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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Thursday 12th November at 3 pm GMT

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#1 Reusable trays for on the go salads starts in-store testing


German retailer Rewe is testing reusable trays as a way to tackle the considerable amount of single-use bowls, boxes, cups and plates waste. A new system will initially be tested at five locations in Rewe salad bars in Cologne and is taking place in co-ordination with reusable experts Vytal. The reusable system consists of a plastic bowl with lid. It has a volume of 1,250 ml and is both dishwasher and microwave safe. The drive is to make reusable as easy as the disposal of products. Borrowing is controlled via a Vytal app and no deposit is required. Shoppers need to scan an individual QR code at a dispensing station. A tray can then be removed to fill at the salad bar. Customers have 14 days to return the tray free of charge. When returned within 24 hours, the tray does not have to be rinsed but only roughly cleaned. For longer loan periods, the customer must rinse it with cold water. A separate station is available for returns where customers scan the QR code on the tray lid to open the return station door. The device checks whether the tray has been returned empty and with the lid. The customer receives a return confirmation via the app. The customer can also return the borrowed reusable bowl to any other operator working with Vytal. See also Czech reusable takeaway scheme aims to reduce packaging waste.

#2 Linerless label pack will eliminate 15 tonnes of plastic per year for first pack in trial

UK retailer Iceland’s mission is to eradicate plastic in all their stores by 2023. As another small step to make this a reality, the business is adopting a new linerless label pack to help eliminate plastic usage. Wellingborough-based ProPrint Group have worked with fruit grower Keelings and Ravenwood Packaging to launch the new solution. New packs using linerless technology for Conference pears have been introduced, which will help eliminate around 15 tonnes of plastic per year for this pack alone. ProPrint Group invested in linerless labelling with the awareness of the large reach for sustainable innovation that linerless machinery could bring. The Pro-Produce pack can be recycled at kerbside like any other cardboard pack and is easily recognisable as recyclable. The pack retains plenty of surface area for product information and branding. A die-cut helps consumers view the fruit in the pack. Produce can be packed using a highly automated packing process that can run at equivalent speeds to flow wrap. The use of the Pro-Produce solution to replace plastic with the linerless technology is now being tested for other goods. See also Cardboard tray launch reduces plastic to a third.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Multi-sensory tracker optimizes deliveries across supply chain


DS Smith is introducing a new high tech process to optimize the safe delivery of sensitive goods. The world-leading provider of corrugated packaging for consumer and industrial goods has started an exclusive partnership with internet-of-things innovator Hanhaa. The Innovation Zone has previously tracked the development of the London-based business – see Real-time parcel tracking for high-value and time-sensitive items. The initiative sees the tracking and measurement of deliveries across the supply chain. Hanhaa’s ParceLive solution is an advanced multi-sensory tracker which travels within the packaging to continuously record real-time data such as temperature and humidity as well as the pack’s location. The device can even report if the parcel has been dropped, tilted or opened. The data is sent to an online platform allowing customers to understand the real-time conditions of the packaging. A successful pilot of ParceLive with one of DS Smith’s global consumer goods customers subsequently allowed for adjustments to be implemented to optimize future deliveries.  DS Smith is now looking to extend the testing programme to more businesses.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Smart packaging innovation allows parents to track full journey of formula milk

Dutch global dairy company FrieslandCampina has launched a new packaging innovation that enables parents to fully track the source of its Frisco infant formula milk brand. Friso TrackEasy responds to the increased demand for greater transparency of products, particularly for formula milk. TrackEasy gives Singapore users batch-specific information to determine an abundance of knowledge about the Friso formula. Parents in Singapore are paying more attention to food sourcing and safety of products and have demonstrated concern about the source and production of formula milk. TrackEasy includes information on the farming process, milk collection timings, the production methods and history of quality auditing checks. The smart packaging innovation allows the tracking of the full journey of the product starting from the farms in The Netherlands to the product’s eventual arrival in Singapore. The tracking app is used by scanning a QR code on tins of Friso Gold and Frisomum milk powder. FrieslandCampina has worked with Norwegian-based serialization company Kezzler on the initiative. See also Milk brand launch product traceability process.

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

The pandemic is shaping changes in consumer behaviour. Have you shopped more online in 2020?  Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 42% have attended an online virtual exhibition during the pandemic.

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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