March 2024

Concept removes cover and reduces plastic bv 20%

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Europlastiques, a family-owned SME based in Mayenne, France, focuses on sustainable packaging design, particularly targeted to reduce plastic use while maintaining functionality. Its latest innovation, the Gook project, exemplifies this by eliminating the need for a conventional cover on packaging, saving an average of 20% in plastic. This patented design features a durable, sealable lid that fits onto a resealable collar, initially introduced for sauce consumption in a gravy boat-like container and now extended to 500g dairy product pots. By removing the traditional cover, Gook maintains the essential functions of the packaging while contributing to sustainability. This concept, highlighting the company’s dedication to producing innovative and eco-responsible food packaging solutions through thermoplastic injection, has been nominated for the 2024 Innovation Trophies in the “Packaging” category, underscoring Europlastiques’ commitment to innovation and eco-design within the agri-food industry’s packaging sector.


thepackhubs-viewThis initiative reduces packaging use without apparent functional compromise.


opportunityzone

This has opportunities for Food products.


March 2024

Turning pasta boxes into packaging for e-commerce shipments

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On World Recycling Day, the Barilla Group unveiled its innovative collaboration with Marie Kondo, the celebrated Japanese ‘queen of decluttering’ and author, in the ‘Secondhand Box’ initiative. This project, developed by LePub Italy, aims to transform Barilla’s pasta packaging for various pasta types and sizes ranging from 500g to 1kg into sustainable shipping containers for second-hand clothing. Kondo lends her expertise through video tutorials, instructing consumers on how to repurpose their pasta boxes, promoting waste reduction and offering a sustainable alternative to recycling the packaging. This initiative aligns with Barilla’s sustainability goals and encourages consumers to participate in environmentally responsible practices by giving a second life to packaging. The initiative has gained further traction through social media, leveraging the influence of global talents and influencers who adopt Kondo’s folding techniques to prepare their clothing shipments. Barilla expressed that this project is a testament to their dedication to environmental stewardship and a broader effort to lessen packaging waste.


thepackhubs-viewThis is a clever PR campaign that does a good job in encouraging an alternative to conventional packaging recycling.

 


opportunityzone

This has the potential for e-commerce products.


March 2024

Redefining the draft beer experience with an innovative three-sided glass

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Nendo, a Japanese design studio, has innovated the draft beer-drinking experience with the introduction of the Perfect 3Way glass, designed with Sapporo Draft Beer’s KURO LABEL variant in mind. This unique glass features three distinct sides – straight, curved, and bulbous – each tailored to enhance the beer’s flavour and aroma in different ways. The straight side allows for an initial taste, the curved side captures the beer’s rich aroma, and the bulbous side controls the beer’s flow to optimise taste. The asymmetrical design of the glass, not only aims to elevate the drinking experience but also to engage the drinker in the nuanced flavour profiles of Sapporo’s KURO LABEL, transforming each sip into a refined journey from start to finish. Nendo continues to redefine design norms with its innovative approach to everyday objects and we have featured a handful in the Innovation Zone. See also: Japanese innovation produces beer with perfect head.


thepackhubs-view

This will appeal to the beer connoisseur looking for subtle opportunities to really enjoy their favourite brand.

 


opportunityzone

There could be opportunities for this innovation for Beverage products..

 


January 2024

Personal hygiene capsules dissolve after use

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Biodrops, a startup based in Riudoms, Spain, was founded in 2021 by Sergi Ferran and Aitor Susaño. Operating under the brand “I Disappear,” the company specialises in designing, manufacturing, and marketing 100% biodegradable single-dose capsules for personal hygiene products, such as shampoo, shower gel, and body oil, primarily for hotel use. These capsules, made from biodegradable food gelatin, provide a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic packaging, as they disintegrate within minutes upon contact with water or degrade naturally within weeks if left in the environment. This innovation has earned Biodrops recognition, including the second BBVA prize for Business Innovation in Tarragona, specifically in the sustainable innovation category. The company’s unique approach to personal hygiene product packaging has been hailed as a pioneering step in the industry, offering hotels an option that aligns with sustainability trends. This shift enables hotels to move away from small plastic bottles or bulk dispensers, presenting a sealed, hygienic, and single-use solution that reduces environmental impact.


thepackhubs-viewThis solution reduces packaging waste, although there are some practical challenges with a product that will dissolve on impact with water, which could unintentionally increase waste.

 


opportunityzone

This has applications for Health & Beauty products.

 


December 2023

Brewery advances plastic circularity with sustainable packaging initiative

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The Heineken Group has intensified its commitment to achieving 100% plastic circularity in its operations, replacing shrink packaging on Amstel brand cans with material made from 30% recycled post-consumer polyethylene resin. Conducted in collaboration with Dow and films and flexible plastic packaging supplier Lord, this initiative is expected to reduce 39 tons of CO2 emissions annually, showcasing the positive impact of industry collaboration. Following the 2022 implementation of this sustainable material in the secondary packaging of the Devassa brand, resulting in a significant reduction of 777 tons of plastic, the second phase expands the use to Amstel, the company’s second most consumed brand in Brazil. The company acknowledges the necessity of collaborative efforts with sustainability-focused suppliers and emphasizes the shared responsibility of the industry in promoting positive environmental practices. Dow, the supplier of recycled resin for the Revoloop line, expresses commitment to advancing sustainability requirements in packaging in collaboration with partners like Heineken and Lord.


thepackhubs-viewThe battleground for multipack beer collations has been more about moving from plastic to paper-based materials rather than introducing recycled plastic content.

 

 


opportunityzone

This has applications in the Beverage sector.

 


December 2023

Sustainable collaboration for plastic-free beverage packaging

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Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, a regional Coca-Cola bottler serving Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York City, is collaborating with WestRock, a prominent provider of sustainable paper and packaging solutions, to introduce a paperboard carrier, replacing plastic rings in multipack bottled beverages. WestRock’s PETCollar Shield Plus paper-based packaging will be implemented at Liberty’s Philadelphia production facility, packaging Coca-Cola’s major brands in 12-ounce (354 ml) and 16.9-ounce (500 ml) products. Liberty will be the first bottler globally to adopt the PETCollar Shield Plus bottle clip solution, a move aligned with their commitment to investing in recyclable technology and reducing reliance on secondary plastic packaging. The new paperboard carrier, set to be operational by summer 2024, will complement Liberty’s existing paperboard packaging for mini-cans, aiming to collectively eliminate 200,000 pounds (91 tonnnes) of plastic annually from their footprint. Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, recognized for prior sustainability initiatives, underscores its dedication to environmental responsibility, with co-owners Fran McGorry and Paul Mulligan expressing pride in partnering with WestRock to lead innovative changes in the industry.


thepackhubs-viewThe market is moving to non-plastic collation alternatives. Recent initiatives are being relaunched with reduced plastic offerings like this.

 


opportunityzone

This has specific opportunities across the Beverage can sector.

 


August 2023

Australian researchers to use native essential oils in antimicrobial food packaging

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A researcher from the Deakin CASS Food Research Center, Australia, uses native essential oils to develop a prototype for antimicrobial food packaging that could help extend product life and reduce food waste and illness. In the study, they use the native Australian essential oils Tasmanian mountain pepper and lemon myrtle, for sustainability reasons and due to the growing demand for natural products. It turns out that the essential oils activity is better than tea tree oil, which has historically been used extensively as an antimicrobial. They also stumbled upon the fact that not only are these oils antimicrobial in the liquid phase, but their volatiles, or gases they release, are equally as effective. Next, encapsulated essential oils will be integrated into biodegradable plastic formulations to produce packaging that will release the essential oils, killing or inhibiting the bacteria and fungi growing on food and extending product shelf life.


thepackhubs-viewExtending the shelf life of produce is a noteworthy development that could have significant implications for costs and supply options.


opportunityzone

This has opportunities for produce for Food sector products.


August 2023

Dead flies could be used to make biodegradable plastic

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At a meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), it was announced that dead flies could be used to make biodegradable plastic. Insect carcasses are an abundant source of chitin, the biopolymer that strengthens the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects. It has been suggested that waste product left over from farming black soldier flies could be a source of chitin as it has no other competing uses, such as food. The larvae of the flies contain proteins and other nutritious compounds so they are being raised for animal feed, and they also break down waste so they are being bred for that, too. However, adult flies are less useful and are discarded after their short life span. Flies seem to have advantages over other animals that supply chitin, such as crabs or shrimps, as it seems to be purer while eliminating any issues with shellfish allergies. See also: Lobster shell waste used to form biodegradable bioplastic.


thepackhubs-viewThis is an interesting and potentially headline-grabbing development with a source that can be farmed quickly and inexpensively.

 


opportunityzone

This could have applications for Industrial and Consumer Goods products.

 


July 2023

Easy-open pouch concept aimed at snacking market

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Finnish packaging manufacturer Walki has announced the launch of what it says is a new, easy-open pouch concept for the snack segment. The pouch is constructed with a laminate of an MDO-PE (Machine Direction Oriented) film and a newly developed LDPE-based film. The pouch features a laser perforation along the centre of the side gusset fold of the bag, which is the starting point for the opening. By weakening the laminate in a controlled way, the material is thin enough to allow for a controlled pouch opening but still thick enough to protect the snack inside. The consumer opens the pouch in the centre, and the opening starts to tear in both directions until it reaches the cross seams that are transverse to make the pouch stable. As it is a mono material, this makes it easy to recycle. The pouch was developed closely with Fernwald, Germany-based packaging machine producer Rovema.


thepackhubs-viewThis innovation improves the consumer opening experience, but it’s unclear how much of a noticeable difference the pack will make.


opportunityzoneThis innovation has applications mainly for Food products.

 


July 2023

Cellulose-based crystals could be used for indicating product damage

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Researchers at Switzerland’s Empa Research Institute have developed what they say are bio-based and inexpensive 3D-printed sensors that change colour to indicate whether something has become too warm or has been subjected to too much stress. The technology involved in the development is a substance known as hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), which is already utilised as a carrier for active ingredients in things like pharmaceuticals and foods. HPC forms liquid crystals when mixed with water. Thanks to the microstructure of those crystals, they only reflect certain wavelengths of the visible light spectrum, causing them to appear as those colours when viewed by the human eye. The same principle is naturally utilised by vividly coloured butterfly wings, among other things. The scientists have so far utilised the technology to produce a seven-segment numeric display and a strain sensor that changes colour in response to a piezoelectric (the process of using crystals to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy) current generated by mechanical deformation.


thepackhubs-viewThis is another very interesting development in the world of colour-changing smart sensors.


opportunityzone

This innovation has potential for the Food sector.

 


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