Innovation Zone ThePackHub -


Welcome to this week’s ThePackHub Innovation Zone snapshot.

ThePackHub collates 20 new packaging innovations each week and we have picked four recent examples for you to peruse below.

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#1 Wearable device allows visually-impaired to read packaging text

Technology and sustainability combine to great effect to deliver a reusable cup for the ubiquitous Costa coffee chain. The Clever Cup solution has come to market thanks to cup material recycling from Burneside, Cumbria paper business James Cropper. The reusable coffee cup is the first to offer contactless payment, which will speed up transaction times as well as further encourage the use of reusable cups. James Cropper’s CupCycling facility is the world’s first ever facility dedicated to transforming cups into luxury papers and sustainable packaging. Each cup is protected in cardboard that contains waste fibre from one takeaway coffee cup. See also Coffee cup upcycling is a world first as well as Reusable coffee cup is powered by NFC capability.



More info in The Innovation Zone.

#2 Plastic-free six-pack rings start beer brand test

Beer brand Corona will become the first global player to trial six-pack rings that are 100% plastic-free. Standard plastic six-pack rings are made from a photodegradable form of PE that, if not recycled can enter our oceans and result in smaller pieces of microplastics causing damage to marine life. The new six-pack rings will be first tested in the Mexico market, with another pilot taking place in the UK. Corona’s dominant pack format is glass bottles but the inclusion of the plastic-free six-pack rings will be a welcome addition where used. The plastic-free rings are made from plant-based fibres with a mix of by-product waste. If left in the environment, they will break down into organic matter. It is not clear if this is the same initiative as Edible six-pack rings help to save sea life.See also Plastic rings to be replaced by glue system for global beer brand.
More info in The Innovation Zone.


#3 Honeycomb structure creates plastic-free protection of beverage bottles

A new paper-based packaging solution to prevent glass bottle transit damage is set to challenge convention in the UK drinks industry. The growing e-commerce sector has seen the popularity of beverage bottles being sent by post. The patent pending Flexi-Hex packaging system is a 100% paper-based structure constructed with water based glues. The biodegradable Flexi-Hex system has a distinctive cardboard honeycomb format to deliver inherent pack strength and flexibility. The Honeycomb mesh provides impact resistance with the open cell layers helping to provide a cushioning to the contents that moulds around objects to dissipate impact force. Glass bottles are particularly prone to damage in transit. Cornish artisan gin company Tinkture are one of the first brands to use the packaging. Their premium Rose Gin bottle now arrive undamaged as well as wrapped in an original and distinctive packaging format.



More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 All materials from beverage cartons to be fully recycled into something new with partnership

Tetra Pak is embarking on a potentially game-changing recycling initiative that will result in the recycling value of their used cartons expected to double. This is turn will make the value chain for collection and recycling much more viable. The multinational food packaging company is partnering with recycling specialists Veolia to ensure that all materials from beverage cartons can be fully recycled into something new and useful and have end-use recycling value. The paperboard component of conventional Tetra Paks can be recycled. However, Veolia’s systems will also enable the plastic and aluminium mix of the packaging to be converted for industrial applications. The average Tetra Pak carton is around 75% paper-based, 20% plastic and 5% aluminium. The supplier will now be able to ensure that all materials are convertible to industrial applications such as crates and plastic pallets. The objective is to enable all components of used beverage cartons collected within the EU to be recycled by 2025.

More info in The Innovation Zone.



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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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