Innovation Zone

ThePackHub Innovation Zone Snapshot

Welcome to this week’s Innovation Zone snapshot from ThePackHub.
ThePackHub collates 20 new packaging innovations every week for our Innovation Zone database. We now have 5,254 searchable initiatives listed. We have selected four new initiatives for you today.

More information on our Innovation Zone packaging database –

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#1 Carton board lid for takeaway beverage cups launched

Finnish companies Metsä Board, and The Paper Lid Company (TPLC) have announced the launch of a carton board lid for takeaway beverage cups. The latter is a start-up company that has spent a number of years working with Metsä Board to come up with a suitable 100% recyclable replacement for the industry-standard plastic lid. The board lid has a dispersion coating that acts as a barrier, and is suitable for both hot and cold drinks. Innovative new forming technology was developed by TPLC to form the lids, which results in a lid that clicks onto the cup, and is said to function as well as plastic lids. Metsä claim that the carbon footprint of the new board lid is less than 50% of a similar plastic offering. Interest in the new offering is said to be high and TPLC are ready to start production at their Masku manufacturing facility in southwestern Finland.


#2 100% plant-based drinks bottles ready for commercial scaling

Following a limited run of 900 prototype bottles, Coca Cola has announced that they are ready to take their 100% plant-based bottle to a commercial scale. The bottle, made from a bPet (biomass polyethylene terephthalate) has been a well-known development priority for the brand for several years. It has been developed with Changchun Meihe Science & Technology who co-own the process. Finnish forestry-based company UPM are in the process of building a full-scale commercial facility in Germany to manufacture the bottles. bPet is manufactured from two molecules, one of which, bMEG (bio monoethylene glycol) is to be produced at a commercial level by UPM. The other molecule required is PTA (terephthalic acid), which is comprised of bPTA and Virent’s bPX (bio-based paraxylene). As the resulting material has the same molecular structure as fossil-based PET, it is interchangeable with other PET products in the waste and recycling stream. In Europe and the Japanese markets, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners, aim to eliminate the use of oil-based virgin PET from plastic bottles completely by 2030.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Fitness brand uses blister pack to support health benefits of exercise

Japanese multinational sports equipment corporation Asics have created humorous and eye-catching packaging to cleverly associate the health benefits of exercise with that of medicine. The pack for the UK and Netherlands markets involves Asics running trainers packaged in oversized blister packs, evoking the cues commonly used in pharmaceutical packaging. The introduction of the pack signals the start of Asics’  “Movement for Mind” programme which hopes to get people doing exercise in support of their mental health. It is unclear about the recyclability of this initiative compared to a traditionally-used paper-based shoebox may not be as good for the environment. The pack is for a small direct marketing campaign and is unlikely to ever be a consumer-facing initiative.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 100% recycled mayo bottles is an Australian first

Food manufacturer Goodman Fielder have announced that their Praise range of mayonnaise and aioli (galic-based sauce) has moved to a 100% rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) bottle for the Australian market. Currently selling around 12.4 million bottles of Praise annually, the move is reported to save 380 tonnes of virgin plastic every year. One of the challenges the business faced was being able to source sufficient quantities of post-consumer food-grade material at a reasonable price. Trials were carried out at 30, 50 and finally 100% recycled PET, with discolouration of the bottles being a concern, due to the whiteness of the mayonnaise. The discolouration was also a concern due to the fact that visual inspection systems on their production lines could reject the bottles. The Hong Kong/Singapore manufacturer also recently announced the move to board tags for their bread, and in New Zealand, they launched rHDPE (recycled high density polyethylene) milk bottles.

Latest ThePackHub Expert Interview

Marika Knorr of CCL Label discusses her company’s Ecofloat sleeve material can enable brands to meet their recycling targets.

Packaging question of the week

Has the priority to deliver more sustainable packaging reduced the number of functional and value-added packaging developments? Vote and comment now. 

Last week, a split decision! 50% that the upcoming French and Spanish plastic packaging bans for fruit and vegetables were a good idea.

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