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.


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Networking  – Thursday 1st December

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The aim of this event is to look ahead to next year and to discuss how 2021 may pan out for packaging and printing. We have 100 available places. If you are interested, then register now here.



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#1 Paper-based primary packaging for chocolate takes next development step


German chocolate brand Ritter Sport is continuing its paper packaging development journey with the rollout of an improved iteration in conjunction with Austrian supermarket chain partner Billa. Ritter Sport is now offering a limited edition in paper format following the first “In Papier” prototype launched earlier this year. See Paper-based chocolate wrapper prototypes ready for consumer testingThe company is taking the next step on the way to a full market paper-based primary packaging introduction. The Ritter Sport limited edition will help the chocolate brand improve market knowledge about how the paper packaging behaves during production, through the supply chain journey and on the supermarket shelf. The packaging material is similar to the first prototypes, but the paper weight is a high enough to ensure that it is robust. The renewable and recyclable raw material that also meets Ritter Sport’s high standards for packaging protection and safety. A limited-edition of 35,000 packs is now available through Billa outlets.

#2 Bottle redesign removes 202 tonnes of plastic per year

The rising amount of plastic waste generated by food and beverage brands continues to be a major issue and is a challenge being embraced with many new initiatives coming to market. It is reported that of 13 billion plastic bottles used each year in the UK, only 7.7 billion or 59% are collected for recycling. Suntory Beverage and Food Ireland (SBFI) is the company behind the leading Ribena brand and they have made a significant recycling step with the introduction of a redesign of its standard bottle. Up to now, the label on Ribena bottles had to be removed for the bottle to be recycled. The business has redesigned its product so that the used bottle can be recycled as one complete item. While current Ribena bottles are recyclable, the sleeve’s dark colour and length can stop sensors at some recycling plants from identifying the clear recyclable bottle underneath. This can prevent the bottles from being sorted into the waste stream of plastic that can be turned back into bottles. Most soft drink bottle labels are not recyclable.  It is estimated that the new design will remove 202 tonnes of plastic from the Ribena brand across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. SBF GB&I has invested £1.6 million in the redesign, which took two years to complete. The company plans a similar redesign in due course for its Lucozade bottle range.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Air bubble functions as a lever to easily open pouches


Sarasota, Florida-based flexible packaging converter and FFS machine manufacturer PPi Technologies Group has agreed a collaboration with PopPack to help bring the latter’s easy open innovation to market. The EasyPop innovation uses an air bubble which effectively works as a lever to open packs including pouches. The consumer needs to pop the bubble to open the pack. A satisfying popping sound is made with the pressing of the pack bubble. Littering and waste are reduced as there is no tear-off piece to be recovered upon opening. PPi Technologies are assessing new as well as existing customers to introduce the novel Easy Pop pack feature.  Packs can be opened with one hand, making it ideal for on-the-go consumption. EasyPop is suitable for products packed on vertical or horizontal form, fill and seal machines and can be combined with reclosing and self-closing features. PopPack has over 150 patents issued and pending. The solution has applications across food, beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and medical device applications.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Reusable mailing bags extend US reach

It is estimated that 165 billion packages are posted in the US every year and the market is only going one way and that is up. Clothing brand Eliou is aiming to make an environmental difference with their e-commerce packaging working with Finland-based reusable packaging service RePack to reduce single-use mailing packaging. Eliou customers can choose to have their products sent in a reusable pack. After use, shoppers fold up the empty pack and seal it with a provided label and return it to be cleaned and used again. Eliou is one of the first retailers in the US to work with RePack to replace single-use cardboard boxes and plastic bubble mailers. RePack’s recycled plastic mailers are made from a tough woven PP material. The mailers are designed to have a lower carbon footprint as soon as they have been reused once. The impact reduces further each time it goes through the system. When the packs wear out, RePack uses scraps of the material to make upcycled products like reusable shopping bags. Eliou charge $3 for the RePack mailiers. See also Reusable mailing bag test for German market.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

Watch our latest ThePackhub Expert Interview



CEO Neil Cashman discusses Snapsil’s range of easy to use packaging innovations for the pharmaceutical and medical markets. You can watch here. 

Packaging question of the week

How has your household recycling changed in 2020?  Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 90% thought that a Joe Biden presidential win would be good for sustainable packaging.

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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