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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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Thursday 4th February 2021 at 3 pm GMT

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 Charpak who will be discussing their latest innovations.

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#1 Closed-loop process allows round pizza boxes to be washed and reused


Pizza boxes have been designed to be inherently single-use. The box gets greasy and often can’t be recycled and its condition means that safe reuse is out of the question. Another challenge is the amount of material that is effectively wasted in the production of what is a square box for a round pizza. A new offering from PIZZycle (a blend of pizza + cycle) hopes to change things. It is a closed-loop alternative that allows round pizza boxes to be used, washed and reused. The boxes are made from a bioplastic, making it straightforward to create a circular pizza shape. To help keep the pizza is an optimum condition, the rim of the box is fitted with vents to allow steam to evacuate. A slide-to-lock design allows the packaging to stay closed during transportation. It is very much designed to be reused. The plate-shape makes it convenient to eat directly out of it and then put it in the dishwasher for cleaning. The cleaned boxes are then transported back to the pizzeria via the delivery infrastructure to be reused. The bioplastic generates less waste than the single-use paper box and can be composted if it were to get damaged or reach the end of its reuse life. See also Reusable pizza packaging continues German trial.

#2 Corrugated box with integrated zipper gets rid of adhesive tape

The growth of the Chinese e-commerce market continues to outpace bricks and mortar sales. It is the largest online marketplace in the world with an estimated volume of $1.94 trillion in 2019, which is more than three times the size of the US marketThe growth has meant that sustainability has become an increasing challenge. Many companies are now introducing packaging solutions that tackle environmental issues as well as the ever-growing costs associated with the packaging. Beijing Yiside Logistics Technology has released its corrugated paper Zipper Carton Box. As opposed to conventional carton boxes, this easy to use solution does not use adhesive tape, making it easier to pack as well as open. It is also cheaper to recycle. The business has thought outside the box with a redefined box that has a zipper attached to the carton. This also improves the consumer unpacking experience and gets rid of costly and less environmentally friendly adhesive tape. Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao has offered the packaging to more than 500 sellers on business-to-consumer online retail site Tmall. The zipper boxes are reported to cost twice as much as conventional packaging, but sellers that opt to use them get extra promotion on the Tmall website.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Scratch off labels keep wine drinkers engaged


The tenth anniversary of Vi Novell wine brand is being marked with an interactive initiative aimed at engaging consumers. A new label has been created that has been covered with a removable ink. The wine label has been hidden from view and consumers do not know which variant they have received until they scratch off the top layer. The brand has reprinted the nine labels that have been created up to now that represent a new label for each year the brand has been in existence. To add an extra twist, the tenth label is gold and features the opportunity to win a prize.  In order to get the consumers engaged, they have to scratch off the top layer to find out which of the 10 labels they have. The campaign also aims to encourage wine drinkers to purchase more than one bottle so that they can find a specific label or to increase their chances of winning a prize.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Packaging insert technology helps to stop potatoes sprouting

Did you know that potatoes are the third most consumed crop in the world, after rice and wheat? Over 1 billion people worldwide regularly consume them with the potential risk of food waste having a significant environmental impact. USDA-funded startup Hazel Technologies has traditionally focused on helping to preserve fresh fruit items but is now delivering a new solution to extend the shelf-life of the humble spud. The company has developed the Hazel Root, which is a packaging insert placed in the potato packaging during storage following harvest, which slows down the sprouting process. Potatoes sprout due to the starch content beginning to convert to sugar prematurely. Consumers confuse sprouting with decay and often throw away this produce. The technology will work by slowly releasing an active ingredient which slows the growth of sprouts using natural biological processes. The technology may also have applications for items such as onions. As part of its full portfolio, Hazel is on track to be used with over 3.2 billion pounds of fresh produce in 2020. See also Sachet reduces ethylene sensitivity of fresh produce to extend shelf life.

NEW – Watch our latest ThePackhub Expert Interview


Peggy Cross discusses EcoTensil’s range of utensils that are the ideal alternative to disposable plastic cutlery. You can watch here. 

Packaging question of the week

Post COVID, when will the packaging industry start going back to ‘normal’?  Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 97% believe that 2021 be a better year for the packaging industry.

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.

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