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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.

We have selected four new initiatives for you today.


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Thursday 4th February 2021 at 3 pm GMT

FREE one hour webinar. Catch up on the latest sustainable 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 Charpak who will be discussing their latest innovations.

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#1 Points-based rewards encourages return of rentable cosmetics packaging


Beauty and wellness brand Ace of Air is launching a new sustainable packaging model. The reusable system is a step forward from the recycling of jars and bottles through the introduction of “rentable” packaging. The process aims to gamify the consumer experience and encourage compliance via an engaging points system that rewards consumers who ship their empty packaging back. Points are also awarded for other environmentally-focused deeds by the consumer. The Stellar Rewards scheme helps three partner charities who can receive “Planet Points” gifted to them by consumers. A durable Boomerang Box shipper has been designed and developed to be reused more than 100 times and has a $3 rental fee. The Ace of Air products are packaged in zero-waste, refilled containers that are effectively borrowed by the user and feature a $2 rental fee for each item.  Ace of Air has partnered with UPS to help design and develop the most efficient and durable reused shipper to create a carbon-neutral solution as part of UPS’s ongoing carbon reduction program.

#2 Worldwide rollout of paper packaging across global confectionery brand

Nestlé have announced that they will be using recyclable paper packaging across its Smarties brand portfolio around the globe. It is a further step in the Nestlé’s ambition to make all of their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 as well as to reduce use of virgin plastics by one third. Nestlé have already trialled this solution in the market. See also Recyclable paper packaging roll out for confectionery continuesThis shift will see the remaining 90% of the Smarties range, switch to sustainably sourced recyclable paper packaging.  The rollout of the new material starts in the UK and Ireland and would makes the Smarties the first confectionery brand to transfer to paper packaging. The switch of the brand that was launched way back in 1937 will remove approximately 250 million plastic packs sold worldwide annually. The new paper-based designs include Smarties’ sharing bags, multipacks and giant hexatubes, which will be made from a combination of coated paper, paper labels and carton board.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Restaurant tray made from food waste starts Latin America introduction


McDonald’s have announced the debut of a new material for their reusable food trays. It is made mainly from food waste combined with other rubbish. The largest independent McDonald’s franchise in the world, Arcos Dorados, is planning on rolling out thousands of the new trays across Latin America and the Caribbean as a method to reduce the impact of virgin plastic. The UBQ material is recycled from a mix of substances. This includes unsorted household waste destined for landfill such as food leftovers. Also included are cardboard and paper waste, diapers and mixed plastics. Any glass or metal is removed and redistributed to their waste streams for recycling.  The Israel-based UBQ company produces the material that prevents the waste ending up in landfill. This stops the emission of greenhouse gases giving the material a climate positive footprint.  UBQ complements existing recycling processes by taking residual waste that is en route to landfill or incineration. The initiative has seen more than 7,000 trays introduced to Brazilian McDonald’s restaurants with plans to expand usage throughout the country. When the reusable trays finally wear out, they can be recycled.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Range of full-wood closure systems for fragrance packs launched

International manufacturer of packaging for beauty brand owners and contract fillers, Quadpack has introduced a full-wood family of closure systems. The range of three designs is claimed to be a world-first. The Barcelona-based business has introduced their patented Woodacity range of closure systems for fragrance packs. Each cap is created from a single piece of sustainably-sourced wood and the aesthetic qualities of wood is hoped to bring a natural look to the fragrance market. The designs preclude the need for a plastic insert to reduce their environmental impact. The wood is a fully-functional component and gives the same functional properties and stability as plastic. The caps incorporate a unique internal structure. Three designs are available: Solo Snap has a patented snap-on cap, with interior ribs to deliver a secure ‘click’ closure. Solo Push is a friction fit cap, that closes the pack with a smooth push gesture. Finally, Solo Turn is a thread cap with a screw closure. More variants are currently under development.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

Watch our latest ThePackhub Expert Interview


Peggy Cross discusses EcoTensil’s range of utensils that are the ideal alternative to disposable plastic cutlery. You can watch here. 

Packaging question of the week

Do you think paper bottles have a future as a beverage packaging material?  Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 74% thought that the Plastic Pact creates too much emphasis on reducing/eradicating plastic at the expense of other environmental issues.

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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