing PET preforms that can include rPET, we are always looking for ways to utilize our portfolio ” Oller explains, “We have extensive knowledge of creating and manufacturing PET preforms that can include rPET, and we are always looking for ways to utilize our portfolio. We’re used to producing huge volumes for the very cost-conscious bottled water market, so we are able to pass on that advantage to customers in the hydro-alcoholic gel segment with our new DIN preforms which are available from 0.5l up to 1.5l in a range of neck finishes and weights. We can cope well with high volumes and our solutions are cost-effective.”

Experienced and sustainable Production capabilities for these preforms are already established at a possible 13.6 million units per month, depending on size and order requirements. RETAL Iberia has invested in state-of-the-art equipment in order to manufacture at volume and speed, offering cost-conscious solutions to brand owners and blowers across Europe. The RETAL Iberia preform range can be offered as standard or customised, and with up to 100% rPET, with all the production facilities and equipment already up and running with experienced teams. Masó concludes by sharing how RETAL Iberia’s friendly and experienced team is on-hand to service customers across Europe and North Africa, saying, “I am proud to say that our customers often comment on the positive experience they have working with our team; we are responsive, reliable and highly competent, with great experience of creating packaging solutions for our customers. As the market is evolving, we can offer a continuous service that values the changing needs of our customers. We have the support of a global group and the agility of a local partner.”



Dispersion Barriers

Camvac debut’s new, versatile Barrier-Lidding film

UK based Camvac was the first company in Europe to develop and commercialise food contact grade metallised PET and OPP films. Fast forward over fifty years and the company has established itself as one of the leading global suppliers of metallised and clear barrier films and laminates, for a wide range of applications including food and liquid beverage packaging.

Camvac’s latest commercial development is a post-consumer recycled (PCR) grade PET barrier film named ExtraPET PCR. This new development joins Camvac’s existing ExtraPET film range which is used primarily within for the food and converter marketplace and positions itself within Camvac’s growing Camvert range of sustainable packaging solutions.

“ The new film development sets out to reduce plastic waste and plastic going to landfill. It also utilises the circular economy ” ExtraPET PCR has been purposely developed to meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable lidding film solutions.


The new film development sets out to reduce plastic waste and plastic going to landfill. It also utilises the circular economy, reducing the use of fossil feedstocks, alongside reducing carbon footprint, and supporting recycling streams along with improved waste collection. The film still provides an all-PET structure and maintains Camvacs’ high gas barrier performance, both OTR and WVTR as required for MAP & CAP packaging applications. Available in either peel or weld seal laminate structures, the mono-material lidding film has been designed to offer excellent sealing properties and exceptional barrier performance. Whilst guaranteeing the film appearance is not hampered by using food contact approved PCR grade base webs. Camvac can offer a sustainable film that truly challenges virgin PET films, due to very similar characteristics and visual appearance – no yellow hints are visible in the barrier lidding film!

Dispersion Barriers

Fresh appeal The high barrier polyester laminate film’s versatility contributes to the film being used for a wide range of processed meats, fresh meats, poultry, pastas, vegetable, and bakery packaging solutions, where presentation and fresh appearance is critical. Camvac’s Development Director, Gary Chalkley, states “ExtraPET traditionally provides a variety of environmentally friendly and atmosphere packaging solutions in peel and non-peel, anti-fog, and high barrier options. By introducing a minimum 60% PCR content film into the range boosts the film’s environmental attributes of this mono-material film in the drive for more sustainable film solutions for the packaging of fresh and prepared produce.” The peelable ExtraPET PCR is available as an adhesive laminate of 12-micron polyester to 20-micron polyester. ExtraPET PCR Peelable total PCR content makes up 62% of the laminate structure.The weld seal laminate structure is 12-micron polyester to 15-micron polyester. This laminate structure uses two base webs that accumulates the total post-consumer recycled content of 65-percent of the laminate structure.

• Mono-material (widely recyclable) • Chlorine free barrier coating (environmentally friendly) • Excellent seal integrity • Minimum 62% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Content • Peel and weld seal options • Market leading antifog properties • Excellent light transmission / low haze values. • High barrier laminate offers extended product shelf-life • Print receptive top coating As Camvac continues to invest and develop new packaging films, the company is continually seeking new opportunities to partner with likeminded companies and would welcome any opportunity to discuss new partnerships – not only for their ExtraPET films but also their other packaging solutions.

Total Recyclability As a direct result of the ExtraPET range being an allpolyester structure, the potential of total recyclability, where post-consumer collection infrastructure exists, is possible. The recyclable lidding film has the capability to seal and peel from various tray structures including PET trays. A PET tray and ExtraPET film lid combination meets the ever-growing requirement of a complete mono-material packaging solution that is truly recyclable. Camvac’s ExtraPET film range is found in most UK supermarkets and has a growing presence globally, particularly in mainland Europe. Not only are the UK consumers demanding greener and more sustainable options but also the imminent introduction of the UK plastic tax is forcing converters and food packaging companies to find sustainable alternatives. ExtraPet is a perfect solution to enable products currently packed in multi-polymer tray/lidding combinations to switch a 100% PET film / tray solution that is already extensively used in the MAP/CAP markets.

Beyond 30% barrier ExtraPET PCR has been developed to go beyond the 30% post-consumer recycled minimum. With this product being added to Camvac’s ExtraPET portfolio, the predominant customer base of converters and packers will not change. The long-standing supply partnerships will continue to be built upon, albeit with a new environmentally friendly stance, alongside the proven reliability of ExtraPET film.





At the heart of recyclable packaging

The repulpability of barrier coatings is the key to fibre-based packaging material recyclability and effective, circular material reuse. Kemira’s new dispersion barrier chemistry, FennoGuard™ GO, provides the perfect answer for FMCG companies seeking to find sustainable packaging alternatives. Brand owners, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, and retailers continue to be under intense pressure to find sustainable and safe packaging alternatives. Even more so now as the goals set previously for phasing out plastics and introducing fully renewable or recyclable packaging alternatives begin to draw closer. Fibre-based packaging materials have gained much interest in the packaging value chain due to their excellent recycling properties. This has put barrier solutions in the limelight as they provide paper and board with much-needed functional properties to protect the packaged good from the environment and vice versa. The challenge with the oftenused solutions, such as PE extrusion coatings and laminated structures, is that they take away from the renewable nature of paper and board and make for poor end-product recyclability. Kemira’s new barrier chemistry, FennoGuard™ GO, answers the packaging material producer’s demands. The new waterbased dispersion barrier coating helps to replace traditional plastic films and fluorochemicals used for protection against grease, oil, and other substances in fibre-based packaging. In addition, FennoGuard™ GO has excellent repulping properties, which enables the development of truly circular and recyclable packaging alternatives.

More efficient material reuse Repulping properties are at the heart of fibre-based packaging recyclability and efficient material reuse. To ensure material efficiency, the barrier coating should break down easily in the repulping process and the amount of fibres, fillers, and other raw materials that get rejected from the process as waste should be minimized. Kemira studied five different barrier coated packaging boards to increase the understanding of how they behave in the repulping process of an in-machine broke system. The barrier coatings studied were commercially available dispersion barrier coatings, including Kemira’s FennoGuard™ GO. Based on these results, FennoGuard™ GO dispersion barrier coatings can be easily repulped and in addition, the repulped material has a low rejection rate – in the two studied sample boards the reject percentages were as low as 0% and 1.7%.


The other dispersion barrier coatings studied, proved to be more difficult to repulp. They had reject rates as high as 8.2% and 14.1%. When the repulping was chemically enhanced, the amount of reject could be considerably reduced.

High performance wastewater treatment A common concern related to the repulping of barrier coated boards is that contaminants such as the hydrophobic particles originating from the coating would end up in the process wastewater or, worse still, be discharged into the environment. Our study shows that up to 80–85% of the hydrophobic particles in the coated broke could be attached back onto the fibers with a fixative in the board making process, thus enabling efficient recirculation of the repulped material. What’s more, chemically enhanced wastewater treatment helped to remove the majority of the remaining particles. As a result, up to 98% of all the hydrophobic particles in the process could be removed and efficiently managed.

A holistic approach is the key The repulpability of barrier coated packaging material is highly dependent on the dispersion barrier chemistries and components used. Base sheet properties also play a key role. For example, wet-strength agents used in the base paper can have a negative effect on repulpability. Based on our findings, efficient and sustainable repulping and recirculation, and thus, recycling of dispersion barrier coated materials, can be carried out in the existing paper and board making processes. A holistic end-to-end understanding of the papermaking process and efficient chemical solutions are crucial in the creation of optimised dispersion barrier coating in packaging board. They are also valuable for ensuring sustainable processes in all necessary production phases for circulating and reusing barrier coated boards. This article is taken from a recent study titled, “Dispersion barrier coated fiber-based materials and holistic study about repulping”. This was first presented at the 30th PTS Coating Symposium in September 2021.


Develop fully recyclable packaging Repulpable barrier coatings play a crucial role in the development of fully recyclable fiber-based packaging. The packaging value chain needs solutions that provide the required functionalities to the renewable packaging material while enabling true circularity.

Kemira’s water-based dispersion barrier FennoGuard™GO answers the demand. Based on our recent study, it breaks down easily in the repulping process and the disintegrated materials can be efficiently reused.


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