Innovation Zone

ThePackHub Innovation Zone Snapshot

Welcome to this week’s Innovation Zone snapshot from ThePackHub.
ThePackHub collates more than 1,000 new packaging innovations a year for our Innovation Zone database. We now have 5,382 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 External coating increases lighter bottle strength

Luxembourg-based glass and metal products manufacturer Ardagh Group has announced a collaboration with French software company Dassault Systèmes and Malaysian consultancy EXXERGY. The three-way partnership will conduct trials to produce lighter glass bottles, the focus of which will be the bottle’s external coating. The coating is expected to increase strength, meaning that the weight of the glass used in the bottles can be decreased. The external coating is said to not affect the recyclability of the bottles. During the project, Ardagh Group and EXXERGY will focus on the research and development of the coatings, while Dassault Systèmes will offer contract research services using its BIOVIA software applications. The initial trial will be conducted on Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky bottles and if successful they intend to commence product testing in the summer.


#2 Recyclable bottle label contain seeds to match contents

Italian packaging design agency Gentlebrand have announced a new labelling concept for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage bottles. Called the Aroma bottle, it features a paper label that is attached to the neck of the bottle. Gentlebrand decided to focus on the issue of bottle labels as they can be difficult to remove for recycling, and if left on, the inks, adhesives and substrate used can contaminate the recycling stream. The Aroma concept eliminates the need for adhesives, the labels themselves are made of organic paper, and the inks used are vegetable-based. The labels also contain seeds that match the flavour of the beverage, and when the label is removed it can be planted. The label is large enough to contain any legal or allergen information required, as well as marketing messages and branding. Through a partner company, Salles-d’Angles, France-based Competek, the recycled PET bottle can be embossed with writing or decoration.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Switch to recyclable plastic cups for fast-food chain

US fast-food chain Wendy’s is collaborating with Berry Global and multinational chemical company LyondellBasell, to make their packaging more sustainable. They are replacing their current non-recyclable plastic-lined paper cups with a single-substrate recyclable plastic cup. The new cups will also contain 20% recycled plastic, accredited with the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). The move to the new plastic cups is estimated to save 10 million pounds (4.54 million kgs) of waste going to landfill. The new cups will be introduced in the US and Canada first and then globally by 2023. Wendy’s aims to have all of their customer-facing packaging manufactured in more sustainable materials by 2026, and the aim of the collaboration with Berry Global and LyondellBasell is to co-create sustainable packaging solutions. In 2019 Wendy’s joined the NextGen Consortium, which develops and commercialises sustainable packaging solutions, as a supporting partner. Wendy’s currently operates more than 6,800 restaurants worldwide.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Reusable container scheme launch for Italian restaurants

Around is an Italian start up initiative that aims to tackle two areas of concern in the restaurant sector: single-use packaging and food waste. With regard to the issue of single-use packaging, they have started a returnable container scheme. An app can be downloaded which lets customers know which restaurants are participating in the scheme. They can then request their food to be packed into returnable containers, which are tracked using a QR code. The app then reminds them on a daily basis that the container needs to be returned to the restaurant – if it has not been returned within a week the customer is charged €10. Washing of the containers is carried out by the restaurant, unless it has access to Around’s centralised washing facility. The app also helps reduce food waste by allowing restaurants to alert customers that they have unsold food available at discounted prices.


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

Should there be more regulation to help reduce greenwashing in packaging? Vote and comment now. 

Last week, 88% thought there was more greenwashing in 2021.

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