• Companies Step Up Their Sustainability Game; Focus on Eliminating Plastic in Packaging


    Single-use consumer habits continue to pose a threat to the environment — particularly in the context of plastic packaging. According to the World Economic Forum, only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling globally. Moreover, by 2050 the carbon footprint of plastics is expected to triple in size. Recognising this, companies are making a move towards sustainable packaging solutions. For instance, by 2030, L’Oréal Paris aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 50%. This includes using more recycled content in packaging, with the objective of reaching 100% recycled or biobased plastic by 2030. PepsiCo India, as part of its sustainability agenda, aims to design packaging that is 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable. It plans to reduce the use of virgin plastic by 35% across its beverage portfolio by the year 2025. “The way a package is designed – its shape, weight – determines how efficiently it can be distributed across long distances. The lighter the package, and the more packages that can be transported together, the lower the carbon impact,” Jaideep Gokhale, vice president – sustainability, Asia Pacific, sustainability director – South Asia, Tetra Pak, told BrandWagon Online.

    Indian consumers are also on the lookout for brands that have social and environmental purposes. For instance, 77% consumers are willing to invest time and money supporting companies that do good for the environment, a report by Kantar revealed. Moreover, 66% consumers said that they have stopped buying products or services that have a negative impact on the environment and society.

    Recently, meat brand Nandu’s launched eco-friendly packaging for all its home delivery orders. The new packaging consists of a primary packaging which is made of non-plastic virgin food grade material that is fully recyclable. Similarly, the secondary packaging is made of a blend of recycled and virgin paper material that is fully recyclable. The company claims that the move has increased the cost of packaging by around 10%. “Packaging today, in our category, accounts for about one-tenth of the cost. This move is going to be a game changer in smart sustainable solutions that cater to the needs of consumers as well as the planet. Nandu’s goal now is to make 100% of our packaging plastic-free by 2023,” Narendra Pasuparthy, CEO and co-founder, Nandu’s stated. Nivea introduced its latest skincare innovation – ‘Nivea Naturally Good’ wherein each product in the range comes in eco-friendly packaging. The shower gels come in a bottle made up of 97% recycled plastic, the deodorant range comes in glass bottles that eliminate the use of aluminium and the body lotion bottles are made with 50% less plastic that also allows the bottle to be squeezed and rolled up until the last drop to avoid any wastage.

    According to industry experts, for most consumer companies, the packaging cost stands between 8-12% of the cost of goods sold (COGS). For luxury brands, the cost of packaging ranges between 8-15%. The sustainable models have a cost implication with it going up by about 20-25% depending upon the segment, Sanjesh Thakur, partner, Deloitte India, said. “In addition to cost, moving away from traditional packaging has many implications within the supply chain and logistics management with factors such as transportation, temperature, among others, playing a key role in the decision making process of companies,” he added further.

    However, given that both millennials and Gen-Zs are looking for sustainable products, most companies are willing to shell out the extra dollars to create a strong brand image. While big brands currently lead the pack, other companies are slowly changing their brand narrative and building it around sustainability. “Sustainability as a theme is very central to brand building. Globally, the most sustainable companies are also the most valued companies. It is the need of the hour for brands to communicate and engage with their consumers around their sustainable practices,” Thakur elaborated.

  • Aroma, the bottle that is all about sustainability designed by Gentlebrand combining creativity and innovation


    The major players are proposing a range of solutions to the market including new materials which aim to reduce the use of PET or replace it altogether. But are there recycling processes that can handle these materials? The answer to this question is rather complicated and, in some cases, unfortunately it is a negative one. These are potentially interesting solutions, which need to be monitored, and will certainly make a difference in the future, but what are the options currently available? Gentlebrand’s Packaging Tailors have focused on the latter by developing a solution that is quick to implement and accessible to all thanks to the low investment required.

    The result is “Aroma”, a bottle made of 100% recycled clear PET, which is completely recyclable, designed by rethinking the manufacturing system, a sustainable and imaginative idea, a unique concept that meets both the demands of brands in terms of marketing and communication and the needs of the company in terms of production, investment and sustainability.

    Aroma brings innovation in relation to its content such as the increasingly popular flavoured waters, but above all in relation to its composition, acting on the element that is most difficult to recycle: the label. Consumers perceive the bottle as a product made up of two parts: body and cap, which today, thanks to tethered technology, form a single element to be disposed of. The label, wrapped around the bottle, is rarely separated, inevitably contaminating the recycling streams due to the inks it contains, the glues used and sometimes the material it is made of, although in recent years traditional PVC has been replaced by more eco-friendly materials such as low-density plastics that facilitate the separation of elements in the recycling stream.

    The solution provided by Gentlebrand is a label made of a special organic paper which contains the seeds of the aromatic plants making up the different flavours and which therefore, combined with the choice of inks of vegetable origin or inks for food use, makes it plantable, thus creating a further virtuous circle. Furthermore, the addition of the label on the neck of the bottle without the need for glue further reduces the use of waste materials in the plastic recycling stream. A simple idea that revolutionises the entire product system: thanks to its position and the different material component, the label is perceived by consumers as a separate element, facilitating proper disposal. A sustainable idea supporting manufacturers by guaranteeing the integrity of the product, as the label can be removed with a simple and intuitive gesture: pulling it off.

    Made of 100% recycled clear PET to be considered Highly Recyclable by positively impacting the bottle-to-bottle loop, Aroma also gives a nod in the direction of the most demanding brands in terms of marketing and communication: the large label on the neck of the bottle provides plenty of space for all the information required by law as well as the various marketing messages. The bottle itself can be fully customised with decorations or product descriptions, reaching another level of quality detail thanks to Supervent technology. Aroma is the sustainable bottle not only in relation to the environment, but also in relation to a company’s investment. Thanks to the collaboration with our partners (Competek and Sidel) and their innovative solutions, the options for customization are endless.

    Innovative packaging, available for both still and sparkling products, a modern concept with a sophisticated look, the result of extensive research in terms of style and technology. A bottle made with consumer needs, brands and the environment in mind in pure Gentlebrand style.

  • 100 % rHDPE – FDA gives green light for Starlinger recycling process

    The two “Letters of No Objection” of the US Food and Drug Administration FDA confirm the use of up to 100 % recycled HDPE in food contact packaging. In August 2021 Starlinger & Co GmbH received two Letters of No Objection (LNO) issued by the US Food and Drug Administration FDA regarding its newly developed machine concept for processing post-consumer HDPE scrap.

  • Starbucks and McDonald’s double down on helping to solve the foodservice packaging waste problem


    Starbucks and McDonald’s are upping their investment in the ongoing effort to reduce the amount of foodservice packaging ending up in the nation’s landfills and waterways.

    The two foodservice giants have invested an additional $10 million in the NextGen Consortium, a project managed by circular economy-focused investment firm Closed Loop Partners. 

    Wendy’s, meanwhile — a supporting partner of the NextGen Consortium — on Wednesday announced its move in early 2022 to clear, plastic cups that are more recyclable, starting with large cups in locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, and then all cups in those regions by 2023. The clear cups will replace the plastic-lined paper cups used currently that are difficult to recycle and end up in landfills.

    Founded in 2018, the NextGen Consortium was first launched to develop a more sustainable disposable cup, but the project has grown to include a push toward broader solutions for the pervasive packaging pollution problem.

    That push included the pilot of a reusable container system in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2019-2020. From that, the consortium published an open-source report with learnings on developing reusable packaging systems.

    Now the consortium has gone on to work with papermills, recyclers and municipalities on improving recycling systems across the country.

    Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, said the foodservice industry must double down on efforts to solve the mounting waste problem, which is a climate change issue on a number of fronts.

    “The circular economy is intertwined with climate because extraction is greenhouse gas generating and carbon intense. In addition, throwing this waste into landfills emits greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change,” said Daly.

    The goal is to look at the foodservice packaging ecosystem holistically to identify the best solutions.

    For restaurant operators, the effort comes at a time when the policy landscape for waste diversion is rapidly evolving region by region. And with a global shipping crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, many across the restaurant industry are struggling to find any type of to-go packaging, much less sustainable options.

    All the more reason to develop more resilient circular models in which materials are reused and recycled, said Daly. And there will not likely be one quick fix.

    “We have found it essential to support a spectrum of solutions that are both in early and established stages of growth so we can be agile,” she said. “The policy landscape is changing so quickly both in the U.S and globally, it increases the urgency of testing an entire system of solutions.”

    The Starbucks/McDonald’s investment indicates recognition of that urgent need, she said. But key to that is the industry-wide collaboration the consortium represents. Other partners include JDE Peet’s and Yum Brands Inc., for example.

    With the additional funding, the NextGen Consortium will continue to expand efforts to strengthen the sustainable packaging ecosystem, Daly said. 

    This will include more customer research and testing of reusable packaging systems, exploring the use of other packaging materials, and accelerating the development of more sustainable packaging options and the infrastructure needed to recover and recycle those materials.

    For example, Daly said the consortium is looking at the use of polypropylene, or PP, a more-rigid plastic for which there is a market as a recycled material. There is demand, but not enough volume collected to process for that demand, said Daly. So the consortium is working with recycling groups to develop grants to improve PP recycling. 

    For Starbucks and McDonald’s, the investment coincides with internal sustainability goals.

    Starbucks, for example, has pledged to reduce waste sent to landfills by 50% by 2030, said Michael Kobori, the Seattle-based chain’s chief sustainability officer.  The coffeehouse chain has been a forerunner in testing and implementing the use of reusable cups to replace single-use disposable

    “There has never been a more critical time for industry collaboration to shift away from single-use packaging, promote reusability and champion recyclability,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled to continue our work with the NextGen Consortium to drive sustainable solutions for our planet.”

    McDonald’s, likewise, has committed to sourcing 100% of guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources, and to recycle guest packaging in all restaurants by 2025.

    The chain is also moving away from virgin fossil-fuel plastics in its Happy Meal Toys and has pledged to eliminate potential toxic chemicals from its packaging by 2025.

    And Wendy’s move to more recyclable cups is also an example of steps taken to divert waste from landfills. The chain estimates the cup switch will divert 10 million pounds of waste over the first two years as the brand works toward use of more recyclable plastic across its cup set.

    Daly praised the move.

    “All of the innovations the brand partners are advancing are important parts of a larger collective ecosystem effort to identify the best solutions,” she said.

  • Tesco partners with Faerch to launch PET recycling initiative


    The companies say that PET shelf-ready packaging, which is used in UK supermarkets to transport products, is usually downcycled into non-food applications. The new ‘tray to tray’ initiative will involve Faerch collecting secondary PET and using its advanced recycling process to make new primary food contact packaging, including pots, tubs, and trays.

    Tesco adds that packaging for its own brand cut fruit, selected yoghurts, and meat will contain 30% rPET originating in Tesco stores. It will therefore require all Tesco own brands and branded suppliers to use food contact approved PET for shelf-ready packaging.

    In addition, Tesco claims this initiative will provide a solution to the shortfall in recycled PET availability due to increasing demand for PET bottle flakes.

    William Guest, sustainable packaging manager at Tesco, comments: “Wherever we can, we remove or reduce packaging but where it is needed we want to improve circularity to make our packaging as sustainable as possible.

    “One way we can do that is by ensuring packaging that meets food contact requirements remains within the food packaging sector, being recycled back into food contact packaging.

    “This collaboration with Faerch will ensure that each year 2,000 tonnes of PET is recycled to make new Tesco packaging that otherwise would have been downcycled into non-food applications.”

    According to Matt Tollman, group strategic sales director at Faerch: “This is a perfect example of how collaboration between packaging manufacturers, retailers and their suppliers can deliver lasting change and material circularity.

    “The ‘Tray 2 Tray by Faerch’ project demonstrates that PET packaging can be recovered and recycled at an industrial level and made back into food grade pots and trays.”

    The new initiative is part of Tesco’s strategy for reducing plastic waste, first launched in 2019, which involves removing packaging where possible, reducing packaging where it cannot be removed, increasing reuse, and recycling what is left after these options. The strategy has allegedly removed a billion pieces of plastic from Tesco’s UK business operations, and the supermarket chain is aiming to remove a further half a billion in 2021.

    Previous initiatives announced by Tesco include a trial for recycling items such as laminated pet food pouches, sweet wrappers, and crisp packets returned to stores by consumers into chemical feedstock and plastic packaging for cheeses launched in 2020, which is made from recycled soft, flexible plastic packaging that can also be continuously recycled into safe, food-grade packaging. The ‘tray to tray’ and other initiatives also complement Tesco’s launch of Loop in September 2021, which allows customers to buy products in packaging that can be returned to stores for cleaning, refill and reuse.  

  • TricorBraun to acquire Vetroelite glass packaging supplier


    TricorBraun said the acquisition would allow it to strengthen its European presence

    Founded in 1994, Vetroelite was formed in 1994 and is a provider of premium glass packaging solutions for the spirits, gourmet food, home fragrances, wine, and cosmetics industries.

    It operates from multiple locations inEurope and North America, and has customers in 90 countries.

    Court Carruthers, president and CEO, TricorBraun, said: “The Vetroelite team has established a strong reputation for high-quality, innovative packaging solutions, fueled by deep expertise and dedicated customer service.”

    All Vetroelite team members, including CEO Daniele Feletto and the company’s leadership team, will remain with TricorBraun and continue to work out of the company’s existing locations.

    Vetroelite will operate as Vetroelite, a TricorBraun company, upon closure of the acquisition.

    LBO France acquired Vetroelite in 2017. The transaction is expected to close later this month.

  • What is PepsiCo hoping for from ‘pep+’?


    In September, snacks and beverage giant PepsiCo announced its latest sustainability programme, PepsiCo Positive (Pep+). The “fundamental transformation of what we do and how we do it”, as CEO Ramon Laguarta described the ‘end-to-end’ initiative, featured plans to make its packaging more sustainable.

    As part of Pep+, the group is aiming to make its plastic packaging from 50% of recycled materials and halve its use of virgin plastic by 2030. By 2022, PepsiCo will move its key Pepsi-branded products in 11 European markets to fully recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) bottles, while also moving further into ‘better-for-you’ plant-based beverages and expanding its SodaStream platform.

    “Pep+ is the future of our company,” said Laguarta at launch. “A fundamental transformation … to create growth and shared value with sustainability and human capital at the centre.”

    A move to please consumers
    According to GlobalData beverages analyst Holly Ingles, the move should go far to meet the expectations of the modern consumer.

    “Pep+ will keep PepsiCo ahead of the competition amid consumers’ ever-increasing demand for sustainability,” she said. “The policy will be popular with the 70%* of global consumers that prefer ingredients that are sourced sustainably and ethically.

    “Consumers are yearning for drinks that are both better for them and better for the planet. Focusing on beverages that are thought of as ‘healthy’ and ‘sustainable’ … may be a good bet in the long term, given their historical popularity in a number of markets across the globe.

    “It is clear that consumers are watching brands’ actions closely, as well as changing their purchasing habits based on how brands respond to the environmental crisis.”

    Sustainability benefits business
    Speaking to Packaging Gateway, The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD Services) Canada programme director Steward Samuel agreed that brands that engage with consumers using sustainability cues are more likely to see success, tapping into their growing demands for environmental responsibility.

  • GEA introduces new powder packaging system for dairies


    Companies operating in emerging markets, low volume producers and pilot plants need such a system offering a compact and flexible low rate packing process, GEA said. Likewise, with their diverse portfolios, raw material producers need to be able to adapt their packaging solution in a versatile way.

    With more than 100 possible variants, the GEA SmartFil M1 can be configured to suit almost any application from dry, fine powders through to coarse granular products. The new machine offers a nominal filling capacity of 120 bags per hour or three tons per hour at 25 kg product size. Depending on the product being packaged, the system features configurable product metering options, GEA said, including vertical auger and horizontal vibratory feeder. An optional deaeration probe may be added for improved consolidation of the product if required.

    Customers can choose to pack into open-mouth bags, boxes or drums of varying sizes. Closing is configurable dependent on packaging type. Continuous heat sealing with glue reactivation or with sewing is available for open-mouth bags, whilst impulse sealing is offered for hermetic sealing of plastic packaging.

    GEA said the built-in height-adjustable conveyor system makes packaging changes fast and simple, allowing the operator to work at an ergonomic height.

    Small-scale dairy plants requiring a hygienic powder-filling solution in a compact form can select the GEA SmartFil M1 with auger feed, deaeration (option) and continuous heatsealer with integrated fold-over.

    “When integrated with a downline bag handling system, this cost-effective semiautomatic solution provides high quality, accurate filling and closing of open-mouth, multi-wall bags. For aluminum foil bags, the sealing system can be changed to an impulse type sealer as required,”​ GEA said.

    The company said the machine’s low height and accessible components make maintenance and cleaning operations easier, minimizing potential machine downtime and lost production.

  • Aptar Pharma and i2c Pharmaceutical Services Announce Partnership for Next Generation Propellant Dispersible Tablet pMDI Technology

    Crystal Lake, Illinois and Cardiff, United Kingdom, October 21, 2021 - Aptar Pharma, a global leader in drug delivery systems, services and active material science solutions, and i2c Pharmaceutical Services, a leading service provider for the development of pharmaceutical formulations, today announced an exclusive partnership to co-develop and promote i2c’s patented pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) technology, Respitab.

  • Waddington Europe offers new punnet that’s easier to recycle, uses less plastic


    Leading European thermoforming packaging specialist Waddington® Europe, a division of Novolex®, has launched a new 100% mono-material protective soft-fruit punnet thanks to the company’s revolutionary MONOAIR™cushion technology. 

    Traditionally, punnet bases have required an additional layer of bubble padding attached with a glue adhesive to protect soft fruit from bruising and spoiling in transit. However, the padding must be removed from the container to be properly recycled.   

    “The MONOAIR™ cushion is now integrated into the base of Waddington’s 100% recycled PET (rPET) punnets, eliminating the need for a separate bubble pad,” said Eduardo Gomes, Managing Director of Waddington Europe. “That conserves resources without compromising on the high standards of product protection and quality that our customers have come to expect from Waddington Europe.  

    “We also took the opportunity to redesign and downgauge the punnets so that they now contain 30% less plastic than before while still maintaining their excellent structural integrity,” Gomes added. 

    MONOAIR™cushion technology makes life easier for consumers, who can now simply throw the whole punnet into their recycling bin without having to worry about separating the bubble padding first. That gives them peace of mind knowing that not only is there less plastic in the punnet, but that 100% of the container can be recycled back into food-grade packaging rPET.  

    Having undergone successful trials with two of Waddington Europe’s largest soft-fruit customers, the MONOAIR™cushion punnets are now available to order for the 2022 soft-fruit season.   

    To find out more about Waddington Europe and its commitment to recycling through sustainable rPET packaging solutions, visit www.waddingtoneurope.com. 

    To learn more about Novolex, visit www.Novolex.com

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