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.

Watch a five-minute video summary of today’s Snapshot update


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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.

Hosted by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director and Barrington Pamplin, Technical Director of ThePackHub. Feel free to share with your colleagues.

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

Question of the week

Packaging question of the week

Following recent high profile new launches from Frugalpac and Diageo, are paper bottles the future of beverage packaging?   Vote now. 

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#1 Label-free water bottle reduces usage of unrecyclable packaging

Could this be the new standard for the bottled water industry to follow? Danone’s Evian brand is launching a label-free 100% recycled water bottle as a way to reduce the usage of unrecyclable packaging. Whist labels are technically recyclable, a lot of facilities don’t have the infrastructure to process, so the labels end up being disposed of or used to produce energy. The label-free execution gives the bottle a clean and uncluttered look. Further investigation reveals that the bottle will be distributed in selected hotels, restaurants and hospitality venues where there isn’t a need for a barcode. A further expansion to shop shelves (with barcode on the cap?) might be a challenge for a ‘naked’ bottle like this in the future as it would present a challenge to be able to differentiate between brands and from cheaper alternatives that could also all look quite similar. ThePackHub also tracked the I Lohas water brand in Japan going label-free for their multipack bottles. See also Label-free recycled water bottle cuts down on packaging waste.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#2 Bubble wrap alternative made from sheep’s wool in development

Estonian start-up Woola produces compostable packaging from leftover sheep wool. The sustainably-positioned bubble wrap alternative is made from sheep’s wool making use of an abundant resource that is usually thrown away. The quality is not sufficient for fabric production. Woola claims that 90% of sheep wool equating to 153 tons is thrown away in Estonia every year.  Wool is a natural resource that regenerates every year and it is effectively available for free. Sheep wool’s functional properties ensure that it is shockproof and has thermal insulation (for both heat and cold). It is also able to lock in moisture (up to 37% of its own mass). The production process is automated. Woola claims that customers are willing to pay at least a 25% more for their products compared with less-sustainably perceived alternatives. The product is at-home compostable within six months. The business hopes to disrupt the e-commerce market. See also Wool based insulation alternative for pharmaceutical products and Surplus poultry feathers used as packaging material.

#3 Packaging made from farm waste biomass wraps natural soap

Polish start-up company MakeGrowLab has been busy behind the scenes developing their biomaterial packaging alternative, Scoby Packaging. See Packaging sourced from kombucha plant is edibleThe idea for Scoby Packaging was first considered as part of a university project of one of the founders. The material is made from farm waste biomass garnered from unwanted roots, fruits and vegetables. The resources are collected from local food producers in east Poland adjacent to MakeGrowLab’s operations. It is made from the same process as fermented drink kombucha. All parts of the food waste are used to extract cellulose, which is then reconstructed through a microbiological process to form cellulose sheets. The film-like membrane has a six-month shelf life and can also slow food decay. The material is also edible, with a similar taste to kombucha. At the end of its useful life, the material can be used as a soil fertilizer. Scoby Packaging’s first commercial outing is with a local soap brand Manaika Natural Cosmetics to package their range of natural soaps. The materials have the potential to be used in a variety of different sectors such as in the food, medical, fashion and industrial industries


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Paper alternative to shrink film and wrap-around cartons for food and beverage cans launched

International manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment for the beverage, food and non-food sectors, KHS Group has announced that it now has the capability to wrap food and beverage cans in paper as an alternative to shrink film and wrap-around cartons. The move is seen as a significant step to reduce the amount of plastic waste being generated. Only a few minor re-engineering adjustments are needed to convert its existing Innopack Kisters system to implement the changes. The standard tray separation, gluing and can feed components are the same as the established KHS machines already on the market making expensive new machinery investments unnecessary. The wrapping of cans in paper is seen to have some environmental advantages over plastic due to it being able to biodegrade in the environment. The new capability also means that fewer packaging materials are used. Costs are reportedly cut by 15% when compared with wrap around cartons, with the change being cost neutral compared to film.

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 >