August 2022

US supermarket partners with reusable packaging programme Loop

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US supermarket chain Giant Food has announced that it has entered into a partnership with reusable packaging programme Loop. Ten stores in the Washington DC area will start to offer Loop’s reusable packaging later this year. Loop allows customers to buy products in reusable and refillable containers that they can return when empty to a Loop Return Point at participating retailers. Once sanitised, the containers are then refilled with products and head back to retail partners’ shelves. As part of the programme, customers will be able to buy household branded products such as shampoo, soap and disinfecting wipes, and also food items like sauces, granola and snack mixes. The announcement also noted that Loop works with Minnesota-based Ecolab on its “advanced cleaning and sanitization” process for the containers. The partnership comes at a time when many retailers seek more reusable options for customers to cut down on waste. 


thepackhubs-viewThe number of different Loop products available as reuse continues to change although the recent pilot at Tesco in the UK has now ended.


opportunityzone

This has applications for Beverage sector products.

 



Technology at heart of new reuse system

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A startup from Portugal, The Loop Co, has partnered with bulk products retailer Loja do Zero with the introduction of Zero Cups. The smart packaging initiative seeks to shake up and transform the bulk food retail sector. The Zero Cups are designed for reuse and store tracking data and useful information about the product including the expiration date, where the cups originated from and the number of times they have been reused. It is claimed that the Zero Cups can deliver a fully circular packaging system that solves the issues of bulk operations for consumers and retailers.  After use, the packs are sent for cleaning so that they can be reused and the consumer receives a different  Zero Cup. The product won the Novo Verde / Expresso Packaging Enterprise Award for minimizing the environmental impact of single-use packaging. Brands can utilise ready-filled Zero Cups or a Smart Bulk System automation line to incorporate into their operations.

thepackhubs-viewThis is one of several reusable cup systems now in operation.


opportunityzone

This pack has applications in the Food and Beverage sectors.

 


August 2022

Australian trial to assess feasibility of recycling cosmetics packaging

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Australian department store Myer is conducting an eight week trial in conjunction with take-back provider Close the Loop to assess the feasibility of recycling cosmetics packaging. The trial, which will continue until mid-September, will research ways of recycling cosmetic packaging to reduce the estimated 5000-11,500 tonnes of packaging currently being sent to landfill in the country each year. The trial is being supported by the Australian government’s National Product Stewardship Investment Fund. Hard and soft plastics will be shredded and used in Close the Loop’s TonerPlas asphalt additive, as well as in the company’s Resin8 concrete additive. Metals will be separated and sent to a metals recycling facility, and glass will be crushed for use as a sand replacement in building materials for the construction industry. Materials that cannot be processed will be used to fire a low-carbon emissions cement kiln, ensuring that no products collected will be sent to landfill.


thepackhubs-viewThis is a thorough process that aims to make use of all substrates. The trial is dependent on shoppers being motivated to take back their packaging to stores.


opportunityzone

This has applications in FoodHouseholdHealth & Beauty and Pet Care sector.

 


August 2022

Brazilian cosmetics company to trial refilling in stores

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O Boticário, the second biggest Brazilian cosmetic company, has announced that it is carrying out a pilot project of refilling directly in stores. The initial duration will be twelve months and will feature the bulk sale of products from two lines of Match, a hair care brand, in selected stores. The scheme is already in operation at two stores, one in Rio de Janeiro and another in São Paulo. The products chosen for the trial are shampoo and conditioner, which will be available in 250g and 400g options with savings of 16 to 23%, compared to the brand’s conventional formats. The product will be packaged in a 100% recyclable bottle. The last step of this cycle is the recycling of used packaging, which needs to be replaced by a new one because according to local legislation it is not allowed to use the same packaging brought by the consumer to refill the contents. 


thepackhubs-viewThis is another good example of brands testing a refill model for future potential rollout.


opportunityzone

This has applications in the FoodHouseholdHealth & Beauty and Pet Care sector.


August 2022

Tequila company to digitise its product with NFC

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California-based tequila brand OTACA has announced that it has completed a smart packaging pilot trial on more than 5,000 of its tequila bottles. The trial was conducted in collaboration with US-based Identiv, a developer of identity management and radio frequency identification systems. The tequila bottles carried an NFC (near field communication) tag designed to improve the validity of a product’s origins when used in combination with blockchain technology. OTACA says each purchased bottle maps a journey, inviting a digital touchpoint with product provenance and authentication upon every consumer NFC tag tap. The smart packaging solution attached to the top of the bottles is powered by high-performing NTAG 210u NFC tags. Following the successful pilot launch, OTACA plans to increase its production with Identiv to an additional 50,000 bottles of Reposado tequila in the first quarter of 2023.


thepackhubs-viewThis offers up some potentially exciting interactive opportunities for the tequila brand with plans for a scaling up of volumes.


opportunityzone

This has potential for a variety of products for the Beverage and Health & Beauty sectors.



Fast food giant to use packaging that will turn into agricultural fertiliser

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KFC Singapore has announced that in response to the growing amount of waste in urban areas, it has started a six-month pilot programme in which all biodegradable fast food packaging and food scraps will be converted into plant fertiliser. The programme began at Northpoint City, a suburban shopping mall in Yishun, Singapore in June. One of KFC’s Singaporean outlets has introduced biodegradable packaging made of a mixture of paper and corn or sugarcane fibres. For the next six months, all such food boxes and food scraps will go to the facility for recycling. KFC says that a composter can contain both packaging and food remnants that do not require segregation, and within 24 hours, will be transformed into plant fertiliser. KFC states that from one tonne of waste it is possible to obtain from 200 to 300 kg of fertiliser. The product is also to be used as support for domestic agriculture. 


This is an interesting end-of-life scenario for often hard-to-recycle fast food packaging


opportunityzone

This has applications in the Food sector.


July 2022

Pilot scheme promotes use of reusable/refillable containers

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Algramo is a Chilean company that promotes the reuse and refilling of plastic packaging and has been featured several times already in the Innovation Zone. Following a contribution of $650,000, they are launching a pilot scheme known as the ‘Refill Revolution’ in Mexico City. The project aims to reduce plastic pollution through the reuse and filling of specialized platforms located in supermarkets. The startup is working with global consumer goods companies such as Unilever, Nestlé and Purina, to promote what they call the recharge revolution. Algramo’s innovative system makes smart packaging available, which tracks the life cycle of plastic, and a platform in the supermarket to fill household products, such as detergents, shampoos, dry food or pet food. The containers and dispensers are linked to a smartphone app where users can access their refill and environmental impact records. The funding came via P4G Partnership, a Mexican institution that supports the development of social, public, private partnerships to drive sustainable economic growth through innovation. See also Refillable container scheme moves instore.


thepackhubs-viewAlgramo has made great progress with their mobile refill model with the natural extension to instore availability being the next step in their development journey.


opportunityzone

This has applications in the FoodHouseholdHealth & Beauty and Pet Care sector.


July 2022

Belgian Post Group to trial reusable packaging

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Bpost, also known as the Belgian Post Group, is the company responsible for the delivery of national and international mail in Belgium. They are currently running a sustainable pilot project in a collaboration with French reusable packaging company Hipli. The trial will be used for the delivery of orders from Torfs, ASAdventure and Juttu customers. After the recipient has removed their order from the package, the empty packaging can be returned via a red letterbox from bpost. It will then be cleaned and returned to the e-commerce network. These packs are expected to be reused up to 100 times, and Hipli has calculated that a package could travel as far as 144,500 km during its lifetime. The packaging is waterproof and tear-resistant. By sending reusable packaging, the CO2 footprint is reduced by 83% compared to cardboard packaging, according to Bpost. See also Reusable pack introduced by postal company.


The online channel generates a lot of highly visible packaging with the vast majority still being single-use. Finding a workable reusable system makes sense but does rely on the compliance and willingness of end users/consumers to make it happen.


opportunityzone

This has opportunities for the Online sector across most product categories.


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