• New business combination

    The business combination has led to a packaging group with over 400 employees, four production sites and over 80 Mio. € of revenue per annum.  With this increase in magnitude, we will be able to provide continuity and maintain reliability to all stakeholders for many years to come, as HDG has already proven over the last 35 years. With the addition of WOLF, the group has gained an expert in vertical form fill and seal packaging. For over 30 years WOLF has supplied single machines as well as turn-key projects coupled with technical flexibility and in close customer proximity. Worldwide over 4.000 installed machines speak for themselves, as well as for their sturdiness and continued innovation.
    Moreover, due to WOLF’s global sales and service network in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, UK, Russia und Dubai, HDG will immediately improve its availability and service proximity for its international clients.
    This new combination of businesses gives HDG a proven and broad product portfolio for the future. We would like to assure you that now, and in the future, HDG will continue to provide and support reliable and innovative packaging solutions to all of our customers and partners.

    Should you have any questions regarding our merger, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • Amcor joins the HPRC, continuing progress towards its 2025 pledge

    Amcor has joined HPRC, a coalition of industry peers across healthcare, recycling and waste management, seeking to improve recyclability of plastic products within healthcare. Amcor will support the coalition with extensive expertise in packaging design for medical devices and applications in hospitals and other treatment settings. The industry group aims to address all dimensions of the packaging value chain, from packaging design to collection systems and end markets.

    There is tremendous potential for recycling medical device packaging. However, the nature of current medical packaging materials and the practical considerations of recycling segregation systems in busy healthcare environments will require a new approach. As sustainability requirements for packaging increase, there is an opportunity for the healthcare industry to work collaboratively to make the most of this valuable waste stream, while continuing to ensure product protection and patient safety.

    “The healthcare industry poses a unique recycling opportunity,” says David Clark, Vice President Sustainability, Amcor. “Amcor has global experience in developing more easily recyclable packaging, and we share HPRC’s vision of improving recycling rates of healthcare plastics.”

    “We are delighted to welcome Amcor as our newest member to help us enable plastic recycling solutions in healthcare,” says Peylina Chu, Executive Director of HPRC. “As a packaging leader, Amcor is highly focused on creating a circular economy as shown in their 2025 pledge. With their technical expertise and their commitment to developing responsible packaging in collaboration with likeminded partners, Amcor is a fantastic addition to HPRC.”

    In January 2018, Amcor became the first global packaging company pledging to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. Close collaboration with organizations like HPRC, as well as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and A Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX), help to achieve that goal and increase the rates of recycling across all industries to advance a circular economy.

  • A Success Story in change in Packaging

    Improved packaging that better locks in freshness has helped candy company Ferrero U.S.A. earn the coveted 2020 Product of the Year winner within the Candy Bar category for Baby Ruth — voted so by more than 40,000 American shoppers.

    “With so much product innovation happening across the industry, we’re excited to be recognized as 2020 Product of the Year, and hear the overwhelmingly positive reaction from our fans,” said Silvia Borla, vice president of marketing, Ferrero Chocolate Brands, Ferrero North America, in a press release. “The overall refresh perfectly exemplifies how we are creating exceptional quality products that answer consumer demand.”

    Damon Manak, Baby Ruth brand manager, dives into the packaging details in this exclusive Q&A.


    What specific changes did you make to the packaging for Baby Ruth?

    Manak: Primary film packaging (Mini/Fun Size/Single/Share) went from an extrusion lamination (which used hot polyethylene to seal the two layers of film) to an adhesive lamination (which uses glue to join the two layers of film). So the package is not as stiff — it’s softer — but has the same barrier properties and shelf life. We find that a softer packaging creates an easier opening, which is preferred by our customers.

    The primary film has always used pattern cold seal instead of heat seal to close the packaging on the packaging lines; the two end seals and the back fin seal.

    Additionally, the secondary packaging folding carton for Single/Share has more silver printing. The 6-pack/8-pack overwrap always used pattern cold seal to seal the packaging. The overwrap film lamination changed from 1-layer polypropylene to 2-layer polypropylene, with the inside film having metalized polypropylene.

    The bags (fun-sized bags) always used heat-seal to seal the packaging with added metalized film to give a metallic look. The bag film changed from polypropylene/adhesive/polyethylene combination to polypropylene/extrusion/metalized polypropylene combination, again to get that metalized look.


    What is different about the seals for the newer packaging? Is the film cold sealed?

    Manak: Yes, we have always used cold seals on the primary film and are still using a metalized film.  However, we’ve improved the integrity of our seals to be hermetic seals.


    Does the wrap have any easy-open features?

    Manak: The softer packaging does allow for customers to open the chocolate bar more easily.


    Who is your film supplier?

    Manak: We prefer not to disclose the name of our supplier.


    Were there any changes on the packaging line because of the updated packaging? If so, what were they?

    Manak: The only change to the packaging lines were in the bagging operation where the heat seal temperature had to be changed to adjust for the differences in film combination to get proper seals.

  • Mondi’s BarrierPack Recyclable helps consumer goods brands advance their circular economy goals

    Mondi is a signatory of The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, committing to 100% of plastic based packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable and 25% being from recycled content by 2025 (food regulations permitting) and are co-founders of the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX).

    Mondi offers many more applications for fully recyclable mono-material pouches, and as part of its customer-centric EcoSolutions approach, they continue to explore new opportunities to close the loop in the circular economy.

    Technical details about BarrierPack Recyclable:

    • An innovative flexible, high-barrier, laminate packaging solution designed for the circular economy
    • Fully recyclable using mono-material – all-PE solution
    • Available as FFS material and pre-made stand-up pouch for applications ranging from confectionary, food, pet food to home and personal care
    • Suitable for conversion on existing packaging lines
    • Lighter than PET/PE laminates of the same thickness
    • Available in a wide portfolio of different thicknesses and barrier properties
  • VacuPowerlift – the perfect combination

    Thanks to the area suction grippers, the tube lifter can easily handle workpieces with very porous surfaces as well as holes, joints and gaps. With the help of integrated flow valves, air is only absorbed where there is a contact between the gripper and the workpiece. The areas which are not covered (holes, cracks, gaps,...) close automatically and prevent air from being absorbed into the system avoiding any risks of accidents. With an integrated ejector, the area suction grippers are supplied directly from your compressed air system. To check the vacuum level, each surface suction gripper has also a vacuum gauge. Are you interested or do you have questions? Would you like an on-site demonstration? Please send us an inquiry to info@fezer.com.

  • RBS Redesigns Low Pressure Extruder to Improve Safety, Efficiency and Ease of Cleaning

    “The redesign is the result of our commitment to continuous improvement through our SafeShield Program, which is an ongoing effort to find new and better ways of enhancing the safety and sanitation of our equipment. This enables us to support our customers as they deal with the increasing challenges of modern snack food production,” said Joseph Zaleski, President of RBS.

    The features of the redesigned LP Extruder include augers that deliver more product flow with less work to the product; new lightweight, seamless, single-piece hoppers that eliminate harborage areas; pre-feed rolls made of plastics that are safe for food processing; an improved cutting mechanism with a longer service life; improved guarding for increased safety; and a bandcutter cam that is positioned away from the product zone to reduce contamination and provide easier maintenance access.

    The LP Extruder’s flexibility enables it to produce this range of products with a simple change of the compression head and forming dies. It delivers efficient and precise dough forming and cutting with consistent and accurate piece weights. Options include pre-feed rollers, rotating nozzle dies for braided twist production and unique co-extrusion for production of filled products.

  • Suma has introduced new greener packaging for its multi-award-winning vegan household range, Ecoleaf.

    With consumer awareness of the environmental issues surrounding overconsumption of single-use plastics, Suma is doing its part to tackle this problem by introducing even greener packaging for its products.

    Plastic bottles in its range will now be made of post-consumer recycled packaging (PCR) – plastic that has previously been used in a product that is then reprocessed and remade into something new.

    According to the company: “Products made from post-consumer plastic close the loop, diverting plastic from landfill and allowing it to be recycled into something else.”

    Products wrapped in paper such a toilet and kitchen roll will now be wrapped in 100% recyclable paper which is also able to be composted at home.

    Significant developments

    In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Product developer Paul Collins said: “Packaging is an extremely important subject at the moment; everyone is looking at reducing single-use plastics. Ecoleaf has always been a leading green brand. As we’ve refreshed the look, we’ve also taken the opportunity to make packaging changes that make it more sustainable and greener”.

    “We have changed all our bottles to post-consumer recycled packaging and our paper products are now wrapped in paper as opposed to the compostable plastic we had before. These are significant developments – we have listened to what people want and are happy with our new range”.

  • Nationwide solution to recycle every coffee cup in Ireland launched by Zeus

    The initiative is an exclusive partnership in Ireland with DS Smith, the leading sustainable packaging and recycling company. The AIL Group, the retail group behind Abrakebabra, the Bagel Factory and the O’Briens sandwich chain, has signed on as the first customer of the scheme. The coffee cup collection boxes will be rolled out to 80 O’Briens and Bagel Factory outlets nationwide from January 2020.

    Speaking on today’s launch, owner of Zeus, Brian O’Sullivan said: “This is the solution to the problem of every coffee cup in Ireland – a complete, closed-loop system which has the capacity to recycle every type of paper coffee cup from every coffee shop, office or workplace.”

    200 million single-use coffee cups are thrown away every year in Ireland*. The Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme provides the long sought-after national recycling infrastructure needed to ensure these cups do not end up in landfills. At a cost of 7c per cup, the scheme collects coffee cups nationwide from participants for recycling, using specially designed cardboard coffee cup collection boxes. The announcement comes as a solution for the Government, which recently announced plans for a coffee cup levy of up to 25c from 2021. The proposed levy has been criticised by some retailers and environmental groups as it doesn’t address the correct disposal of recyclable and compostable coffee cups.

    Mr O’Sullivan added: “Great strides have been made recently in public awareness and increased use of recyclable and compostable coffee cups. However, as has been flagged by the Government, environmental groups, retailers and consumers, proper recycling infrastructure that ensures these cups don’t end up in landfills is not in place. Proposals such as the recently announced government plans for a ‘Latte Levy’ also don’t resolve this issue.

    “Through the Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme, we are providing that infrastructure, allowing every coffee cup in Ireland to be recycled correctly. We are calling on all businesses and customers nationwide to embrace this system, so we can work together to divert as many coffee cups as possible from going to landfill.”

    In an exclusive agreement with DS Smith, Zeus is providing this recycling solution to the Irish coffee industry, and to businesses of all types and sizes across Ireland. DS Smith pioneered coffee cup recycling at traditional recycled paper mills, allowing for the recycling of both PE-lined traditional paper hot cups and PLA-lined compostable cups into new paper packaging products. Used coffee cups collected by Zeus will then be sent to DS Smith for recycling.

    Tom Campbell-White, DS Smith Recycling's European Strategic Development Director, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Zeus to roll out the Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme to the Irish market. We broke new ground last year when we redefined coffee cup recycling and announced capacity to recycle 2.5 billion coffee cups at our mill in Kent. Building on this, we launched our coffee cup recycling boxes in the UK in September, and we are seeing a great response from coffee retailers and other businesses. We are really excited to work with Zeus on providing a recycling solution for Ireland’s coffee lovers.”

    Graeme Beere, owner of the AIL Group, said: “At AIL Group, we are committed to finding new sustainable solutions for our customers and will be rolling the Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme to 80 O’Briens and Bagel Factory outlets nationwide. We encourage all our customers to use these boxes to dispose of their coffee cups so that they can be correctly recycled instead of going to landfill.”

    As part of the partnership, Zeus will use DS Smith’s uniquely designed coffee cup recycling boxes, which make it easier for consumers and businesses to recycle used coffee cups. Made from recycled paper packaging, the boxes can hold up to 700 used coffee cups. Once full, the boxes will be then be collected from businesses. To reduce the carbon footprint, Zeus will compact the boxes and store until there is a full shipment load, before being shipped to DS Smith’s recycled paper mill in Kent, UK, for recycling. Zeus will also be launching a dedicated website where customers can order the boxes.

  • Benches Made From Plastic River Waste Mark a UK First for Plaswood

    The River Keekle restoration project - the largest of its kind in the UK - involves the removal of an environmentally damaging plastic liner from a 2.5km stretch of the Cumbrian river. Nine tonnes of plastic have been removed from a 170-metre trial site in the recently completed first phase of the project and the riverbed restored with stone.

    The plastic, which is causing erosion and pollution, was destined for landfill until Plaswood heard about the scheme and stepped in to help.

    Plaswood, which manufactures outdoor fencing, furniture and decking using recovered plastic, offered to collect the material from the site to demonstrate how it could be recycled to create useful second-life products.

    To mark the achievement, the company has donated a picnic bench made from the collected plastic to the West Cumbria Rivers Trust. The bench now takes pride of place on the riverbank near to where the plastic was recovered.

    Katherine Lorek-Wallace, General Manager at Plaswood, said: “We’ve helped to turn a potential environmental problem into a solution by creating second-life Plaswood benches that can be enjoyed by the public for years to come.

    “Our work with the West Cumbria Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency is a great example of the circular economy.”

    All the plastic removed from the River Keekle was sent to Plaswood’s recycling plant in Dumfries for shredding, cleaning and remanufacture into recycled plastic lumber, from which the company makes its end products. The process diverts waste from landfill and provides a valuable, sustainable and long-lasting alternative to hardwood, that itself can be recycled at the end of its use.

    Luke Bryant, Project Manager for West Cumbria Rivers Trust, said: “We’re already seeing massive positive changes in the restored section. There’s natural gravel, cobbles and sediment deposition in places, which is proof that the river is re-naturalising itself now the plastic isn’t in the way.

    “We estimate that 100 to 150 tonnes of plastic will be removed this year, leaving the full 2.5km stretch restored, with the potential to become great habitat for fish spawning.”

    The project is part of the Environment Agency’s River Restoration Programme in Cumbria – one of the biggest portfolios of river restoration projects in the UK.

    Lorek-Wallace added: “Plastic is widely recyclable and it’s essential that we get this message across. The River Keekle project gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the importance and usefulness of plastic recycling - and this is one of the best ways to encourage even more recycling across the country.”


    If we at ALPLA were to look back on 2019 and choose a phrase to sum up the year, we can say with relative certainty that it would be ‘circular economy’. International conferences and fairs, customer requests, cooperation with suppliers, new partnerships in recycling, search fields for innovation… The list of activities characterised by the demand for the circular economy is seemingly endless.

     The bird’s-eye view

    We are happy to say that ALPLA has always sought the best possible solutions for its customers, for example by constantly designing packaging to be as light as possible or forgoing unnecessary additives just for the savings alone. However, that is not enough for us. A holistic view – essentially a bird’s-eye view – of the entire life cycle of a packaging product is needed more than ever. This in turn requires interdisciplinary collaboration by departments such as those for product design or research and development with production and recycling experts as well as our corporate-sustainability specialists.

    The circular economy: all wheels in motion

    For us, the development of a new packaging solution starts after its use. In other words, the recycling of a beverage or detergent container does not just start at collecting and sorting. The circular economy can only be made a closed loop when the materials used are compatible with the cycle.

    Maybe the questions asked by our experts might bring some clarity to these confused starts and finishes: what happens to the packaging once the product is fully consumed? Do consumers know how to dispose of it? Does the packaging system allow a thorough removal of residues? Are there established recycling streams for the materials used? Can common sorting systems recognise the materials without issues? Do caps, labels, adhesives or inks reduce otherwise good recyclability? What barriers are truly necessary and what additives are most suitable for this without lowering the quality of the recycling stream? How should we design the packaging so that a high proportion of recycled material is brought back into the packaging?

    And if all that were not complex enough, design for recycling also requires that the packaging’s functionality be guaranteed. After all, we all know that the packaging’s handling, durability, product protection and logistics cannot suffer from the ideal recyclable packaging.

    The Clear One

    Although the requirements are demanding, design for recycling does not have to be like fitting a round peg in a square hole – and ALPLA has shown this with its innovation, The Clear One. We had to consider the following things when we started development, as my colleague Martin Diem (ISBM Expert) explains: ‘Using this new packaging solution, we want to offer a highly recyclable, attractive alternative to pouches. At the moment, refill containers frequently consist of multilayer films that are considered difficult to recycle. In comparison, PET is a material that is very easy to recycle, which is why The Clear One is made from it.’ The packaging body consists of one layer of PET and the cap of recyclable PP.

    The packaging resembles a typical refill container both visually and to the touch. It is transparent, oval-shaped and has a small opening that makes it easy to cleanly refill the product in larger containers. Its weight – at 9.8 grams (including cap) – and 0.1 millimetre thick walls are also extremely minimal. Different caps (threaded and snap-on are resealable, heat-sealed films are suitable for single-use applications) are possible along with various decorations (stickers, sleeves or direct printing). After use, The Clear One can be folded up effortlessly and disposed of with the household recycling (yellow sack or bin).

    The benefits of The Clear One at a glance:

    • low weight
    • PET monomaterial
    • 100 per cent recyclable (established recycling flow, reduces CO2 emissions)
    • use of recycled material (rPET) possible
    • resealable, ideal for refill containers
    • various filling volumes can be realised
    • easy residue removal, fold-up
    • handy stand-up base
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