January 2023

Luxury department store trials recycling of cosmetics products

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Luxury department store Harrods is trialling a scheme to encourage customers to recycle their beauty cosmetics products. The trial will take place at Harrod’s H Beauty store in Milton Keynes over three months. Harrods is working with its Yorkshire-based recycling partner MYGroup on the trial, which will accept nail polish and fragrance bottles in a first for a UK beauty recycling scheme. Classified as hazardous products, they have previously been difficult to recycle. Shoppers visiting the H Beauty store will also be able to recycle items such as compacts, mascara and eye shadow containers, as well as shampoo and skincare bottles, lotion pumps and vitamin bottles. The recycling stations are situated close to the checkout. As part of their membership of Harrods’ My Beauty Rewards programme, customers can earn rewards points, exclusive offers and services, and discounts on beauty treatments at Drybar and Townhouse. See also Refill fountain takes centre stage in Australian green store launch.


thepackhubs-viewThis is an ambitious initiative for a range of difficult products to recycle. The activity should ensure returning shoppers will buy more products in store.


opportunityzone

This has applications for Health & Beauty products.

 


January 2023

Portuguese supermarket chain trialling product refill service

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Portuguese supermarket chain Continente is currently conducting a pilot trial on a product refill service. The ‘Refill Spot by Continente’ allows customers to reuse packages when buying detergents, dried fruits and dog and cat food, saving money in the process and promoting a circular economy. At the detergent refill station, customers can bring their own containers, paying only for the quantity of the product they buy. They can also purchase 1L containers that are 100% recyclable and reuse them in future refills. Food refills are based on a solution developed by Czechian technology company MIWA Technologies, which ensures the control and traceability of the product throughout the supply chain. Products from Continente’s dried fruits, bio and pet food categories can be dispensed into reusable ‘Smart Cups’, which are equipped with an NFC tag. They are available in three sizes (350 ml, 750 ml, and 1,000 ml).


thepackhubs-viewThis is one of several refill pilots and trials across Europe. The results will feed into to a pool of insight to refine and improve the refill offer.


opportunityzone

This has applications in the Food and Pet Care sectors.

 


January 2023

Polish supermarket trials bottle and can return scheme

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Carrefour Poland is conducting trials at ten stores in conjunction with German recyclers Eko-Punkt Organizacja Odzysku Opakowań where customers can return PET bottles and aluminium beverage cans. Participants will receive PLN 0.15 (£0.03) in the form of an e-voucher for each item returned which can be spent in store immediately. The Eko-Punkt PETfur bottling machines accept bottles and cans in an uncrushed form and those where the bar code has not been damaged. The packaging collected in the bottling machines will go to professional recycling plants and, after processing, will be made into new packaging. The trials are a response to the plans of the Polish Ministry of the Environment, which is preparing a common deposit-refund system.  In 2022, Eko-Punkt collected and recycled over 200,000 tonnes of packaging waste, which was processed into new products as part of the circular economy. See also Dutch organic food supermarket to start offering returnable glass jars.


thepackhubs-viewThere is an increase in deposit return scheme trials as markets prepare themselves for market roll outs, and this is another good example.

 


opportunityzone

Deposit Return Schemes have opportunities for the recycling of PET, aluminium and glass packaging depending on specific market requirements.


January 2023

Paper wrappers for chocolate bars trialled in Australian first

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Nestlé Australia is trialling its best-selling KitKat bars in paper-based packaging. The trial is being conducted in conjunction with Coles Supermarkets across Western Australia. The pilot will consist of 250,000 paper-based wrappers from January 2023 while stocks last. Each bar will feature a QR code which consumers in WA, SA and NT can scan to have their say by answering a series of questions about the new paper packaging. The paper wrappers can be recycled through kerbside recycling bins. The trial wrapper has a thin metal barrier film to keep the KitKat fresh, and has a recyclable ARL (Australasian Recycling Label). The ARL is an evidence-based system for Australia and New Zealand, that provides consumers with easy to understand recycling information. Nestlé has a goal of reducing its use of virgin plastics by a third by 2025, which includes using less plastic, recycled plastic, and alternatives to plastic packaging. See also Confectionery giant moves to paper-based packaging.


thepackhubs-view

There are several paper-based initiatives in the confectionery category coming to our attention in the last 12 months. This has both the potential and intention to be rolled out to more markets.


opportunityzone

This has applications for Food sector products.

 

 

 


December 2022

Car manufacturer trials reusable takeaway boxes

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Volvo Cars in Gothenburg, in conjunction with food service provider Compass Group and Panter, supplier of reusable food boxes, is to trial reusable packaging. The pilot project will take place at Volvo’s Melting Pot restaurant and involves the removal of all standard disposable lunch boxes and replacing them with reusable multi-use lunch boxes. The reusable food boxes are free to use/borrow for guests, who only need to scan the food boxes and return them to The Melting Pot after use. A spokesperson for Panter said that their reusable boxes and mugs contribute to a better environment after around 20 uses. They could be used hundreds of times, after which they will be recycled, to become new containers. It is hoped that the pilot will be able to show whether a reusable solution works in staff restaurants and also how it is received by the employees. See also Startup eliminates single-use packaging with reusable container subscription.


thepackhubs-viewThere are many returnable food service, restaurant and takeaway pack schemes coming to market across the world. We are still at testing stage and feedback from pilots like this will help inform on consumer preferences and what might need to change to maximise its effectiveness.

 


opportunityzone

This has opportunities for Food sector products.


December 2022

Own-label refill station launched in Polish supermarket

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French supermarket chain Carrefour has announced the launch of its first refill station in its Arkadia store in Warsaw. Customers can now buy Carrefour own-brand chemical products for their own packaging or prepared reusable bottles. The company says that this is to both reduce waste and offer cheaper alternatives to popular products. In the refillomat, customers can choose from eight items from the household product range: hand soap and various cleaning products, such as liquids for the kitchen, dishes, glass, panels and wood, furniture, bathroom, as well as a universal liquid. Shoppers just select their product, take the bottle (their own or bought at the machine), hold down the button and fill the bottle as desired. They then stick the printout from the scale and pay for the product at the checkout. Carrefour claims that its own brand products at refillomats are up to 50% cheaper than branded goods in traditional packaging. See also Refillable containers available in-store for mineral water and beer brands.


thepackhubs-viewFocusing on own-label goods will give this refillable trial a boost through the availability of less expensive products compared to branded packaging items.

 


opportunityzone

Refillable packaging has wide applications in Beverage, Food, Consumer Goods, Pet Care and Health & Beauty sectors.



Research centre develops biobased alternative to plastic film

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VTT is one of Europe’s leading research institutions, and is owned by the Finnish state. They are piloting a new transparent cellulose film to replace traditional plastic for food packaging. VTT says that consumers cannot distinguish between the crystal-clear material and traditional oil-based plastic. Cellulose film can resist dampness, but in nature it disappears as completely as a sheet of paper does, as it is biobased and biodegradable. It makes recycling easy, as it can be placed in cardboard recycling along with paper-based packaging. The forestry industry is looking for value-added new products with a big market. Flexible, transparent cellulose film is one such product, as the world market for plastic films was about 110 billion dollars last year. Production of this cellulose film is in the pilot phase, but it could be in extensive industrial use in 5–7 years.


thepackhubs-viewThis initiative is potentially a few years away from a market application but could help guide other developments in this area.


opportunityzone

This innovation has applications for Food sector products.

 

 


December 2022

Petfood manufacturer trials refillable containers in French retailer

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American multinational manufacturer Mars Petcare has announced that in a partnership with French supermarket chain Carrefour, is conducting a pilot scheme where customers can refill pet food and treat containers. This new pilot partnership with Carrefour will offer the company’s Perfect Fit dry cat foods, Catisfactions and Whiskas products, as well as treats, in bulk. The collaboration falls within the scope of France’s National Pact on Plastic Packaging, through which cross-industry stakeholders are collaborating to deliver on circular economy solutions. Shoppers at Carrefour’s hypermarket in Montesson will be provided with reusable or single-use containers for filling (and re-filling) pet food via on-site refill dispensers. Product information can be found through QR codes displayed on each dispenser. According to Mars Pet Nutrition, the solution not only provides a more circular solution for pet food packaging, but also allows pet owners to purchase the exact quantity needed for their pets. See also Polish pilot scheme allows customers to fill own containers instore.


thepackhubs-viewThis is one of several Carrefour refill pilots and trials across Europe.


opportunityzone

This has applications in the Food and Pet Care sectors.

 



Clothing retailer trials compostable, plastic-free hangers

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Dutch clothing retailer C&A has announced a partnership with traceless materials, a German circular bioeconomy startup. They are currently trialling advanced biodegradable hangers at C&A’s store in Hamburg-Altona. The plastic-free hangers are made by traceless materials using only agricultural plant waste products. They are naturally compostable and claimed to reduce carbon emissions by up to 95%. As a raw material, traceless materials use by-products of food production, like starch production leftovers or brewery residues. Using patent-pending process technology, this material is then turned into a granulate. Then, using standard technologies for plastic processing, this is turned into flexible films, rigid material applications, or coating and adhesive solutions. The introduction of traceless materials’ sustainable hooks is part of C&A’s circularity initiatives, which include its Cradle to Cradle Certified product innovations and collaboration with material sciences company Recover.


thepackhubs-viewThis switch to compostable hangers delivers significant reported carbon emission reductions, assuming they are actually composted as intended.


opportunityzone

This has applications for the clothing industry.


December 2022

Liqueur company joins closed loop system in UK first

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Rémy Cointreau and ecoSPIRITS have officially announced the joint launch of a closed loop service in the United Kingdom. The partnership will ensure a 95% reduction in single use packaging waste for the scope of this pilot programme and will help the on-trade reduce their own waste, with 30-50% reduction in back-of-house storage and a 95% reduction in daily glass and cardboard waste. The initial pilot programme will include two iconic Rémy Cointreau brands, Mount Gay Eclipse and Cointreau orange liqueur, which will be available in co-branded ecoTOTETMs and SmartPourTMs. ecoSPIRITS has reportedly developed the world’s first low carbon, low waste distribution technology for premium spirits and wine. Their patent-pending closed loop system nearly eliminates all packaging waste in the supply chain. The partnership marks Rémy Cointreau brands as the first global customer to launch with ecoSPIRITS in the UK. See also Closed-loop system reduces single-use glass waste.


thepackhubs-viewReusability has scope for supply chain applications as well as end-users. This initiative boasts some excellent reported operational reductions.


opportunityzone

This has applications for Beverage sector products.


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