Issue 22:1 - January 2022
Taking the lead in sustainability
Circular Economy How the big players are speeding up their drive to acheive a truly Circular Economy
Paper Vs Plastic
The ongoing debate of paper vs plastic
Bio-based Packaging Protective Packaging Retail Round-Up
HP Ramps up 3D printing
HP’s new collaboration means that Metal Jet progress continues ahead of its commercial launch
AD TO GO HERE
IMA OPENLAB: DESIGNING THE MATERIALS OF THE FUTURE
A place of advanced sustainable experimentation with a strong ethical-environmental footprint. OPENLab is the IMA Group’s network of cutting-edge technological laboratories and testing areas, dedicated to the research on sustainable materials, technologies and production optimisation processes. IMA OPENLab aims to merge studies, experimentation and industrial development activities on materials including all laboratory phases, from design to engineering. A service offered to customers and partners of the Group in all the business sectors served. The program involves the on-site material testing on dedicated machines, supervised by the Group’s engineers and researchers, simulating real manufacturing conditions and avoiding costs related to production stoppages. ima.it/open-lab Part of the
WELCOME TO SPN MAGAZINE
Dear Readers, SPN wishes everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! My, what a start - just when you thought things were getting better…….along came Omicron! What’s more, it has had a far more devastating impact on employee attendances than even the Delta variant. Thankfully it would appear that it is far less severe in its manifestations. Remarkably, the industry’s ability to ride-thestorm has been incredible and despite the prevailing shortage of raw materials, has managed to maintain its buoyancy. Interestingly, the wide-ranging content on offer in our latest issue reflects this. From the dynamic retail sector to the revolutionary technology developed by HP for L’oreal, there is certainly plenty here to stir the imagination and our joint commitment to protecting the planet. There is also coverage of the latest advances in recycling technology and how the big players are speeding up their drive to acheive a truly Circular Economy. In addition, there is a new regular feature that has been introduced, this is our Retail Round-Up, which looks at the Circular Economy from a retail perspective. Other topics that many may find of particular interest, are the ‘Green Gluing and Glass Packaging’ features, which are topics we have not covered in any depth before today. Moving forward, we hope that our readers will benefit from the diverse content available here and that it will incentivise many to move our mission even further, and faster forward. Be sure to take good care and stay safe…. There will be brighter weather ahead! Sincerely,
January 2022 Issue 22:1 - January 2022
Taking the lead in sustainability
Circular Economy How the big players are speeding up their drive to acheive a truly Circular Economy
Paper Vs Plastic
The ongoing debate of paper vs plastic
Bio-based Packaging Protective Packaging Retail Round-Up
HP Ramps up 3D printing HP’s new Metal Jet progress continues ahead of its commercial launch
Director Editor Writer Designer
Kevin Gambrill Philip Yorke Dominy Jones Dom Thorby
Philip Yorke ( Editor )
spnews.com SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Circular Economy 16 Circular snapshots 17 SPN’s circular economy conference 18 Skinners Pet Foods 22 V-Shapes 26 HP 3D printing 29 Digital watermarks Labelling 30 Soft sell 32 CCT 33 Changing labels GLASS 35 Buried treasure? GREEN GLUE 36 Green – with envy
REGULAR FEATURES SUPPLY-CHAIN SLEUTHS
6 An Endemic Cardboard Pandemic?
20-20 VISION 7 Transcendental advantage RETAIL ROUND-UP
9 10 11 13 14
UPS Supermarkets reduce plastic Syntegon Changes to allergen labelling Teradata
BIO-BASED 38 Bio based packaging 40 Emerson 42 Futamura Paper vs Plastic 44 The new balancing act 45 Paper products gaining-ground LUXURY PACKGING 46 Sustainable luxury PROTECTIVE PACKAGING 48 ‘Intelligent’ savings
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Issue 1 Sep 2020
Issue 1 Sep 2020
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An Endemic Cardboard Pandemic? In the UK alone, there are more than 135m cardboard boxes stowed in homes as almost half of Brits admit to hoarding them. New data shows that 44% of Brits admit to hoarding cardboard boxes – with a massive 135m believed to be sitting in our sheds, garages, and wardrobes. Further data shows that one in five Brits (20%) are holding on to between 5 and 10 boxes, with 10% hoarding 10 to 19, and 4% with at least 20 boxes stowed away at home. Those who admit to hoarding say that the most popular places to store them are in the garage (34%), a wardrobe or cupboard (30%), or in the shed (23%).
Over half of Brits (52%) say the amount of cardboard packaging in their homes has increased since the pandemic, with two thirds (66%) of those blaming more online shopping, and more than a quarter (28%) holding on to boxes without any clear motive - simply because “they might be useful in the future.” But the hoarding habit, while seemingly harmless, is actually keeping raw materials out of the hands of recycling companies and causing paper prices to rise. Since the pandemic begun there’s been a major shift in consumer shopping habits and we’ve seen a huge rise in people ordering more items online, accumulating more boxes as a result. But while some put these boxes to good use – reusing them for storage, arts and crafts, or to ship other items - many boxes are sitting unused and not finding their way back into recycling streams. It means that materials are at best getting delayed in reaching recyclers, and at worse not getting to them at all. So Rogier Gerritsen, Head of Recycling at DS Smith told SPN, “We rely on a circular business and have a unique 14-day box to box model, meaning we take the boxes we make, then collect, recycle and convert them into new boxes all within 14 days. As well as being Europe’s largest cardboard and paper recycler, we’re committed to leading the transition to the circular economy. We globally manufacture billions of boxes from recycled fibre every year and find solutions for customers that replace problem plastics, and remove carbon from supply chains.
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Of those who have seen an increase in cardboard packaging within their homes, 15% say they are keeping boxes for arts and crafts projects, while around a quarter (24%) use them for storage, and the same amount (24%) use them for shipping other items. Disturbingly, 22% say there isn’t enough room in their recycling bin or bag to dispose of the boxes, with around one in ten (9%) confessing they don’t know how to recycle them, and the same number (9%) not knowing where to recycle them. Furthermore, a total of 11% of Brits admit to throwing cardboard packaging in the general waste bin with 8% even saying that they burn it. Gerritsen added, “Unfortunately these results once again show the need for a better, clearer infrastructure to help ensure what should get recycled does get recycled. We recently showed that 49% of British households admit to completely running out of space in their recycling bins, with a quarter saying this happens every two weeks or more 1. Changes and reforms that make it clearer and easier for people to recycle at home would ensure far more of these valuable materials get used again and again, reducing our impact on the environment. Simon Weston, Director of Raw Materials at the Confederation of Paper Industries said, “ We know cardboard boxes can be useful around the home and encourage people to re-use them where possible, but where they aren’t re-used and instead hoarded, they represent untapped resources that could be recycled to make new products. Britain currently has millions of these boxes laying idle in cupboards, sheds and garages, and we would ask anyone who is stowing them away to instead recycle them responsibly, so the raw materials can be put back into practical use.
Transcendental advantage In an increasingly remote, digital world, packaging has become the new frontline in the battle to develop and optimise customer relations. Transend Packaging offers some insights… Matt Ward, Print and Digital Division Director of Transcend Packaging told SPN about the advantages of tactical packaging in relation to optimising a company’s customer relations.“In today’s digital-first world, brands should be maximising the commercial value of their packaging by creating a meaningful way to interact with customers, without a physical presence. ‘Tactical Packaging’ offers businesses from the FTSE 100 to recent start-ups it provides newfound opportunities to provide a special experience and develop customer relations to a new level.
Despite their huge success, QR codes are just one of many tactical packaging techniques. Willingness to be inclusive of other mediums, such as the randomised data that is available through the use of imagery and text, is enabling tactical packaging to revolutionise how businesses approach their consumer relations.
“Whether through seasonal or promotional offers, tactical packaging’s value is derived from physically being in a consumer’s hand. This could be in the form of buying a chocolate bar with a meaningful message on the packaging, or QR codes appearing on your soft drink bottle – that’s because they are increasingly being used to supplement packaging and drive client engagement. “The value of developing customer relationships, as more people work from home, is garnering increasing influence in the battle for market share. This is especially prevalent in sectors like healthcare and grocery, where saturated markets and homogenous products compete for the same limited and localised market. Indeed, global intelligent packaging sales are forecasted to reach $2.5 billion by 2025 with an annual average growth rate of 13.3% from 2020. The question for brands, especially those subliminally familiar to consumers browsing the aisles of their local supermarket, is how can you encourage and maintain brand loyalty whilst altering the design spec that makes your brand recognisable?
Tactical techniques Since the Covid Pandemic, QR codes have become a part of everyday life – from reading menus to paying. Research shows that 96% of the UK population have scanned a QR code on their mobile device in restaurants or shops in the last six months from April 2021.
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New-found opportunities This presents a real opportunity for brands to take their packaging to the ‘next level’, meaning that packaging has the potential to deliver personalised experiences to each consumer. Brands should see this as a valuable opportunity to introduce customers to their website or app ecosystems. In turn, helping businesses improve their understanding of a products’ customer base, which without a physical presence, can be more challenging to obtain. When it comes to packaging, businesses have a newfound opportunity to tailor and adapt the product rapidly. However, this is only part of the impressive element. What’s equally exciting is that changes can be made in line with consumer sentiment and feedback, or for seasonal events like the festive period, at a fraction of the price quoted with traditional packaging processes, such as litho-printing. The packaging industry has long utilised a ‘price per thousand’ mentality, where volume and cost is prioritised above all else. For many years, not enough attention was paid to a product’s performance during or at the end of its useful life. Now with the latest innovations in digital printing, it is now possible to produce multiple, bespoke packaging designs, in smaller batches and in a fraction of the time it takes for litho-printing.
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“ Standards are changing, and the technology is now there for brands ” Digital derivatives reducing waste On a digital press, a brand can handle a print-run of thousands of cartons, with each carton using a different tailored-design. Standards are changing, and the technology is now there for brands and creatives to do what was never previously practical. This reaches beyond just design and acts as an important servant to reducing waste. The countless digital printing derivatives are changing the conversation for the packaging industry and its partners, and we expect successful brands will be those who welcome the era of smart packaging. So therefore, order only what you need, pay for only what you need and keep waste to an absolute minimum and whilst doing so, build powerful consumer relations, which can in turn be reinforced at any given time throughout the year.” Matt Ward’s new perspectives and his conclusions all add weight to the growing movement for greater interaction and creativity with customers. Any company that prioritises its customers in this way, stands to benefit significantly in years to come.
The evolving retail environment
Sustainability matters to European consumers – but it would appear that not all businesses have realised just how much it matters, writes Arthur Lam, director of marketing for the UK, Ireland and Nordics at UPS. UK consumers feel particularly strongly about this, with 77% of those we surveyed for a recent report saying sustainability is important. What is clear is that, while sustainability should remain a focus for all retailers, these efforts shouldn’t be at a cost to the consumer. In a recent survey of 10,000 European shoppers, consumers said that they want to see retailers considering the environment – 75% said this is important to them, particularly with respect to seeing larger retailers lowering their carbon footprint.
Green issues are key Whilst green issues are key, sustainable packaging is also key – 54% expect this from large brands and 50% from smaller brands. Indeed, in our discussion, the retailers in our panel – senior executives from eBay, Trouva and Wolf & Badger – agreed that customers will definitely make a conscious choice if they can see proof of a retailer’s commitment to sustainable initiatives, such as carbonfootprint offsetting, packaging and, most importantly, the retailer’s decisions around sourcing materials.
“ Trouva has particularly noted this broader shift to conscious consumption and is seeing buyers move away from a single-use, disposable mindset ”
Integrated approach As consumer demand for greater sustainability in retail grows, so too does the need for businesses to continuously build on their sustainability portfolio. For instance, the UPS Eco Responsible Packaging Programme was created to recognise customers who are committed to helping the environment through sustainable packaging practices. But recognising best practice is only one part of the equation. We built on this by adjusting how we source UPS recyclable Express packs, which are made from 80% recycled plastic and are available to customers. By switching to a supplier in Germany, we were able to save 65 metric tonnes of CO2 per year. It’s a difficult job to offer sustainable materials while protecting your product with a minimum of packaging, but an integrated approach can help businesses to navigate this. Ultimately, a choice of delivery methods, control over carbon footprint and the convenience of an integrated sustainability programme that takes the worry out of the buying process are the key things that consumers want when they purchase online, and we’re doing all we can to help retailers offer exactly that.
Trouva has particularly noted this broader shift to conscious consumption and is seeing buyers move away from a singleuse, disposable mindset to a desire for product value over a longer period. And with sustainability at the core of the Wolf & Badger ethos, the company now rates each of its brands against one of 16 sustainability badges. The result is that brands that have passed this audit have a much lower return rate where sourcing of products, packaging and material is a sizeable consideration.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Supermarkets reduce plastic by 10% Plastic packaging on supermarket shelves has been cut by a tenth, a new report from WRAP shows. Leading retailers and manufacturers have also nearly halved the amount of ‘problematic plastic’ items since 2018 UK Plastics Pact members, which includes major supermarkets, manufacturers, producers and other companies, have reduced problematic single-use plastic items by 46 per cent and cut the amount of packaging on supermarket shelves by 10 per cent in 2018-20, according to WRAP. The British NGO leads UK Plastic Pact, an initiative which brings together businesses from across the plastics value chain, the government, and independent organisations to tackle plastic waste. Since the scheme began in 2018, the reduction of plastic in UK supermarkets has led to a 335,000t drop in CO2, which WRAP said is equivalent to taking 150,000 cars off the road.
Tesco offers refillable cleaning-sprays to reduce plastic packaging The organisation added that innovations in recycling plastic bags and wrapping through increased front of store collections are starting to deliver an opportunity to scale up the collection and recycling of plastics. WRAP highlighted a number of current actions from supermarkets and other retailers to reduce plastics, including Morrisons, which has announced the removal of plastic bags from bananas. It said that once rolled out, this will reduce plastic by 180 tonnes, or 45 million bags every year.
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“The results of real-life reuse and refill trials carried out under the Pact are extremely exciting for how we could shop packaging-free in the future,” said WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover. “We see a 50 per cent growth in plastics reprocessing in the UK, which is a massive improvement and Recycle Week marked a record high in terms of the numbers of people recycling – helping complete the cycle of plastics to keep them in the economy and out of the environment. “But as COP26 made clear, we have a long way to go and little time to make big changes.”
Going with the flow
Confectionery and film packaging go together like a horse and carriage – or rather they used to. Times are changing and so is the material that confectionary bars are wrapped in. Today, consumer goods companies are looking for more sustainable materials. As a result, Mars Wrigley is investigating the flow-wrapping potential of paper and working with long-term partner Syntegon Technology, in order to operate a large-scale test at a leading German food retailer.
Balisto® is kind of a cult product in Germany: the flat, chocolate-covered cookie snack bar is offered in a range of flavour variants and colourful packaging. The snack is part of the Mars Wrigley product portfolio including internationally renowned brands such as M&M‘S®, SNICKERS® and KIND®, which are sold in over 180 countries. As a major Mars business segment next to Petcare and Food, Mars Wrigley is aligned with the Mars Corporate Sustainability Vision to a Healthier Planet. Mars is a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastic Economy initiative and one of the first signatories of the EMF’s Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at its source. The Mars Vision is aligned with EMF to support a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste. To make this vision a reality, by 2025 Mars plans to reduce virgin plastic use by 25% and ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Going the paper mile Where less established materials are at play, Mars Wrigley recognises that suitable packaging materials need to be developed and tested regarding product performance criteria and market acceptance. “As challenging as this process can be, we wanted to go the extra mile to deliver on our sustainability commitment and our commitment to quality,” says Gerben Santegoeds, Global Technology Principal Engineer Packaging at Mars Wrigley.
The company has already launched several pilot projects across Europe. The valuable insights gained from these pilots can then be harnessed to develop sustainable packaging solutions in all categories of Mars Wrigley’s portfolio. One of the pilots now underway is Balisto® Honey Almond. In line with the company’s vision to use more recyclable material, the bar is currently being packaged in a paper-based flow wrap for validation purposes. For this solution to become a reality, Mars Wrigley had to develop and test a paper-based flow wrap for single bars and multipacks.
“ Finding the answers meant seeking the support from a trusted packaging technology partner: Syntegon Technology ” “This was a real challenge. We needed to reassess the properties and packaging potential of a material that was previously not used for this kind of product,” Santegoeds points out and ponders the questions: “What barrier properties does paper offer? What about grease retention? And how will it perform on horizontal flow wrappers that usually process conventional film?” Finding the answers meant seeking the support from a trusted packaging technology partner: Syntegon Technology.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Mars Wrigley followed a two-track approach for its paperbased project. It included testing paper packaging for Balisto® Honey Almond bars on respective Syntegon machinery. If this proved successful, the company would launch 100,000 multipacks with nine bars each in over 500 stores of a major German food retailer. “This called for a paper-based flow-wrap solution that would ensure that our high-quality standards could be upheld and still deliver on our promise to our consumers. This was the benchmark we had to reach,” Santegoeds explains.
Keeping the crunch Finding the matching solution wasn’t trivial. Primary paper packaging has direct contact with the product and fundamentally different properties than plastic packaging. Shelf-life was not the only challenge: since Balisto® is a chocolate-covered cookie bar, the packaging must also offer oil-mark resistance and minimal permeability attributes. The new package should also be able to keep moisture out and ensure the proper biscuit crunch. “Even the most sustainable packaging would be useless if quality didn’t match consumers’ expectations – and our high standards in food safety, product quality and integrity,” Santegoeds says. Syntegon had already been working on paper-based flowwrapping solutions when Mars Wrigley shared their strategy and presented their pilot flow-pack projects. Eager to make their flow wrapping machinery future-proof, they had launched the “paper-ON-form” retrofit kit for a wide range of traditional horizontal flow wrapping machines from Syntegon. It comprises a patented paper flow-wrap forming unit and sealing tools for cold sealing applications. The tool allows to process barrier papers without wrinkles, scores or cracks, while the customized cold sealing tools gently create the sealing seams.
A partnership in history and scale Both companies share a long-standing history of cooperation that dates back to the 1960s. As the years passed and the businesses have grown, the cooperation matured into one of mutual benefit. This has been aided by standardisation programmes which have evolved since the early 2000’s – most of which are in the horizontal and vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS and HFFS) technology areas. Hundreds of machines are now in operation in over 100 different Mars factories all over the globe. “It was a logical step to seek support from partner experts who truly understand our requirements,” Santegoeds says. “Syntegon’s fully integrated approach covers horizontal, vertical and secondary packaging. This means we had a one-stop shop to develop our value-based solutions – and achieve quick time-to-market at scale.”
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“The solution was exactly what we were looking for at the time,” Santegoeds says. “We decided to run first packaging and shelf-life tests on Syntegon machines.”
Clearing the hurdles Over several months, Mars Wrigley and Syntegon tested different paper variants from different suppliers. They gained more and more insights on how the materials run on the machines. Step by step, the R&D and engineering departments of both companies partnered their way to the right folding parameters. “A key driver of our collaboration was the willingness to challenge each other. We constantly discussed results with people who are absolute experts in their field – until we had the matching solution for our Balisto® bars,“ says Santegoeds. The FSC® and PEFC™ certified packaging developed from special paper consists of more than 90 percent natural fibers.
Holistic approach throughout the entire process The success of the initial packaging tests is based on Syntegon’s “paper-ON-form” solution developed in Beringen, Switzerland helped to implement paper packaging on the HRM flow wrapper for single bars at Mars’ Balisto® production site in Viersen, Germany. The multipack was a special challenge. Despite its size, the single bars must remain stable. “The test will provide us with comprehensive information on how the new packaging performs under production conditions, in retail and in the everyday lives of consumers,” Santegoeds adds. “We can use the pilot to realign our packaging in more Mars business units. When it comes to Syntegon, once more the project revealed the company’s packaging strengths, which we will gladly fall back on in the future. We are convinced that we will be able to further optimize the results with our partner from the packaging industry.” Far from being the only paper-based product ever, for Mars Wrigley the Balisto® bar is a first step in a right direction.
“ for Mars Wrigley the Balisto® bar is a first step in a right direction ”
Changes to allergen labelling for fast food and takeaway restaurants The changes to labelling requirements helps to protect consumers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on packaging. This legislation is also known as Natasha’s Law. Any food business that produces PPDS food is required to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list. Allergenic ingredients must be emphasised within this list. This can include food that consumers select themselves, for example from a display unit, as well as products kept behind a counter, or some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Are you preparing for the ‘And/And’ New Year normal? SPN’s Latest Retail Round-Up Feature focuses on an important overview by Industry consultant Chris Newbury of Teradata. He turns the And/Or scenario on its head, replacing it with an And/And retail reality. Chris told SPN:
“As we emerge from months of lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, it is increasingly clear that today’s Retail & CPG world is ‘And/And’, not ‘And/Or’. For CEOs, the ‘And/ And’ means getting our critical holiday seasons right, whilst also finalising strategic plans for the years ahead. When already juggling multiple challenges, companies must also try and balance the often-competing demands of different departments, functions, formats, channels and geographies – in order to consistently deliver what consumer’s want. Therefore, a single, accurate and up-to-date view of every aspect of the business is clearly critical – and in the modern Retail / CPG company, that can’t be delivered with narrow snapshot-reports in Excel!
“ Recent reports suggest that this year will see a resurgence in shopping at real-world retail outlets ” Hyper-personalise – the new normal? Recent reports suggest that this year will see a resurgence in shopping at real-world retail outlets as customers make use of returning post COVID-lockdown freedoms in many countries; Accenture research suggests 70 per cent of Gen Z customers plan to make most of their holiday purchases in store. But these consumers are different. They are not only seeking a wide assortment of quality products at great prices, but they want unique, memorable (and shareable) experiences. Delivering exactly the right mix of product, price, promotions, personalisation and experience, across all formats of physical store, plus online, requires huge levels of coordination. The ability to both hyper-localise and hyper-personalise is becoming more and more of a necessity, leaving CEOs with yet another challenge. How do you empower individual stores and departments to make data-led decisions to support their specific customers, whilst still retaining head office control? CEOs face a ‘Catch-22’ dilemma.
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They need a single consistent view of data from across the business but must also empower local teams to use local data to respond fast to meet changing customer demands. All whilst avoiding the creation of data silos to supporting specific bespoke applications. These over time, undermine visibility and makes it harder to gather and use granular data in real-time at enterprise scale. Is it therefore here that the CEO is faced with an ‘and/or’ choice?
Avoiding ‘Catch 22’ It does not have to be an ‘and/or’ choice. We are working every day with retailers and CPGs around the world to deliver ‘and/and’ capabilities. They are combining autonomy with visibility, empowerment with consistent corporate strategy, and the data is available to everyone as and when it is needed. Teradata works with leaders in retail and CPG to help them create enterprise data architecture, and then the data & analytical roadmaps required to allow data to be shared between teams, locations, departments and partners up and down the value chain. This central data ‘brain’ not only connects and orchestrates all of the data but enables the advanced analytics and machine learning required to add value to every process and the enterprise as a whole. When working with CEOs and their direct reports, companies can accelerate the use of automated dashboards, analytic models, AI and machine-learning as the basis of rapid, effective decision-making. This pivots them towards truly enterprise data-driven operations, establishing a single version of the truth as the standard in the boardroom, shortening the time to value for projects, and increasing overall corporate agility to take advantage of real-time opportunities.
Driving business value A top-down commitment to enterprise data platforms can deliver significant benefits for customers across Retail and CPG. Individual departments are making/saving millions, and the overall benefit to each organisation is usually measured in hundreds of millions. For example, AI-driven forecasting increased revenue by 12% for a Retailers in-store bakery operation; optimising price and promotions though better sharing and usage of data saw a 3% margin improvement for another; creating a logistics control tower which orchestrates data from across the entire supply chain delivered a 5% improvement in service delivery for a third. These are the measurable benefits that matter most to the CEO – and which need to be set, monitored and managed at an enterprise level. These shift the focus up a level, from piecemeal digitalisation to overall business value transformation. Integrated, orchestrated data then acts as a multiplier on all the incremental advances made across the organisation.
Adding greater depth Where is your business on this critical transformation journey? Ask your IT team how quickly they believe you’ll be accelerating from a few million queries per day, to running over 250 million every day, with each adding more depth and value to the whole business? Achieving this level of transformation requires the CEOs vision, coupled with best technology, to enable the necessary operational ability and agility. Architecture and analytics that not only leverage existing investments but can support the multi-cloud infrastructures of the future, effortlessly handling the scale and speed of data to keep up with customer demands”. SPN believes that any company that is familiar with dataenterprise-platforms such as these, and also how to optimise a critical journey of transformation, will recognise how important that these carefully considered conclusions are in driving businesses forward. The know-how relating to how to move from a total of a few million queries per day, to more than 250 million a day, is valuable knowledge from which everyone can benefit.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
As we welcome in the New Year there is a strong sense of optimism in the air. In surfing the latest News and Views we noted that last year in the UK, over 68% of all aluminium packaging was recycled. It would appear that British packaging companies are leading the way in this growing market sector. In the meantime, at Unilever’s tea division ‘Ekaterra’, it was announced that it plans to become “Climate and Nature Positive” whilst endeavouring to make the entire tea industry more sustainable, both for the planet and its inhabitants. Confidence in the market is further underscored by the news that in Thailand, Technic Gravure has strengthened its competitive edge with the acquisition of Comexi SL2. In addition, Honeywell has introduced revolutionary plastics recycling technology. This latest advance means that it can significantly reduce the need for fossil fuels in the creation of virgin plastics, whilst at the same time enabling hundreds of cycles of recycling! This goes a long way to achieving their goal of delivering a circular economy for plastics. When it comes to personal-care packaging, Berry has announced its new “Circular Range” to support its personalcare customer’s sustainability goals. This in turn helps brand owners to not only meet, but exceed their sustainability targets. In another sector, Repsol is inviting packaging companies to join them in working to create a more sustainable world by utilising their new Repsol “Reciclex” polyolefins. These incorporate mechanically as well as chemically recycled materials. Another exciting development that is likely to herald the shape of things to come, is V-Shapes patented, one-hand single-dose, packaging solution. This is a unique and innovative unit-dose opening system. It is expected to become the new way to open packs – simply by folding them in half! This latest ground-breaking product is ideal for all types of industries and products, as well as being suitable for both granular and liquid applications. These could include among others, food, cosmetics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the sachets are easily recycled and 100% compostable. Look out for more of SPN’s newsworthy ‘Circular Snapshots’ in our next issue!
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Circular Economy conference
SPN’s Circular Economy Conference Thursday 27th January
Sustainable Packaging News is excited to invite you to our Circular Economy conference which is being held on Thursday, 27th January, 2022. Covering many aspects of Circular Economy, the conference will be extremely informative. The video of our Circular Economy conference will be shown on our website, www.spnews.com and shared on social media channels. The speakers’ contact details will be shown so if you have any questions, you can contact them directly. This is the first conference SPN have published, and we are all really looking forward to showing you what our hard work has accomplished. SPN have sourced a variety of world-class speakers for the conference. They are:
CEO of TerraCycle Tom is covering all things to do with Circular Economy, specifically a circular reuse platform called Loop which enables consumers to purchase products in durable and reusable packaging.
Executive Director of AIP (Australian Institute of Packaging) Nerida will be speaking about Circular Design and Refill which will cover topics on the goals which the WPO (World Packaging Organisation) have set themselves to reduce food and packaging waste as well as increasing awareness on packaging through education.
Chairman of the Israeli Packaging Institute Shira will be presenting the different approaches for designing an eco-friendly packaging and analysing the implications of each design.
Director R&D and Services Eco-conception at CITEO Valentin will be explaining the levers to make household packaging more circular and reduce their environmental impacts: from Reduction and working on the origin of the packaging materials to Reuse and Recyclability.
Vice President at The Coca-Cola Company Clem is covering all topics about Circular Economy on plastics in Africa, where there is a crisis of growing waste pollution of which plastics is a large and problematic area.
All these speakers have one thing in common; wanting to change the way we recycle our packaging so we can make the world we live in more sustainable. We know that by promoting Circular Economy, we will be able to educate and show people how we can better our efforts in recycling, reusing and reducing the amount of packaging we use.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Cop-Out? The recent COP26 summit placed further emphasis on the urgent need for businesses to increase their focus on sustainability, as well as considering how their actions impact on the communities in which they operate. However, many thought that it did not go far enough. So was it a cop-out? However, out of it came some interesting responses from our industry, such as this one from Skinner’s Pet Foods As one of the oldest dog food manufacturers in the UK. The company has launched an entirely new range of products with sustainability at its core. Skinner’s is proudly the only UK dog food manufacturer to produce and pack its food on site in the UK, and by doing so, significantly reduces its carbon footprint.
Worth over £2.9 billion and growing 20% year on year, the pet food sector has an immense responsibility to scrutinise its environmental impact. A 2020 study found that Dry pet food production emits 106 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, more than some countries such as Mozambique and the Philippines.
Skinner’s CEO Tim Hansell has written this well-balanced response to COP26, addressing the challenges and opportunities within the pet care sector when considering their environmental impact.
As one of the oldest manufacturers in the UK, Skinners has seen first-hand the impact the sector has on the planet. Our market and its supporting retailers must act quickly to turn the tide on the impact of single-use-plastics, as billions of pouches every year are sent to landfill, with standard pouches having one of the lowest recycling rates of all packaging. Around 50 times worse than the recycling rate of single coffee cups, which continually draw media attention for their environmentally damaging credentials.
Tim Skinner told SPN: “By choosing to package pet food in cartons, rather than cans, brands are able to reduce their carbon footprint by up to 81 per cent” With over 12 million dogs in the UK, the pet food industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years to meet demand. In response to a rise in active consumers and an increase in dog ownership, our Heritage dog food brand Skinner’s, launched it’s Get Out and Go! Range of Dog food with sustainability at its core. The new range includes 100% sustainable packaging, which is packed on our site in the UK, thus reducing damaging transport miles. In addition, all ingredients are sourced in the UK, making further savings in carbon emissions.
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The Challenges ahead The biggest challenge ahead for the industry is to facilitate both the preference for sustainability and convenience. However, it is the convenience of non-sustainable packaging, like pouches, that has resulted in sales remaining high despite their sustainability disadvantages. However, investment in alternative technologies, like those that used by Skinners, are helping turn the tide.
“ One of the challenges facing our industry is striking a balance between eco-friendly packaging and retaining the nutritional benefits of the product ”
One of the challenges facing our industry is striking a balance between eco-friendly packaging and retaining the nutritional benefits of the product. With all-natural ingredients sought by 41% of dog food buyers and 66% of the same group preferring to buy from a brand that uses eco-friendly packaging, it is pivotal that brands harmonize these two key purchase drivers. A recent pet food report reinforced this, revealing that 60% of dog food buyers prioritise health benefits in their product choices, echoing the need for manufacturers to focus on both quality and sustainability. For leading brands in any market, they have a responsibility to use their influence to positively impact consumer decisions.
“ we’ve elected to use our platform to educate customers on sustainability ”
We opted for carton packaging because of the sustainability credentials of the materials. Throughout its standard product life and into end life, our cartons have minimal impact on the climate and are easily recyclable. They are made predominantly from paperboard, sourced from responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources which contributes to a low carbon circular economy. By being primarily plant based, carton packaging contains 71 per cent more renewable materials than a pouch and 68 per cent more than a can”.
At Skinners, we’ve elected to use our platform to educate customers on sustainability through appropriate investment, action and clear communication. For example, many brands have moved from plastic trays to pouches or cans – marketing this as a sustainable move – however, they fall short on communicating that these manufacturing techniques result in additional carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere. In turn, creating misconceptions and restricting progress.
In response to this, Skinner’s has taken the necessary measures to ensure that we are future-proofing our manufacturing processes. This means keeping ahead of the curve on sustainability and educating our customers on how they can also decarbonise. The The introduction of Tetra Pak® across our Field & Trial range and Tetra Recart® packs across our Get Out and Go! range is a game changer for the brand and industry. Cartons are designed to be low-carbon, low-plastic and recyclable.
We think this is a prime example of how best to manage the transition from metal and plastic to paper-based cartons.
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Schubert for future
TRAILBLAZER IN SUSTAINABILITY Schubert is not only a market and innovation leader, but also a real trailblazer in sustainability. And not only in its own group of companies, where it has long been committed to the 17 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals. Schubert has been leveraging the topic of sustainability for many years to give its customers a decisive edge in the highly competitive consumer goods market. For example, with the development of sustainable packaging and machines that can process environmentally friendly materials. Sustainability pays off
With the Schubert PARTBOX, customers all over the world can print 3D format parts on demand and directly on site. This saves countless transport kilometres – and therefore up to 89% CO 2 when compared to delivered parts.
Sustainable packaging as a competitive advantage: Schubert-Consulting supports customers from all sectors in the development and optimisation of sustainable packaging and processes – from the selection of suitable materials and implementation on appropriate machinery, to the design of a sustainable supply chain.
AC H I N ES
M AT E
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Interfaces Material flow Factory layout
The Speedline was one of Schubert’s first praline packing lines and is still in operation today after more than 30 years. A good investment for the customer and a perfect example of resource conservation made by Schubert.
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Long live sustainability
H A SC F O FE E L I D AT E C I V TO ER S T SN G L I N E E G LON CKI T H E I N E PA L PRA
TY GA N
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3D printing: Less waste is the goal
RT Preventing instead of wasting Thanks to state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and precisely planned production processes, the wastage at Schubert has been steadily decreasing for years.
OF REJECTS ARE AVOIDED ANNUALLY
Sustainability creates demand
Thinking not in terms of quarters, but in generations
Schubert machines are exceptionally durable and therefore in demand worldwide. And there are always new innovations that ensure even greater efficiency. The result: Sales growth that has been well above the industry average for years.
As a family business, Schubert thinks sustainably by its very nature – currently with three generations in the company: Gerhard Schubert, sons Gerald and Ralf, and grandsons Johannes and Peter.
5,4 5,0 2,8
Experience turnover plus with Schubert
A family business in its third generation
Mechanical and systems engineering in Germany
Schubert is growing – and is using as little space as possible by concentrating at the Crailsheim site. Did you know that 50% of the offices and hall areas at Schubert are heated and air-conditioned using geothermal energy?
WLZ (goods logistics centre) was completed 2002
Hall 2 was completed in 2 construction phases in 1996 and 2008
The Casino (canteen) was completed in 1994
Hall 1 North was completed in 2015
Brains instead of kilometres Clever packaging solutions from Schubert can save not only packaging material but also space during transport. The same amount of goods can be moved with fewer journeys – and with significantly less CO2 consumption.
Figures from a completed order
− 28% Year 2000
With smaller packaging and space-saving packed products, more goods can be transported on a pallet and supply chains become more efficient.
Schubert is supporting the move away from unsustainable plastic packaging. In many cases, the changeover to cardboard is also possible on existing machines. This means that the packaging can even add visual appeal and value thanks to excellent printability of the carton.
Hall 1 South was completed in 7 construction phases 1972-1990
The administration building was completed in 2006
Renewable packaging: Cardboard instead of film
TONS OF PLASTIC SAVED PER YEAR
LESS PER YEAR
Figures from a completed order
Sources: Schubert, VDMA
When it comes to shaping up to sustainability for the year ahead, then V-Shapes’ ground-breaking new technology does just that. As a leading specialist in single dose packaging, SPN asked them some searching questions about their products and philosophy in relation to the circular economy. Here is what Jesper Gustavsson, the company’s founding Partner told us. 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?
What are the key drivers for change in your industry sector and how much is the on-going pressure for greater sustainability and recycling affecting your productivity?
“We are extremely ‘sustainability aware,’ it’s in our DNA and was a driver for the founding of our company. We incorporate sustainability into our manufacturing, the substrates we use, and the recyclability and waste-reducing nature of our sachets”.
“Brands and consumers demand sustainability. We are able to meet these with extreme productivity, especially with AlphaFlex which features inline two-sided high-quality colour printing for JIT manufacturing of recyclable sachets close to point of need”.
In relation to sustainability, what would you say have been your most important milestones?
As we are keen to understand more about the latest trends shaping the packaging industry in your sector, what do you consider to be the most significant recent developments?
“The ability to print both sides of our sachets inline with AlphaFlex required significant engineering to enable true, high-quality on-demand manufacturing of single dose customised sachets as close to the point of need as possible.” In your opinion what have been the most significant developments in terms of recycling and bio-degradable packaging? “The development of industrially recyclable/compostable substrates from a number of suppliers that are highly functional with inkjet printing. This enables all of the benefits that digital printing brings, whilst also ensuring the recycling of as much of the packaging as possible”. What do you consider to be the most promising market opportunities for your company at this time? “There are so many! Food-safe packaging that eliminates waste, hygienic single-dose packaging for medical/pharma/ chemical companies, personal care product samples that can be tipped into magazines or mailed, to name just a few.
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“Sustainability, shorter more customised runs, consumer convenience, hygienic, waste-free product delivery systems, food safety, and reliable, efficient, on-demand production near point of need – V-Shapes ticks all the boxes!”
Can you describe your product portfolio and its sustainability credentials? “We have launched a number of new technologies in the past months including our near-line inkjet digital printer VSdflex and now launching our AlphaFlex with integrated printing. Both are based on Memjet latest technology, Duraflex high resolution printing. In addition, we are updating our fully recyclable mono-polymer PP materials with higher barriers, adding more bio-based polymers in our high barrier biobased laminates to reach TÜV 4**** certification. We are an innovation company and have many on-going projects with our laminates and machinery, in order to be first on the market, but this is all that we can mention today.” Are you planning the launch of any new products in the foreseeable future that you can tell us about? “We are an innovation company and have many on-going projects with our laminates and machinery, positioning the company to be first on the market with unique, productive, and sustainable products and solutions”.
“ The pandemic has increased demand for our sachets, and thus for our packaging machines ” How has the Covid 19 pandemic affected your production and manufacturing capabilities? “The pandemic has increased demand for our sachets, and thus for our packaging machines due to the need for a safer, more hygienic means of distributing products from many industries. For example: to replace large containers of condiments with easy-to-use single-serve sachets”. SPN Comments: Although V-Shapes is a new kid on the block, having only been founded in 2018, it is testament to their creativity and their dedication to sustainability that is the essence of all their operations. This energetic and dynamic young company continues to drive technology forward for everyone’s benefit, but especially for the well-being of the planet. Their prognosis for even greater success is looking positive for 2022.
Blog Post by Jesper Gustavsson, Business Development & Founding Partner of V-Shapes
What Does the Future Hold for Packaging? If 2020 and 2021 taught us anything, it is how unpredictable the future is. That being said, there are certain trends in the packaging industry that we expect to see accelerate over the coming year. There are two key factors we see driving change in packaging: an increased focus on climate change and sustainability, and the need for improved hygiene. In terms of improved hygiene, this applies primarily, although not entirely, to communal venues, whether it is Sunday morning in the Church basement, or at the arena for your favorite football team. Whereas people were comfortable with using large containers of condiments in the past, they may be a little more concerned now, in light of the virus threat. This is driving increased demand for singledose packaging of condiments and other food and cosmetics products. But there is also an opportunity to improve the usability of those little packets. There is nothing worse than either having difficulty opening that little packet of ketchup or having it spray all over everything when you do open it. We’ve all had that happen, and it is not fun!
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That’s where the V-Shapes approach to single-dose packaging has an advantage, both in hygiene and convenience. You don’t need to use your teeth to open the packet or worry about the contents going where they are not wanted! You simply use three fingers with a single gesture and the product is deposited exactly where you need it, everything from hand sanitizer to honey.
Sustainability and hygiene also overlap in this new view of single-dose packaging. By that I mean finding a single-dose solution that is easy to open and takes less space in packing and distribution than conventional packets. At V-Shapes, we addressed this with a sachet strategy that optimizes the size of the sachets based on desired contents and requires no air head space in the sachet. Not only does that decrease the size of each sachet enabling more of them to fit in a shipment, it also affects the longevity of the contained product, which could have its usable life shortened by oxidation. Plus, because our sachets dispense all of the contents in the packet, there is less product waste, important for both efficiency and sustainability.
Increasing emphasis on R&D Finally, and importantly, brands are increasingly focusing on sustainability across their entire supply chains. For us, this means an increased emphasis on R&D for recyclable laminates to create our sachets. Plus, because they are manufactured on demand, there is less waste in the process – it is no longer necessary to meet minimum order quantities in order to gain the best pricing, when it is uncertain how much of the production will actually be used. Feedback from consumers has been positive as well – they like the fact that the product is contained in minimal packaging, and that the packaging is recyclable. I know this is happening, because about 90% of the inquiries I am now receiving have a key sustainability component. We think this will continue to be a driver for brands in the coming years. While we have offered recyclable laminates to customers almost from the outset, we expect to ramp that up to the point that by mid-2022, we are convinced that 75% of our sold laminates will be the recyclable version. There is still work to be done to achieve that, of course, including additional testing for shelf life, proof of compatibility with various filled products, and efficiency across a wide range of applications. We are in the process of doing that and will continue on that path. Meanwhile, many of our customers that are already using the technology are willing to share their experiences with others to help accelerate adoption. For these reasons, we see sustainability and innovative safe opening of unit dose packaging as the two most important drivers in packaging in 2022 and beyond. And we are working hard to ensure these factors permeate everything we do. For more information about V-Shapes, visit www.v-shapes.com.
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“ we see sustainability and innovative safe opening of unit dose packaging as the two most important drivers in packaging in 2022 and beyond ” Jesper Gustavsson
Business Development & Founding Partner of V-Shapes
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Metal-Jet momentum HP’s new collaboration with L’Oréal means that Metal Jet progress continues ahead of its commercial launch Despite the on-going Covid pandemic, a great deal is happening around the New Year in the industry’s quest for greater sustainability and a circular economy · At Formnext, the world’s largest additive manufacturing event, HP is showcasing new customers, expanded partner programs and ecosystem, and innovative production applications developed with its Multi Jet Fusion and Metal Jet 3D printing platforms. HP is collaborating with L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, to scale industrial additive manufacturing and explore entirely new cosmetics packaging and applications. To meet the growing demand for more agile 3D production and mass personalization across industries, HP is also expanding its Digital Manufacturing Network (DMN) of parts providers. “3D printing is unlocking new levels of personaliwsation, business resiliency, sustainability, and market disruption,” said Didier Deltort, President of Personalization & 3D Printing, HP Inc. “HP is excited to reconvene with the additive manufacturing community at Formnext. Together with our partners and customers, we will continue to pave the path to mass production with advancements to our Multi Jet Fusion platform, the commercial launch of HP Metal Jet, and investments in software, services, and partner capabilities.”
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“ 3D printing is unlocking new levels of personalisation, business resiliency, sustainability, and market disruption ”
L’Oréal and HP Collaborate to Makeover Cosmetics Industry HP is collaborating with L’Oréal to increase production flexibility and to create innovative new packaging and customer experiences. L’Oréal turned to HP Multi Jet Fusion to quickly respond to shifts in its manufacturing processes and production lines. The companies worked together to quickly design and scale up large volumes of adjustable ‘pucks’ enabling L’Oreal to convey, fill products, and label them with better agility, resulting in a 33 percent cost reduction and 66 percent time savings. The ability to customize the pucks has also proven valuable throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing L’Oréal with added agility in response to changes in consumer purchasing behaviors. L’Oréal plans to use HP’s Digital Manufacturing Network to scale the pucks across its global supply chain, and meet its sustainability goals by efficiently producing the parts when and where they are needed. SPN comments, here is another great example how technologies come together in order to optimise their recyclability programmes and to drive the circular economy forward. More companies than ever are committed to the cause of sustainability and are partnering for the benefit of a happier, healthier planet.
Wether it is inhouse, postconsumer, bottle or chemical recycling: closing the loop in a precise and profitable way if machines are perfectly tuned for the respective application. Choose the number one technology from EREMA when doing so: over 6500 of our machines and systems produce around 14.5 million tonnes of highquality pellets like this every year – in a highly efficient and energy-saving way.
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Tray Tra The kp Tray2Tray® initiative recovers used food packaging and turns it back into more of the same. kp is working with the entire value chain to generate and drive continued demand and ensure a constant supply of post-consumer recycled plastics for trays.
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Digital watermarks – the new watershed?
The global use of digital watermarked packaging is due to become a reality, with the big FMCG players acting together to galvanise wider support and drive the circular economy forward. Unilever, Nestle and Pepsi-Co are among the big players involved in supporting the move. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at the latest exciting developments.
Qualifying for peak viewing coverage on both the Sky News and the BBC Breakfast News, this is big news for consumers, the packaging industr and for our planet. Intelligent sorting of plastic packaging waste for recycling is all set to expand and move forward apace. AIM - the European Brands Association and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has announced a partnership to drive the next stage of development under the Digital Watermarks Initiative: HolyGrail 2.0. They plan to work with the city of Copenhagen to conduct the semi-industrial test-phase of the pilot. This milestone will be one big step closer to the precision identification and sorting of plastic packaging waste through digital watermarking. This offers the potential to revolutionise the sorting and recycling process of packaging worldwide.
High accuracy and reliability Digital watermarks are discrete codes, each the size of a postage stamp. They cover the entire surface of any consumer goods packaging and provide a wide range of analytical criteria, such as the packaging type, its material, and usage. Used packaging is collected and scanned on the sorting line with a high-resolution camera which detects and decodes the digital watermark. The packaging is then sorted into corresponding streams, based on specified attributes including food, non-food, or polymer types. This leads to more accurate sorting streams and higher quality recyclates that can then be diverted back into the plastic packaging value-chain.
Five EU test locations Over the next four months, a prototype sorting detection unit will be installed at the Amager Resource Centre (ARC) in Copenhagen, where the trials and demonstrations with around 125,000 pieces of packaging representing up to 260 different stock-keeping units (SKUs) will be held. Engineers will test for several parameters including the speed and accuracy of the system, to ensure its ability to withstand the pressures of full-scale industrial operations. During the commercial test phase, consumers will buy onshelf products with digitally watermarked packaging. Used packaging will enter the waste stream after consumption. The sorting units will be placed in five different locations in France and Germany, including MRFs (Materials Recovery Facility), PRFs (Plastic Recovery Facility) and recycling plants.
Pioneering initiative This milestone marks the second year of the HolyGrail 2.0 project. Since its launch in September 2020, and subsequent coverage by SPN in 20021, it has grown to comprise more than 130 participating companies and organisations across the complete packaging value-chain. The pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 was facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation between 2016 and 2019. “We are delighted to enter the next phase of semi-industrial testing within the Digital Watermarks Initiative together with our new partner, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste,” says Michelle Gibbons, AIM Director General. “An initiative like this can only thrive with the wide support of different key stakeholders in terms of expertise, but of course also financial support. Collaboration is the way forward to achieve the EU’s circular economy goals and we are confident that this technology has the potential to drive a truly circular economy for packaging.”
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Digican gives the appearance of a fully printed tin
Changes in soft drink labelling come into force in Singapore from Dec 30, 2022, Consumers there will be able to easily check the nutrition value of pre-packaged soft drinks and those sold from automatic beverage dispensers, as new labelling regulations aimed at reducing Singaporeans’ sugar intake kick-in.
Soft drinks, fruit juices and juice drinks, milk and yogurt drinks, and instant powdered beverages are among the products that will receive a “Nutri-Grade” rating, with grades ranging from A to D, with D being the unhealthiest, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Dec 30).The drinks will be required to carry a nutrition label specifying the energy value and amounts of protein, carbohydrate, fat, total sugar and saturated fat.
Retailers will also be largely banned from advertising D-grade drinks on all media platforms. These drinks can be advertised at points of sale, such as inside stores, but nowhere else.Drinks graded C or D will also be required to carry the Nutri-Grade mark on the front of the packaging, or in a prominent manner if sold online, in a vending machine or from a dispenser.
Springfield said benefits of the product include zero minimum order quantities, reduced costs and storage requirements, personalisation of labels, and increased flexibility by enabling brands to order the packaging that they require and when they need it in relation to demand. Springfield Solutions joint managing director Matt Dass told SPN “Digican is a culmination of listening to our customers’ feedback and over 10 years of research and development to provide a digital full height can-decoration solution. “The ability to decorate cans with labels is nothing new, however applying digitally printed labels before the cans are formed allows Digican to eliminate any gaps at the top and bottom currently seen on a labelled can.
MOH said the changes are intended to help consumers identify beverages that are higher in sugar and saturated fat, and make more informed, healthier choices; reduce the influence of advertising on consumer preferences; and spur industry reformulation.
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Springfield, the UK, Hull-based labels specialist said that with its new Digican product a high-quality, full-coverage digital label is first applied to the flat tinplate blank and then seamed into the top and bottom of the tin. As a result, the label bleeds into the seams, giving the appearance of a fully printed tin.
ISO – Aah so The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken everyone’s world, but it’s not all bad news. Sustainable purchasing has increased as a result, along with a reduction in meat consumption, as consumers are more acutely aware of their own health and that of the environment. It is hardly a surprise then when the claimed benefits of being vegetarian (not eating meat) or vegan (abstaining entirely from the consumption of animal products and by-products) are many. These range from being kinder to animals to being kinder to your heart. Not to mention having a clearer conscience, as eating a plant-based diet has less impact on the environment. So it is even less of a surprise that the number of products to meet this demand has risen in recent years, with new trademarks and labelling for meat and dairy substitute products popping up everywhere, such as vegan cheese and ice cream, meat-free meatballs and more. While in some jurisdictions there are various labels and laws that aim to best inform consumers, there is no global reference that everyone agrees on. Until now. ISO 23662, Definitions and technical labelling criteria for foods and food ingredients suitable for vegetarians or vegans and for labelling and claims, provides an internationally agreed-upon and reliable reference that the food and beverage industry can use when marketing its products.
“ consumers expect clear, consistent and honest messages related to the food products they choose to purchase ” Dominique Taeymans, Project Leader of the group of experts that developed the standard, said conformity to ISO 23662 provides the necessary criteria to ensure integrity and coherence in product communications. “Today’s consumers expect clear, consistent and honest messages related to the food products they choose to purchase, particularly those with specific diets such as vegetarians or vegans,” he said. “Conformity to this document helps to ensure that everyone is playing to the same rules and definitions, providing clarity and reassurance for the consumer and facilitating local and international trade.” ISO 23662 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, whose secretariat is held by AFNOR, ISO’s member for France. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store. Things are moving fast when it comes to product labelling. It needs to catch up with the demands of the fast-moving consumer marketplace. New regulations, new products and new materials are in abundance. Here are a few items that SPN felt were important for our readers..
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Building trust through transparency The president of CCT, Brandon Bach, believes that packers should be fully responsible for product transparency. At SPN we are all for greater labelling transparency and so are pleased to be able to publish Brandon’s latest article. Pressure groups “Under pressure from NGOs and other groups to reduce waste, the packaging industry is having to address consumers directly when it comes to product transparency. Previously, packaging companies would rely on the retailers and brands to deliver this type of messaging. Because of this, many packers are looking for alternative materials for more sustainable packaging options. “The packaging industry is constantly being driven by consumer demands. Many brands are forced to evolve their packaging as consumer needs and wants are changing. Currently, clean labels and sustainability are huge driving factors when it comes to consumer purchase decisions. Shoppers are looking to buy products that have some sort of benefit or positive impact on our environment. Because of this, brands need to rethink strategies that allow them to deliver on consumer demands for product transparency.
Shoppers prefer clean labels “One aspect of product transparency includes providing shoppers with clean labels. Consumers are wanting to know key nutritional, ingredient, and sourcing information in a way that’s clear to understand. A study from the Food Manufacturers Institute (FMI) found that 93% of consumers say it’s important for brands and manufacturers to provide detailed information about what is in food and how it’s made. Clean labels are one way for brands to build trust with consumers and get in front of their purchasing decisions. Product transparency also largely revolves around sustainability. Known to be one of the main influences in purchasing decisions, it has been found that consumers will actually pay more for a product that has sustainable elements or packaging options. A report by IBM noted “consumers of all ages and incomes pay much higher premiums for products aligned with their personal beliefs. On average, 70% of purpose-driven shoppers pay an added premium of 35% more per upfront cost for sustainable purchases.”
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Making small changes in the materials that companies use can result in significant impacts. Many packaging companies are finding more durable and sustainable alternatives to products they are currently using. One example of this is the switch to aluminum from steel. The recycling process for aluminum requires less energy and time than steel, making it an attractive alternative. IBM also noted that it showed 57% of consumers wanted to change their shopping habits to help reduce negative environmental impacts. In order to accommodate consumer needs, packaging companies should take a hard look at the types of materials they are using in addition to embracing strategies that allow them to practice product transparency”. Brandon Bach currently serves as the president of CCT, the manufacturer of the EEASY Lid – the first major jar lid innovation in more than 75 years
Improving label-changing efficiency is always an important issue. Josh Roffman SVP - Global Product Management at Loftware, offers our readers some positive and thought-provoking reviews. Roffman explains how a more centralised approach helps manufacturers achieve fast and accurate labelling changes. More than a third (35%) of IT directors in manufacturing, polled in a recent study carried out by Loftware said minimising errors that lead to a need to relabel products was among the biggest challenges they face in getting new label designs into production, while over half (56%) said it took their organisation at least one day or more to make a label change request. These challenges are often the result of siloed and disconnected labelling systems supported by manual, inefficient processes. Mistakes that result from mislabelling can also lead to an unsustainable need to relabel products or packaging. Disparate systems and decentralised processes create complexities that add time and cost to the labelling process.
Migrate to cloud-based labelling So how can organisations change this situation and implement a more centralised approach that enables them to be more agile, efficient and accurate in their labelling while also being more sustainable? One way they can start is by switching to a cloud-based approach. When a company standardizes on a single cloud-based platform for labeling, they can streamline and scale the labelling process, while saving significant sums they would otherwise have to spend on maintaining expensive IT infrastructure.
Centralise labelling as you digitise your approach Digitally transforming labelling with the cloud enables organisations to centralise and control labelling processes, from any location. Whether the labels are needed at the warehouse, factory or at another facility, they can be accessed by people who have the relevant permissions as part of a role-based access approach and quality assurance procedures. A cloud-based centralised labelling system can achieve other benefits also. It can, for example, enable you to integrate printing with your ERP system or other cloud or on premise business applications, including manufacturing execution systems (MES) and warehouse management solutions (WMS). The ability to access data from ERP, MES and WMS solutions minimizes label errors by ensuring accurate label data from a single source of truth and can also be key in businesses making faster updates and changes to labels because they don’t have to rely on IT.
“ they can streamline and scale the labelling process, while saving significant sums ” In the past, it was only larger organisations with the resources and in-house IT skills who could deploy such systems. But now there are far fewer barriers to entry for those smaller businesses who don’t have the in-house IT skills and budgets needed for hardware and software maintenance and management. This, paired with the productivity gains, is making label management systems accessible to businesses of all sizes — not just global enterprises.
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Enhancing agility Furthermore, a centralised modern labelling system can enhance a manufacturing organisation’s quality and agility, reduce costs, and promote better supply chain flexibility across the organisation. Such a system also provides consistency and accuracy across a global landscape. Moreover, a centralised approach simplifies oversight, supports business continuity and enables users to adhere to corporate standards. That element of centralised control and management is critically important. When labelling is disorganised, simple tasks like making changes to a shipment label not only become arduous but also potentially damaging to the brand and consumer safety if an error goes unnoticed. As common sense can dictate, a decentralised system will inevitably result in inaccuracies, such as mislabelled products – a leading cause of recalls. A centralised system also helps manufacturers avoid the kinds of errors that can happen when an enterprise is maintaining multiple labelling solutions, with no connective bridge to ensure key data is accurate. With the need to minimise waste and reduce resource usage under ever greater scrutiny across labelling processes, organizations can achieve the complementary objectives of advancing their sustainability goals and reducing mislabelling with a modern labelling system. Put simply, a cloudbased approach does more with less because it reduces waste created from siloed operations. With the cloud, users can unify their processes, requiring less hardware and IT resources.
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Organisations can also reduce extra shipping between different facilities because labelling in the cloud does not require labels to be printed at a specific location by implementing. And when it comes to mis-labelling, fewer errors means less scrappage and waste, resulting in a more sustainable labelling operation while removing cost.
“ fewer errors means less scrappage and waste, resulting in a more sustainable labelling operation ” Apply business logic to your labelling approach Enterprise Labelling lets you address labelling variability seamlessly, without having to create templates for every single variation. It also helps solve the ongoing issue of variability by enabling you to apply your business logic to label templates and allowing updates to be made automatically. These rules can be managed by the business users without IT involvement. This shift to dynamic, datadriven labelling lets you move your labelling from reactive to proactive. The data from your master ERP, WMS, SCM, PLM and other enterprise systems drives label changes. Consider a simple example: a key piece of label data has changed. If you’re managing thousands of different label templates that aren’t drawing on centralised data from business systems - you will need to make changes in each label that includes the new information. With dynamic, data-driven Enterprise Labelling, the changes are made in one place, and new information automatically cascades to your label templates.
“Glass is the hidden gem in a carbon-neutral future” So says the revered magazine ‘Nature’ in its latest issue. It adds, “Recycling glass does not degrade it and manufacturing it can be carbon-free. So why are so many countries still burying glass in the ground?”
Glass can be recycled infinitely without losing any of its properties. Why, then, are most countries with the exception of those in Europe, still burying most of their glass as landfill by the ton? In 2018, the United States alone offloaded almost 7 million tons of glass into landfill sites, accounting for 5.2% of all solid municipal waste, according to the US Environ-mental Protection Agency. The push to cut plastics use is accelerating the search for new materials, especially for containers that can hold liquids. But glass is an existing material that could be the star of a net-zero carbon economy. Worldwide, glass manufacturing produces at least 86 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. But most of this can be eliminated when glass is recycled, and existing technologies could turn glass manufacturing into a mostly carbon-free process. What needs to happen is for countries to stop sending glass to landfill sites, and to make glass recycling mandatory. Glass is made by heating limestone, sand and soda ash to 1,500 °C. This heat comes from natural gas, and it accounts for between 75% and 85% of the carbon emissions from glass manufacturing. The remaining emissions are a by-product of the chemical reactions between the raw materials. But some of these materials can be replaced with crushed recycled glass, known as cullet. When cullet is melted, no CO2 is released. And furnaces don’t have to burn so fiercely to melt glass as to melt the raw materials, offering further carbon savings. According to the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), an industry group based in Brussels, 10% more cullet in a furnace lowers CO2 emissions by 5% compared with making glass entirely from raw materials. Underscoring the increasing global demand for glass packaging, the German-based company Gerresheimer, has been awarded a major grant for a new production facility at Lohr. The company has secured a €9.9 million environmental grant from the federal government’s Environmental Innovation Program (UIP). This will help support the site on its journey to CO2 neutrality. Gerresheimer wants to save 40% of its CO2 emissions from 2023 - which corresponds to around 22,000 tons of CO2 per year. This should succeed with a new type of low-carbon-emission-oxygen melting tank, which could be implemented as early as 2023.
“ The new trial is a key step in the manufacturer’s plans to decarbonise ” An exciting UK development has been announced by Pilkington Glass, which is part of the NSG group, which has successfully manufactured architectural glass at its St Helens facility using hydrogen-power in a world-first trial. The new trial is a key step in the manufacturer’s plans to decarbonise and could see a transition to using hydrogen to power all production at the site, which currently uses natural gas. The switch means that the float glass furnace – which accounts for the majority of the company’s overall carbon emissions – would be able to run with hugely lower emissions. The aim of the trial was to demonstrate that the furnace, in which the raw ingredients of the glass are heated to around 1,600 degrees centigrade, could run safely at full production without impacting product quality. Matt Buckley, UK MD of Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, said: “The trial was a significant success. Thanks to NSG’s advanced fuel combustion expertise, and the preparation and efforts of the team, we managed to achieve a seamless transition between the two different fuels. It proves that hydrogen is just as capable as natural gas in achieving excellent melting performance, and that it could be possible to operate the furnace with vastly reduced carbon emissions. “Decarbonisation of the construction supply chain is a vital part of the UK’s ambition to achieve net-zero by 2050, and the ability to produce float glass in this way is an important step in this journey.“It was in St Helens that the float glass process was developed in 1952, revolutionising how glass is made around the world. Now, 70 years later, this trial represents another major milestone for the global glass industry and it’s appropriate that it has once again been pioneered here.” There are plenty of shakers-and-movers in the glass industry today and the demand and popularity of glass has never diminished. The global demand is set to grow significantly with the increasing consumer demand for 100% recyclable packaging materials. Above we record just a few of the many exciting developments uncovered by SPN this month.
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Green – with envy
With the run-away success of Interlock’s’ latest Green Adhesives range, others could be forgiven for being envious. This new sustainable and recyclable range significantly reduces waste and provides more sustainable solutions for end-of-line production.
Interlock Adhesives’ revolutionary range of sustainable adhesives for consumer packaging applications, underscores its commitment to playing its part in creating a more sustainable and circular approach to consumer packaging. To do so, they have developed an entirely new range of ‘green’ adhesives that offer more sustainable solutions. These special products also have an increased bio-content in their formulation, which in turn helps make the adhesives yet more renewable and recyclable. Furthermor, the company is partnering with local charities such as The Community Forest Trust and are in the process of changing its cars and forklift trucks over from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy sources. Their objective is to work with its customers to help them to use less glue, less power, reduce downtime, and create less waste! Glue is just one small piece of the jigsaw, Interlock are keen to play its part in creating a more sustainable future for consumer packaging.
Focus on bio-based adhesives
With packaging recycling central to many strategists’ vision of a circular economy, adhesive chemistry that enables easy separation of components and multi-material constructions is attracting a price premium. This will push the market towards wider use of mono-component adhesives that are also easier to handle at end-of-life”
Time to Grow In the US, the Jowat Corp[oration is also making green progress…Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program.said, “We applaud the Jowat Corporation for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product Acreditation. Products from Jowat are contributing to an ever expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on fossil fuels.” Under this program, the adhesive’s Biobased content is verified by a thir- party laboratory, with the content percentage displayed on the Biobased Product label.
The latest Smithers report looks at the packaging industry trends concerning adhesives between 2022 and 2027, which makes some interesting reading. Here is a short extract from their latest comprehensive review. “Through to 2027, adhesives manufacture and supply will need to adapt to the latest trends in packaging design and use, as well as negotiating an increasingly complex regulatory environment.
“Sustainability in packaging material is important to our customers around the world, and Jowat’s Biobased GROW adhesives are an innovative development in reducing the consumption of fossil fuel,” said Brian Sufak, Regional Sales Manager at Jowat Corporation. “We are proud to be the first adhesive manufacturer to earn the USDA Certified Biobased Product label.”
“ Sustainability remains the defining megatrend for packaging post-Covid ”
The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that exacerbate global climate change.
Sustainability remains the defining megatrend for packaging post-Covid. Adhesive manufacturers will continue to make iterative energy-saving improvements to existing products – for example lowering the melt temperature of hot-melt formulations, and optimising application processes to minimise the volume of adhesive needed. Simultaneously R&D – especially in Europe – will focus on developing new bio-based ingredients, with lower carbon input costs, which can match existing performance requirements.
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SPN says that it is clear that the bio-based green adhesive option is meeting the growing demand and gaining plenty of ground, and consumer support. A rewarding trend in itself.
Join the Compostable Revolution Harnessing the power of nature to make packaging that’s truly sustainable. Solinatra is the truly sustainable alternative to single use plastics. Made from plants, Solinatra is an all-natural material that degrades with zero harmful microplastics or contaminants. Coffee capsules made of Solinatra have launched with the award-winning Gordon St Coffee. Balancing convenience and sustainability, the capsules produce a perfect cup of coffee and once used, degrade in the same time frame as a banana skin.
Solinatra can be used in existing plastic machinery and tooling, enabling an easy transition for brands and manufacturers. Solinatra is food contact safe and suitable for a wide variety of products and packaging, including straws, coffee cup lids and disposable cutlery.
Whilst Solinatra looks like and feels like traditional plastic, it’s wholly natural and plant based. Repurposing plant waste from harvested crops, the production process gives new life to existing resources – contributing to a more circular economy and a low carbon future. Both home and industrially compostable, Solinatra products are suitable for garden compost bins and food waste collections. With all households in the UK receiving food waste collections from 2023, consumer awareness and demand for compostable products is set to grown even further.
Sustainability in Every Sip 100% natural, home compostable coffee capsules that degrade with zero microplastics
Truly Compostable 100% Plant Based Zero Microplastics Suitable for food packaging, straws, lids and much more! Find out more: www.solinatra.com 37 SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
Bio-based packaging A bio-based material is a material intentionally made from substances derived from living (or once-living) organisms. Strictly the definition could include many common materials such as wood and leather, but it typically refers to modern materials that have undergone more extensive processing. When it comes to determining how a consumer perceives the sustainability of a product, packaging plays a crucial role. Consumers are increasingly mindful of whether packaging is recyclable or compostable or whether it must be thrown in the bin. However, many companies are still procrastinating over making the switch to sustainable packaging as they find implementing this change daunting and complex. Worried about the ease and cost of transition, industry misconceptions that fiber-based packaging is not automation friendly, as well as the potential impact to their branding. David Walsh, Partner at Appleyard Lees said: “Finding an inexpensive alternative to existing plastics with similar performance which impacts the environment less is a challenge. Before the world shifts to using biodegradable or at least bio-derived plastics, the functionality of these materials will likely need to approach that of existing plastics. “However, trends in bioplastic patent filings indicate that innovation is thriving and with legislative pressures to increase bioplastics use in industrial and consumer goods, innovation and patent filing activity is unlikely to slow down.” The number of patent filings in 2020 suggests a renewed upsurge in bioplastics innovation activity, despite a relative decline since 2003. Lidl and Kaufland are promoting the use of innovative packaging made with locally grown silphie plant fibre. This sustainable packaging solution has been developed in partnership with PreZero, the environmental division of Schwarz Group and packaging experts, STI Group.
’We are breaking completely new ground with our customers to bring greater sustainability to the packaging and POS sectors. Only by working closely together can these innovations be brought to production maturity quickly and successfully; this silphie project is a perfect example,’ says Rinninger.
’The fact that cress packaging made from silphie paper is now being used in Lidl and Kaufland stores fills us with a certain pride,’ says Jakob Rinninger, CEO of STI Group. ’Through a development partnership with OutNature, our inhouse materials lab has been exploring the technical properties of silphie material since late 2020. STI Group’s strategic approach is centred on sustainable innovation. The company’s Circular Innovation philosophy embraces the testing of renewable new materials such as silphie paper.
Both Lidl and Kaufland are now phasing in the innovative solution for fruits and vegetables – starting with cress. Organic cress in silphie packaging has been available in Lidl stores since November 2021, initially in southern Germany, and will shortly make an appearance in all Kaufland branches across Germany. This is just the start: organic tomatoes, apples and mushrooms will soon follow suit at Kaufland and there is even potential for expansion to other national retailers.
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Innovative compostable packaging manufacturer, TIPA, announced the launch of its first home compostable, highly transparent laminate for food packaging. The new laminate has the same functionality as TIPA’s world leading T.LAM 607 but is TUV OK Home Compost certified, meaning it can be disposed of in-home composting bins where it will break down leaving no toxic pollutants behind. The launch marks the latest addition to TIPA’s world-leading portfolio of packaging solutions designed to substitute conventional plastic, giving the same great benefits but decomposing in compost, leaving no waste behind. TIPA’s T.LAM 608 is a 2-ply transparent laminate with medium barrier and excellent sealing, optical and mechanical properties. It can be converted into pre-made bags such as stand-up pouches, zipper pouches, open pouches, side gusseted pouches, pillow bag and bar wrapper. And is available as reels for VFFS and HFFS machinery. Developed to support pioneering food and supplement brands transitioning away from conventional plastic, it is suitable for packing energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, pulses, grains, cereals, granola, spices, dry pasta, ready meals and more. Dr. Eli Lancry, VP Technology of TIPA said: “TIPA is constantly innovating and developing new solutions built with the environment and our customers in mind, and T.LAM 608 is one of the most exciting developments I’ve worked on. We’ve created a packaging solution that really does work for both people and planet. It’s home compostable and it performs like conventional plastic, offering consumer convenience alongside reassurance for brands that the quality of their product will be protected.” Packaging strategies must also change to satisfy plant-based appetites, with a need for plant-based food packaging to align with consumer values. Gerd Wichmann, EMEA President at Sealed Air, explains: “The number of consumers opting for vegan and flexitarian diets is rapidly growing, with the global plant-based alternatives market expected to be worth around $140billion by 2029. Although health and wellbeing choices are causing people to switch from traditional proteins, they are also motivated by ethical and sustainable reasons. Factors such as animal welfare and carbon emissions are changing consumer perceptions of eating meat. This is driving innovation in plant-based foods and as industry adapts to consumer demand, it is crucial that packaging also evolves and keeps pace.” “Packaging performance must meet the ethical and sustainable expectations of consumers. An important part of this involves recyclability, said Matt Baldock, Business Development Leader, Plant-Based Alternative Proteins and CHANGE PERCEPTION event leader, however it also requires packaging to prevent waste.
By extending shelf life and protecting food against spoilage and contaminants, packaging can reduce levels of food going to disposal. This fits with the sustainability benefits of plantbased diets, but the challenge for industry doesn’t end there. Such performance must also be achieved with packaging that is made without using animal derivatives, such as fats.” Tallow (animal fat) is sometimes used as a lubricant or slip agent during the production of food packaging. Sealed Air has an alternative approach, which uses non-animal fats and hydrocarbon waxes. This has helped earn Vegan Quality certification for the company’s CRYOVAC® brand food packaging. Matt Baldock concludes: “The resourcefulness of circular economies and growing concern around climate change will continue to alter consumer perceptions about the foods they purchase. Along with this, shoppers will pay closer attention to food supply chains and expect sustainability to run right from product source through to point of sale. This will increasingly place packaging in the spotlight and it’s important that solutions measure up to consumers’ ethical and sustainable demands.” Among the growing number of consumers who are pushing for sustainable change, millennials have been the most vocal, so it’s incredibly exciting to see the packaging industry respond with such a diverse range of sustainable solutions. As stated in Leafbuyer, “Millennial consumers control $200 billion in buying power and are 90% more likely to buy a product that benefits society and the environment. Not only will they be more likely to purchase from you, but they’ll feel good about doing it even if it means they have to spend more.” More information about bio-based packaging can be found here: www.spnews.com/category/biodegradable/
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
The ultimate Bio-Based ultrasonics Ultrasonic welding advances enhance bio-based packaging applications, says David Devine, Business Development Manager at Emerson. While the EU proposal is the world’s most advanced to date, state legislators in the U.S. have been focusing on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) initiatives. EPR programs would require manufacturers to assume greater life-cycle responsibility for the products and packaging they offer — greater assurance that their products can be reused, recycled, composted or biodegraded. David Devine
Business Development Manager, Medical, Branson Welding and Assembly at Emerson
The regulatory push is on in major packaging markets, led by the European Union’s (EU) Circular Economy Action Plan, which seeks to create a structured transition away from single-use plastics and packaging to circular, sustainable and bio-based or recyclable packaging and products. The initiative targets “plastics pollution” with a phase-out of certain single-use plastic items, and development of a policy framework to guide understanding, use and recovery/ recycling of bio-based plastics (BBP) and biodegradable and compostable plastics (BDCP). Ultimately, the EU hopes to move beyond the reduction of petroleum-based plastics toward sustainable plastics uses that are beneficial to the environment.
Overcoming confusion One key step in the effort, not only in Europe but also worldwide, is overcoming customer confusion about what bio-based and biodegradable/compostable plastics — and their benefits — really are, because they vary so widely in terms of their characteristics. For example, any plastics that use at least 20% biological feedstock — whether starch, soy meal, sugarcane bagasse, coconut shell extract or other plant-based material — qualify as BBP, though there are no requirements to further explain their content. Some BBP are biodegradable as well, though others are not. Similarly, all BDCP are biodegradable, but this term is not specific as to how: Is industrial composting required, or does the material break down in soil or water — and how long does it take to biodegrade? In 2022, a new EU policy framework is expected to provide additional guidance on these and other questions.
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EPR bills in numerous states aim to: • • • •
Maximise recycling potential, including regional or statewide collection of recyclable items Minimise manufacturing and use of single-use plastics Drive participation in new “producer responsibility organisations” Increase beverage bottle recycling and boost recycled content in new packaging or products
In addition, more than 250 manufacturers, representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced worldwide, have made a global commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at its source, pledging that 100% of their plastic packaging must be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Signatories to this pledge include a who’s who of major global corporations: Mars, Nestle, Walmart, SC Johnson, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Apple, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo and many more. The message is clear: Everyone in the plastics packaging value chain — resin producers, package and film producers, manufacturers/brands, and technology suppliers — is feeling the need, or the pressure, to adopt new and effective sustainable package solutions that use BBP and BDCP.
Rapid technological evolution For companies like Emerson that provide joining technology used in plastics packaging — bags, pouches, clamshells, cartons, coffee canisters, caps, filters, seals and more — the ongoing shift from traditional plastics to BBP and BDCP spells a rapid evolution in technology. Together with resin makers and packaging manufacturers, we are working to adapt the joining profiles developed to provide commercialgrade performance for traditional materials to deliver similar performance for new and rapidly evolving BBP.
“ as more manufacturers consider packages made of BBP, they are also considering whether traditional thermal sealing equipment can deliver the process control and repeatability they require ” Technically speaking, this is a challenge. Newer bio-based plastics contain less polymer, process at lower temperatures, and have a “narrower” processing window. There is a much smaller difference between the temperatures at which bio-based plastics melt and seal effectively and those at which they begin to degrade and lose strength or seal integrity. Therefore, producing commercial-quality packaging and sealing demands a greater degree of temperature and process control. So, as more manufacturers consider packages made of BBP, they are also considering whether traditional thermal sealing equipment can deliver the process control and repeatability they require. Made by compressing opposing plastic layers between heated bars, this process relies on control of three simple factors — temperature, pressure and dwell time — to produce repeatable quality. However, BBP with narrower processing windows and sensitivity to excess heat can make it very difficult for package producers to hit the “sweet spot” essential for repeatable package strength and performance with traditional thermal seals. As a result, more packaging-machine builders are offering, and packaging manufacturers are considering, ultrasonic plastic welding. Ultrasonic welding not only offers far more sensitive and responsive process control but also generates heat to create the seal in a much different way. Thermal sealers drive high heat from the outside in, through the plastic layers, to the seal interface. Ultrasonic welders use high-frequency vibration to create frictional heat within the plastic-to-plastic interface. This “insideout” melt seal focuses heat at the seal interface — where it is needed most. Further, the ultrasonic process delivers energy savings of 25% to 75%, relative to thermal sealing equipment, because it consumes energy only during repeated, brief weld cycles (< 1 sec), while thermal sealing bars consume energy to maintain surface temperature whether they are sealing or not.
New, single-use teabag designs place leaf tea between two discs of porous, nonwoven PLA (polylactic acid) mesh that are ultrasonically plunge-welded together. PLA is an industrially compostable BDCP.
This coffee capsule incorporates a compostable, two-piece bio-based PP ring frame sealed to an air-laid, nonwoven paper filter basket. While heat-sealing tooling caused material degradation and seal inconsistency between the ring and basket, BransonTM ultrasonic welding technology from Emerson solved the problem, meeting seal integrity and cycle-time requirements.
Worldwide, manufacturers and packagers are responding to the challenges of sustainability by adopting bio-based plastic materials and ultrasonic welding technology to implement a growing range of innovative products made with bio-based plastic materials. These include compostable coffee pods, standup pouches and bags, sustainable VFFS (vertical form-fill-seal) food packages, and e-commerce packages that utilize high percentages of recyclable or compostable content.
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Going further with Futamura With the many challenges facing the industry today, there are countless packaging companies that deserve the Limelight. In our latest issue, SPN invited Andy Sweetman, Futamura Sales and Marketing director EMEA and chairman BBIA, to respond to some topical questions for our special ‘Business Limelight Feature’. Here Andy covers the company’s latest investments and achievements, thus underlining its commitment to recycling and the circular economy. What are the key challenges facing Futamura in 2022? Increased demand means that our lead-times have extended over the past year, so we eagerly anticipate our new capacity to come on stream in Q4 2022. Understanding the evolving legislation e.g. The UK plastic tax and the SUPD, create opportunities as well as challenges and it’s often difficult to understand and then communicate the scope and impact of such legislation to our customers. How does NatureFlex perform when it comes to carbon footprint and LCA? We use LCA to help us prioritise our investments on environmental improvement and on the journey towards net zero. The most recent LCA was carried out in 2019 and shows that the carbon footprint has reduced by 30% since 2006. Historical data showed that already by 2006 the carbon footprint had reduced by 57% from the 1990’s. Looking forwards, we are predicting a further reduction of 30% by 2023 based on future investments in our process.
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What are the best fit applications for NatureFlex and other certified compostable materials? Not every application is suitable for recycling, but certain applications do make sense for compostables, such as:
In Ireland, Cré, has introduced their successful “recycle with food waste” logo, to make identification easy for both consumers and waste operators alike. Stakeholders including the BBIA and REA are working hard to introduce a similar system in the UK.
• • •
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?
Applications supporting food waste collection, like bags Applications with organic content, like tea bags Applications where food waste can be contaminated with conventional plastic, like fruit stickers Applications where food waste is mixed up with e.g., cutlery, plates and cups, like in closed loop events Applications that are too small to be recycled i.e., small format flexible packaging such as twist-wraps and sachets.
Is recycling not the best solution for packaging waste? Firstly, composting is recycling – organic recycling and is recognised as such under the packaging waste directive. Where conventional plastic recycling is successful e.g., beverage bottles, then we would not advocate compostables in that space. Composting is complementary to, rather than competitive with, mainstream recycling. For the packaging and waste management industry it is critical that we start to talk about these solutions side-by-side, instead of being competitively one or the other. A really good source of data on this subject can be found in the landmark report; ‘Breaking the plastic wave’, published by PEW & Systemic in 2020. Some retailer’s strategies focus more on plastic recycling than composting. What would you ask them to do differently?
We are very aware on a product level, but we recognise we need to do even more. All our NatureFlex films are sourced solely from certified forestry and are certified home and industrial compostable after use. Replacing fossil derived materials with renewable materials and recovering the embedded carbon back into soil which improves soil health and biodiversity, is the very embodiment of a circular economy. On site, we are just introducing our net zero work programme, which will look at a whole range of initiatives to improve our overall environmental footprint. What do you consider to be the most promising market opportunities for your company at this time and are you planning the launch of any new products? Our recently launched ovenable grade, NatureFlex NVO, is gaining good traction in the market. The excellent transparency of these films is seeing them replace conventional plastics in applications where they are laminated to paper and board to maintain barrier and product visibility e.g., sandwich skillets. Legislative changes such as the UK plastics tax, the SUPD and the French Loi AGEC are also creating potential opportunities of interest to our research and development team…watch this space.
Look at the specific applications in question, rather than having an over simplistic one-dimensional mono-material approach. I’d ask them to look at the report we just mentioned. We cannot simply recycle our way out of the mess, we need a range of solutions operating side-by-side, in what the study refers to as an ‘integrated system change’. That’s a combination of reduction, better design, improved collection and recycling, and substitution by paper and compostable materials where they make best sense. Are there countries where composting compostable materials alongside organic waste has been proven successful? People often point towards the Italian model where compostables are favoured in the type of applications mentioned above and are being successfully composted along with other organic waste. However, it is also worth looking closer to home where there are already composting facilities in the UK and Ireland that are successfully processing certified compostable materials with their organic recycling.
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Paper vs Plastic
Paper vs Plastic
- the new balancing act The race to beat the deadline for the UK’s Plastic Tax in April is being addressed in many different ways across the industry. Here we look at the position adopted by Southgate’s Darren Smith, Head of marketing at Southgate Global, who expressed the following well considered overview. “The ongoing debate of paper vs plastic has dominated the industry for a good few years and remains high on the agenda as we enter 2022. With the global climate change conference COP26 just passed and the Plastic Packaging Tax taking effect from April, the debate is only likely to heat up.
After all, we believe it is all about careful research and consideration. Switching to alternative materials to appear more sustainable can sometimes lead to additional issues, resulting in higher energy, water-use or increased CO2 emissions in production and transport.
Despite the changes in tax just around the corner and an estimated 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging to be affected by the new measure, we were surprised to hear that 83 per cent of businesses asked were not aware of the tax . First announced by the UK Treasury in 2018, the tax is applied to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK, which does not contain at least 30 per cent recycled plastic. Only packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight is excluded.
Clear economic incentive It is designed to provide a clear economic incentive for businesses, who are not already, to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging. In return, creating greater demand for the material and stimulating increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.
“ we promote the benefits of paper products and the ease of recyclability ” For so long the overarching voice of the debate has deemed plastic as the ‘bad guy’, the most harmful material for the environment in comparison to others, such as paper. While in some respects this is true, at Southgate, we promote the benefits of paper products and the ease of recyclability. Recycled plastic has a carbon footprint that can be up to four times lower than that of virgin plastic, so if we are to reach the Global Climate G7 goals of achieving carbon neutral in the near future, the Plastic Packaging Tax is a major step.
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There is a lot to think about when considering the production process for each step of the way, yet there are plenty of actions which can be introduced so every business is contributing to building a more sustainable future. As part of our mission to be a leader in the field of sustainable packaging, we are currently working on an ambitious plan to replace all our packaging products with an eco-friendly alternative. The products will expand our current range and significantly reduce packaging waste and plastic content. Ultimately, while there are many disadvantages to using both materials, instead of constantly pitting plastic and paper against one another, we should be using them responsibly to ensure they are sustainable, recyclable, reusable, biodegradable and waste reductive.
Paper vs Plastic
Paper products gaining-ground
The Covid pandemic has created a strong resurgence in the demand and popularity of paper products. As a packaging supplier to the foodservice and takeaway industries, Celebration Packaging has always been materialneutral, believing that both plastic and paper solutions have their place – alongside the EnviroWare® range which contains products made from many different natural and sustainable materials. “Plastic has been somewhat demonised in recent years, but sometimes presents the best solution for protecting food and extending shelf-life, therefore helping to reduce food waste,” says Celebration Packaging Managing Director Nick Burton. “We offer a consultative approach to ensure that operators choose the most appropriate packaging for their offering, taking every aspect into account, from food safety, practicality and presentation, through to end-of-life.
Hygienically wrapping paper straws, paper cutlery and wooden cutlery reinforces a food outlet’s commitment to safety and hygiene and reassures consumers.” As the pandemic rambles on with all the uncertainty that comes with it, it is reassuring to know that there are companies such as Celebration Packaging that often bring more to the table than its competitors
“The pandemic has heightened awareness around hygiene and safety and as a result, we have seen a resurgence in the popularity of paper products and individually wrapped items.” When restaurants re-opened after lockdown last year, hygienic white card glass covers and single-use paper cutlery sleeves also became extremely important, reassuring customers that they were using clean, uncontaminated glasses and cutlery. Some restaurants actually resorted to using good quality disposable plastic cutlery to give their clients the most hygienic experience possible. Celebration Packaging also supplies many different types of hygienic paper table-top items such as place mats and tray liners, and recently invested in new flow-wrapping machinery to hygienically and individually wrap its awardwinning FSC® EnviroWare® paper cutlery, and Vegetarian Society approved FSC® paper straws. “I’ve said many times that disposable food packaging is key to ensuring the operational efficiency of takeaways,” concludes Nick Burton. “Indeed, safe, secure and hygienic food packaging has played a key role throughout the Coronavirus crisis and will continue to do so for many months to come.
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Sustainable luxury Within the cosmetics industry, beauty products themselves can be an issue as many are made with polluting chemicals, or using ingredients or methods that are harmful to animals. However, a significant part of the problem is packaging. The cosmetics industry alone is responsible for 120 billion units of packaging each year, a large proportion of which ends up in landfill due to recycling complexities. Cosmetics brands that want to reduce the impact they’re having on the environment should concentrate on finding ways to reduce the amount of, and the style of, packaging they produce. GPA Luxury does just that having recently unveiled the results of their latest project: a line of fully biodegradable luxury pack styles. Dubbed as “Eco-Logic” packaging, the new range features three distinctive packs, all of which have been constructed from moulded pulp and FSCcertified paper and card. One of the packs has a telescoping design and one a shoebox design, while the third is a standing pack with a hinged door. For each pack, a moulded pulp insert was manufactured using a wet-press technique, which gives a precise and refined finish comparable to thermoformed plastic.
Biodegradability Moulded pulp aside, there are some distinctive, sustainable features on these packs which warrant closer inspection. Two of the packs boast biodegradable aluminium transfer paper, a sustainable alternative to standard silver card, which is coated in polypropylene film. The third is wrapped in a mocksuede material which is made from recycled cotton flock and recycled paper. This exciting new range was designed to showcase GPA Luxury’s capabilities with moulded pulp within the cosmetics sector, and we must say, we’re impressed with the results.
Seeds of change Within the beauty world it’s often the independent brands that like to promote their eco-friendly policies and social values. For example, US cosmetics brand Pangea Organics, which recently collaborated with Seeds of Change, the largest US producer of organic seeds, to create the first 100% compostable, biodegradable and plantable product packaging for their Ecocentric body/skin-care products. After the product has been used, the consumer soaks the fibre box (created from 100% post-consumer paper board) for one minute in water and then plants it into the soil, allowing medicinal herbs to grow.
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Aveda is another beauty brand that likes to champion ecofriendly packaging. Last year the company launched two moisturising products in tubes made of post-consumer recycled material and bioplastic made from sugarcane ethanol, a sustainable and quickly renewable resource. The firm is also switching the bottles it uses to ones made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET and has vowed to phase out the use of virgin petrochemical plastics.
Sweet success Confectionery manufacturers are also rethinking their approach to packaging. For instance, Italian firm Ferrero is researching a novel way of using some of the leftover hazelnut shells it uses to make its famous Nutella spread. Ferrero is the world’s biggest purchaser of hazelnuts, using 25% of the world’s supply. In collaboration with renewable packaging company Stora Enso and PTS, a German research institute, Ferrero is looking to develop board packaging for its chocolates made from hazelnut shell pulp.
“ Ferrero is looking to develop board packaging for its chocolates made from hazelnut shell pulp ” Pace, Space, Grace Beauty brand Pace is putting the focus on made-in-France for its “clean” make-up range. The brand works with both French formulators and packaging suppliers. New clean beauty brand Pace’s make-up products with skincare properties are designed for busy lifestyles. The brand currently offers a lip balm, powder, and mascara, with its formulas claimed to be at least 99.1% natural. Both the formulas and packaging are made in France. Pace called on Albéa for its primary packaging. The lip balm and powder are in colour-matched ABS. Black screenprinting and a transparent matte lacquer are used to decorate the packs. Its secondary packaging is made using recycled paper printed with plant-based inks (Antoli). The mascara and lip balm retail at €28, while the powder costs €36. Pace is looking to incorporate more recycled materials into its packaging, as well as launching three shades of powder and developing its formulas for different skin concerns. Pace was founded by 28-year-olds Pauline Grasset and Alice Roche in January 2020. Its products hit the market in November 2021. Pace offers a very interesting and refreshing look towards more sustainable luxury designer packaging. At SPN, we like the idea of “clean” make-up – it sets the scene for innovative sustainability.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING NEWS
‘Intelligent’ savings The absolute priority for any shipping box is that the goods reach the recipient undamaged. We look at some of the latest developments in the creation of more secure and protective packaging, with a focus on fast-growing online retail operations. The STI Group’s mantra seems to be appropriate here: “as much as necessary, as little as possible” The company’s latest generation of transit cartons uses a uniquely intelligent design, which allows the original outer packaging to be reduced in size by as much as 50 per cent. This can be achieved in just a few simple steps. In turn it significantly improves product return levels. Flexible shipping solutions also make very attractive options for online retailers. Online retail has been one of the fastest growing markets globally in recent years, but consumers, retailers and logistics companies all have different expectations from transit packaging.
Long haul challenges
Today the STI Group designs shipping boxes that take into account all their requirements. A perfect example is DualPack, a two-part shipping carton whose size can be reduced by half for returning goods. For example, a customer ordering two different-sized pairs of shoes for trial can use the DualPack lid, folded down the middle, to create a new half-size box for returning just one pair. As well as consumers adjusting the box size to match the size of their returns, online retailers can take a single packaging item (DualPack tray or lid) and use it for two different parcel sizes – reducing procurement and warehousing costs, while minimising shipment sizes and their associated carbon footprints.
Today packaging producers face a variety of challenges, with an ever-evolving need for different types of packaging that must be increasingly robust and versatile. Packaging has a number of needs it must fulfil in order to be useful, and it’s these challenges a producer needs to overcome.
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Protective packaging is essential for the movement and transport of goods across the UK and the rest of the world. Without the means to safely protect items on both a commercial and industrial scale, suppliers could never meet the ever-growing demands of consumers and customers. Protective packaging comes in a wide variety of forms, from basic cardboard boxes through to enormous steel shipping containers. But its purpose is very much the same, regardless of the scale of the packaging: to protect goods from damage.
According to ITP, protective packaging must be: • • • •
Hardwearing and robust Versatile and adaptable Reusable or recyclable Environmentally friendly
Unique 3D honeycomb paper protection
Specific industries have an even narrower set of requirements that must be met by protective packaging. For example, food manufacturers need their food products to arrive uncontaminated, fresh and ready to eat. Industrial companies require hazardous goods to be protected during transit, to avoid dangerous spills or leakages in the event of an accident. The list of challenges and demands goes on and on, ensuring that producers have to stand up to the mark to create a wide range of protective packaging products that can be tailored to meet these individual needs.
A sweet 3D solution If sustainability matters to your business and your customers, Geami’s innovative 3D honeycomb paper solutions are ideal when wrapping items for safe transportation. Used by speciality retailers to protect and enhance food, electronics, glassware, artwork, and more, they store easily and set up in seconds. Offering the most attractive unboxing presentations, they are 100% curb-side recyclable. Disposable and recyclable or refillable Geami® options are suitable for any size storage. Furthermore they absorb shock highly efficiently, and their innovative 3D honeycomb design structure provides lift and separation to absorb external impact and eliminate movement during transportation Thanks to the product’s unique combination of kraft and interleaf tissue paper it effectively protects products from surface abrasions such as scratched paint or worn labels. Another key advantage is that whilst bubble wrapping can deflate or burst, thus compromising its ability to protect, Ransom’s 3D kraft paper is naturally strong and very stable.
“ If sustainability matters to your business and your customers, Geami’s innovative 3D honeycomb paper solutions are ideal when wrapping items for safe transportation ”
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“ optimal material flow ends with efficient packaging logistics” A Smoother Process When logistics and packaging are matched to each other, it means there is a smooth process in operation. Storopack says that optimal material flow ends with efficient packaging logistics. Its experts ensure that its customers benefit from streamlined procedures and maximum throughput. The company’s specialists help plan, install, and commission Storopack’s advanced conveyor technology solutions and will develop a concept based on an individual’s requirements and existing processes.
“ Everything is provided from a single source, this ensures that Storopack can achieve the very best results every time ” Because its technology is modular and can be easily expanded, it means that customers are also optimally positioned to accommodate any future requirements. Everything is provided from a single source. This ensures that Storopack can achieve the very best results every time. Its engineers develop 3D renderings that illustrate with precision how the stations integrate into an existing system and packing process. Storopack specialists then manufacture your solutions at service centres in Europe and the US. In the final step, our service technicians integrate the systems into your logistics process and help you to begin using them. Mail-order pharmacies deliver medication quickly and directly to customers’ homes. One such company is BS Apotheken OHG, based in the Lower Saxony town of Bad Laer in Germany. BS Apotheken OHG required an efficient protective packaging solution to enable it to dispatch orders of medical and cosmetic products to a total of around 1.6 million customers. In conjunction with BS Apotheken OHG and the external operator of the logistics center, arvato, Storopack developed an individual solution: PAPERplus® Chevron padding is produced fully automatically and the machine is integrated by means of a driven roller conveyor system. When paper padding is required to secure a packaged product firmly in place, PAPERplus® Chevron produces it directly in the box. The box is then sealed and labelled. With the fully automated packaging line the packages are quickly ready for shipping and the medical and cosmetic products are perfectly padded and secured in place within the box. Packaging performance is between 10 and 12 boxes per minute. Thanks to full automation the packaging process runs continuously without any breaks, allowing approximately 10,000 boxes to leave the logistics centre daily.
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Packaging Innovations and Empack Returns to the NEC in 2022 Packaging Innovations and Empack 2022, the future of branded packaging and technology, returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 25 & 26 May. The show will offer packaging professionals the unrivalled opportunity to discover the latest innovations from right across the packaging spectrum, as it brings the industry together to network and do business. New Products Innovation throughout the whole packaging journey, from design and manufacturing to the shelf, remains at the heart of the show, with many of the exhibitors choosing to unveil their latest products live on-stand. One of these, Göncay Plastik, will be showcasing its new plastic and paper packaging ranges, which are leakproof and fully recyclable. Camvac will display its Camplus Extra MDO PE – a high barrier metallised machine-direction orientated polyethylene film in single web and laminate form. This latest development increases the company’s sustainable barrier layer packaging film solutions, primarily aimed at the food and consumer markets. Damati Plastic will present its expanded range of plastic food takeaway containers, including hinged containers, two or three partition containers and bowls. They are microwavesafe, leak resistant, CFC and BPA free, and can be custom designed. In a further commitment to reducing virgin materials and waste, the range is reusable and recyclable. Lactips will launch Plastic Free Paper – a solution which is fully recyclable and compostable. The coating solution replaces plastic and chemical treatments for sealable packaging papers, and provides a barrier to oxygen, fats and mineral oils. The product can be used for industrial food and non-food applications.
Show Highlights In addition, Packaging Innovations and Empack 2022 will host an in-depth seminar programme, held across three stages. The Empack Stage will feature topics aimed at the manufacturing, logistics and processing sectors. Talks will cover robotics, e-fulfilment and energy efficiency. The two Packaging Innovations stages will cover the latest developments for packaging designers and technologists, with brand owners and entrepreneurs explaining their strategies for 2022. Leading designers will also take to the stage to highlight new trends in graphic design and consumer behaviour.
Sustainability will be a key topic at the show, with the return of the Ecopack Challenge – a Dragon’s Den style competition which sees innovators pitch solutions to an experienced judging panel. Meanwhile, The Big Debate will address the latest developments in packaging regulation. Renan Joel, Divisional Director at Easyfairs, comments: “May will see the highly anticipated return of our NEC show after a year without it, and we are so excited. The very best innovation will be on display, plus a packed seminar programme and much more. It will be great to see old friends and make some new ones, discuss innovation and to do business face to face. We can’t wait to see you all!” To register to attend Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022, please visit the registration page For any further information, please visit www.packagingbirmingham.com or contact the show team on +44 (0)20 196 4300 or PackagingUK@easyfairs.com
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