Archive | Packaging & Environment

Cepac to double size of packaging operation in Doncaster

Packaging supplier Cepac are investing £1 million on expanding its site and digital operation in Doncaster, England.

The project is due to begin in early 2017, following the installation of a new digital printing press in April of this year. This will allow the production of innovative packaging with outstanding graphics with very short customer lead times.

The company has four other sites in the North of England, in Rotherham, Darlington, Rawcliffe Bridge and Alfreton. It designs and produces a number of corrugated and shelf-ready packaging items and stocks a variety of products.

Steve Moss, Sales and Marketing Director, says: “Our investment in state of the art printing and manufacturing is not just about meeting customer requirements but being able to exceed their expectations. We are doubling the size of our premises and more than halving customer lead times, offering unrivalled innovation, quality, service and response.

“The packaging world can be traditional and reluctant to change although there is now the opportunity to break away from conventional means of production. Highly printed packaging is now available on demand without the constraint of either long lead times or stockholding. The market for POS and decorative packaging is changing in response to the evolving retail market. In these days of rapidly changing demand Cepac are able to offer a service proposition which is truly transformational.”

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Food and packaging waste workshop for manufacturers in Scotland

Resource Efficient Scotland is running a free food and packaging waste workshop next week for manufacturers in Scotland.

This  workshop has been specially designed to help food and drink businesses in Scotland benefit from reduced food waste and improved packaging design.

Using tried-and-tested techniques, best practice case studies, facilitator-led sessions and industry-leading guest speakers, this workshop will help delegates reduce packaging and food waste and save money in their organisations.

Speakers include Iain Ferguson, environment manager for the Co-operative food; Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems and technical Lead at WRAP; Catherine Weetman, SCALA; and Andrew McCaffery from Valpak.

The event takes place at Edinburgh Zoo on Wednesday December 2.

For more information, visit

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Sidel’s CSR rating places it among top 30% of companies

The commitment that Sidel is making in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been independently evaluated, placing the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging in the top 30% of the 20,000 companies assessed in 2015.

Sidel received a Silver CSR rating from EcoVadis, a sustainability rating platform used to understand, track and improve environmental, ethical and social performance worldwide. Respect for the environment and a strong focus on CSR and Corporate Governance is fundamental to Sidel’s operations. Nicholas Bloch is Executive Vice President for Communications at Sidel and comments – “Sidel’s purpose is to help brands protect the product inside and the planet outside. We continue to implement CSR in everything we do to help us achieve this and are pleased to see our EcoVadis rating this year is an improvement on last year.”

Supply chain focus

As a rating platform, EcoVadis focuses on the whole supply chain with a system which brings together buyers and suppliers to accelerate transparency and foster more sustainable business. For Sidel, this makes it a particularly relevant method of benchmarking CSR performance given the importance that Sidel attributes to the role of PET packaging throughout the whole supply chain – from raw material to recycling – and how it can help turn those supply chains into value chains. In addition to EcoVadis, Sidel also works with SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), the largest collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data.

EcoVadis carries out an extensive and tough evaluation of a company’s CSR management system, looking at its policies, actions and results. Sidel achieved an above average performance in all the areas evaluated. EcoVadis monitors the sustainability performance of 20,000 companies across 150 sectors and in 95 countries and is used by many global companies, including Nestlé and Coca-Cola.
Further details on Sidel’s sustainability practices are available at

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Sidel, the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, has announced the creation of new packaging development services to help beverage producers worldwide turn their supply chains into value chains.

“Studies in purchasing behaviour suggest that it takes a consumer just three to seven seconds to choose one beverage over another. A well-designed, attractive and engaging package can help brands win this ‘moment of truth’,” explains Vincent Le Guen, Sidel Vice President for Packaging.  “Although very important, however, attractiveness and consumer experience are not the only value that great packaging design can create.  Long before the product reaches the point of sale, the design of the bottle can create value throughout the supply chain. Additional value areas, for example, include improved line efficiency, enhanced product safety, greater sustainability, lower fuel costs, faster industrialisation and speed to market, and reduced costs.  Great package design can help add significant and genuine value at each phase of the supply chain, from raw materials through to recycling.” sidel

To unlock this value a holistic approach to package design needs to be applied at the beginning of any development project, taking into account brand goals, production capabilities, distribution and storage conditions, among other critical factors. Sidel has now launched a new range of packaging services to help beverage producers of all sizes to achieve this. The four new services are packaging and preform design, packaging optimisation, liquid-package interaction analysis and packaging qualification.


Packaging and preform design

Consumers are engaged by creative and attractive packaging design, interesting shapes and format sizes that fit their lifestyle.  As a packaging material PET offers great freedom of shape and can help create a standout brand.  It can be moulded into single-serve, multi-serve or extended

family formats, all of which offer the convenience, re-sealability and recyclability for which consumers are looking today.

From producing the art and technical designs, preform designs, pilot moulds and prototypes, Sidel can help producers design a package or range of packages that fit the brand and engages consumers.  The company uses digital models, technical drawings and 3D-printed physical models to speed up the creative process, helping to get innovative conceptual designs into industrial production and to get the client’s new-look product to market more quickly.


Packaging optimisation

Whether collaborating on an entirely new product or simply re-designing the bottle of an established brand, Sidel can help optimise designs to use less PET and other resources, reduce energy consumption during production, better withstand the rigours of the distribution and transportation process, look great at the point of sale while also delivering a great consumer experience.  The contributing factors to that satisfactory consumer experience include the ease with which the cap can be unscrewed and resealed, the feel of the bottle in the user’s hand, the elimination of the potential for accidental spillage caused by excessive lightweighting and the flow of the liquid through the bottle’s neck.  Sidel undertakes optimum lightweighting with a unique approach it refers to as “rightweighting”.  A Sidel bottle design that has been produced via this process will weigh and cost less to produce yet will still maintain and protect the quality of its contents throughout the supply chain, saving energy during production and securing an optimum line performance and consumer experience.


Liquid-package interaction analysis

The quality of bottled beverages and foodstuffs can be adversely affected by exposure to light, oxygen or the wrong temperatures.  Sidel has two laboratories for liquid-packaging and aseptic analysis in Octeville, France, and two laboratories for filling and aseptic microbiological contamination analysis in Parma, Italy. These are in addition to its five packaging centres worldwide in China, Europe, India, Latin America and North America.  The company also has partnerships with universities and other laboratories worldwide.  To preserve the integrity and quality of products, the company’s scientists perform laboratory tests under simulated supply chain conditions in order to determine the most effective and safe packaging combinations and solutions, including the most suitable packaging sizes, shapes, closures and PET resins.

Taking the recipe, processing parameters and production conditions of the product fully into consideration, Sidel scientists test the package over time.  This is done in essentially two ways: objectively through physical and chemical testing and subjectively by various sensory analysis techniques such as smelling and taste testing.  By gathering such detailed information and understanding the different interactions between the liquid and the package, Sidel is able to manufacture and supply equipment that produces packaging that can fully maximise product quality and shelf life.


Packaging qualification

In order to qualify creative designs for industrial production, Sidel carries out full packaging feasibility and performance studies with pilot moulds and Sidel equipment to help evaluate bottle stability, rigidity and quality before full production starts.  This is done according to the technical specifications provided by the beverage producer or by using Sidel’s own in-house specifications.

The company assesses the complexity of each design when compared to the targeted specifications, which cover bottle weight, line output and energy consumption.  It then advises the customer what is needed to achieve the desired qualification.  This proposed packaging validation partnership aims to get customers’ new products to market faster with less cost, while eliminating production issues in advance of full industrialisation.


From design to reality

Once a new package has been designed, tested and qualified for production Sidel can also determine which high-quality equipment and complete line production solution is right to achieve the desired production specification for that product.  It can provide complete new lines, featuring the very latest Sidel Matrix™ beverage production equipment, or convert existing lines quickly and efficiently, with high-quality original moulds that are intelligently engineered for fast production and carefully tested to protect product quality. When combined with the company’s packaging development services this enables Sidel to provide a complete design-to-reality solution for beverage producers who wish to get high-quality products to market faster, more efficiently and with less cost.


Sustainable Packaging with the Eclipse SL4

Laila’s Fine Foods Ltd is a successful family run business, specialising in authentic, ready prepared meals for both the food service and retail markets. Laila’s started their 6 year relationship with PA with a small tray sealer but when their business grew and throughputs needed to be increased they purchased SL4 tray sealers from PA’s eclipse range.

The eclipse SL4 has been designed to address the environmental impact of packaging operations by reducing the user’s power consumption by up to 90%. The in-line, fully electric SL4 is a small footprint machine capable of sealing 60 packs per minute.

Featuring PA’s PowerdriveTM technology, the SL4 is a fully electric machine and operates without using any compressed air, therefore offering savings of up to 98% of the running costs of conventional pneumatically operated tray sealers. This enables ready meal producers to demonstrate a real commitment to environmental issues, whilst delivering a competitive operating cost.

Mark Richardson General Manager at Laila’s said “Laila’s Fine Foods have enjoyed a six year relationship with Packaging Automation, starting with a single machine, PA were able to heavily modify their design to suit our processes. We have continued to grow with PA, buying a further two machines. As our business has increased, PA have been able to support our growth with new machines and unparalleled service levels and we have just taken delivery of two new high speed sealing machines taking us to five PA lines and in fact a complete PA site. PA is now looking at new processes to help us to progress and keep at the forefront of this competitive arena.”


Packaging Automation Ltd was established in 1963 and is a leading UK manufacturer of tray sealing and pot filling and sealing machinery.

PA can offer customers a tray sealer or pot filler for a wide range of applications in the food industry including fresh produce packing such as salad, tomato, strawberry and soft fruit packing, fish, seafood, meat and chicken packing (including vacuum packing and skin packing), ready meal sealing and packing, and pot or tub denesting, filling and sealing for puddings and sauces.

Full packing lines can be specified and installed to include tray denesting, conveyoring, tray filling, film sealing including modified atmosphere packing (MAP) facilities. Foil tray sealing as well as plastic tray sealing can be accommodated on all machines as standard.

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An environmentally-friendly production process

An important project will be completed in 2014: a new combined heat, power and cooling plant in partnership with E.On

Awareness towards environment is one of Goglio characteristics, testified by the criteria with which the Group’s production sites have been planned and built. In particular Daverio Packaging Division (Varese), situated in a particularly prized setting, has extended its surface in the last decades both with new buildings and with integrally preserved green areas.

Furthermore a new important chapter is being added and a new combined heat, power and cooling plant (CHCP) will be fulfilled during 2014 in partnership with E.On, a Company specialized in integrated energy management solutions for commercial and industrial customers.
The new plant will annually supply the Daverio plant with approximatively 30 GWh of electricity and around 53 tons of steam, with the added benefit of both chilled and hot water supply for production processes. Goglio will therefore obtain a 30% saving on plant energy costs; at the same time, carbon emissions will be reduced by 6,300 tons per annum.
It is in this perspective that the energy agreement with E.ON has been further extended, to include the development of an innovative pilot project for the pyrolysis of production waste.

This is just one of the examples of the long-term enterprise vision leading the company to the “Best Available Technologies”: in the Seventies Daverio plant introduced a solvent recovery equipment, far anticipating up-to-date themes like “sustainability”, “biodegradability and “compostability”. Thanks to the recovery activity CO2 emissions have been drastically reduced (6.000 tons per year) with a saving of 2400 tons of solvent per year, corresponding to 80-90 tanker lorries.



OK COMPOST certification: goal achieved!

Goglio is proud to announce that Fres-co Green® has eventually obtained the OK COMPOST certification, completely meeting the project compostability requirements. Result of years of research of a cohesive team, the new packaging system has collected prestigious acknowledgments in 2013 as the Oscar dell’Imballaggio, the Packology Award and HOST Smart Label.

Fres-co Green® is the ideal 100% eco-friendly pack, an exceptional solution standing out for its sustainable components: both laminate and valve can be thrown in the wet waste collection and they will biodegrade within 180 days.
Perfectly compliant with EN 13432 regulations, the Vinçotte certified Fres-co Green® has been produced in partnership with Innovia Films, exclusive supplier for raw materials.
The biolaminate is composed of NATUREFLEX regenerated cellulose by Innovia, internally extruded biopolymer, bio-adhesive and certified inks, on which we apply the bio-valve, designed, manufactured and patented by the Goglio Plastic Division. Suitable for food contact according to European and non-European laws, the selected components are ideal for all dry products as coffee, flour, pasta, muesli, rice, biscuits and pet food. Furthermore the manufactured material harmoniously fits Goglio production process and the Group’s solvent recovery system.

The laminate summarizes all new environmental advantages and the traditional Fres-co System® quality: it is the first completely compostable packaging solution with bio-valve meeting the requests of the consumers. Furthermore Goglio presence with production plants in Europe, America and Asia promises to supply this new packaging solution on global basis.

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Sidel creates new drinks bottling business unit

PET solutions provider Sidel has created a new business unit to serve drinks products producers globally.

Split into six teams including maintenance, line improvement, training, spare parts and logistics, line conversions and moulds and packaging, Sidel Services has been designed to help customers achieve better product quality, efficiency, flexibility, cost optimisation and brand support.

Sidel CEO and president Mart Tiismann said that when customers invest in a Sidel production line, they need and expect high levels of service to support them throughout the entire working life of the equipment.

“That is why, in addition to introducing innovative technologies to our customers such as the Sidel Matrix™ liquid packaging system, we have also been working hard to improve our services offering,” he said.

Companies can use the new service unit to reduce downtime or design new packaging solutions. Sidel is also rolling out new spare parts logistics and technical support initiatives in a bid to help customers have better access to the people and parts that they need.

The improved global logistics network for spare parts includes a new warehouse management system that enables three levels of delivery service, from emergency delivery to planned maintenance deliveries.

According to the company, the technical support system enables faster responses through a new ticketing system that places customers in immediate contact with Sidel experts to address urgent issues.

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Imagine a drying system with a proven efficiency of over 99%… Introducing OptiDry®, the latest innovation from packaging line engineering leader Gebo Cermex.

When it comes to high-quality, high-frequency packaging lines, the presence of just a few drops of moisture can have a dramatic impact on labelling quality, coding and vision inspection efficiency.

In today’s fast-moving industry, where quality constraints are stricter than ever, an effective drying system is a crucial component for most packaging lines. And who better to deliver cutting-edge drying solutions than industry leader Gebo Cermex? The new OptiDry® unit combines the latest in drying technology with Gebo Cermex’s long-proven expertise in precision handling, optimizing product flows for unprecedented reliability, flexibility and efficiency.

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P.E.T. Engineering Wins InnoBev Sustainability Award

P.E.T. Engineering was awarded with the ‘Best light-weighting’ for the patented solution ‘swerve neck’ during the Global Beverage Sustainability Awards, at InnoBev 2013.

The awards recognize the beverage industry’s best practice in environmental sustainability across a range of categories from water usage efficiency to packaging development and promoting environmental awareness amongst consumers.

Swerve neck solution allows savings up to 20% in the neck finish and in the area under the support ledge and it is just one of the technologies P.E.T. Engineering develops to design ultra-light and eco-friendly containers.

The solution, which can be used in all the existing neck finishes, allows the lightening of both zones without compromising their behavior during blowing, filling, capping processes and during transport and final use.

SWERVE NECK creates an inner ring between the neck finish and the area under the support ledge that leads two important advantages:

1. The patented geometry allows less accumulation of material in the area under the support ledge keeping it at a distance from the mold sufficient to prevent its cooling. This plastic remains at such a temperature that can be still stretchable, that is to say, distributed on the body of the bottle, transforming the material from amorphous and unused into a structuring one.

2. The stiffness of the ring into the neck finish allows a further reduction of the thickness without compromising the performance of the container which, indeed, improves its vertical top load.

Sanpellegrino Group has been the first using SWERVE NECK solution for the production of the Levissima half a liter size, blown with the 22% of PET, which is less than the one used in the previous bottle of the same size.

Founded in 1999 P.E.T. Engineering has achieved a leading position in the design and industrialisation of PET containers with a client portfolio of exclusive beverage brands including PepsiCo, Nestlé Waters, Lete, Vera, Uliveto, Granarolo, Parmalat, Levissima, Baltika, SanPellegrino, Norda, Waters, Efes, Inbev, Carlsberg, Ferrero and many others. For more information visit

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Carlsberg Joins With Suppliers to Eliminate Waste by Developing Next Generation of Packaging

Carlsberg and selected global suppliers have joined forces to rethink the design and production of packaging material, to develop the next generation of packaging products that are optimised for recycling and reuse, while, at the same time, retaining or improving their quality and value. The approach is increasingly referred to as ‘up-cycling’. The cooperation has been formalised through the Carlsberg Circular Community as part of the Carlsberg Group’s work on Sustainable Packaging.

The founding companies working together with Carlsberg are:

* Rexam: Cans;

* Arkema: Glass bottle coatings;

* O-I: Glass packaging;

* RKW: Shrink Wrap;

* MWV (MeadWestvaco): Paperboard Multipacks;

* Petainer: PET kegs for draught beer.

In the future we are all facing increasing pressure on natural resources due to the ever-increasing demand for consumer goods. This is creating further demands on businesses to use materials more efficiently. However, the current efficiency approach adopted by industry is unlikely to be sufficient to affect long-term sustainable change.

Reducing dependence on primary materials as the input to creating these consumer goods is one of the ways companies can secure continued sustainable growth. Earlier studies by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Co. project billions of Euros in savings from stimulating economic activity in product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment.

The companies will be using the Cradle to Cradle Design Framework®, created by Professor Michael Braungart and EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, to develop a Cradle-to-Cradle® roadmap and assessment of their products.

Professor Michael Braungart says: “Carlsberg and its suppliers are taking an important step on the roadmap towards creating new benefits with packaging. This co-operation is a great example of companies planning together for the future, creating solutions to the global challenges that face us all. I encourage companies to join Carlsberg in its efforts to develop innovative packaging and rethink the concept of waste.”

Cradle-to-Cradle® is a business platform for innovation and quality, with the aim of improving the quality of products so that they have an improved consumer quality for the user, pose no health risk for anyone who comes into contact with them, and are of both economic and ecological benefit.

“We want to build our resilience and prepare for future growth in an environment of increased resource scarcity. And we want to develop solutions that benefit not only our business, but also the environment and the societies in which we operate. The packaging initiative and the cooperation with suppliers represent a big leap forward. By partnering with our suppliers, we can achieve far more than each of us can do alone”, says Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, President and CEO in Carlsberg Group.

With this initiative, Carlsberg aims to have new products undergo an assessment for up-cycling potential using a Cradle-to-Cradle® analysis, which will reveal if the products contain any chemicals or additives that would reduce the value and quality of the materials. The targets are to include 15 partners and to have a minimum of three products Cradle-to-Cradle® certified by 2016.

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Tyson Foods debuts the first 100 percent recyclable stand-up pouch

Package recyclability is a major driving factor affecting purchasing decisions by both product manufacturers and their customers. Not only does product packaging account for a significant space in landfills, but many of the current disposal methods contribute to air and water pollution.

These factors have fueled a heightened awareness for advancements in sustainable packaging. Film suppliers and packaging engineers are becoming more innovative in the materials they select and the production methods they use for packaging, and the carbon footprint they leave.

Advancements in technology are making recycling easier for consumers, waste processing plants and salvage facilities.

Tyson Foods sells consumer products and food service goods worldwide including in Mexico, where the brand has a robust product line available to consumers in grocery stores, club stores and convenience stores.


Tyson Mexico’s current freezer packaging for chicken is made with a blend of polyethylene (PE) and PET. Frozen food packaging has typically demanded multi-material films to meet specialized requirements including high-tear strength, puncture resistance, cold-temperature tolerance and barrier properties, while still delivering eye-catching graphics. Unfortunately, resin blends containing these materials are less likely to be recovered in the recycling stream.

Tyson Mexico received help and expertise from Printpack, a converter of flexible and specialty packaging, and the Latin American Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics team, to create a more sustainable frozen chicken package. Together, they developed the first 100 percent PE stand-up pouch with a PE reclosable zipper. Dow’s ability to establish a film formula suitable for freezer conditions in a 100-percent PE format laid the groundwork to develop the stand-up pouch structure.

Using only PE, this structure demonstrated performance equivalent to that of multi-material films. The new stand-up pouch is a completely recyclable package making it a better option for the environment.
Printpack, Dow and Tyson Mexico collaborated to develop, qualify and commercialize the new frozen chicken stand-up pouch, which launched in Mexico in May 2013.

Stand-up pouches are a consumer-friendly form of packaging that can be used in a variety of markets. Pouches give creative retailers more flexibility and new opportunities to display products in customized racks or innovative pallet displays. This form of packaging also offers consumers convenience as they are usually fitted with reclosable zippers, or some other form of open/close fitment.

An added benefit of the stand-up pouch is that it can reduce the amount of packaging material used by replacing the outdated bag-in-box format. A decrease in material also means less weight to transport and less volume to store, making significant cuts in energy consumption. With the development of Dow’s 100 percent PE film resin, which can withstand the challenges of freezer storage and is also completely recyclable, the stand-up pouch can be a better choice for many markets.

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Packaging Innovations London – Packed to the Rafters

Packaging Innovations London closed its doors Wednesday 2 October at 4pm, reporting record visitor and exhibitor numbers for the fourth year running, a trend that has continued since its launch in 2010. The show attracted world-class speakers, international exhibitors from all corners of the globe and 3,560 visitors, smashing last year’s record attendance with an increase of 18%.

With visiting companies including the likes of Waitrose, Fabergé, Diageo, Disney, Coca-Cola, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Glaxo Smith Kline, Estée Lauder, Harrods, Ted Baker, Mars, Unilever and Space NK, exhibitors were delighted with the buzz and serious purchasers at the show, 75% of them already having rebooked their stand for 2014. Particularly successful was the expanded Luxury Packaging show, with inspiring prestige packaging on display; many of the exhibitors have already doubled their stand space, with the floorplan expanding for the next year.

Growing each year both in size, but more importantly in importance within the industry, Packaging Innovations London and its co-located shows has filled a vital need for packaging, marketing, branding and design professionals to find innovations to inspire them and make their packaging stand out and delight customers whilst continuing to perform on a functional level.

Eugen L. Ritter, Marketing Manager at Noris Food & Packaging visiting the show, enthused: “This is the first time we have attended the show. I came in from Germany and it has certainly been worth the visit. Every stand had at least one eye-catcher. The combination of new and old technology being demonstrated was amazing. This is the show of special products, and we don’t have such a show in Germany.”

The show focused on four key areas – Packaging Innovations, Luxury Packaging, Brand & Design Village, and Contract Pack. 80% of the 170 exhibitors used the event to launch or show new products and services. J&J Pont Packaging launched Pont Pack a slimline packaging solution. Mirri and Smurfit Kappa teamed up, and launched a premium board – MirriNor, demonstrating the stunning metallic effects that can be achieve through packaging.

Colin Griffiths, President at Golden Valley Pallet Wrap Specialists, exhibiting at the show, said: “The show has a strong luxury focus which attracts the blue chip companies. On day one of the show we already had 75 high quality leads, so we’ll certainly be back next year.”

Also exhibiting at the show was Rudy Martinez, Head of Concept Design at ASG Spark!, who remarked: “It’s been so successful I don’t have any business cards left. It has been a great show; we showcased three of our innovations and have received not only quality leads, but also quantity.”

The sell-out show, which took place 1 & 2 October 2013, featured a packed learnShops programme, with speakers from Neal’s Yard Remedies, Miracle-Gro, Marks & Spencer, Kimberly Clark, Bombay Sapphire and many other leading and interesting brands.

Appropriately the topic on the first day was ‘Great consumer experiences build brands’. Nick Dormon, Managing Director & Founder at Echo Brand Design, discussed the critical role of packaging and product design. He remarked: “The digital age has brought convenience but consumers also want a relationship and intimacy with the brands they buy. Packaging plays a crucial role in that process.”

Jon White, ex European Marketing Director at Kimberly Clark, and Dan Monteith, Group Client Service Director at Elmwood, outlined the role packaging played in rejuvenating the iconic Andrex brand. The UK’s number one non-food FMCG brand sells a massive 29 rolls per second, enough to wrap round the world twice each day! White remarked: “Despite still strong figures the brand was stalling. One look at the packaging told me we had work to do. Day-in-day-out our biggest shop window is the aisle – but the packaging wasn’t working in it; it looked like we had run out of ideas, I knew we had to invest in it.”

The year-long packaging redesign process included drawing on latest sentic thinking from Bradford University to ensure the packaging pushed the right consumer buttons. The resulting redesign – which involved using curves to denote softness and angles to reinforce the product’s strength, plus making the famous Andrex puppy work much harder on the pack – helped deliver an 11.5% volume growth, plus a 32% improvement in brand bonding and a slew of brand extensions.

“Our packaging ended up so important that it ‘heroed’ in our TV advertising,” concluded White.

There was also plenty of show floor ‘theatre’ in the form of The BIG Packaging Debate, where a panel of packaging professionals, including Innocent Drinks, Marks & Spencer, Design Activity and the Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence, discussed the topic ‘Online sales will kill packaging design’.

Chairing the debate was Kevin Vyse from the Institute of Packaging Professionals UK, who concluded: “People are better digitally connected than ever before. Online sales are nothing new, and it’s clear from this debate that the move online won’t kill design, but until someone steps up and says this is how it should be done, this debate will continue.” 

The show also featured its first ever Beauty Symposium, which was immensely well received and run in association with The Red Tree Consultancy. Stirling Murray, CEO & Founder of The Red Tree, remarked: “With its strong emphasis on design and luxury, the show provided the perfect place to host our second Beauty Symposium. Having speakers such as Helen Miller, former Commercial Director for Beauty at Boots UK, and Judy Deuchar, ex VP of merchandising and planning at QVC UK, meant we could give delegates some real packaging and retail insights for driving their beauty businesses forward.  They could then go out into the show, talk to suppliers and who could help them apply that learning. 

 “If you are running or launching a beauty brand I wouldn’t miss this show – it has insight and innovation all under one roof.”

Alison Church, Event Director at Packaging Innovations, commented: “We couldn’t be more delighted; every area of the show was heaving throughout both days, and the feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been incredible. It is great to be a part of such a vibrant show and, of course, industry. The response to the show, and in particular the Luxury Packaging element, has been phenomenal, making it very much the place where all those involved in branding, design, product marketing and inspirational packaging meet each year; which has resulted in very happy exhibitors, with 75% rebooking onsite for the 2014 show. We’ll be back next year, with plans to expand the floor plan, show features, and speaker line-up!”

Packaging Innovations London will be return to the Business Design Centre, on 30 September and 1 October 2014.

The next Packaging Innovations event will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 26 and 27 February 2014.

Companies interested in exhibiting at either show can find out more about booking a stand by calling the Packaging Innovations sales team on +44 (0)20 8843 8800 or emailing

Further information on visiting the Birmingham event can be found at; the London website has all show details at

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EU Adapt Food Labeling Regulation for Products with Plant Sterol and Stanol Esters

Adapted EU Food Labeling Regulation for Products with Plant Sterol and Stanol Esters

On 25 July 2013 the European Commission (EC) adopted Commission Regulation (EU) No 718/2013(1) amending Regulation (EC) No 608/2004 (2) concerning the labeling of foods and food ingredients with added phytosterols, phytosterol esters, phytostanols and/or phytostanol esters.

Warning Label Requirement Concerning Plant Sterol and Stanol Esters

According to the new regulation products will be required to bear a statement that the product is not intended for people who do not need to control their blood cholesterol level.

Products that contain phytosterols, phytosterol esters, phytostanols or phytostanol esters, placed on the EU market from 15 February 2014, must carry this new label warning. However, products placed on the market or labeled before 15 February 2014 which do not comply with the requirements of this regulation may be marketed until stocks of the foods are exhausted.


(1) Official Journal of the European Union – Commission Regulation (EU) No

(2) Official Journal of the European Union – Commission Regulation (EC) No

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging a global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. SGS continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality.

For further information, please contact SGS.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
Ron Wacker, PhD
Global Food Testing Business
Development Manager
SGS Germany

t: +49 6039 4696

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75 000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1 500 offices and laboratories around the world.

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Sweden’s deposit return scheme motivates Scotland

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead is to look at the feasibility of a wider bottle deposit return scheme after watching it in action during his recent trip to Sweden

Lochhead believes schemes which offer people in Scotland an incentive for recycling drink containers could help tackle Scotland’s litter problem.

‘Recycle and Reward’

In Scotland, eight different ‘Recycle and Reward’ schemes have been piloted since the start of this year.

The programme, managed by Zero Waste Scotland, will help assess whether schemes which offer incentives such as vouchers, donations to charities or money back can increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of used drinks containers going to landfill here.

The announcement was made on the last day of Scotland’s Litter Week of Action. Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland welcomed the announcement and said: We very much welcome the news that the government wants to look at the feasibility of extending the deposit return scheme we’re running.

“Recycling is about keeping and re-using valuable materials and returning drinks containers is a simple step people could take to help make Scotland a zero waste society.  It could also play a part in making our country litter-free.”

Different demographics

Responding to the Scottish government’s interest in drinks container deposits in Sweden, Incpen director Jane Bickerstaffe director said:  ”Sweden is very different to the UK.  Deposits still operate in Sweden because when deposit-bearing refillable containers were replaced with more resource-efficient containers, they too carried a deposit.  In the UK, consumers stopped returning deposit-bearing containers over two generations ago.

“Population density in Sweden is A54 people per mile compared with 660 people per mile in the UK – neither does Sweden have a national kerbside collection for all recyclables.

“We want to work with others to tackle all litter and promote recycling.  Littering is the result of careless or thoughtless behaviour.  The way to tackle litter is by education, cleaning and law enforcement.  This is a far more effective way than a deposit scheme.

“Encouraging use of existing kerbside and recycling collection schemes also makes good business sense.”

Elsewhere, Incpen said that deposits are expensive administratively complex and discriminatory way to target just a comparatively small proportion of recyclables. The organisation also said that deposits increase costs to consumers and there is limited evidence that they reduce litter.

According to Incpen, they in effect, penalise people who already recycle by obliging them to undertake a more burdensome task.

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Pack giants unveil UK’s first carton recycling plant

Packaging heavyweights Sonoco Alcore, SIG Combibloc, Tetra Pak and Elopak have worked together to develop and open the UK’s first beverage carton recycling plant.

Minister for Resource Management Lord de Mauley officially opened the UK’s only dedicated beverage carton recycling facility, located in Stainland (near Halifax), West Yorkshire (3 September).

The new facility in Stainland near Halifax boasts enough capacity to recycle up to 40% of the cartons used in the UK each year. This could mean 1.25 billion cartons could be recycled.

The plant is a joint initiative between the Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE) UK – representing the leading beverage carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – and paper and packaging producer Sonoco Alcore.


Speaking to Packaging News at the official launch of the plant, Lord de Mauley said: “Why is it a game changer? Well, up until now all the used beverage cartons had to be exported and this plant is going to be able to accommodate 40% of the UK’s waste beverage cartons. It is also a great example of producers taking responsibility for their products. We are recycling about 43% of materials that we throw away. We aim to get to 50% by 2020. That’s why this is important. “

Sonoco Alcore will take advantage of the strength and quality of the virgin wood fibres found in cartons by turning them into industrial-strength coreboard at its paper mill located on the same site. This will then be made into 100% recyclable tubes and cores, which are used to wrap paper, man-made fibre yarns, and metal and plastic film around for industrial applications.

Speaking to PN, Sonoco Alcore vice president for Converted Products/Paper Europe Adam Wood, said: “This is a great opportunity. We are now able to recycle and use something that was traditionally difficult to recycle. It is good on many fronts. The first point is that the material was leaving the UK before, increasing our carbon emissions, and that is now not happening. Now it is local – so the materials come to us more easily. We have the technology through this investment to separate the materials out and then turn them into a new product that we can use and send to our customers. It is a really good fit for what we can do and an extra stream of materials that we can use.

“One critical factor of producing core is that you need a really good fibre structure.”

Wood said that Sonoco can get high quality fibres from the cartons to turn into “higher end cores”.

Wood added that the new carton recycling facility is capable of producing enough material each year for 15,500 tonnes of new coreboard, enough to make 17.8 million average-sized cores and provide a consistently secure supply of material for our company.

ACE UK said that a stable price per tonne for cartons will be and cartons will no longer need to be exported to Sweden to be recycled.

Cartons collected in over 180 local authority areas are already set to come to the new facility for recycling. By the end of 2013, ACE UK expects another 10 local authorities to start collecting cartons in their kerbside service and send them to the carton recycling facility.

2009 discussions

ACE UK chief executive Richard Hands told PN that discussions between the members to develop a carton recycling plant in the UK had begun in 2009. He added: “The ultimate aim of our members –Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – is to meet the requirements of retailers, manufacturers and consumers for packaging that is easy to recycle. Kerbside recycling schemes provide the most convenient collection method for consumers and we expect more cartons to be collected in this way now that local authorities have a secure domestic market for this material stream.

“While we have already made great progress – the number of local authorities collecting cartons at the kerbside has increased more than ten-fold in the last six years – we’re really excited by this development and its potential to further transform carton recycling in the UK.”

SIG Combibloc managing director Malcolm Allum also said the new facility will help to increase household rates.

Tetra Pak environment manager Gavin Landeg explained the launch was “fantastic news” for the carton industry.  Elopak market unit manager UK and Ireland Clive Brown said that the opening of the facility in Halifax was the “most significant event in the UK recycling for a long time”.

Fine polymer and aluminium

The fine polymer and aluminium layers used in beverage cartons (the latter only for long-life products), to prevent leakage and provide a protective barrier to oxygen (respectively), are also separated as part of the recycling process.

Several different approaches for recycling and/or recovering this fraction are currently being assessed and a UK solution will be in place in 2014. The polythene and aluminium will be stored until then – it will not be landfilled or exported.

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Smurfit Kappa sets out 2020 sustainability plan

Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) has published its vision statement on sustainability.

SKG has set out targets to strengthen its sustainable business practices under seven key building blocks including: Chain of Custody, CO₂ emissions, Waste, Water, Health & Safety, Sustainable Sourcing, and Community Involvement. Detailed objectives have been set for each focus area to be delivered between 2013 and 2020.

The statement details the Group’s commitment to sustainable business practices and belief that profitable growth can be achieved by providing its customers with innovative packaging products while continuing to minimise product waste; optimising resource use and re-use through recycling; and, stimulating afforestation through sustainable forestry practices.

Gary McGann, group chief executive, said: “For over 75 years, Smurfit Kappa has been producing innovative packaging solutions from renewable and recyclable materials. We believe that our long-standing commitment to sustainability has been central to building our position as a world leader in paper-based packaging.

“Our vision statement on sustainability, published today, is a further step on a journey where we constantly strive to improve how we serve the interests of our customers; employees; the local communities in which we operate; and, our shareholders.

“We believe that delivering on our key business objectives can only be achieved through business practices that are based on the principles of long term sustainable development.”

“Our focus is to continue to grow our business but we will pursue growth opportunities that are commercially and economically attractive, socially progressive and environmentally sustainable.”

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Co-op to divert all food store waste from landfill

The Co-operative is aiming to stop 34,000 tonnes of rubbish going to landfill by recycling all food store waste from its food shops.

Food waste will be sent to anaerobic digesters which will convert the waste into energy.

The Co-operative, which has one of the largest and most diverse food retail estates across the UK, is extending its waste back-haul initiative to more than 2,800 food stores. The remainder will sign up by the end of July, five months ahead of schedule.

Other dry mixed items, such as empty milk bottles, tins and cans, will be sent for recycling.  Cardboard and polythene will continue to be baled and sent for recycling.

As well as reducing the amount sent to landfill, the scheme will end more than 225,000 skip collections. It will also cut down on road miles as waste will be sorted at stores and collected by the firm’s own lorries.

According to the retailer, the Co-operative is committed to reducing food waste, both in store and in customers’ homes, and has several other processes in place at store level and in the supply chain.

In a statement, the Co-op said: “It ensures stores maintain the right amount of stock availability and stock holding, it uses the latest packaging technology to increase shelf-life and also provides more prominent storage instructions to help customers reduce their waste at home.”

‘Community-based retailer’

The Co-operative Food director of Trading Property David Roberts said: “As a community-based retailer with an ethical approach to business we have a social responsibility to reduce waste that goes to landfill, and we have pledged in our Ethical Plan to divert all our food store waste from landfill by the end of 2013, which we will achieve by the end of July, five months ahead of schedule.

“The Co-operative has one of the largest and most complex networks of all food retailers in the UK and we therefore needed a robust, but commercially viable, strategy to meet our own tough targets.

“However, after a lot of hard work we have created a unique initiative which brings all-round benefits to our stores across the country, and the local communities in which they serve, as well as the environment and the business.

“The waste back-haul project is a win-win solution. It will not only divert all our food store waste away from landfill, but will also convert it into a valuable resource, which we believe sets new standards in waste management.”


Marcus Gover, director of Closed Loop Economy, Wrap, which has worked alongside The Co-operative in an advisory role during the trials for the waste back-hauling project, said: “The Co-operative Food has developed a solution that fits with the complexity of their portfolio, large number of sites and their locations across the UK.  It will achieve diversion of waste from landfill through increased recycling and treatment of food waste by AD – all whilst reducing their waste management costs.  We are supportive of this project and commend them on introducing this scheme across all their stores.”

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Italy angered as UK blocks ban on plastic bags

The Italian government has criticised Britain for preventing Brussels from introducing a law banning supermarket plastic bags, according to media reports.

The ban was introduced in 2011 in shops across Italy, with only biodegradable, cloth or paper bags on offer.

Italy will only be able to impose fines on violators when the law is approved by the European Union, and many small shops and markets are still handing out non-biodegradable bags.

However, the Daily Telegraph  reported that the approval was suspended earlier this month when Britain objected, claiming that since the bags are not outlawed by the EU, they cannot be banned by a member state.

“While we are determined to tackle the blight caused by discarded carrier bags, the proposed Italian scheme is illegal under EU packaging laws,” spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told the Daily Telegraph.

Andrea Orlando, Italy’s environment minister, criticised the UK’s stance. Orlando told The Daily Telegraph: “The bags are a serious problem, above all at sea, and it is astounding that Britain, which is serious about the environment and has a seafaring tradition going back centuries, does not want to defend the seas from plastic pollution which suffocates and kills many marine animals.”

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Novelis invests in evercan launch site

Novelis has completed a £1.7m (US$2.5m) upgrade at an aluminium can recycling plant which will serve as a launch production site for the evercan aluminium beverage can body sheet.

The new machinery doubles the Warrington, Cheshire plant’s capacity to process UK-sourced contaminated aluminum beverage cans. The overall plant has the capacity to recycle around 130,000 tonnes of aluminum.

Evercan is the industry’s first independently certified, high-recycled content aluminium designed for the beverage can market with a minimum of 90% recycled aluminium.

When combined with the can end made of a different alloy during the can making process, the evercan will enable beverage companies to market their products in standard 12-ounce aluminium cans certified as made from a minimum of 70% recycled content.

It is commercially available now in North America and Europe, and will be available worldwide later this year.

Other launch sites include the recycling centers in Berea, Kentucky and Greensboro, Georgia.

The upgrade at the firm’s only UK production site includes rotoshredder equipment which will work with an existing optical sorting system.

Plant efficiency boost

Novelis said it will improve plant efficiency by removing contamination such as paper and plastic, but is not designed to handle fully mixed recyclables.

The rotoshredder equipment, which is designed to increase the plant’s capacity to separate plastic contamination from UK-sourced used beverage cans (UBCs), has improved processing volumes by more than 250%, claimed the firm.

The rotorshredder works with the optical sorting system to clean contaminated UBCs, leading to efficiencies for other processes and improvements in production levels.

However, UBCs can be difficult to process when they are not separated from other materials that are placed into mixed recycling bins.

Cleaning and sanitation

The equipment will enhance the cleaning and separation capabilities at the plant, allowing Novelis Recycling to make a commitment to its UK supplier network and to develop new sources of supply to meet the demands of the closed loop recycling system operating within the Warrington plant.

“This investment brings an increased ability to process material from local sources and will make a big impact on our UK operations,” said Brian McCallie, Plant Manager at the Warrington site.

“It’s also an important step toward reaching Novelis’ goal of increasing the recycled content of our products across our global operations to 80 percent by 2020.”

Approximately eight billion aluminium drink cans were filled and sold in the UK in 2011 with a strong recycling rate of 60%, according to Alupro.

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BioBoard to increase the recyclability of packaging materials

Discarded protein-rich food by-products will be valorised to replace plastic coating for paper and board

• BioBoard promotes the recyclability and reutilization of today’s discarded food waste
• Around 50% of the 50 million tons of whey produced annually in Europe is discarded
• At least 200,000 tonnes of potato by-products are disposed in Europe each year
• EU-funded project led by IRIS with participation of 13 companies and R&D entities

On the International Recycling Day, Bioboard EU-funded project campaigns for the valorisation of currently discarded food and protein-rich waste while many tons of paperboard, coated paper and cardboard are every day manufactured worldwide, with polyethylene (PE) or petrochemical based coating material generally used leading to complex structures which may be difficult to recycle.

The Bio-Board innovation promotes the material recyclability or compostability of coated paper and cardboard and derived laminates. The BioBoard barrier coating, which will be developed by this European project, will be easily biodegradable and moreover could be easily washed off from the substrate where it is applied using enzymatic detergents.

In response to the increasing political, legislative and consumer pressure to reduce the dependency on fossil fuel based plastics, but also to produce recyclable solutions, the BioBoard project is developing a sustainable coating system based on the renewable raw material derived from agrofood waste. BioBoard aims to produce packaging materials from the extrusion of coating paper, paperboard and cardboard. The base material for the coating will be innovative formulations based on proteins such as whey and residues from potato. Indeed, as a by-product coming from cheese production, still 40-50% of the 50 million tons of whey produced annually in Europe is discarded, while about 65,000 tonnes of dried potato juice protein and 140,000 tonnes of dried potato pulp produced annually within the EU could be available for new valorisations.

BioBoard will provide a powerful solution to increase recycling rates of paperboard and cartonboard and also support packaging recycling policies. Indeed, paper laminates and aseptic packages are difficult to recycle due to the impossibility in separating the individual layers comprised in its multilayer construction (different laminated layers of paper, plastic and optionally aluminium). The recycling process involves grinding, washing, flotation, cleaning and screening to finally recover the fibres and not all paper mills are equipped for handling resulting residues comprising up to 25% of aluminium and plastic. The high shearing during the recycling leads to a reduction of the fibres size and limits their reuse to less demanding applications. Substituting much of the currently used PE by the new bio-based coating, so called BioBoard, will enable them to overcome current challenges in the recycling of such packaging. Moreover, when combined with only compostable layers such as paper (ie. in absence of aluminum), BioBoard will lead to fully compostable laminates, whereas a lot of these laminates used for pouches, sachets, service papers are currently incinerated when not easily recyclable.

The BioBoard project coordinator Dr. Elodie Bugnicourt, from Barcelona-based IRIS company, highlights that “BioBoard stands in response to the current demand from producers of coated paper, paperboard and cardboard manufacturers for a bioplastic that will enable them to substitute much of the currently used synthetic coating without compromising the barrier properties of the resulting packaging laminates and overcoming the current challenge to the recycling of such packaging”. Dr. Bugnicourt stresses: “BioBoard is based a holistic integrated environmental approach to increase the sustainability of materials and processes throughout their life cycle”.

The BioBoard project promotes the use of recyclable materials in the food sector closing the loop by applying their waste in innovative packaging solutions. Today, BioBoard wants to remind the importance of recycling end of life packaging to the wide consumer audience while supporting this need offering a new technology to their converters.
The three-year project, which is composed by 14 partners from 10 European countries, has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) managed by REA Research Executive Agency under grant agreement n°315313.

About the International Recycling Day
International Recycling Day is celebrated every year on the 17th of May.  On this day, activities to encourage recycling efforts take place worldwide.  Each year the popularity of the day has been gaining strength, so that more countries are joining in to spread high quality information about everything related to recycling different types of waste during the day.

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Novelis evercan beverage can sheet sets new sustainability benchmark

Novelis has launched ‘evercan’, a new aluminium body sheet specifically designed for beverage cans, comprising a minimum of 90% recycled material.

According to the US-based company – the global leader in aluminium rolling and recycling – the evercan aluminium sheet has been independently certified for high recycled content by SCS Global Services, a leading third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification provider.

“As the world’s leading supplier of aluminium beverage can sheet, this is an important step toward delivering on our ultimate vision of an aluminium can with up to 100% recycled content,” says Phil Martens, Novelis president and CEO.

Novelis is initially offering aluminium can body sheet guaranteed to contain at least 90% recycled content.

When combined with the can end, made of a different alloy, the new Novelis evercan will enable beverage companies to market their beverages in (US) standard 12-ounce aluminium cans certified as made from “a minimum of 70% recycled content”.

“The Novelis evercan aluminium beverage can body sheet is commercially available now in North America and Europe, and will be available worldwide later this year,” the company says.

The launch of evercan is a key component in the Novelis plan to “dramatically increase” the recycled content of its products across its global operations to 80% by 2020.

While already the world’s largest recycler of aluminium, Novelis has also announced capital investments of nearly $500 million over the last two years that it says will double its global recycling capacity to 2.1 million tonnes by 2015.

SCS Global Services managing director Stowe Hartridge-Beam says: “We are pleased to have independently certified the exceptionally high levels of recycled content in Novelis’ aluminium can sheet, which represents a new benchmark of performance in an industry that has been long known for its recycling efforts.”

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Beverage carton kerbside collection hits 50% ‘landmark’ in UK

The proportion of local authorities in the UK collecting beverage cartons at the kerbside for recycling has reached the “landmark” level of 50%, according to the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK).

Ceredigion County Council in Wales has become the 203rd local authority out of 406 nationally to enable residents to recycle the cartons by adding them to its existing kerbside collection scheme.

According to ACE UK, the milestone represents a 12-fold increase on 2006 levels of beverage carton collection in the UK, which stood at 40% at the same period in 2012, and 33% in 2011.

The organisation says that the achievement is the result of: “Sustained, close co-operation between ACE UK and its members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – and local authorities and consumer groups.”

A further boost to the figure is expected later in 2013, when the UK’s only beverage carton reprocessing facility opens at the Sonoco Alcore paper mill near Halifax, West Yorkshire.

“In the year that the UK’s only dedicated recycling facility for cartons is scheduled to open, we are extremely pleased that our strategy to increase kerbside collection and make it easier for residents to recycle cartons is also paying dividends”, says Richard Hands, chief executive of ACE UK.

Said to be capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams, the new processing facility in Halifax will offer a range of benefits to local authorities and their waste management contractors, including a non-export market for the recycled beverage carton material stream.

Through kerbside collection schemes and ACE UK’s own “bring-bank” collection system, cartons collected in 187 UK local authority areas are already set to be sent to the new plant for recycling, ACE UK says.

Each year, about 60,000 tonnes of paper-based cartons are used in the UK to package milk and fruit juice, as well as a growing range of food products including soup, chopped tomatoes and pulses.

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Sirane pledges packaging solutions on back of Courtauld launch

Sirane has said it is already working on projects to help Courtauld 3 become a reality and meet food waste targets.

The signatories of Courtauld 3, launched last week, are aiming to reduce food waste by 1.1 million tonnes by 2015, bringing £1.6bn cost benefits to consumers and industry.

The focus of the project is on optimising packaging to reduce food waste and improve recyclability.

“Optimising packaging has been a great success and will continue, but there are limited opportunities to reduce it further without risking increased product wastage.

“Now the focus is on improving design to optimise recycled content, improve recyclability and helping to reduce food waste,” said the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP).

Packaging advances

Simon Balderson, Sirane’s managing director, said it is possible to reduce packaging and food waste with more advanced packages.

We’ve already worked on technology that will enable people to move towards achieving the aims of Courtauld 3 and beyond.

Courtauld 3 might seem daunting, but our message is clear. We can help. Bring us your packaging problems and we might have a solution – and if we haven’t we will work on developing one.”

Balderson added that using more advanced technology can save companies money in the long-run, as they’ll get money back from reduced wastage and returns.

Signatories so far

45 signatories, including grocery retailers and brand manufacturers have signed up to the third phase of the commitment.

Nestlé UK & Ireland, Mars (UK), Coca-Cola Enterprises, Arla Foods UK, Unilever, HJ Heinz Foods UK and Heineken UK are among the signatories.

Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 targets are:

• Reduce household food and drink waste by 5% – this represents a 9% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in food purchased.

• Reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% – signatories will have to make an 8% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in production and sales.

• Improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content as appropriate, improve recyclability and deliver product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging – signatories will have to make a 3% reduction in real terms to counter the expected sales increase.


INCPEN said it is pleased that WRAP recognised that optimised packaging saves waste.

“Reducing waste of food and other products is the prime purpose of packaging – it’s why our members use it.  Packaging protects products from farm or factory to home and it performs a number of other functions that make life easier and benefit the environment,” said the trade body.

More than seven million tonnes of food is thrown away by UK household every year, around 20% by weight of that purchased, according to 2011 WRAP research.


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Novelis unveils ‘high-recycled’ content aluminium for beverage cans

Novelis has produced a new high-recycled content aluminium sheet designed for the beverage can market.

According to the aluminium rolling and recycling giant, with a minimum of 90% recycled aluminum, the Novelis ‘Evercan’  aluminum beverage can body sheet will allow beverage companies to deliver soft drinks, beer and other popular beverages in a low-carbon footprint consumer package.

“We are excited to be able to deliver yet another tangible result of our commitment to sustainable aluminum product innovation,” said Phil Martens, Novelis president and chief executive.

Martens said: “Our Novelis Evercan high-recycled content beverage can body sheet, backed by the industry’s first independent certification program, represents tremendous progress in sustainable consumer products packaging.

“As the world’s leading supplier of aluminum beverage can sheet, this is an important step toward delivering on our ultimate vision of an aluminum can with up to 100% recycled content.”

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Chesapeake targets further green improvements in 2013

Carton specialist Chesapeake is set to press ahead with its environmental initiatives for 2013 after claiming success on its aims last year.

The company’s ‘Chesapeake 100’ was launched in 2011 and is designed to reduce the group’s environmental impact while “demonstrating its ongoing commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)”. This year, the business has committed to in-excess of 130 environmental related improvement projects across its global operations.

In 2012, 119 new targets were set. Of these, 104 targets were achieved or exceeded, some being extended into 2013 and many continuing to deliver measureable results.

Phillip Adams CSR director said: “In 2013, we’d like to see a greater increase in social responsibility initiatives to further strengthen our links with local communities as well as consolidating our impressive health and safety protocols. The ownership of these projects remains at site level although the outcomes are being shared globally to ensure that best practices are adopted across the business. The projects demonstrate that, due to Chesapeake’s scale, making even the smallest changes can deliver impressive results.”

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Trashed challenges world to change habits

The director of a new documentary on waste, Candida Brady, exclusively talks to Philip Chadwick on global challenges, the film’s stunning locations and how it intended to avoid pointing the finger of blame at packaging.

Trashed is a documentary narrated and presented by the actor Jeremy Irons, who visits locations around the world where waste is poorly managed causing health issues and polluting the nearby environment. The film looks at landfill, incineration and waste dumped into the sea. Trashed doesn’t always make for easy viewing, especially for anyone in the energy-for-waste sector and plastics industry. Packaging comes under the spotlight as well and, while Irons appears none too impressed with “packaging professionals”, the film does make the point that the majority of materials can be recycled. The model that’s held as a fine example of waste management is in San Francisco – a city which has a zero waste policy, which appears to be embraced by the inhabitants. Director Candida Brady, who spent two years to research and film Trashed, took the time to discuss the movie with Packaging News.

What attracted you to making a documentary about waste?

My interest in waste has been growing over the years and when you have children it ramps up a level when you see all the things they have. I started to wonder what was happening to all this stuff perhaps because I’d grown up with less. I had been looking at water as a documentary idea but I was then approached to do a film on incineration. Over time I realised that waste was the huge problem for the world.

How did you get Jeremy Irons involved?

He had done some other projects for us in the past and we had been neighbours for some time. I knew that he never wasted anything. He tends to use things until they wear out. I thought it was something that would appeal to him and it did.

There are some incredible locations in the film. For example, a waste mountain in Lebanon, a river full of rubbish in Indonesia and an incinerator next to a farm in Iceland. How did you source some of the locations?

My research went on for some time. I wanted to pick some horrendous examples but visually the impact had to be pretty big. Film is a big canvas and you have to ramp up the size of everything. The size of the [waste] mountain in Lebanon made that point very well. But there was another place in Hungary I was told about where they had built a landfill in the middle of a housing estate. There was also somewhere in Hong Kong where they pushed all their rubbish into the sea. In Iceland, there was this beautiful, untouched and very clean place and there was this horrible story. It wasn’t isolated  – all three of Iceland’s incinerators had been breaching at that point. I chose the story to show the beautiful location that had been poisoned.

Did you get the chance to speak to the companies operating the incinerators?

I put requests to various people but let’s just say that we drew a blank. It was met with a polite reluctance.

At one point during the film, Irons appears to deride packaging. Was this fair?

Jeremy Irons made a point about over packaging rather than packaging. Half way through filming and research, I felt that this is such an enormous problem, there shouldn’t be any finger pointing. With films of this nature you can’t say ‘this is the bad guy’.  I did not want to pick on packaging as it’s not the industry’s fault. If anything, we all need to wise up and work together to get better solutions.

There was a shop featured that encouraged people to bring in their own packaging and refill products. Is that a model we should explore?

I think it’s a very effective solution. It’s automatic to just take a plastic bag [provided by] a shop. Many people ask for a bag even for the tiniest thing. It’s just a habit that we’ve got into and we need to be made aware of it to be changed.

The film also looks at food waste. Does packaging have a role to play in the protection of food?

For transporting, packaging is absolutely essential and hard plastic has a place in society. If it’s non-toxic and can be recycled it’s an essential part of keeping something fresh. However, I have been shocked to see staff in supermarkets chuck all the unsold food in the bin. Much of it would have been fine to eat that evening, perhaps a few days afterwards.

Is San Francisco a good model and why do you think it works?

San Francisco has been doing zero waste for a long time. They have wonderful, clear signposting. As a visitor you are led to do the right thing the whole time. If you look at the back of our packaging, I think our signposting could be much simpler.

How can things change?

The film is a first step. There are lots of wonderful organisations everywhere and terrific people doing incredible things. It’s going to take all levels of business working with government. But the will of the people is there – I’ve seen it. Once people know the scale of the problem then they would feel responsible. Imagine if we all stopped taking plastic bags – that would make a huge difference to the world. Once you start noticing plastic bags in the wild you become obsessed with them especially when you see them stuck in every tree and bush. We are all responsible for our own waste.

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Greenpeace releases spoof ad linking Coke litter to death of sea birds

Greenpeace has targeted Coca-Cola’s Australian distributor for its opposition to a container deposit recycling scheme with a graphic television commercial linking plastic pollution to the death of wildlife.

The video, a spoof of Coca-Cola adverts featuring youngsters drinking the beverage, while seabirds fall to the ground dying, has been released by Greenpeace.

Greenpeace’s beef with Coca-Cola Amatil stems from Coke’s decision to go against plans to introduce a container deposit scheme in Australia. Coke, along with drink firms Lion and Schweppes, took the Australian government to court to challenge the legal validity of the container deposit scheme and, earlier this year, the Federal Court ruled in its favour.

‘Sustainability is good for business’

In his speech at Coca-Cola Amatil’s AGM yesterday (7 May), David Gonski denied that the company was against recycling.

In his speech, he said: “It’s time to set the record straight and correct the claim being made by some that Coca-Cola Amatil is somehow anti-recycling. Or that we put profits before our environmental responsibilities. Let me make this very clear – sustainability is good for business.

“Reducing the volume of packaging we use benefits not only the environment but our bottom line. Ensuring a sustainable source of packaging material by encouraging recycling and developing renewable forms of packaging makes sense to a business that has been around for more than 100 years and intends to around for many more. Our biggest capital investment in recent years – $450 million – has been into equipment that enables us to make all our PET bottles lighter, using less plastic, so they have a lighter carbon footprint.

“In fact we are making the lightest weight PET bottles in the global Coca-Cola System– saving thousands of tonnes of PET resin. And when it comes to recycling – I want you all to understand that we support recycling and have done so for decades.
“We support a national, industry-funded recycling system which targets all litter, not just drink containers. We do not support container deposit schemes because they are old-fashioned, inefficient and very costly for families.”


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Excellence in Reusable Packaging award

The Reusable Packaging Assoc. is accepting submissions for its second annual Excellence in RA - RPA - ReusableAwardLogo- rrr.jpgeusable Packaging Award. The award is designed to recognize companies that have developed, supported, or implemented measurable and innovative reusable solutions in a business-to-business supply chain. Non-members as well as members of the RPA are encouraged to enter. Submissions will be reviewed by an independent committee of judges who are not members of the RPA.

“The award gives us another opportunity to highlight the measurable economic and environmental benefits of reusables,” said Jerry Welcome, President of the RPA. “Last year, we had a nice array of submissions from different markets and also from companies outside the US. We strongly encourage end users and suppliers from all industries to enter the competition.”

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 21, 2013. Eligible companies must have participated in the reusable packaging industry as of September 1, 2012. Companies will be judged on the quantifiable environmental and economic benefits of their reusable packaging solutions and services. Herman Miller Inc. won the award in 2012 for its reusable packaging initiative that is saving the company $46,000 annually in material and labor.

Submission forms are available at the RPA website

The award is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Reusable Packaging Machinery Institute (PMMI) and StopWaste.Org. The winner of the award will be announced during PACK EXPO 2013 in Las Vegas.

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Ethical Minded Consumers Demand Green Packaging

For ethical-hungry consumers, ingredients are not enough to make food sustainable – packaging must be green, too.

Dubbed “greenwrapping”, the premium food sector is increasingly seeking to entice eco-friendly customers with their sustainable packaging.

Perhaps encouraging us that we should judge a book by its cover, the outside of a product is beginning to be just as important as what is inside, whether that is tuna, tea, peanut butter or popcorn.

In recent years tuna has acquired the title as a controversial catch, but now conservationists are keen to consider the can it is packed in. Metal cans are more resource intensive than plastic pouches are, and also consume more energy in transportation.

Consumers Want Green Packaging and Food

Now, Sea Fare Pacific is breaking conventions and packing their wild, sustainably caught sea food into BPA-free pouches that are not only environmentally friendly, but sleek too.

Popcorn bags may not seem problematic, but they are increasingly attracting scrutiny. PFOA lines many commercial microwave popcorn bags, which the FDA classed as a toxin. Other unwanted contents include plastics, Teflon and artificial butter substitutes. Quinn Popcorn plans to change the much-loved snack with their Kickstarter campaign.

The Quinn founders describe their mission on their website: “First, we tackled the bag. Gone are the chemical coatings (PFOA, PFCs, Poly, etc.). We even pulled out the susceptor (gray metal/plastic patch).”

What is left, they continued, is just paper. But not just any paper – it is both greaseproof and compostable.


Food isn’t the only thing enjoying the green treatment; organic tea can now be found in biodegradable filter pack in Numi packs, and Australian design company, The Creative Method, have created a wine bottle that is organic from lid to base – it includes wax, balsa wood, organic string, and even organic inks to create the images on the bottle.

Greenwrapping is just the start for organic food retailers, who have their eye on sustainability-conscious consumers. Research and consulting company EcoFocus found in a survey carried out last year that over two-thirds of those who shop for organic and natural foods regard choosing responsibly packaged foods as important. Whatever it is they are buying, they want it to be green.

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Plastics alternative is 100% recyclable and carbon positive

A new 100% recyclable, carbon positive material has been unveiled by Polythene UK. The new Polyair material is bio-based, made from sugar cane – the process of photosynthesis as the plant grows makes the product carbon positive.

Polythene UK initially launched the product in 2009, as an oxy-degradable polyethylene. Managing director James Woollard explains: “When we initially launched Polyair it was an oxy-degradable polyethylene. At the time everyone thought that the oxy-degradable route was the way to go. However, although we felt we needed this in our product portfolio, we soon began to wonder at the actual benefits of a material that completely degraded within 2/3 years – our atmosphere simply turned it to flakes and particles.

“We are now delighted to say that we have found an amazing alternative and are relaunching Polyair to the UK market and specifically the FTSE 500 – this bio-based product will have a massive environmental impact.”

According to Woollard, for every tonne of the new Polyair manufactured, 2.5 tonnes of CO2 will have been captured from the atmosphere.

“Polyair can be used across our full product range of bags, covers, tubes, films, wraps and stretch film, giving customers a significantly greener, environmentally friendly option,” he says. “Using a bio-based material, such as Polyair, at a percentage of 60% in film reduces the CO2 emissions to 0%, even when you take into consideration the energy used for manufacturing and shipping.”

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Packaging firms support Ecodesk sustainability initiative

Packaging companies MeadWestVaco Corporation (MWV), Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS) and Ellis Paperbox have signed-up to the “world’s largest user-managed open data sustainability platform”, Ecodesk, in order to measure and analyse supply chain energy use and carbon emissions.

Partly supported by government grants, Ecodesk is a private equity-funded initiative with shareholders from the UK and Australia, founded by CEO Robert Clarke in 2006 with the intention of establishing a “global standard of excellence in data rigour and communication of sustainability data and information”.

Through Ecodesk, companies such as MWV, MPS and Ellis Paperbox can target suppliers to better understand their energy use and carbon emissions, and develop a more complete picture of their own environmental impact as well as identifying possible areas of improvement and cost savings in the supply chain.

Each company uses the Ecodesk platform to openly publish its sustainability data.

“The response from packaging businesses to customer requests to report has been amazing and a credit to the industry,” says Robert Clarke.

“Their understanding of the commercial benefits of sustainability data and the role it can play in terms of procurement and reputation has been refreshing.”

Such transparency and collaboration, Clarke adds, “can only lead to a stronger, more dynamic packaging industry”.

MWV’s vice president of safety, health and environment Dirk Krouskop says: “Every company wants a lean and efficient supply chain but without transparency it cannot be achieved in today’s world.”

Ecodesk is a live, open data, web-based platform which enables organisations of all sizes to search, publish, analyse and communicate sustainability data in one place.

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ECO Plastics calls for urgent action on UK recyclate quality

Leading UK recycling company ECO Plastics has called for the urgent introduction of mandatory requirements in the sector, following the completion of the UK government’s consultation on the introduction of a Code of Practice for Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs).

Launched in February, the consultation by the UK’s Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) solicited views on whether a code specifying minimum output standards should be compulsory for all MRFs, coupled with transparent and auditable sampling regimes, or whether companies should be able to comply on a voluntary basis.

ECO Plastics maintains there is a common view within the recycling industry that allowing MRFs to choose whether or not they meet agreed standards, will negate the point of the scheme, and continue what it describes as “the current deterioration in quality of the UK’s waste stream”.

“We have submitted our response to the Government’s consultation and in that we have made clear in no uncertain terms our view that the Code of Practice is doomed to failure if firms can simply opt out,” says ECO Plastics managing director Jonathan Short.

Short says that the fact that some reprocessing markets can still accept a high degree of contamination means that companies choosing to comply with voluntary standards will be undercut by their competitors.

“If they are forced to decide between maintaining quality and going out of business, you can predict which option they will choose,” he says. “The scheme will collapse unless all MRFs have to meet minimum standards.”

If compulsory targets were to be introduced, Short adds that a comprehensive testing system would also be required to ensure they were being met.

“MRFs must be required to carry out frequent analysis of their materials and they must be subject to regular, unscheduled tests of their facilities by the [UK] Environment Agency,” he says.

“Full transparency is essential, with the information summarised and made publicly available. The industry has nothing to hide and everything to gain by working to Best Practice – we will produce material which is attractive to any market in the world, at premium value.”

Short asserts that the UK government must take urgent action “in order to safeguard the UK industry” as, he says, “there has been a visible decrease in the quality of the waste that we receive from some MRFs” since the Code of Practice was first proposed in a 2011 Waste Review.

“If we are to create a sustainable, 360-degree domestic industry that covers the entire waste value chain, it is imperative that we address the issue of declining quality,” he says.

“Establishing a consistent stream of quality recyclate from MRFs is the best way to tackle the problem at source.

“The Government must not throw away this golden opportunity to set the foundation for our industry’s future success.”

Having begun re-processing post-consumer plastics in 2006, ECO Plastics is Europe’s leading plastic bottle recycler, and has invested more than £17m to quadruple its processing capacity and triple the factory footprint over the past five years.

During early 2009 the Linclonshire-based company became the first UK company to receive food grade accreditation for its rPET resin.

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Industry bodies investigate glass pack supply chain

Valpak, Wrap, the Advisory Committee on Packaging and other key stakeholders are working on a new project which will investigate the glass packaging supply chain in the United Kingdom.

Defra, the Environment Agency and British Glass are also working on the project.

According to the trade bodies, the key drivers for this project are to gain a better understanding of the volatility experienced in the market in 2012 and the potential impact(s) of the introduction of split targets for glass, which mean that to achieve compliance in 2013 a minimum of 63% of glass packaging recycling must come from remelt.

In addition, although compliance for glass was achieved in 2012, the surplus carry-over of PRN/PERN evidence into 2013 was reduced to 16,700 tonnes compared to the 57,000 tonnes carried over into 2012 (at the end of 2011), which potentially makes reaching compliance in 2013 more difficult.

A related issue for glass to remelt to be considered in this analysis is the quality of the glass collected for recycling, according to the group of stakeholders. This affects the economics of using glass cullet in place of virgin materials from the viewpoint of glass container manufacturers.

The main objectives of this project will be:

  • To improve market transparency and information on glass packaging recovery and recycling in the UK
  • To identify and evaluate possible risks to UK compliance for glass this year, and in subsequent years to 2017, and
  • To develop scenarios to assess and quantify potential market supply/demand for increased glass recycling, including collection, sorting, processing and reprocessing

‘Unexpected changes’

Bob Lisney, chairman of the ACP, said: “The ACP has been keen to understand the reasons for the unexpected changes in the glass market for PRNs last year.

“As a result, we have joined with a task group of stakeholders to investigate the flows of material in the UK and to develop some forecasts for the next few years of the targets. This will give us a good understanding of the glass PRN market which hopefully will be welcomed by those directly involved in the industry.”

The current status of the glass market will be quantified in terms of the tonnages flowing on to the market with estimates split by colour and by format, building an overall picture for the UK, and separately for Scotland and for Wales.

The project will also look back at events in the glass market to gain a better understanding of the likely evolution of glass packaging PRN/PERNs (in terms of tonnages and prices).

Steve Gough, Valpak’s chief executive said: “We felt that this work was of sufficient importance to commit time and resource to the project. We also believe that it must engage with those key stakeholders, to whom this information is essential, in terms of planning for cost effective UK compliance, identifying any barriers to more effective glass collection and recycling and ensuring that the UK is best placed to comply with EU targets and to do so at lowest cost to industry.

“The support of those key stakeholders is essential to ensure that a full and comprehensive investigation is carried out and that it involves all those parties who have expert knowledge of the sector and a vested interest in the system working effectively.”

‘Improve market transparency’

Marcus Gover, Director of Closed Loop Economy, Wrap added:“This project will improve market transparency and information on glass recovery and recycling in the UK, it will inform debate within the industry and generate consensus about specific actions that the industry, together with Wrap and others, could potentially deliver to enable more glass packaging recovery and recycling in the UK.”

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PET full body sleeve label recycling: no easy answers

No single solution for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) full body sleeve labels will suit everybody and make the issue easily solvable, according to Eastman Chemical Company.

The firm aims to tackle the problem of full-wrap labels on PET bottles in the recycle stream and is heading a group of 30 companies that will develop solutions to benefit industry across the value chain.

The label is heat shrunk around a significant portion of the bottle surface, running contiguously, with no seam or other break.

The consortium will meet again next month to assess potential solutions to the problem with a focus on additional equipment options that are available and the viable next steps to implement workable solutions.

Perforated labels and floatable labels are alternatives proposed but have issues to overcome before becoming commercially viable.

Approximately 80% of full-wrap labels in North America are found on PET containers, the most recycled plastic on the market.

Value chain impacted

Holli Whitt, market development manager, sustainability for specialty plastics, Eastman Chemical Company told that all parts of the value chain are impacted so everyone needs to work together to strive to find a solution.

“Equipment removal is evolving daily and helping to provide the information on how to get the most successful method of label removal without too much modifications and removal throughout the chain is critical.

“Fully body sleeve labels have a great impact on the shelf and grab the consumers’ attention. Brands are able to use contours and different shapes and 360 degree graphics, which has led to increased success and market share.

“There is not one single solution to make the problem easily solvable and it is a collaboration across the value chain.”

High density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP) does not cause the same problem as it has a density of less than 1 gram per cubic centimetre so the bottles and labels can be separated using conventional equipment.

As full-wrap labels are becoming more popular because of increased shelf appeal, many PET bottles also have been downgauged, said Eastman.

APR: “Critical level”

Speaking to this site earlier this year about the issue , Steve Alexander, president of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), said the issue is hitting critical levels.

“We see more of the full body sleeve labels each month and expect to see more as marketers use the sleeve labels to greater advantage. Sleeve labels have many positive characteristics, such as absence of adhesives and coloured bottle plastic.

“Reclaimers update their capability constantly, but you cannot buy what does not exist and should not buy what is unaffordable. If some sleeved bottles stop the recycling systems, they become unrecyclable and should be so identified.

“Packaging designers and specifiers need to keep their decisions within the realm of what is helpful and avoid magnifying the difficulty of recycling their package.”

The first meeting of the Eastman-headed group, held in August last year discussed how labels are creating challenges in the recycling process and began exploring solutions.

The second meeting, held in November, considered the viability of potential solutions and identified critical success factors.

The group is made up of consumer goods manufacturers, resin and label producers, film extruders, print converters, equipment manufacturers, bottlers and packagers, recyclers and testing firms.

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Nestlé reduces plastics in packs

Consumer goods giant Nestlé has reduced the amount of plastic materials it employs in its packaging by 34% since 1991, according to media reports.

Speaking at the Renewable Plastics conference in Amsterdam, Philippe Roulet, head of global packaging materials and testing, said the use of plastics and laminates has gone down more than any other material (the company has reduced its use of glass by 13 %, for example), partly because of changes to water bottles, according to

The news website said that the bottle for Ozarka, a bottled water brand sold in the United States, is now made with only 9.3 grams of resin, he said, showing a slide which demonstrated that bottles for carbonated drinks were sometimes made with more than 20 grams of materials.

Roulet said:”We need to consider a holistic approach and think about packaging and product, not just packaging. On its own, plastic has a higher impact than paper, but as paper results in more product spoiling, the overall waste is the same.”

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Corrugated packaging industry lowers carbon footprint

The corrugated packaging sector has reduced its carbon footprint by a further 4.8% over the three years up to 2011, according to FEFCO figures.

The average carbon footprint of corrugated packaging is now 746 kg/t, compared to 784 kg/t for the period 2006-08.

It follows a cut of almost 12% in the previous three-year cycle, revealed The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO’s) European Database for Corrugated Board Life Cycle Studies.

Between 1990 and 2010, the UK papermaking industry also reduced energy use by 42% per tonne of paper made, and emissions of fossil carbon dioxide by 1.6m tonnes.

CPI response

Confederation of Paper Industries (C PI) hailed the latest set of carbon footprint figures as more evidence that the corrugated industry leads the way on environmental matters.

The savings have been achieved through reductions in energy consumption and the industry’s use of recycled materials for the production of new corrugated packaging, which rose from 82% in 2009 to 85% last year across Europe, said CPI.

The majority of corrugated packaging is manufactured from recycled material and where virgin fibre is used, it comes from sustainably managed forests, using softwoods such as pine and spruce, which are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC ) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC ) accredited.

The paper industry is a relatively small user of wood; only around 11% of the wood extracted from the world’s forests is used in paper and pulp production, added the industry group.

“Huge steps”

Andy Barnetson, C PI Director of Packaging Affairs, said: “These latest figures from FEFCO highlight the huge steps the corrugated industry is taking to protect the environment, through extensive improvements in the manufacturing process.

“Corrugated packaging has superb environmental credentials, and this is being recognised in both the supply chain and by consumers, however, the industry is not complacent.

“The UK corrugated sector is renowned for innovation and will continue to explore ways of reducing the carbon footprint of its products still further.”

Over 80% of all corrugated cardboard boxes are recycled, giving the corrugated industry the best UK recycling rate of all packaging materials, said the group, which counts Ahlstrom, Arjo Wiggins, Billerud, DS Smith and SCA among its members.

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Project develops biodegradable packaging using hemp, flax

An EU project has developed biodegradable composite packaging reinforced with hemp and flax fibres for poultry and meat.

Supported by funding under the EU Framework 7 Research and Development Framework Programme, the Traysrenew project began in 2010 with the end aim of developing commercially and economically viable renewable trays for poultry products.

Project partners have created a thermo-transformed tray and lid composed of up to 85% biopolymers and 15% hemp-based and flax-based microfibres or nanofibres, plus biodegradable additives. The packaging offers a shelf life at chill temperatures of 10 days.

Improved on conventional materials

Researchers involved said this combination of new materials enhanced the current properties of bioplastics and improved on the properties of conventional materials.

For example, they said, it had good barrier properties and was able to preserve meat products to the same standards and under the same conditions as conventional materials.

The new materials and the container they form also met food quality and safety standards demanded for poultry meat products, a sector chosen as a test ground because of its strong growth potential. Its competitive price with respect to other meats and consumer demand would result in EU production levels of 12.5 million tonnes in 2020, according to the European Commission.

Project leader and partners

The project was led by Termoformas del Levante, based in Alicante, Spain, and partners included Spanish poultry processor Productos Florida, Arctic Fiber Company and the UK Materials Technology Research Institute.

Results from the project were presented at a conference held in the Technological Institute for Packaging, Transport and Logistics. David Mas, managing director of Termoformas del Levante, highlighted “the positive data obtained for the packaging of poultry meat with this new system”.

He added that “the trials undertaken with the new packaging complies with the expectations set out by the project consortium”.

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Avery Dennison confirms responsible paper sourcing policy

Avery Dennison has formalized a company-wide policy to promote responsible paper sourcing and procurement.

Developed with support from the Rainforest Alliance, Avery Dennison’s policy commits the company and its businesses to: identifying and disclosing the sources of the pulp, natural fiber and paper in its labeling and packaging materials; helping ensure that its suppliers follow sustainable forest management practices; evaluating and rewarding sound environmental performance on the part of its supply chain partners; seeking to maximize its use of recycled content and fiber sourced from forestry operations certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards; and working to avoid controversial fiber sources.

Avery Dennison is working with external certification experts, including Rainforest Alliance, to assess the potential risk to the company’s supply chain of illegal timber or irresponsibly harvested fiber and develop systems and procedures for documenting, verifying and reporting supplier performance.

Dean Scarborough, Avery Dennison chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: ‘As a leader in labeling and packaging materials and solutions, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help our customers and our industry become more sustainable.

‘Our policy will guide us in sourcing materials responsibly, using them more efficiently in our operations and developing greener products from them.’

Scarborough added: ‘We will review our policy and commitments on a regular basis to ensure they reflect the state of the industry and are based on the best available scientific evidence.

‘Our goal is to help minimize the environmental and social impacts of our sourcing decisions across the entire paper lifecycle.’

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Herma cuts environmental footprint with release liner recycling

Self-adhesive label specialist Herma recycled some 185 tonnes of surplus release liner from its material production process through a Europe-wide recycling initiative in 2012, helping it offset the carbon emissions from its 74-strong fleet of cars last year.

Silicone-coated release liner is encountered wherever labels are applied, and in large quantities in the consumer goods, food and logistics industries. It is conventionally discarded as general refuse.

Thanks to the cooperation of European release liner recycling organization Cycle4Green (C4G) and Austrian paper manufacturer Lenzing Papier, waste raw materials are recovered and used to produce new label paper and release liner, both of which are used by Herma.

A certificate from C4G shows that Herma committed around 185 tonnes of surplus liner from its self-adhesive material production to the silicon-coated release liner recycling initiative in 2012.

Compared with recycling, manufacturing the same quantity from virgin fiber would have increased carbon dioxide emissions by 428 tonnes.

Dr Thomas Baumgärtner (pictured, top), managing director of Herma, and head of its self-adhesive materials division, said: ‘Last year, Herma’s entire fleet generated about 410 tonnes of carbon dioxide, based on the vehicles’ imputed mileage and realistic average consumption figures.

‘We can therefore claim a carbon-neutral footprint for the 74 Herma cars. Given that we produce only a fairly small quantity of waste liner – because it is a constituent of our self-adhesive materials – achieving carbon neutrality is an impressive achievement.

‘It illustrates that even relatively small-scale recycling can make a big impact.’

In 2010, Herma became the first self-adhesive material specialist in the industry to participate in the C4G initiative, which was established specifically for this type of recycling. The quantity of release liner collected by C4G throughout Europe in 2012 reduced carbon dioxide emissions by around 7,000 tonnes.

Across the EU, the annual consumption of silicone-coated release liner stands at about 360,000 tonnes. The largest portion is attributable to companies that apply labels.

‘The potential carbon dioxide savings are therefore enormous,’ adds Baumgärtner.

‘That’s why we take every opportunity to encourage our self-adhesive material customers, namely the label printers, to point their own customers towards the C4G recycling initiative. It makes good sense for both the climate and the participating companies, which would otherwise have to bear the cost of disposing of the release liner.’

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UPM extends reach of RafCycle waste management concept

UPM Raflatac has signed a cooperation agreement with the French subsidiary of Aliplast for release liner recovery.

Aliplast is an Italian company specializing in the collection and treatment of recovered plastic films.

This partnership expands Aliplast’s recycling services to polypropylene (PP) and paper-based release liners through UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle waste management concept. Aliplast now collects, sorts and distributes all types of release liner to different recycling processes, avoiding landfill or incineration.

Large collection bags are installed by Aliplast for use by self-adhesive label end users like drinks bottlers and companies from the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Aliplast collects the bags regularly and directs them to its two sorting centres near Strasbourg and Lyon. After sorting, the waste is transported to its final place of re-use.

PP, including UPM Raflatac’s ProLiner PP30, is re-used as a raw material in the manufacture of wood-plastic composite products at the UPM ProFi factory in Bruchsal, Germany. Other wrapping films are recycled into various packaging products by Aliplast Italy.

Aliplast also collects paper-based release liners for fiber re-use. The recovered paper liners are re-pulped and de-siliconized, and the pulp is used for papermaking at UPM’s paper mills.

Through the partnership with Aliplast, UPM Raflatac said it has extended the reach of its RafCycle concept to even more label end users.

The RafCycle concept makes use of labelstock by-products from all stages of the labelstock lifecycle: process waste from coating and slitting operations, matrix and start-up waste from printing and die-cutting, and liner waste from label dispensing at the end of the cycle.

The recycled self-adhesive label waste is given new life as one of three end-products: UPM ProFi composite material, energy or paper.

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Werneke Ink founder passes away

Louis O. Werneke, the founder of Werneke Ink, passed away on March 31, 2013. 

Born in 1926, he was nicknamed “Inky Lou” and began the design of the first water-based ink for flexographic printing in 1973.

He then moved onto developing a water-based system for label printing, and built a successful global business that became part of Flint Group via a number of mergers and acquisitions after Akzo Nobel acquired the company in 1998.

Flint said Werneke Ink remains a key facet of the company today.

Louis (pictured, top) was married to June, who passed away in 2008, and is survived by his two children, Matthew Werneke and Lisa Werneke Nelson. He had eight grandchildren.

Visitation and prayer mass will be held on April 8 at Washburn-McReavy in Edina, Minnesota. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the N.C. Little Hospice Edina, Minnesota, 7019 Lynmar Lane, Edina, Minnesota, 55435.

In a statement, Flint said: ‘Our thoughts and sympathy go out to the Werneke family and friends during this sad time. We have all lost a well-respected friend, colleague and an industry icon.’

Mike Fairley, international publishing director of Labels & Labeling, said: ‘Lou was a real enthusiast about label inks and did much through his innovation and development to help the label industry grow over the years, especially for his work in raising the quality and standards of the flexographic printing process. Active in the industry and a regular participant at association events and Labelexpo shows, he was recognized and known affectionately by label converters and other industry suppliers alike.

‘Lou and I often shared a golf cart during TLMI meetings. Neither of us played that well, but he was always good company, excited to discuss the latest label trends and developments, and fun to be with. The world of labels owes much to him and he will undoubtedly be remembered by the industry for a long time to come.’

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Greenpeace Reports Sustainable KFC Bucket

Fast food restaurant KFC has allegedly pledged a better bucket.

After pressure from Greenpeace devotees from around the world, KFC’s parent company and the globe’s biggest restaurant firm, Yum! Brands, has released new commitments to use more rainforest-friendly packaging and paper, according to the campaigning organization.

After Greenpeace publicized KFC’s use of rainforest-tree wood fiber to produce their famous chicken buckets, activists the world over spoke up, or even acted up – hours in orangutan and tiger costumes, reverse graffiti and dunking the famous Colonel in BBQ sauce, were some of the stunts pulled to make the company take note.

Sustainable KFC Bucket

Greenpeace reported the parent firm announcing the new policies on Wednesday, which, if officially implemented, would prevent Yum! Brand companies including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and of course KFC from destroying rainforests for their paper packaging. This is excellent news for the orangutans and tigers that depend on the rainforest to live.

But packaging is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Rainforest destruction is also linked to palm oil. According to Greenpeace, Yum! Brands is phasing palm oil out wherever possible, for health reasons, in their 39,000 restaurants. But as yet it is unclear if there are any environmental standards for the palm oil it is purchasing in the meantime.

With solutions to issues such as trashing people’s rights and rainforests in Africa, to wiping out Indonesian orangutans to the point of extinction growing all the time, Greenpeace argues that not taking note of the problems associated with palm oil is not acceptable.

The campaigning organization has been busy. Only last week, Greenpeace ensured that the “Roadless Rule”, which prevents any US forest without a road in being chopped down, without severe difficulty, could be upheld without further challenges.

“It is important for clean water, fish, wildlife and recreation in the remaining intact areas of the national forests. American families cherish these places for camping, hiking, fishing, boating, hunting and all kinds of other recreation. The Roadless Rule ensures they will be available for generations to come,” said Earthjustice attorney Tom Waldo.

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Raising the bar with compostable packaging film

Fuel For Adventure Ltd., a British firm that helps fuel Olympians, adventurers and sports stars from across the world, has chosen Innovia Films’ compostable flexible material, NatureFlex as the packaging for its range of natural energy bars.

Based in Wiltshire, UK, Fuel For Adventure Ltd. produces Mule Bars and was founded in 2002 by Jimmy Docherty and Alex Smith. They decided to make not only tasty nutritional high energy products, but ones which use only natural ingredients.

NatureFlex was an obvious choice for the packaging as the film begins life as a natural product – wood and breaks down in a home compost bin (or industrial compost environment) within a matter of weeks – yet also offers advantages for packing and converting such as inherent deadfold and anti-static properties, high gloss and transparency, resistance to grease and oil, good barrier to gases, aromas and mineral oils and a wide heat-seal range. In this application, NatureFlex NK film is converted byMercury Packaging UK .

Outlining why Mule Bar selected NatureFlex, Docherty explains: “The major reason we chose products offered by Innovia Films is because we actively aim to compensate for our business and personal footprint. Compostable NatureFlex films can help us to reduce our impact on the environment and at the same time keep Mule Bars in premium condition.”

Mule Bars are produced using organic and Fair Trade ingredients wherever possible and are available in seven tasty flavors including Jimmy’s Choc Orange and Strudel.

NatureFlex films are certified to meet the American ASTM D6400, European EN13432 and Australian AS4736 standards for compostable packaging. The wood-pulp is sourced from managed plantations. The renewable biobased content of NatureFlex films is typically 95% by weight of material according to ASTM D6866.

“Innovia Films compostable packaging helps to meet Mule Bars customers’ needs and their own sustainability goals without compromising on shelf life and seal performance requirements,” comments Clare McKeown, market manager, Innovia Films.

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Project develops biodegradable packaging using hemp, flax

Supported by funding under the EU Framework 7 Research and Development Framework Programme, the Traysrenew project began in 2010 with the end aim of developing commercially and economically viable renewable trays for poultry products.

Project partners have created a thermo-transformed tray and lid composed of up to 85% biopolymers and 15% hemp-based and flax-based microfibres or nanofibres, plus biodegradable additives. The packaging offers a shelf life at chill temperatures of 10 days.

Improved on conventional materials

Researchers involved said this combination of new materials enhanced the current properties of bioplastics and improved on the properties of conventional materials.

For example, they said, it had good barrier properties and was able to preserve meat products to the same standards and under the same conditions as conventional materials.

The new materials and the container they form also met food quality and safety standards demanded for poultry meat products, a sector chosen as a test ground because of its strong growth potential. Its competitive price with respect to other meats and consumer demand would result in EU production levels of 12.5 million tonnes in 2020, according to the European Commission.

Project leader and partners

The project was led by Termoformas del Levante, based in Alicante, Spain, and partners included Spanish poultry processor Productos Florida, Arctic Fiber Company and the UK Materials Technology Research Institute.

Results from the project were presented at a conference held in the Technological Institute for Packaging, Transport and Logistics. David Mas, managing director of Termoformas del Levante, highlighted “the positive data obtained for the packaging of poultry meat with this new system”.

He added that “the trials undertaken with the new packaging complies with the expectations set out by the project consortium”.


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More than 70% of Glass Bottles and Jars Collected For Recycling in the EU

According to the latest glass recycling industry data published by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), the average glass recycling rate in the European Union has risen above the 70% threshold for the first time. This means that over 11 million tons were collected throughout the European Union in 2011.

This achievement follows major efforts made in all EU Member States over the past few years to meet the EU’s 60% recycling target for glass, a level that was reached by all the relevant countries by 2008. Some of them recorded particularly outstanding results. Other countries are in good shape to meet the target within the later fixed deadlines, while for some there is still potential to improve.

All participants in the glass closed loop have contributed to these good results. On the one hand, the glass industry has designed, manufactured and marketed containers to be effectively recycled in a closed loop system. They have also effectively communicated good recycling practices to consumers. On the other hand, collection and processing schemes have also been extended and progressively improved, while the public has also been made aware of the importance of collecting more glass and better. Used glass bottles are a precious resource and should be properly collected through separate streams.

“We have no problems in absorbing more recycled glass provided that this is of high quality. Glass recycling is the key component of the circular economy – because recycling closes the loop,” says Stefan Jaenecke, President of FEVE. “Glass recycling saves raw materials and energy and reduces production costs.”

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‘Abundantly clear’: Bioplastic feedstocks pose no competition to land for food-use

The land area used to grow crops for bioplastic is “nowhere near” being in competition to food and feed, according to European Bioplastics.

The surface required to grow sufficient feedstock for today’s bioplastic production is less than 0.006% of the global agricultural area of 5bn hectares, said a report published today by the group.

It was also predicted in 2016 the surface required would be around 1.1m hectares or 0.022% in relation to the global agricultural area.

Global production capacity of bioplastics for bottle packaging was 377,000 tonnes in 2011, including PLA and PLA blends and bio-PET sources and this is expected to grow to 3,726,000 tonnes by 2016.

The figures are based on findings from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and calculations of the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB, University Hannover, Germany).

Balance needed

European Bioplastics said that increasing efficiency of feedstock and agricultural technology will be key to the balance between land-use for bioplastics and land for food and feed.

European Bioplastics market data depicts production capacities of around 1.2m tonnes in 2011.

This translates to 300,000 hectares of land-use to grow feedstock for bioplastics. In relation to the global agricultural area of 5bn hectares, bioplastics use is only 0.006%.

The group said looking at the global agricultural area and the way it is used makes it “abundantly clear” that 0.006% used to grow feedstock for bioplastics are nowhere near being in competition with the 98% used for pastures and to grow food and feed.

Transparent discussion

Kristy-Barbara Lange, head of communications at European Bioplastics, said it was too much like looking into a crystal ball to predict any further than 2016.

“The numbers so far show no real competition arising in the mid-term and in the long term you have the population growth of billions of people and oil depleting so we need to find a way in the middle.”

Feedstocks such as cellulose, algae, bio-succinic acid or other building blocks that don’t compete with the food chain could be used in a few years but they are not something to substitute the first generation feedstock being used now, she added.

When asked what the hope was for the report, Lange said: “That people recognise the numbers as fair and independent and agree that bioplastics pose no danger now or tomorrow and work to helping on this issue.”

Of the 13.4bn hectares of global land surface, around 37% (5bn hectares) are currently used for agriculture.

This includes pastures (70%, 3.5bn hectares) and arable land (30% 1.4bn hectare).

The 30% of arable land is further divided into areas used to grow crops for food and feed (27%, 1.29bn hectares), and crops for materials (2%, 100m hectares, including the share used for bioplastics), and crops for biofuels (1%, 55m hectares).

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Packaging firms question EFSA food contact consultation

EU packaging firms are concerned the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is not consulting the industry enough in its discussions on authorisation of food contact materials in packaging.

The Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) told its members had asked it to monitor the new authorisations from the European Commission for such substances.

Concerns had been expressed by some members that the first list of authorised substances would be published without proper consultation with industry, the organisation said.

‘Somewhat lopsided process’

“Under the New Approach Directive method some detailed talks with industry would have occurred, or even a Technical Committee convened,”  one senior AIPIA board member explained. “But the current process means that EFSA is the only body involved in the decision, once the submissions have been made. This seems a somewhat lopsided process to us and could lead to a flawed result.”

AIPIA had already opened a dialogue with the relevant directorate in Brussels, which will shortly publish the first list, it told this site. The association’s director Eef de Ferrante said: “We have already had several open and constructive conversations and held a meeting with the Commission as well as attending a formal meeting of stakeholders on the matter.”

A list of substances for which applications for authorisation have been received are currently under scrutiny by EFSA, which will give its opinion on the safety of their safe use in food packaging.

Substances excluded

Substances excluded from the first authorised list can no longer be placed on the market for use in active or intelligent components in contact with food. If allowed a substance is permitted for use by any supplier, not just the one who submitted it for testing.

A second round of applications will be permitted after tests on the first substances to be received are completed. There may also be an appeals process, which would need to be completed before new applications are scrutinised. However, AIPIA said there was concern about the timescales involved.

“We understand the Commission is anxious to get this process right, particularly in the light of so many food scares recently,”  said de Ferrante. “We have to convince our members to be confident that this is an open and fair process and not just an academic exercise.

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Who is willing to fork out more for fresh and sustainable packaging?

When it comes to food and beverage packaging, consumers are most likely to pay more for value-added features that relate to freshness and sustainability. This is the latest finding from a global study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest.

 Consumers from around the world were given a list of potential packaging features and asked which ones they would be willing to pay more for. On a global basis, consumers were most likely to say they would pay more for “Packaging that keeps food fresh longer” (55 percent) and “Packaging that is environmentally-friendly” (55 percent).

Following freshness and environmental benefits, consumers said they were likely to pay more for packaging that is re-usable (42 percent) and easier to use (39 percent). Interestingly, more sophisticated packaging features were less likely to motivate consumers to spend more: packaging that prevents mess or spills, keeps food and beverages at the right temperature, and makes it easier to eat and drink on-the-go ranked lowest (34 percent, 33 percent and 31 percent, respectively).

“Packaging plays a key role in consumer packaged goods innovation, whether marketers are introducing new products or trying to invigorate existing brands” ,” says Lauren Demar, global CEO, Ipsos InnoQuest. “As a key driver in the consumer’s decision to buy, packaging features can often be leveraged to charge a premium. Our latest findings indicate that consumers place the most value on packaging that preserves freshness and offers environmental benefits. For marketers, there may be an opportunity to win over consumers and increase revenues through innovative package designs that deliver sustainability of freshness as well as sustainability of the planet.”

The survey also revealed that certain countries were more likely to say they would pay more for fresh and sustainable packaging:

South Africa, Malaysia and India were most likely to say they would pay more for packaging that keeps food fresh longer.

Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia were most likely to say they would pay more for environmentally-friendly packing.

Complimentary access to the data in this report for each of the 26 countries is available upon request from Ipsos InnoQuest.


These are the findings from a study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest via Ipsos Global @dvisor, an online survey of citizens around the world. A total of 19,883 adults from 26 countries were polled between Aug. 7 and 21, 2012. The countries included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.

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Co-op’s wine lightweighting move cuts carbon

The Co-operative Food has said that it has lightweighted the glass on 20 own-brand wines, helping to reduce the carbon impact of its packaging

According to the retailer, working with supplier, Kingsland Wines and Spirits, the lightweighting move will save 725 tonnes of glass each year.

This means that the retailer will also save over 556 tonnes of CO2per year.

The initiative is part of the Co-operative’s pledge to reduce the amount of packaging used on its own-brand products by 15% by the end of 2013 – part of the overall aim to protect the environment set out in its Ethical Plan.

The retailer said that lightweighting wine bottles has little effect on the aesthetics of the products – the new bottles are of a similar shape, with a slight reduction in height.

Iain Ferguson, environment manager for the Co-operative Food, said: “We continually strive to reduce the carbon impact of our packaging without compromising on the quality or shelf life of the products inside.  Lightweighting wine bottles helps us to deliver on this objective.  Glass takes a lot of energy and resources to produce which lightweighting reduces, but we also benefit from not having as much weight to transport.”

Andy Dawe, head of food and drink at Wrap, said:  “Wrap is delighted that the Co-operative Food continues to make significant progress in lightweighting of wine bottles.

“The opportunity to optimise the amount of glass used in bottles allows for greater efficiency at the manufacturing stage, through the retail chain and once recycled – it brings materials, cost and environmental benefits.”

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P&G reaches zero manufacturing waste to landfill target

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced that a majority of its facilities have achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill

The owner of consumer brands including Gillette, Ariel, Tide and Pampers said that over the past 5 years, P&G’s work to find worth in waste has created over $1 billion in value for the company.

Bob McDonald, P&G president, chief executive and chairman of the board said: We have a vision for the future, where plants are powered by renewable energy, products are made from recycled and renewable materials and resources are conserved, with no waste going to landfill.

“Changing the way we see waste as a company has brought us one step closer to this goal at 45 sites worldwide, where all of our manufacturing waste is recycled, repurposed or converted into energy.”

P&G announced its first zero manufacturing waste to landfill site in Budapest in 2007. Since then, the company said that it has shared a long-term environmental vision, pledging to work toward zero consumer and manufacturing waste worldwide.

Packaging reduction

According to P&G, through quality assurance, packaging reduction, compaction and recycling efforts, the company now ensures that 99% of all materials entering P&G plants leaves as finished product or is recycled, reused or converted to energy.

“There are well-defined systems for recycling materials like paper, plastic and glass, but our product portfolio is incredibly broad, resulting in a diverse set of waste streams to find sustainable solutions for,” said Dr. Forbes McDougall, who leads P&G’s global zero manufacturing waste program.

He added: “We focused on finding solutions for our toughest waste streams at our largest sites, and while initially we saw progress in our overall corporate recycling, the increase in zero landfill sites was slow. Today, we have found ways to divert most of our major waste streams away from landfill, so we’re now seeing new sites achieve zero manufacturing waste to landfill nearly every month.”

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Continuum Recycling Ramps Up to 100% Capacity and Sorts 250 Million Bottles

Continuum Recycling, the pioneering recycled-PET joint venture between Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) and ECO Plastics, has celebrated sorting a quarter of a billion bottles. The landmark comes some nine months after the £15 million facility was opened and confirms the stellar performance of the partners in ramping up production.

Located on the site of ECO Plastics’ existing facility in Hemswell, itself the world’s largest plastics sorting plant, Continuum is now responsible for processing more than 50% of the UK’s bottle grade rPET plastic. The success of the facility has allowed CCE to meet its commitment to use 25% rPET in all its bottles by the end of 2012, an industry first.

The plant also played a key part in Coca-Cola’s efforts to recycle all of the plastic bottles used during the Olympics and Paralympics, with some 15 million collected and returned to shelves as part of 63 million new bottles during a process that lasted as little as six weeks.

Since opening Continuum has received a number of honours and shortlistings. These included the Best Partnership prize at the Green Business Awards, in recognition for the facility’s impact on the UK’s domestic recycling industry, as well as forming a key part of several sustainable manufacturing accolades awarded to CCE in 2012. CCE and ECO Plastics estimate that the plant will save around 33,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking over 15,715 cars off the road.

Nick Brown, Associate Director for Recycling at Coca-Cola Enterprises, says: “Continuumhas proven to be a landmark initiative for the reprocessing industry. This state-of-the-art facility is a first for the industry and is truly transforming recycling in this country. Our partnership with ECO Plastics has helped us reach an important milestone in our on-going efforts to build a low-carbon, zero waste business here in Great Britain.”

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EU glass recycling rate rises above 70%

The average glass recycling rate in the European Union has risen above the 70% threshold for the first time, according to data from European glass packaging body Feve

Feve said that this means that over 11 million tonnes were collected throughout the European Union in 2011.

The organisation said that this achievement follows “major efforts” made in all EU Member States over the past few years to meet the EU’s 60% recycling target for glass, a level that was reached by all the relevant countries by 2008.


In a statement, Feve said that the UK continues to make steady, if more modest progress at just over 60%. It added: “Other countries are in good shape to meet the target within the later fixed deadlines, while for some there is still potential to improve.”

“We have no problems in absorbing more recycled glass provided that this is of high quality. Glass recycling is the key component of the circular economy – because recycling closes the loop,” Feve president Stefan.”Glass recycling saves raw materials and energy and reduces production costs.”

According to Feve, 80% of glass collected for recycling is used over and over again to produce new glass bottles in the closed loop system.

British Glass head of container affairs Rebecca Cocking said: “We’re fully committed to working in partnership with all those along the supply chain to help make glass in landfill sites a thing of the past and to ensure that recycled glass is sent to applications with positive environmental benefit such as back into new bottles and jars.

“We also continue to highlight the benefits of recycling glass to the consumer via the our participation in the successful Friends of Glass movement, which now has some 33,000 supporters, plus over 40,000 Facebook fans and 7,200 Twitter followers”.

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US designer invents ‘disappearing’ packs

Designer Aaron Mickelson has invented packaging that ‘disappears’ in order to prevent waste

Mickelson is a recent graduate of the Pratt Institute of New York and has been working on a concept called ‘The disappearing package’, in which he demonstrates how, with a simple re-design, much of a package can be minimised or eliminated completely.

Describing his concept on his website, when he was a student, Mickelson said: “Every year, we throw away a tonne of packaging waste (actually, over 70 million tonnes). It makes up the single largest percentage of trash in our landfills (beating out industrial waste, electronics, food… everything). Figures released by the EPA indicate this problem is getting worse every year.

“As a package designer (and grad student—meaning I know everything and can solve every problem, naturally), I was concerned about where this trend is going. Of course, many talented designers working in the field have made great efforts over the past few years to reduce the amount of packaging that goes onto a product. However, for my Masters Thesis, I asked the question: Can we eliminate that waste entirely?”

Disappearing act

His proposal hinges on taking advantage of how a product is used in order to cut down on packaging. For instance, a bar of soap, which dissolves in water, can instead be encased in water-soluble plastic that will disintegrate in the shower.

Mickelson has tested this approach on five common products, which include household goods such as Nivea soap, Tide laundry detergent, Twining’s tea and Glad rubbish bags. He has come up with waste-reducing prototypes for each product.

“I spent the largest amount of my research phase on finding the materials and processes that would make my idea a reality,” Mickelson told “The soluble inks were sourced from a small manufacturer that doesn’t yet have them in wide distribution, while the paper and plastic were more readily available. The paper and ink are non-toxic and can be safely washed down the drain. The plastic is, err, plastic — but at least it’s not plastic in a box.”

Mickelson added: “I wanted people to see products and packages they have encountered countless times in a completely different way,” Mickelson said. “I also have to admit that I picked these five brands because they afforded me a solution in every colour: red (Oxo), orange (Tide), yellow (Glad), green (Twinings), and blue (Nivea).”

‘Great respect’

He explained to that he had “great respect” for people who ensure packages can make it from the production line to the store shelf to the consumer’s home.

He added: “Production machinery may need to be re-tooled to safely work with the proposed materials. Where fragility is a concern, re-usable shipping containers may need to be used.

“In any case, these designs are concepts. My goal with the disappearing package was to expand the conversation on sustainable packaging. I hope, at the end of the day, I have shown that sustainability can still be beautiful. I leave that up to my audience to decide.”

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CC3 to launch this spring

Courtauld Commitment 3 will be launched this spring, Wrap has confirmed

The voluntary waste reduction agreement will be based on the targets set out in Courtauld Commitment 2, which covers packaging, food and supply chain waste.

A Wrap spokesman told PN: “Courtauld Commitment 3 will be launched in the spring and we’ll announce the targets at that time.” reported that food waste would feature heavily in the new agreement and targets were expected to move away from weight-based goals to those which measure carbon.

It is unclear, at the moment, what the new targets for packaging will be.

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