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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ThePackHub’s Refillable and Reusable Packaging Compendium 2020/21 is packed with vital trend information, analysis and insight from a global perspective.

Everything you need to know about the fast-growing refillable and reusable packaging market and more!

175 innovations, 17 refill expert interviews, consumer research and more.

Find out which brands, retailers and suppliers are bringing refillable and reusable innovations to market and what you need to do to succeed.

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Thursday 12th November at 3 pm GMT

All new innovations.

FREE one hour webinar. Catch up on the latest Single-serve food 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 will also be joined by EcoTensil who will be discussing their latest innovations.

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

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#1 Plastic-free and multi-functional single-use cutlery for food packaging


Founded 10 years ago, California-based global pioneer in sustainable paperboard utensils, Ecotensil has announced the European launch of its plastic-free single-use cutlery for food packaging.  The range of folding multi-functional paper utensils was developed to replace small plastic spoons and sporks found in grab-and-go products such as pot lids and trays.  Addressing the upcoming EU ban on single-use plastics, EcoTensil brings its paperboard solutions to Europe through its warehouse distribution centre in Rotterdam.  EcoTensil has supplied the smooth and sturdy alternatives to plastic cutlery across North America, UK, EU, Australia and New Zealand, including for Swiss milk processor Emmi, Costco, and General Mills. The EcoTensil utensils have a more pleasing “mouth-feel” than that of rough wooden spoons and forks. The sturdy EcoSpoon is formed with one simple “bend to touch dots” fold, easy enough for young and old. EcoTensil supplies its utensils formatted ready to be easily fitted into existing packaging, or can be customised as needed. All EcoTensil products are made from materials from well-managed FSC-certified forests and use up to 80% less material than plastic, bio-plastic or wood cutlery alternatives. The pre-folded TabLock EcoSpoon4 functions effectively as a spoon, spork and spreader for most foods that are scoopable or easy to cut. EcoTensil has numerous patents both in the US and internationally.

#2 Australia’s first refillable beauty retail outlet launched

Foile has launched the first stand-alone refillable beauty retail outlet in Australia. Beauty products alongside food and household supplies are the areas that have so far been early adopters of in-store refillable packaging systems, which are now popping up across the world. The Australian retailer has launched a concept store in Sydney, offering its Foile Classics and Foile Friends range of 14 types of serums, cleansers and hand and body washes in refillable formats. Shoppers are encouraged to bring the bottle back to refill on-the-spot in-store. Leif and Lesse products are also refillable with aims to increase the range. Queensland-based Mukti Organics will repurpose the packaging back into their supply chain. There is also a Terracycle programme in store for packaging from other skincare or cosmetics brands so they can be recycled. Foile also donates AU$1 (£0.55) from every refill towards environmental, social and humanitarian projects. There is a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new refillable pack concept. See also Sanitizers and detergents available in refill-only store.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Reusable scheme moves in-store


Burger King is aiming to ensure that all its packaging is recycled by 2025. This very stretching objective is shaping how the business develops new packaging. The restaurant chain in the US alongside Tim Horton’s in Canada is joining the reusable packaging movement with launches for burgers, soft drinks and hot drinks packaging. The two North American foodservice chains are partnering with TerraCycle’s zero-waste Loop delivery platform in a bid to cut down on waste. The Burger King packs will be tested first in outlets in New York and Portland as well as Tokyo. Customers can select the reusable packaging while paying a deposit, which will be refunded when the packaging is returned to the restaurant for cleaning. Burger King has plans to add the option at more locations in different cities. The reusable cups and food containers are professionally cleaned and sanitized by Loop so they can be reused again. It’s anticipated that the Loop platform will have more drop-off locations to improve consumer convenience. The Tim Horton pilot test is expected to start in 2021 at selected Toronto-based restaurants. McDonald’s is also partnering with Loop to develop reusable coffee cups to begin testing in the United Kingdom. See Reusable cup model for hot drinks aims to reduce waste


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Plastic bottle in development created by carbon capture process

L’Oréal plans to launch what is being called a carbon-capture plastic bottle by 2024. The Paris-based leading beauty brand is working with carbon recycling technology business LanzaTech and major energy player Total. The three companies are striving to develop a circular economy for plastics and each has a specific role in bringing the new packaging to market. LanzaTech is able to capture industrial carbon emissions and convert them through a biological process into ethanol. Total converts the ethanol into ethylene before polymerizing it into a PE to create the same technical and functional characte­ristics as virgin-oil based plastics. L’Oréal will use the new PE that can reduce the carbon footprint of packaging by converting the carbon emissions.  L’Oréal has the ambition to use the new material in their bottles of shampoo and conditioner by 2024. The collaboration partners now plan to continue working collectively on scaling production.

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

Will ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘carbon negative’ be used more as a sustainable packaging point of difference in the future?  Vote and comment now. 

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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.

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