Swedish plastic component manufacturer Scanfill AB has announced the development of a customised PS (polystyrene) material for packing electronic items. Scanfoil PS ESD ( Polystyrene Electrostatic Discharge ) is suitable for thermoformed packaging in the electronics industry because, thanks to its surface resistivity, it protects advanced technical applications from static discharge. In a press release, Scanfill says that it now offers materials with a surface resistivity between 10^2 – 10^9 Ω (Ohm). Within this area, smaller areas can be defined and thus offer materials with more precisely specified surface resistivities, for example 10^2 – 10^4, 10^3 – 10^6, and 10^5 – 10^9 Ω. They add that with PS ESD they can control the conductivity according to the customer’s wishes. The company states it will be launching Scanfoil PP ESD (Polypropylene Electrostatic Discharge), which has an even lower reported environmental impact than PS and is highly sought after in the recycling market.
The Innovation Zone does not report on many polystyrene developments as there is currently little.infrastructure to recycle the material in most markets.
This has opportunities initially in the Electronics sector products.
American multinational chemical corporation Dow Chemical has launched a new high density polyethylene (HDPE) resin that allows the design of flexible packaging without metalisation that can be 100% recyclable. The new high-density resin, called ELITE AT 6900, when combined with other premium resins in Dow’s portfolio, enables the development of recyclable polyethylene packaging with maximum performance. ELITE AT 6900 also reportedly prevents deformation or perforations, maintains the original shape of the packaging, preserving the freshness and characteristics of foods such as coffee, milk and chocolate powder, pet foods and many other products. The resin offers maximum performance in terms of moisture, rigidity and grease barrier and thus offers more sustainable packaging to brands in line with consumer demands, along with excellent processing capabilities. This innovation integrates Dow’s broad portfolio to drive the recycling project, and it directly contributes to facilitating the transition to a circular economy.
This innovation follows many other material developments recently coming to market.
This has applications for the Food, Beverage and Pet Care categories.
US pulp and paper company International Paper has announced the development of a new, unique packaging innovation, the Bow Tie Shipper. This space-saving, patented design is intended to replace small, glued corrugated shipping boxes. International Paper says that the Bow Tie Shipper is an ideal solution for many hand-assembly applications in e-commerce and pick and pack distribution segments. It was designed to meet the functional and sustainability needs of customers seeking resource-friendly packaging with no glue joints. The company also says that the Bow Tie Shipper flips and folds in a matter of seconds, making construction quick and easy, ideal for a fast-paced packaging environment. The design of the Bow Tie Box allows for new, smaller sized solutions and provides an alternative design for mini flexo boxes, and even as a replacement for padded envelopes.
This differentiated solution offers both functional and sustainable advantages for e-commerce applications
This has applications for e-commerce products.
Italian premium olive oil producer Certified Origins has partnered with Loop, the global reuse platform. As part of the scheme, their Bellucci Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) line will soon be available as a refillable option for customers in multiple leading USA retail stores. Loop partners with brands and retailers to shift from a disposable to durable supply chain which enables consumers to responsibly shop for a wide variety of commonly used products. The move by Certified Origins is just another part of their sustainability and traceability goals, with other initiatives implemented across their various global facilities. These include zero-waste policies and solar panels for renewable energy. They use recycled raw materials and continuously invest in research and alternative packaging solutions. Also, every bottle of EVOO they produce is traceable from plant to bottle thanks to a combination of technology, with a BlockChain platform built by software giants Oracle.
The number of different Loop products available as reuse continues to change although the recent pilot at Tesco in the UK has now ended with no immediate plans to run again.
This has applications for Food sector products.
Barcelona-based LabelFood is a reported leader in the design of solutions that ensure food safety and traceability processes in the HORECA (hotels, restaurants, catering) sector. They have now launched temperature-sensitive adhesive labels designed to protect food safety and operators’ profitability. The labels are visually activated when the programmed temperature is exceeded or lowered, and this can be either reversible or irreversible. The labels give a visual indication that shows if the recommended temperature of a product has been broken. Being self-adhesive, operatives just have to remove the protective film on the glued back side and adhere them to the surface. The irreversible labels contain an ink that does not return to its initial cycle once the colour change is activated upon reaching the defined temperature, whereas the reversible labels return to their original colour. Although aimed primarily at the food sector, LabelFood say that the labels could also have uses for pharmaceuticals. See also Temperature-sensitive label uses touch to determine juice expiration.
We have previously reported on various smart label initiatives in the Innovation Zone over the years but the technology is yet to enjoy mass adoption.
This innovation has potential use for the Pharmaceutical sector.
German self-adhesive materials specialist VPF has added a new chemical-free thermal paper to its portfolio. The product, called 1470579 blue clean 70 g/m2, is suitable as an adhesive material for direct food contact. The new material can be used on common direct thermal printers and, unlike typical thermal papers, is free of chemical developers. It is reported that consumers are becoming familiar with bluish thermal paper from retailers. In supermarkets, for example, the blue ‘eco-receipts’ are increasingly replacing the previous white receipts. The paper has a four-layer structure and consists of plain paper, a black pigment layer, an opaque functional layer that creates the paper’s blue colouring, and a protective layer against mechanical damage. The printed image is created physically while the opaque layer becomes transparent when exposed to heat, making the underlying black layer visible. The paper is available from VPF with various permanent and removable adhesives.
The blue colour of the label is a good way to encourage consumer recognition.
This has opportunities for all sectors using labels.
A partnership between paper and board distributor Antalis and paper and board maker Stora Enso launches the ‘market first’ carbon neutral cartonboard. The cartonboard is manufactured at Stora Enso’s Fors Mill in Sweden, which is carbon emission-free in its electricity, steam production and internal logistics. Stora Enso says that Performa Light CarbonZero has “exceptionally” low greenhouse gas emissions, and any emissions that are currently unavoidable are offset via a verified carbon offsetting scheme to reach net-zero emissions. Fiberlight Tec, a patented fibre treatment technology by Stora Enso, enables the product to be lightweight without compromising on strength or performance. The cartonboard is said to be suitable for a wide range of applications, including cosmetics, beauty, healthcare and graphical applications. Performa Light CarbonZero is also food contact approved and taste and odour-neutral, making it a suitable choice for packaging items such as chocolate, snacks and confectionery.
Claiming carbon neutrality is becoming increasingly common as some brands shift to focusing specifically on carbon impact reduction as a sustainability aim.
This has applications for Cosmetics, Food, Health & Beauty sector products.
Two German companies have collaborated to present a sustainable mono material packaging concept for vertical and horizontal form fill and seal (VFFS/HFFS) packaging formats. Film manufacturer SÜDPACK and machinery manufacturer SN Maschinenbau are offering the Pure-Line portfolio, based on either PP (polypropylene) or PE (polyethylene) mono material structures. It is reported that both film structures offer the properties that are necessary for efficient and safe packaging, particularly of food products in doypacks. The spectrum of applications ranges from grated cheese to air-dried sausages and jerky, to nuts, dried fruit and snacks and right through to coffee, tea, herbs and spices. Depending on the products to be packaged, high-performance films can be equipped with different barrier properties. The materials also have excellent machinability due to their broad sealing range. SÜDPACK and SN Maschinenbau will present the Pure-Line portfolio together at Fachpack 2022 in Nuremberg.
This is one of many pack formats moving to mono material construction to aid recyclability..
This innovation has applications for several products in the Food sector.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF, a research company based in Darmstadt, Germany has developed a reusable, recyclable monomaterial shipping container that features patented inflatable air cushions to provide product protection. The container offers an alternative solution to single-use packaging and the ongoing consumption of resources. In terms of the circular plastics economy, the transport box and an integrated functional film are made of the same plastic, and can therefore be recycled together. While the reusable box reduces carbon footprint and saves energy, it also meets special needs for safely transporting delicate and sensitive products, such as electronic components, works of art, or high-quality food specialties. After use, the container can be folded flat after the air has been deflated from the cushion. The container and the internal air cushion can either be permanently attached or designed to be separated and is also stackable. See also Californian company supplies reusable shipping boxes.
This is one of several reusable shipping boxes coming to market. The sustainability improvements really depend on the number of reuses, so participation is key.
This has wide applications for consumer goods in the Beverage, Food, Household, Pet Care and Health & Beauty sectors.
Dutch beauty packaging manufacturer Fasten has launched their Refill Reuse Repeat cosmetic jar system. The company says the lightweight rPP cosmetic jar is made from 100% recycled polypropylene (PP) and features an ultra-light, thermoformed refill cup. Fasten, who are part of the Innovative Beauty Group company, says that the monomaterial rPP jar is fully recyclable. The company adds that the concept replaces ink with debossing, eliminating the use of glue. The company also says that the outer jar base is used in conjunction with an ultra-light, thermoformed refill cup that can be inserted inside the base with one click. To distinguish between cosmetic creams, different colours can be used for the refill cup. The jar is said to be suitable for cream skincare and makeup products, and is available in a standard 50ml cream jar size, and can reportedly save up to 80% on material usage compared to conventional 50ml jars.
This is one of many reusable packaging systems being launched. The cosmetics sector is particularly active.
This has opportunities for Health & Beauty sector products.