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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 (book a one-to-one online demo here).

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.

Hosted by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director of ThePackHub.

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Thursday 4th February 2021 at 3 pm GMT

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#1 Temperature-sensitive label uses touch to determine juice expiration


A new temperature-sensitive label has made further developments in the pursuit of reducing food waste. The Mimica Touch solution is an indicator that aims to provide more accurate expiration guidance. The business estimates that the addition of just two days of shelf life could result in 50% less retail and 63% less home waste. Existing expiry dates are calculated based on a “worst-case scenario”.  Mimica Touch comprises a bumpy plastic base with a film layer that encases the gel in the middle. The gel reacts at the same rate that food spoils and starts to liquefy to create bumps. A bumpy label means that the food is spoiled. The development team added a flat comparison area so that consumer could tell what the bumps should feel like. The first product that Mimica will be trialling will be used on juice bottles. The focus will be on the waste from bottles included in meal deals and bigger packs that a family might use over a few days. The label will be integrated with a consumer-activated cap in order to ascertain when the bottles have been opened.  The vision is to be the global mark for freshness on all type of perishable products.

#2 Patented bag makes changing gear oil easier and less wasteful

Leading supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, Valvoline has revealed new user-friendly packaging design for its gear-oil product. The patented FlexFill bag promises to make changing synthetic gear oil easier for consumers as well as contributing to a less wasteful automotive DIY experience. The FlexFill bag has been designed for use in tight spaces and to reduce product waste, allowing users the ability to utilize every drop of gear oil whilst doing so with much less difficulty. Gear-oil packaging is conventionally made of a hard plastic bottle that can be difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces inevitably resulting in unused product. FlexFill’s innovative packaging contributes to less waste, whilst providing an easier user experience, even in compact spaces. FlexFill packaging is available in two synthetic gear oil grades and is available at various US retail outlets including Amazon, Walmart and AutoZone. See also Bag in box concept is smart alternative to rigid plastic bottles.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Recyclable, paper-based wrapper introduced for ice-cream brand


Unilever has a global packaging commitment to halve the company’s use of virgin plastic, as well as to ensure all its packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. As part of this vision, its eponymous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand is set to undergo a sustainable packaging overhaul. A new on-stick version of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough flavour is being introduced to facilitate eating on the go. The ice cream variant is being sold in a new recyclable, paper-based wrapper format as a replacement for a plastic-based format. Unilever describes the pack as a “first of its kind tie-dye wrapper”. The wrapper is made with 88% paper and is widely recyclable. In another environmentally-driven move, Ben & Jerry’s tubs now contain 40% less plastic than was previously used, and the plastic that is used is now apparently made from a renewable plant source. See also Fully recyclable ice cream packaging makes UK launch.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Closed-loop, zero-waste delivery service has next day empties collection

Good Club is a UK online retail business that specialises in the sourcing of sustainable food products. The retailer claims to have the world’s biggest range of sustainable zero-waste staples. Thee members-only online business is moving towards a more circular economy model. It is to introduce a new “zero-waste” delivery service that sees packaging empties collected the next day. More than 70 products (expandable to 150) will be made available in the new range delivered in reusable and returnable packaging. The process sees the customer decant their products into their own containers. They leave the empties out for collection the following day. Items such as nuts, oats, seeds, grains, pasta and rice will be available for this new method. Good Club washes and refills the empties for the whole cycle to start again. It is claimed that Good Club will be the first retailer to offer a next-day collection of empties.  The items are packed in BPA-free plastic jars that arrive in a plastic tote. Empties are left in the tote on the customer’s doorstep or can be dropped off at Hermes ParcelShops.The delivery crates can also be reused indefinitely. The process differs from the Loop reusable packaging scheme with consumers decanting the containers rather than using them to store the products. This means that the reusable packaging spends less time in consumer’s homes increasing the number of times the containers will be used.

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

Will the majority of companies meet their Plastic Pact goal of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025?  Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 95% thought that brands, retailers and suppliers should share more information about Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) when announcing new packaging innovations.

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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