Innovation Zone ThePackHub -


Welcome to this week’s Innovation Zone snapshot from ThePackHub.

ThePackHub collates up to 20 new packaging innovations every week for our Innovation Zone database (book a one-to-one online demo here).

We have selected four new initiatives for you today.

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Next Free Webinar from ThePackHub
Thursday 6th August

Thursday 6th August at 10am BST & 1pm EST (6pm BST)

All new innovations.

Join us for our latest free one hour webinar. Catch up on the latest sustainable packaging innovation trends with this whistle-stop tour of the latest initiatives. We will cover many recent in-market and developmental examples to inspire you and keep you up to speed.

We will also be joined by John Williams of Aquapak who will be discussing their biodegradable and marine safe polymer film.

Hosted by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director and Barrington Pamplin, Technical Director of ThePackHub. There will be opportunities for Q&A as well as a poll or two. Feel free to share with your colleagues.

Register for free:
Thursday 6th August
10am BST 
1pm EST (6pm BST)

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#1 Clear plastic bottle alternative to aerosols introduced

A new PET packaging initiative for aerosols has been introduced as an alternative to aluminium or tinplate cans and is suitable for a variety of applications. The new transparent plastic bottle from Austrian international plastics manufacturer Alpla is extremely light and shock-resistant and boasts functional benefits for consumers as well as some environmental advantages. The solution has an array of practical market uses for cosmetic products, deodorants, sunscreens and room fragrances. The lighter weight results in less material being used and lower consequent distribution costs that positively reduces carbon footprint impact. The distinctive transparent appearance makes for a good point of difference on the retail shelf. The bottle consists completely of PET making it recyclable. An internal coating used for aluminium and tin cans is not necessary. Various shapes, sizes and surfaces can be made.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#2 E-commerce boxes with built-in play factor can be recycled into cat condos, forts and more

When it comes to present-giving, it is perhaps a frequent frustration for parents whose children play with the box more than the toy.  E-commerce giants Amazon hopes that it might help reinforce this behaviour as well as take a step in the right direction from an environmental perspective. The retailer is introducing boxes that can be recycled into a variety of post-use formats such as cat condos, forts, rockets, robot costumes and other creations. The boxes with built-in play factor have a ‘call to action’ to recycle the boxes with a QR code. This directs consumers to a special landing page to make the cardboard concepts. Amazon has been making progress on reducing packaging waste as part of its “Less Packaging, More Smiles” programme. It is claimed that is has reduced the weight of its packaging by 33% and eliminated more than 880,000 tons of packaging material in recent years. See also Secondary packaging for television range encourages reuse.

#3 Solvent ink development improves colour-change packs

New solvent ink technology is being introduced that makes colour-changing inks more cost-effective and easier to implement. The changes allow for a full series of hot, cool and sunlight-activated pack surface options for food and beverage brands. The specialty inks popular for creating special effects on packaging for beer and carbonated soft drinks are now feasible for water and coffee cups. The development helps to speed up manufacturing operations. Previously, printers have used water-based inks that have a slower manufacturing process. The new range of colour-change technologies using solvent inks from Chromatic Technologies Inc.(CTI)  The range from the Colorado Springs-based business includes temperature-activated thermochromic, sunlight-activated photochromic, glow-in-the-dark, and reveal technology inks where a message or communication is exposed once the product has been consumed.  The new solvent-specialty inks eliminate the operational hurdles of water-based inks.  CTI offers an in-house design service to help develop concepts that can be quickly tested with consumers.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 New technology that fully biodegrades common forms of plastic leaves no microplastics

UK start-up Polymateria is developing a new technology that would see plastics automatically biodegrade to leave no trace. Polymateria is working with Imperial College University in London and technology is called Biotransformation. the process fully biodegrades common forms of plastic to leave behind no microplastics and therefore no lasting environmental impact. The development of some biodegradable solutions in the past have struggled due to the creation of microplastics. There can also be issues with biodegradable packaging’s compatibility with recycling operations. The development of the Cycle+ plastic sees a solution that will biodegrade after about three years. The plastic is still recyclable during its usable lifetime. This opens up the exciting possibility of creating packaging that is both recyclable and biodegradable. Polymateria’s other development DegrAid is a material designed for single-use plastics where recycling is unfortunately not an option due to littering. This material begins breaking down within six months. The solutions have good potential to scale up quickly without significant costs. Polymateria has received additional funding to accelerate its development.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

Please visit ThePackHub or call us on +44(0)118 963 9990 to find out more about the range of packaging innovation services we offer. We’ve delivered projects for a number of brand owner, retailer and packaging suppliers.

Until next time. Happy innovating.

ThePackHub Ltd 3 Redlands Court, Chapel Lane, Shotteswell, Banbury, OX17 1JB . Tel: 0118 963 9990 . Email us >