• Self-Healing Nanofiber Time-Temperature Indicator for Securing Cold Chains

    News: 

    Their research was published in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials IF:25.809 earlier this year: "A Self-Healing Nanofiber-Based Self-Responsive Time-Temperature Indicator for Securing a Cold-Supply Chain." This cold-chain safety sticker creates an image on it when exposed to room temperature (10 0C or higher). Room temperature exposure history and time throughout the cold chain delivery process are indicated but cannot be manually edited. When refrigerated or frozen foods are exposed to room temperature, usually bacteria begin to grow and reproduce. However, it is difficult to see visually as certain bacteria do not affect the taste and smell of foods and frozen foods have almost the same appearance even after melting and refreezing. The core technology of the cold-chain safety sticker is nanofibre film. The researchers attempted to attach a typical film on the back of this newly developed film. At low temperatures, the nanofibre film has a stable structure where thin threads intersect each other, making it opaque because the light is scattered. When exposed to room temperature for a period of time, this structure collapses. Specifically, the thin threads start to melt and become entangled with each other. This allows light to transmit through the film, making it appear transparent. Then the image produced on the typical film on the back becomes visible from the front, showing that the food may have spoiled. The researchers found a way to control the time that is required for the film to become transparent when exposed to room temperature, accounting for variations in spoilage times of different foods. So each sticker was designed to become transparent after a minimum of 30m and a maximum of 24 hours of exposure. This was achieved by controlling the composition and thickness of the nanofibres. Dr Dongyeop Oh from the KRICT said, "This sticker, once exposed to room temperature, cannot be restored to its original state, even if one attempts to refrigerate or freeze it again. Also, room-temperature exposure time cannot be manually adjusted. This means that there is virtually no room for any manipulation." “It does not require modularization, accurately measures localized or gradient heat and functions even after crushing, cutting, and when weight?loaded in a manner that existing TTIs cannot. It also contains no drainable chemicals and is attachable to various shapes because it operates through an intrinsic physical response,” he added. The cold-chain safety sticker can be widely used not only for food product applications but also for the cold-chain distribution of expensive medicine and medical supplies, they say. This is because the sticker is thin and flexible. It is estimated manufacturing cost is low at one cent per unit.

  • Mars Wrigley set for ‘intergalactic’ Zero-G Skittles launch

    News: 

    According to the company, its latest edition is ‘designed for all your extraterrestrial and earthly travels,’ featuring intergalactic, aluminium packaging, and is filled with the blue and purple candies you know and love from the brand, featuring Pineapple Passionfruit, Raspberry and Berry Punch.

    “SKITTLES is always looking for ways to surprise fans, both earthlings and extraterrestrials, with shocking innovation,” said Fernando Rodrigues, Mars Wrigley Senior Brand Manager for Skittles. “We’re thrilled to bring better moments to fans by marking Skittles’ first trip to space with limited edition packs and look forward to pushing the boundaries of confectionery space exploration.”

    As the company added, fans can follow Skittles for details on how they might be lucky enough to get their hands on the limited edition Zero-G packs later this summer.

    Furthermore, as part of the brand’s expansion into extraterrestrial confections, the brand added that it is proud to make a donation to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in support of inspiring the next generation of innovators and explorers.

  • AIPIA Autumn Events: online Congresses for Supply Chain and Digitization/Sustainability

    News: 

    AIPIA returns to the virtual stage for its two remaining Congresses for 2021. Both are carefully focused, covering the highly important and topical issues of Supply Chain Solutions (16th September) and the whole spectrum of Digitization: Connected Packaging & Sustainability (2nd November.) Each will address how these issues are impacting on current Smart Packaging development and use.

    In November there will be an special emphasis on where Smart Packaging is making a positive contribution to more Sustainable solutions and contributing to reducing waste, better food safety and security, as well as improving ways to achieve a truly Circular Economy for plastics.

    Both events already boast a strong line up of leading Smart Packaging product and service providers. These include Aptar CSP, Cambridge Design Partnership, Digimarc, Dimaco, Scantrust, Systech, Talkin’ Things, Tapwow, and Wiliott. Several other leading active and intelligent packaging technology providers are set to join shortly and a provisional agenda for September will be published on line soon. As usual this will be a ‘real time’ agenda and updated as speakers confirm.

    Setting out the rationale for the two Congresses, Eef de Ferrante, managing director of AIPIA explained, “We consulted with our Advisory Board and other leading members who are developing or using the technologies and these topics came out as clear areas of primary interest. The pandemic has highlighted many ‘pain points’ in supply chain management, not least to do with distributing PPE and now vaccines. How to harness the full potential of Connected Packaging using digital solutions and making it work in a Sustainable environment is a challenge which many on both sides of the AIPIA community – developers and users – are keen to address. As usual with AIPIA, we aims to go beyond explaining the tech to understanding its impact and how best to apply it commercially.”    

    Real ‘use cases’ will be featured to illustrate how Smart Packaging is benefiting food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical markets already. They are an opportunity to listen to and learn from many of the leading exponents of Smart Packaging solutions, as well as network with them and Brand Owners in Discussion Rooms. AIPIA is using a ‘user friendly’ virtual meeting platforms to deliver value and an effective meeting environment for everyone.

    While the Association looks forward to getting back to Person-to-Person in 2022 the pace of developments in Smart Packaging continues to accelerate continuously. So these two virtual opportunities for 2021 should not be missed!

    I

  • The magic of science! Recycled PET bottles turn into vanilla flavouring

    News: 

    Particularly soda and water bottles of all shapes and sizes. Scientists have been looking for ways to cut down on this waste and a study for Green Chemistryshows it may now be possible. Using genetically-modified bacteria, a team at Edinburgh University in Scotland, has been able to convert PET plastic waste into vanilla flavouring. 

    Previous studies have demonstrated that it is possible to break down PET into its basic subunit, known as terephthalic acid (TA). The researchers in Edinburgh discovered that E. coli bacteria can be “deployed” in order to convert TA into vanillin. Vanillin is the main component of extracted vanilla beans, and it’s responsible for vanilla’s signature taste and smell. It has a very similar chemical composition to TA, and so the engineered bacteria only needs to make minor changes to the number of hydrogens and oxygens that are bonded to the same carbon backbone.

    The researchers mingled their E. coli with TA and kept them at room temperature for a day, in roughly the same conditions used for brewing beer. After process optimization, around 79% of the TA was converted to vanillin.The team believes it may be possible to increase this percentage. Also they believe that this vanillin would be fit for human consumption, but further tests are required.

    Joanna Sadler, first author and BBSRC Discovery Fellow from the school of biological sciences, University of Edinburgh, said, “This is the first example of using a biological system to upcycle plastic waste into a valuable industrial chemical. It has very exciting implications for the circular economy.”

    Stephen Wallace, also of the University of Edinburgh, added, “Our work challenges the perception of plastic being a problematic waste and instead demonstrates its use as a new carbon resource from which high value products can be made.”

    One million PET bottles are sold every minute around the world, but just 14% are recycled. Currently the recycled ones have limited ‘second use’  opportunities, although much work is being done by the industry to ameliorate this situation. The plastics lose about 95% of their value after a single use, so the ability to upcycle into more lucrative materials could make this recycling process far more attractive and effective.

    There is a shortage in supply of vanillin, which is found in a wide variety of food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, cleaning, and herbicide products. In 2018, the global demand was about 40,000 tonnes and is expected to grow to 65,000 tonnes by 2025 which “far exceeds” the vanilla bean supply. About 85% of vanillin is currently synthesized from chemicals derived from fossil fuels – and this new experiment offers another way to do that, at a potentially viable level.

  • New cardboard carrier makes WaveGrip a one-stop-shop for beer and beverage multi-pack solutions

    News: 

    Building on consumer demand for sustainable ring carriers, the new WaveGrip cardboard carrier is lightweight, strong and easy to use, providing the same levels of pack retention as plastic. Each carrier weighs under 7g for a standard six-pack and is recyclable in all paper and board waste collection streams.

    The white fully coated top side offers high quality printability in up to 10 colours, allowing brand messages and promotions to be easily included for enhanced shelf impact. In addition, the naturally brown reverse opens-up to offer a multitude of additional design possibilities and enable further direct communication with customers.

    The new carrier style is available for both standard and sleek cans and unlike many competitive products, its patent pending design does not require folding and manipulation during application. This allows continuous running at high speeds, meeting both the performance and production needs of the latest beverage canning lines.

    Applicators are competitively priced and range from simple, manual solutions to more integrated higher speed options. Planned developments also include the addition of an integrated advertising panel option for increased on shelf marketability.

    Darryl Roadnight, Business Director at WaveGrip said: “Our new cardboard carrier meets the growing consumer demand for easy to recycle packaging and its unique design delivers both performance and sustainability that today’s brands are seeking.

    “We are delighted to add this solution to the WaveGrip range and deliver even more choice in the effective, efficient and sustainable packing of beers and beverages around the world.”

  • BLUE CIRCLE PACKAGING – NEW LABEL FOR BIODEGRADABLE PRODUCTS

    The ALPLA Group, a global packaging producer and specialist in recycling, is consolidating its developments in relation to biodegradable packaging solutions under its new Blue Circle Packaging label. Home-compostable coffee capsules are the first product available on the market.

  • €13m investment by coca-cola hbc reduces plastic use by 5,000 tonnes a year

    News: 

    We have announced that we have reached a key milestone on our journey to a World Without Waste as we reduced plastic use by almost 5,000 tonnes a year since 2019.

    This move has been facilitated through the completion of a €13m investment in our plant at Knockmore Hill, Lisburn, Co. Antrim. The investment combined with other measures across our packs is a further sign of the Coca-Cola system’s commitment to creating a true circular economy.

    We will also be moving all multi-pack cans within the range to more sustainable cardboard packaging. The move will apply to all products within the multi-pack can range, including Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite.

    Larger multi-packs (10, 12, 20 and 24 cans) will be available in cardboard packaging from April 2021. This follows the introduction of new ‘KeelClip’ late last year, that saw smaller multi-packs (4, 6 and 8 cans) transition to an innovative cardboard solution.

    In total, the move to more sustainable cardboard packaging will eliminate 500 tonnes of hard-to-recycle shrink wrap plastic annually.

    This is the latest move in the our global sustainable packaging strategy, World Without Waste, which aims to design more sustainable packaging and to collect and recycle the equivalent of every can or bottle it sells globally by 2030.

    We’re immensely proud to be the first soft drink producer in Ireland to move all our multi-pack cans to more sustainable cardboard solutions. This move helps us to move closer to our vision for a World Without Waste, by eliminating the use of more than 500 tonnes of shrink wrap plastic each year.

    Miles karemacher
    Coca-cola hbc ireland and northern ireland general manager

    “Combined with our investment in more recycled plastic and our reduction of plastic use overall, we have reduced our plastic use by almost 5000 tonnes annually, since 2019.”

    As we navigate the reopening of the economy, we remaincommitted to achieving our ambition of creating a World Without Waste. Investment in product innovation and sustainable design is at the heart of our strategy, ensuring that all of our products are easy to recycle. The move to sustainable cardboard packaging on all our multi-can packs will help reduce our plastic use and make it easier for our consumers to recycle.

    Agnese filippi
    Coca-cola ireland country manager

    Recently we ranked global number 1 sustainable beverage company by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, recognising our commitment to creating and sharing value for all stakeholders.

    Key to this commitment is a focus on designing more sustainable packaging to create a true circular economy for waste.  In Ireland and Northern Ireland, all of the bottles and cans we sell are 100% recyclable and we have invested extensively in recycled plastic. Today 45% of our total plastic portfolio is made of recycled materials, which has removed 3,450 tonnes of new plastic each year. Plastic used in our bottles has also been reduced by 10% since 2018.

     

     

  • BALL INTENDS TO BUILD NEW ALUMINUM BEVERAGE PACKAGING PLANTS IN UK & RUSSIA, SUPPORTING THE LONG TERM GROWTH OF OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERS.

    News: 

    With an increasing consumer call for more sustainable purchasing options and a growing number of new brands and beverage categories choosing cans, demand for aluminium packaging is rapidly expanding around the world. Each facility would produce, from 2023, billions of cans a year across a range of formats and sizes, and provide up to 200 skilled jobs in a fast-growing but stable sector.

    In the UK, Ball has identified a site at the SEGRO Park Kettering Gateway, an established industrial development in Northamptonshire. Ball has submitted its formal application to North Northamptonshire Council and anticipates breaking ground during 2021, following a period of public consultation.

    The planned Kettering plant will represent Ball's third beverage can manufacturing facility in the UK, adding capacity to its established plants in Milton Keynes and Wakefield. The plant will supply cans for domestic customers in a growing range of categories, which now includes hard seltzers, wines, ready to drink cocktails, together with pure and enhanced water brands.

    To serve the fast growing Russian market, especially in the beer and energy drinks categories, Ball is planning to build a plant in Ulyanovsk in Western Russia. Ball Beverage Packaging Naro-Fominsk has signed a cooperation agreement for its construction with the Ulyanovsk Regional Government, who in June also awarded the development 'Highly Significant Investment Project' status.

    The Ulynavosk plant will take the total in Russia to four, with established manufacturing facilities in Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Region; Vesvolozhsk, St. Petersburg Region; and Argayash,  Chelyabinsk Region.

    Aluminium drinks cans are the world's most widely recycled beverage packaging with an 82% recycling rate in the UK and 76% across Europe.

    Carey Causey, President, Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA said: "With the demand for our infinitely recyclable aluminium packaging growing fast in an expanding number of categories, we are acting now to support our customers in the UK and Russia. The pandemic and changing consumption patterns mean that consumers are enjoying more of their favourite beverages at home and on-the-go and want to buy products in packages that they know will be recycled and can contribute to a truly circular economy."

    Rudi Leenards, General Director, Ball Beverage Packaging Naro-Fominsk said: "We are firmly committed to the Russian market and are pleased to support so many of our domestic customers enjoying unprecedented demandWith sustainability a key concern for the next generation of consumers, we anticipate infinitely recyclable aluminium packages to play a growing role in the development of a truly circular economy that will be embraced in Russia and beyond."

  • Consumer preferences driving brands to go green

    News: 

    Going green seems to be the mantra by several brands, which are opting for sustainable packaging of their products. Consider the following: Dabur is removing outer paper cartons from its toothpaste brand Dabur Red Paste; Flipkart is working towards reducing the need for an outer layer of packaging and has eliminated all single-use plastic packaging. Further, Mondelez India has announced a grant to Hasiru Dala, an NGO that will recycle multi layered plastic (MLP) which is a prominent packaging material used by the company.

    Several FMCG companies have taken sustainability pledges at a global level and shifted to sustainable packaging materials. For instance, Unilever is introducing a paper-based laundry detergent bottle in Brazil in 2022 followed by Europe and some other markets. Coca-Cola will introduce 100% recycled bottles in the US this year.

    Shahrukh Khan, executive director, operations, Dabur India, says dropping the outer paper packaging for toothpaste could save 150 tonne of paper annually. Mondelez India claims that over 97% of its packaging is currently designed to be recyclable. Ophira Bhatia, director, corporate and government affairs, India and CGA Lead, AMEA, Mondelez, says the company’s recycling initiative will turn about 600 tonne of MLP waste into boards that can be used to make furniture and construction material.

    One of the reasons for the initiative is consumer preference. As per a 2021 Deloitte study, the environment is a top priority for millennials and GenZ consumers.

    “Sustainability has become a business necessity because studies show that the brands that don’t adopt environment-friendly practices stand to lose consumers,” says Sanjesh Thakur, partner, Deloitte India.

    As per a Central Pollution Control Board report (2018-19), 3.3 million metric tonne of plastic waste is generated in India every year. There are several ways to reduce the quantity of waste generated. A company could reduce the amount of packaging material used, substitute the material with alternatives, replace inks, decentralise transportation to reduce fuel consumption or use only recyclable materials.

    Reducing the amount of packaging material used is a common starting point for many. But there are challenges. Like, plastic is a versatile material with useful properties. “The issue with substitution is that all plastic cannot be replaced by paper in all situations. Another concern is cost. For instance, bio plastics cost three to seven times more than regular plastics and have functional limitations,” says Sudeep Maheshwari, principal, Kearney. He adds that the volume of such material produced in India is only 1% of all plastics produced in India. Packaging accounts for around 25% of any product cost across the entire Dabur range.

    This cost and volume barrier may make sustainable substitutes unviable for mass use. “In India, sustainable materials are mostly used by brands that can charge a premium or boutique brands with a niche clientele that appreciates environment-friendly initiatives,” says Arnab Ray, creative director, Landor & Fitch.

    Recycling is another area that is promising but needs community action to be successful. “Post-consumer recycling is a challenge in India because we do not segregate waste and our supply chains are not set up at scale to facilitate efficient collection of recyclable waste,” says Maheshwari.

    Making bottles refillable is another way for brands to reduce their environmental footprint. This too hinges on consumers playing their part. Brands in India are working on finding ways to overcome the hurdles India’s complex market poses. “About 10% of brands that work with us are actively working on sustainable packaging, while 30% are seeking solutions and experimenting,” says Ashwini Deshpande, co-founder and director, Elephant Design.

  • ULMA's new ARTIC SS C flow wrapper: packaging machine for portions of cheese, with side sealing and shrink wrap film

    News: 

    This new design, based on the ARTIC side seal machine, ensure airtight packaging and a more visually pleasing end result, without any seals on the cutting side, easy to open and with more space for labelling. A newly developed product by ULMA, with lots of benefits for food safety and its appearance.

    Exceptional appearance, with no seals on either side

    ULMA has been working for the food industry for decades, a sector that is especially demanding when it comes to safety and where sustainability-related aspects are becoming increasingly important. Therefore, we have developed solutions that are fully customised for each product, allowing us to optimise the use of materials, save time and reduce labour costs.

    Our latest product, based on ARTIC SS packaging machines, is designed to package portions of cheese in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), thus eliminating the usual lengthwise and crosswise seals of flow pack machines, replacing them with seals in the same place as the cheese rind, giving the end product a more appealing appearance and ensuring greater safety because, as the product no longer has any lengthwise and crosswise seals, the risk of any leaks in that area is avoided.

    Packaging that is more airtight, visually appealing, sustainable and easier to open

    In addition to an improved appearance, environmental benefits are also obtained, as the entire packaging process is designed to optimise the packaging's wrapping material, using an extremely lightweight plastic material, a shrink wrap film that is only 21 microns thick.

    Eliminating lengthwise and crosswise seals also provides benefits for labelling, as the two upper and lower sides of the product have no seals, freeing up space for as many labels as necessary. In this seal-free space, you can include labels that cover perforations, easy open labels and/or promotional labels.

    Regarding easy open labels, this new packaging format allows them to be placed in such a way that the packaging is torn open, as far as the lengthwise seal. To open them, simply pull on them and the packaging easily comes apart from the product with a single movement, as can be seen at this video, which shows how these machines work and their benefits. The whole packaging process is performed reliably, hygienically and with outstanding aesthetic results.

    A fully automatic process that ensures outstanding presentation

    As can be seen at the video ULMA's new wrapping machines collect the portions of cheese from the cutting line in a way that is fully automatic and then smoothly transfer them to inside the film's tube. To ensure that the packaging looks as good as possible, the machines come with a forming mould, which adapts to the size of each portion. It also has a side seal system that removes any excess film, creating a thin seal.

    Thanks to the cross-sealing system with a long dwell sealing head, the machine achieves highly reliable airtight packaging, with a high level of performance and safety guaranteed. When the portions are wrapped in film and the packaging has been sealed, they are passed through a hot air shrink tunnel, which gives the packaged product an exceptional final appearance.

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