Industry trade shows like Interpack are essential for the packaging industry value chain to exchange knowledge on innovations and meet partners. As the 2020 event has been postponed to next year, Henkel and its experts are nevertheless dedicated to doing their part to keep industry professionals informed about the latest developments. With the new REthink packaging series, Henkel is further expanding its renowned webinar series for 2020 and capitalizing on the goal of promoting knowledge transfer.
Spain is the world’s leading olive oil producer and therefore generates considerable waste during the stoning process. This waste is currently incinerated for power generation. However, AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, and OLIPE, a cooperative of olive oil producers, have implemented the GO-OLIVA project to find a high value-added application for this waste by producing a new packaging material for oil packaging items. The result is Oliplast, a plastic compound material made with materials from renewable sources, namely, a filler or reinforcement from olive oil and a thermoplastic material. AIMPLAS also says that the new product is biodegradable and compostable. Oliplast can be processed by extrusion and injection moulding to manufacture new products such as trays and plates to hold bottles, as well as caps for packaging containers for cosmetic creams made with olive oil.
"Designing with a single material creates greater value for the recycling industry, promoting the development of better recycling infrastructure," says Gerber Associate Director of Packaging, Tony Dzikowicz. "After more than two years of experimenting and innovating, we were able to help create a first-of-its-kind solution for baby food that meets the safety and freshness requirements for our little ones."
With parent company Nestlé as a founding member of Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF), a research collaborative committed to creating recycling solutions, Gerber is helping to expand curbside recycling for the pouch. MRFF's pilot program in Pottstown, PA, is the first curbside recycling program in the U.S. to accept flexible plastics such as these.
"We believe the baby food industry should help create a world where babies thrive, and initiatives like this one help us go beyond nutrition to protect the planet," said Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka.
Dzikowicz, Gerber’s Sina Hilbert, brand manager & sustainability lead, and Justin Welke, Nestlé’s packaging project manager, respond collectively to Packaging Digest’s questions about the brand’s new recyclable flexible packaging.
Comment on Gerber’s previous pouch structure.
Gerber: Gerber launched its first baby food pouch in 2011 with a multi-material structure made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), foil, and polyethylene (PE). In 2017, we began the transition to a non-foil multi-laminate structure to provide transparent and window options in the pouches so consumers can see the product inside.
In 2017, Gerber began conducting trials with Gualapack, the world leader of premade spouted pouches, with the goal of bringing the industry’s first mono-material pouch to market. Coming to market in May 2020, this first-of-its-kind mono-material polypropylene (PP) pouch is a step towards Gerber’s goal to make 100% of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
What’s the difference with the new recyclable pouch structure?
Gerber: The new mono-material pouch is made from polypropylene (PP), which is one of the most common and versatile forms of plastic. The current industry standard for pouches is a multi-material structure using two layers of plastic with an aluminum layer in between. This structure is not currently municipally recyclable in the U.S. due to outdated infrastructure that struggles to sort and process flexible plastics.
Moving to a mono-material structure increases the value of the recycled material for the recycling industry, promoting the development of better recycling infrastructure and encouraging a circular economy approach to plastics.
What’s the importance of curbside recyclability vs. #2 PE In-store Recycle Ready?
Gerber: We know that many parents rely on plastic — and pouches specifically — for convenience, durability and portability. However, municipal recycling infrastructure in the U.S. currently struggles to recycle most flexible packaging, including pouches.
Currently, the #2 Polyethylene (PE) in-store drop off stream is limited to plastics that are “clean and dry.” Because baby food is a wet product, it is challenging to clean and dry pouches to the level that is compatible with current store drop off programs without contaminating the waste stream.
Our new mono-material pouch is 100% recyclable through our national recycling program with TerraCycle.
The pouch is curbside recyclable for consumers in Pottstown, PA, thanks to MRFF’s pilot.
Gerber: MRFF is dedicated to creating municipal recycling solutions for flexible plastic packaging such as baby food pouches, plastic shopping bags, and more. With Nestlé as a founding member, Gerber is helping to expand curbside recycling for the pouch — and all baby food pouches.
MRFF’s pilot program in Pottstown, PA, is now the first curbside recycling program in the U.S. to accept flexible plastics — including our mono-material pouch and all baby food pouches — alongside other recyclable materials. The pilot facility is aiming to recycle 6 million pounds of flexible plastic packaging annually beginning this year.
What were the packaging considerations?
Gerber: We designed the new mono-material pouch to stand out from our other products by applying a fresh design that features our key achievement, “First single-material pouch designed for the future of recycling.”
Schreiner ProTech, a Germany-based global leader in developing and manufacturing innovative functional labels with value-added benefits for the automotive and engineering-based industries, has introduced an anticounterfeiting solution featuring the application of a customized microfont on color laser film (CLF) nameplates. Unlike many anticounterfeiting solutions, the microfont system incurs no additional costs because all required infrastructure – namely, the film and the laser equipment – is already available on customers‘ standard laser printing line operations.
Corona currently has a firm grip on our entire life. Subjects such as occupational health and work safety, capacity planning, raw material supply and control of shipping logistics confront us with huge challenges: How can we guarantee the health and safety of our employees? How do we sustain our ability to ensure reliable deliveries to our customers? Are our suppliers able to make deliveries? Are sufficient transportation capacities available? There’s no such thing as “business as usual” at the moment. However, Schreiner Group is doing its best to protect its employees and, at the same time, ensuring its ability to deliver its products to its customers.
My sincere thanks go to all our customers, suppliers and partners for their prompt and solution-focused communication, uncomplicated responsiveness and effective cooperation. However, I would also like to express my special appreciation to all our employees for their enormous commitment in this challenging situation.
Please stay healthy.
A team of Smurfit Kappa designers used equal measures of creativity and skill to quickly produce a practical set of products. The first products that made their debut in a Smurfit Kappa plant in France were corrugated workplace dividers. These were used to protect people who work closely alongside each other so they can maintain a safe distance while carrying out their jobs. The simplicity and effectiveness of the dividers has led to them being sought after for use in many other locations and workplaces including a designated emergency area within the Hospital Complex of Navarra in Spain where they are used to separate patients’ beds for hygiene and privacy. Other products in Smurfit Kappa’s ‘Design for Help’ portfolio include: • Corrugated beds for temporary hospitals and isolation spaces • A range of protective face masks • Temporary furniture including shelves and tables Arco Berkenbosch, Smurfit Kappa VP of Innovation & Development, said: “We are all seeing the media reports about the various product shortages and the need for a rapid response. “I’m very proud of our designers who were so quick to rise to the challenge of creating a suite of simple but effective products which are clear proof that corrugated is the ultimate single-use hygienic material. “The designs are all freely available for all and we will continue to add other useful solutions to our ‘Design for Help’ portfolio in the coming weeks.” Recent studies have shown that the virus that causes Covid-19 has a shorter life span on corrugated than on other materials such as steel and plastic. Smurfit Kappa has been named as an essential service provider in government recommendations relating to business closures. To find out more about the Design for Help products click here.
The new packing system with eco-friendly cardboard will be applied to its models like The Serif, The Frame and The Sero, cardboards, which is biodegradable and recyclable. A new dot-matrix design is used on each side of the cardboard boxes, allowing the customer to reuse the Boxes in a crafted way, by making cat houses, magazine rack, racks to keep remotes controls etc. an artistic form of recycling. Additionally, a catalogue is provided with the package to guide the customers to make the households, which can be accessed by scanning the QR code on the box. Samsung has also gained CES 2020 Innovation award by promoting the efficient use of Eco-friendly materials with its Eco packaging concept. As a part of the new packaging process, Samsung incorporating with Dezeen, A British LifeStyle magazine is conducting a Global Design Competition were the two companies will grant award to the best. Unique and practical design and imply it on their new eco-packaging manual. “Consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that shares similar fundamentals and values as they do, and with our eco-packaging. We believe that we can provide our customers with a new experience that considers the environment as an important way to express themselves,” said Kangwook Chun, Executive Vice President and Head of Product Strategy Team of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.
Bottles or containers of today are getting updated with flip cap openers. The use of normal screw bottle caps has been reduced with more easy and advanced cap designs in the market. But with new upcoming design, new strategies should also be appointed for testing its quality. Flip cap opening tester is designed to test the strength amount utilized for opening the flip cap of bottles and containers.
When we look for good and robust product dispensers and associated formats, the five letter word Aptar pops up immediately in our mind. Aptar is a leading global supplier of a broad range of innovative dispensing, sealing and active packaging solutions for the beauty, personal care, home care, prescription drug, consumer health care, injectables, food and beverage markets.
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