February 2024

UK major supermarket’s sustainable recycling initiative

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Shoppers at Lidl will now have the opportunity to deposit single-use drinks packaging made from PET plastic or aluminium, ranging from 100ml to three litres, provided with readable barcodes. The collected packaging will undergo recycling, with Lidl aiming to collect a minimum of 10.5 tonnes monthly. This initiative serves as preparation for Scotland’s forthcoming nationwide deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks packaging, initially slated for August 2023 but postponed until 2025, with potential further delays due to retailer resistance and the absence of a UK-wide DRS until at least early 2025. Under the DRS model, a fee is imposed on beverages, refundable upon return of used packaging to certified collection points for recycling. Lidl has chosen not to implement a fee on its beverages, opting instead to offer customers a 5p reward for each bottle or can returned, with no limit on claims. Rewards can be redeemed as a voucher for future purchases or donated to Lidl’s Scottish charity partner, STV Children’s Appeal, supporting children in need. Lidl GB view the initiative as mutually beneficial, stating it aligns with their commitment to waste reduction and leverages existing infrastructure to enhance recycling convenience for customers.


thepackhubs-viewThe feedback for this initiative will help inform best practices and consumer takeup for the DRS rollout planned for 2025 in Scotland.

 


opportunityzone

This has wide applications for FoodBeverageHouseholdPet Care and Health & Beauty products.


February 2024

Pioneering collaboration transforms printed cups into recyclable materials

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German companies Siegwerk and Krones, in collaboration with Austrian packaging company Greiner, announced a groundbreaking initiative to recycle previously considered “non-recyclable” direct-printed PP (polypropylene) and PS (polystyrene) cups into high-quality recyclates through a hot caustic washing process. This method, traditionally used for PET bottle recycling, successfully removed the ink from the cups without altering the ink formulation or print design, demonstrating its effectiveness in de-inking and recycling rigid plastic containers. The initiative, which included laboratory tests and a pilot plant trial involving 500 kg of mixed-colour PP cups, highlighted the potential for technological advancements to redefine recycling guidelines and stressed the importance of collaboration across the value chain to achieve packaging circularity. This effort underscores a growing demand for transparent and white recyclates amid increasing brand owner commitments and regulatory expectations for recycled content in plastic packaging.


thepackhubs-viewThis shows the potential to expand the recyclability of rigid plastic containers and reinforces the importance of collaboration in delivering packaging circularity.

 


opportunityzone

This has wide additional applications in Food and Beverage sectors.


February 2024

Sustainable liner cuts carbon footprint

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Techlan, a manufacturer based in South Wales, UK, has been pioneering sustainable packaging since 2014. Utilizing cutting-edge patented technology, they produce high-quality, 100% recycled release liners under their trademark Re-Liner. These liners are integral to various packaging products, from e-commerce boxes to labels, where adhesive applications require silicone liners. The Re-Liner range offers a substantial 67% reduction in CO2 footprint compared to conventional liners, supporting the industry’s carbon reduction objectives. With consumer demand for sustainable packaging on the rise, Techlan’s innovation provides companies with a sustainable alternative without compromising quality. Through adopting Re-Liner, businesses can effectively showcase carbon reduction efforts across their product lines and supply chains, meeting the evolving sustainability expectations of consumers.


thepackhubs-viewThis is a good move that has quantifiable reductions in material use and CO2 emissions.

 


opportunityzone

This has opportunities for Industrial and Consumer Goods products.


February 2024

Discounter trials bottle return vending machines ahead of new deposit system in Poland

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From January 2025, Poland will implement a deposit system for disposable plastic bottles of up to 3 litres, reusable glass bottles up to 1.5 litres, and metal cans up to 1 litre, in line with EU regulations, aimed at reducing environmental pollution. In anticipation of this change, supermarket chain Lidl Poland has begun trialling bottle return vending machines in 27 of its stores across Poland, offering consumers a discount coupon in exchange for returned bottles, without the need for a receipt. The scheme, which allows up to a maximum worth of PLN 70 (£13.82) in discount coupons for returned PET bottles, is part of efforts to adapt to the upcoming regulations that could increase the deposit value to PLN 1 (£0.20).  This initiative reflects a broader move towards sustainable practices by facilitating recycling and reducing waste.


thepackhubs-viewThe feedback for this initiative will help inform best practices for the DRS rollout in Poland next year.

 


opportunityzone

This has wide applications for Food, Beverage, Household, Pet Care and Health & Beauty products.

 

 


January 2024

Pioneering label-free packaging for Sprite bottles in sustainability drive

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In a pilot initiative, Coca-Cola plans to temporarily replace labels on single 500ml Sprite and Sprite Zero bottles with embossed logos on the front, while laser-engraved product and nutritional information will be featured on the back. Although the current labels are fully recyclable, this alteration aims to simplify the recycling process by eliminating the need to separate labels during recycling. The elimination of the recyclable plastic label results in a reduction of 2.8 kilograms of CO2 equivalent for every 1,000 bottles produced without labels. The limited design will be available at selected Tesco Express Stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester between January and March 2024, allowing consumers to experience and evaluate the new approach. Coca-Cola has undertaken various design changes in recent years to address packaging waste, such as transitioning Sprite bottles from green to clear plastic for enhanced recyclability and introducing attached caps to minimize littering potential. The company has also invested in lightweight bottle designs and reduced external packaging materials.


thepackhubs-view

Many of the label-free bottles we have tracked in recent times have been part of multipacks to ensure on-shelf brand recognition is maintained. This one stands out as it is for consumer-facing packs.

 


opportunityzone

This has implications for the Beverage sector.


January 2024

Reusable takeaway packaging pilot launched in Danish city

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TOMRA, in collaboration with the municipality of Aarhus, Denmark, has launched a pioneering three-year pilot project introducing the world’s first open-managed system for reusable takeaway packaging. The system allows the entire city to shift from single-use to reusable packaging through an infrastructure of automated collection points. Businesses and consumers benefit from the convenience of an open system where packaging from various providers can be returned 24/7, supported by monetary incentives in the form of a deposit. The pilot initially focuses on hot and cold drink containers, with TOMRA handling collection, transport, and industrial sanitisation. The company aims to expand the initiative to cover various takeaway packaging materials, contributing to resource efficiency, litter reduction, and potential greenhouse gas emission reductions. The project involves collaboration with Visa, MasterCard, and Shift4 for a seamless payment system. The combination of automated collection and industrialised sanitisation positions TOMRA to scale the system for broader adoption and create local job opportunities.


thepackhubs-viewThis scalable solution could shake up urban waste management and consumer habits.

 


opportunityzone

This innovation has applications for products across sectors.

 


January 2024

Vancouver’s reusable cup programme expands sustainability efforts

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Vancouver’s successful reusable cup initiative, the “Return-It to Reuse-It and Recycle-It” programme, launched in 2022 in collaboration with Tim Hortons, Starbucks Canada, and A&W Canada, is expanding to 27 locations. The pilot programme introduced a reusable Tim Hortons cup that users can return to designated bins, promoting cup reuse and combating single-use cup landfill waste through convenient recycling points. Following the pilot’s success, all partners (excluding McDonald’s Canada) have decided to continue and expand the initiative, adding eight additional collection bins in high-traffic areas, transit hubs, and waste diversion stations. Users scan a QR code at the bins, and returned cups are transported via electric tricycles to a wash plant by local transporter SHIFT, re-entering circulation at Tim Hortons. The programme is said to align with Return-It’s commitment to a zero-waste future, fostering sustainability in collaboration with major brand partners. 


thepackhubs-viewExpanding from its successful pilot phase, this initiative emphasises collaboration with major brands to promote its growth.

 


opportunityzone

This has applications for Beverage products.

 


January 2024

Reusable cup initiative unveiled at California coffee shops for sustainability trial

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Starbucks patrons in Napa Valley, California, are experiencing a shift in their beverage packaging as the renowned coffee chain initiates a sustainability trial. In lieu of the standard plastic or paper cups, customers at Starbucks locations in Napa will now receive their drinks in a new, purpose-designed cup intended for return, cleaning, and reuse through the “Borrow A Cup” programme for a limited period. The initiative aligns with Starbucks’ global commitment to make all customer packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable. This trial, implemented in 12 Starbucks locations in Napa and Petaluma, focuses on high-traffic areas, anticipating increased cup returns. Notably, the new reusable plastic cups offer a recycling solution for hot coffee cups, previously disposed of in regular trash due to their plastic coating.


thepackhubs-viewMaking reuse as easy for the consumer as possible is the key to success.

 


opportunityzone

This has applications for Beverage products.

 

 


January 2024

Recyclable paper bag trialled for mandarin packaging

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Costa Group, an Australian agricultural company, has successfully trialled a fully recyclable paper bag for its premium mandarins, building on the success of a similar initiative for grapes. The idea originated from the National Sales and Operations Manager for Costa’s Citrus Category, and was developed with the assistance of NAVI Co Global. The innovative packaging, designed to meet specific weight requirements, addresses consumer demand for convenience and environmental sustainability. A spokesperson emphasised the company’s commitment to staying attuned to global and local consumer trends, utilising new product launches to align with consumer values. Although still in the trial phase, the recyclable paper bag has garnered positive feedback from consumers, leading to potential applications with other produce items such as avocados. The initiative has sparked interest from retailers, indicating a positive reception within the industry.


thepackhubs-viewThe drive towards plastic-free continues and remains a strong marketing feature for operators.

 


opportunityzone

This has opportunities for Food sector products.

 

 


 


December 2023

Innovative child-resistant smart blister wallet for clinical trials

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Schreiner MediPharm, in collaboration with Keystone Folding Box Co., introduces an innovative pharmaceutical packaging solution, the Child-Resistant Smart Blister Wallet, expanding its range of smart blister packs tailored for clinical trials. Originating from Germany, Schreiner MediPharm enhances Keystone’s Key-Pak wallet card by integrating electronic functionalities, creating a “smart” version that acts as a real-time e-diary for monitoring dosing history. The wallet features conductive trace patterns linked to each cavity, generating data when a patient removes a dose. This data, including time and date of removal, is stored in the pack’s electronics and can be transmitted via NFC or Bluetooth for precise patient compliance tracking. The child-resistant and senior-friendly design, incorporating the Key-Pak’s push-through safety feature, ensures ease of use for patients. Customisable to various clinical trial requirements, this solution aims to improve data quality, streamline processes, and potentially reduce trial duration, thereby expediting drug approval. The automated, scalable manufacturing processes underline efficiency and flexibility in clinical research.


thepackhubs-viewChild-resistant packaging remains a difficult challenge for packaging suppliers, particularly as the packs still need to provide easy access for older consumers. The push-through safety feature is particularly noteworthy here.

 


opportunityzone

This innovation also has applications in the Pharmaceutical sector.


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