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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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#1 Mono-material microwavable rice pouch is a market first


Mars Food is working towards its Sustainable Packaging Plan 2025 that sees a commitment of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging in market. As part of this extensive programme of activity, it has announced a partnership of three year standing with global packaging company Amcor to bring the first food-safe, mono-material microwavable rice pouch to market. A breakthrough packaging technology will see pouches of Ben’s Original and Seeds of Change brands recyclable where infrastructure exists. The pouch is in the final stages of development and will launch in some European markets in the next six months. The recyclable mono-material PP solution will be the industry’s first food-safe, mono-material microwavable rice pouch. Mars Food has ambitions to scale the technology across its portfolio. The mono-PP material retains the shape, shelf life, functionality and safety standards needed, while ensuring pouches can be mechanically and chemically recycled where infrastructure exists. See also Flexible retort pouch confirmed as recyclable by cyclos-HTP.

#2 Solid paper created from fallen leaves from trees and plants may have packaging applications

An alternative to wood-based paper production is in development. A student from the Zhytomyr area of The Ukraine has developed a new paper material created from fallen leaves from trees and plants. It is fair to say that at certain times of the year, tree leaves are abundant and often need to be cleared. The carbon impact of rotting leaves is also something that is not fully considered. The project aims to reduce the environmental impact of paper production. The teenager is heading an initiative called Re-leaf Paper and has been creating bags and packaging from the fibre extracted from dead leaves.  Re-leaf Paper has partnered with a cardboard producer to further develop the solution. Re-leaf Paper has recently produced its first solid paper batch made from leaves collected from major Ukrainian cities. There are plans afoot to go into commercial production. Small fibres are extracted from fallen leaves by a process developed and patented by the Re-leaf team.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 E-commerce platform launch brings pack personalization to market


Italian multinational food company and the world’s largest pasta producer, Barilla Group has introduced an Italian e-commerce platform offering personalization of their popular Mulino Bianco and Pan di Stelle cookie brands. The Dedicato a Te (‘Dedicated to You’) initiative taps into the increased consumer appetite for personalised products and allows shoppers to choose from a range of packaging designs based on various occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and birthdays. Dedicato a Te offers a wide range of packaging materials, shapes, products and graphic design combinations. Consumers can personalize their chosen packaging with names, messages and images.  The packaging design phase of Dedicato a Te also focused on the selection of materials that would encourage consumers to give a second life to their personalized packaging. The Dedicato a Te range is recyclable. More information on the program can be seen here.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Multi-barrier casing for meat products created using post-consumer recycled plastic

A new collaboration is developing a packaging material from mixed post-consumer plastics for meat products. A team across the entire value chain consisting of global science-based company DSM, SABIC, energy company Cepsa and chemicals business Fibrant have all helped world leader in casings for meat products Viscofan to create a multi-barrier casing for meat products. This has been achieved via advanced technology for thr recycling of post-consumer plastics. The development addresses the increasing consumer demand for more sustainable multi-layer barrier casing solutions. The casing consists of various layers of different polymers. The different operators all played their part in delivering the new solution. DSM Engineering Materials supplied the high-performance certified circular Akulon CRC-MB polyamide. Chemical manufacturing experts SABIC provided their certified circular PE from its TRUCIRCLE portfolio. The used plastic is converted into new feedstock using advanced recycling practices to then enter the production chain to deliver new virgin-quality materials.

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Packaging question of the week

Will 2021 be a better year for the packaging industry? Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 79% believe that the rollout of sustainable packaging been affected by the coronavirus.

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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