Innovation Zone ThePackHub -


Welcome to this week’s ThePackHub Innovation Zone snapshot.

ThePackHub collates 20 new packaging innovations each week and we have picked four recent examples for you to peruse below.

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#1 Crab shell combined with cellulose creates new packaging material

Researchers at Atlanta based Georgia Institute of Technology have created a new substrate derived from nature’s two most common natural biopolymers with the potential to replace flexible plastic packaging used to keep food fresh. The new packaging material is derived from a combination of crab shells and cellulose from tree fibres. The new material is made by spraying layers of chitin from the crab shells and cellulose to form a flexible film with similar properties to plastic film packaging.  The finished material is flexible, strong and transparent. The new material delivered around a 67% reduction in oxygen permeability compared to PET, offering the potential to keep produce fresher for longer. The film was created by suspending cellulose and chitin nanofibres in water and spraying them onto a surface in alternating layers.  Ongoing research is being undertaken to improve the material’s ability to block water vapour.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#2 Marble-dust residues help make tear-resistant label

Label experts Avery Dennison based in Oegstgeest, Netherlands has  introduced a new tear-resistant label that puts waste to good use. Their MarbleBase label consists of 80% marble-dust combined with HDPE from recycled plastic bottles. The marble dust is taken from the residue left-overs of the marble mining industry. The label is created without needing to add water or bleach during production.  The matt label has approval for non-acidic foodstuffs as well as fatty foodstuffs.The label is 100% ‘tree-free’ as well as being completely made of recycled and waste materials. The label has broad range of uses with a paper feel. The MarbleBase label also has applications for luxury goods comes with a cradle-to-cradle silver certificate.

More info in The Innovation Zone

#3 Cork-based reusable pack aims to get ice-cream fans to come back for more


Reusable packaging continues to make steady progress as single-use packs becomes under increased scrutiny. This Santini ice-cream brand from Portugal is aiming to provide a more sustainable and environmentally responsible alternative reusable pack. Their cork-based reusable pack can be used time after time at a Santini store. Consumers are encouraged to reuse the pack through a €1 discount. The one litre pack costs €25 and includes box, spoon, bag and tube of cones. Santini also has plans to remove the straws used in their milkshakes and juices as well as replace their current spoons and napkins for alternatives produced from biodegradable materials.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Image recognition technology could improves recycling rates

Leading disruptive innovation experts Cambridge Consultants have developed a new concept that could help to improve recycling rates.  Their smarter recycling scheme uses new technology that is designed to identify the type of packaging waste using image recognition. This could solve an ongoing issue with on-the-go recycling where consumers are not sure what can be recycled. The concept’s machine vision capability combined with a neural network can recognise various packaging formats as well as be trained to identify new items. Many consumers are not able to easily distinguish between recyclable and compostable cups but the new technology is able to do this accurately. An app based reward system can help incentivise and motivate consumers to participate. The system can also provide consumer insights around when and where products are consumed. In testing conducted by Cambridge Consultants, consumers were 35% more likely to dispose of waste items correctly using the smart recycling system.

More info in The Innovation Zone.



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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 >