Innovation Zone

ThePackHub Innovation Zone Snapshot

Welcome to this week’s Innovation Zone snapshot from ThePackHub.
ThePackHub collates more than 100 new packaging innovations every month for our unique Innovation Zone platform. We now have 5,775 searchable initiatives listed. We have selected four new initiatives for you today.

More information on our Innovation Zone packaging database –

Please forward to your packaging friends and colleagues to stay up to date with the latest packaging innovation news.  They can click here to subscribe.

New – Book on our next packaging webinar

FREE one hour webinar. Catch up on the latest recyclable plastic 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 are delighted to also be joined by Dr. Elef Kassianidis, Sales Director, UK & Ireland of flexible packaging experts Hatzopoulos.

Hosted by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director and Barrington Pamplin, Technical Director of ThePackHub.

Book your free place here.

NEW – Watch ThePackHub’s last webinar

Catch up on the latest sustainable packaging innovation trends with this whistle-stop tour of the latest initiatives. We cover many of the recent important in-market and developmental sustainable examples to inspire you and keep you up to speed.

We are joined by Mauro Cozzi CEO and co-founder of carbon footprint reduction experts Emitwise. Hosted by Paul Jenkins and Barrington Pamplin of ThePackHub.

Sustainable Packaging Innovations webinar from ThePackHub with Emitwise. Broadcast 24th February 2022.

Do you have a sustainable packaging innovation worthy of national recognition?

ThePackHub is collaborating with the Packaging Innovation show at the NEC, Birmingham May 25th & 26th for their Ecopack Challenge. Paul Jenkins of ThePackHub is one of the judges alongside Jane Bevis of OPRL, Laura Fernandez of Ocado and Simon Oxley of Pret.

The Ecopack Challenge was conceived with the intention to challenge the packaging industry by placing sustainability at the focus of its operations.

You can enter the Ecopack Challenge here.

If you want to discuss a potential entry, contact Paul Jenkins for more information.

#1 Next-generation paper bottle includes paper closure

Paboco, a Danish paper bottle manufacturer, has announced that it is a step closer to achieving its goal of having a 100% paper-based bottle. In a partnership with Swedish start-up Blue Ocean Closures, they have intentions to include a recyclable paper closure that fits the paper threaded neck of its bottle prototype. Blue Ocean Closures claims that its screw cap solutions are fully bio-based, with a top-seal barrier layer that can be biodegradable or adapted to any type of filled goods. Meanwhile, Paboco says its paper threaded neck allows for the cap to be screwed directly onto the paper bottle, avoiding adding further processing steps or non-fibre materials. Paboco’s current prototype bottle features a very thin PE (polyethylene) internal lining, but they are actively looking at bio-based liquid barrier solutions. Paboco claims that the thin PE coating is a common barrier material for paper in the recycling stream.


#2 Compostable solution introduced with reduced pack noise

Snack manufacturer and PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay have introduced 100% biobased packaging for a second time. They originally introduced plant-based packaging on their SunChips product as far back as 2010. However, the brand made the headlines at the time not about the brand’s move to renewable packaging and more about the bags’ noisiness, with many consumers complaining that the noise was just too much to bear. The new bags, supplied by Atlanta-based PrintPack are made of non-food, plant-based materials with newly developed compostable inks. A QR code directs consumers on locating composting drop-off sites or how to obtain a prepaid shipping label for the bags to be mailed to TerraCycle. Currently, the packaging is being used for Frito-Lay’s Off the Eaten Path chips. According to PrintPack, the new bags utilise special sound/frequency dampening technology employed in the structure to reduce the overall volume.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Labelless PET bottles launched in Japan

Material reduction programmes continue to be a priority for brand owners. Japanese tea company Kirin is removing labels from their PET bottles, for their Gogo no Kocha sugar-free tea. During the early stages of the pandemic, Kirin trialled this method of labelless packaging, using cardboard boxes with brand and nutritional information printed on them. This allowed them to remove the labels from their bottles without affecting consumer experience. The removal of labels is seen as an issue during the process of recycling PET bottles, because either consumers will have to do it or the recycling firms will have to do it. The bottles will now be more easily recycled at the end of their use, saving costs and making the whole process quicker.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Cicada wings bacteria-killing qualities inspires new food packaging format

Scientists have developed a food packaging innovation based on the antibacterial properties of the wings of cicadas. A team of Australian and Japanese scientists first made the discovery of the bacteria-killing technology 10 years ago, but until recently found it difficult to reproduce the same effect. Cicada as well as dragonfly wings are covered with an array of ‘nanopillars’ – blunted spikes similar in size to bacteria cells. Nanopillars kill bacteria by ripping the cells apart when they land on the surface of the insect’s wings. Now though, scientists have managed to replicate the same effect in the laboratory, mimicking these properties, which kill up to 70% of bacteria. The nanotexturing can now be printed on plastic and imitates the bacteria-destroying qualities. The research shows potential for a significant reduction in food waste as the technology could extend the shelf life of produce planned for export such as meat, dairy and packaged products by reducing bacterial contamination.


New – ThePackHub Expert Interview

Sustainability and climate change expert Tom Wood, Carbon Accounting Lead, of net-zero carbon specialists Emitwise talks about the growing demand for carbon emission reduction insight.

Packaging question of the week

Are packaging material shortages causing delays or changes to your sustainability plans? Vote and comment on LinkedIn now. 

Last week, 60% claimed that soft drinks taste better in glass. Only 18% say that the material makes no difference.

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