With the problem of plastic waste receiving significant attention, demand for more eco-friendly packaging continues to increase, and companies around the world are taking various measures focused on targets for better circulation of plastic resources used for packaging and containers.
In one example, Toppan Printing has successfully collaborated with Unilever Japan on quality tests resulting in the adoption of mono-material flexible packaging for “Lux Luminique Sachet Set Limited Design,” which is due to go on sale in Japan starting in April.
Unilever has announced global commitments for a waste-free world, aiming to halve its use of virgin plastic; help collect and process more plastic than it sells; and ensure that 100% of plastic packaging is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable. Unilever is transforming its approach to plastic packing through its “Less plastic. Better plastic. No plastic.” framework and making progress around the world.
Toppan provides solutions to global companies addressing environmental issues such as global warming and plastic waste. “Sustainable-Value Packaging” was recently launched as part of the "Toppan S-Value Packaging” brand, which targets added value for society and fulfilling living. The Sustainable-Value Packaging range includes more readily recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) mono-material flexible packaging for individual packages. By fully leveraging vapor deposition and coating technologies accumulated over 30 years as a global leader in the manufacture of transparent barrier films, Toppan has now worked with Unilever Japan to achieve a switch to mono-material composition for individual packages for liquid toiletry products.
Conventional individual packages combine a PET substrate with materials such as aluminum and polyethylene. Toppan’s mono-material packaging uses a PET-based grade of GL Film a vapor-deposited transparent barrier film from the GL Barrier range and combines it with PET sealant. These films are used for wide range of items in the food, medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial materials sectors.
The manufacturing method and material composition ensure superior oxygen and water vapor barrier performance, provide low adsorption to prevent loss of aroma and quality, and make it possible to prevent reduction of product weight during storage over long periods. The use of a single material improves recyclability, and the absence of aluminum film enables a reduction of roughly 25% in CO2 emissions during packaging manufacture.
“We’re delighted that Unilever Japan has chosen Toppan’s mono-material flexible packaging for these new products,” said Yoshimitsu Anamizu, managing executive officer of Toppan’s Living & Industry Division. “We continue to work on developing more readily recyclable and eco-friendly solutions for diverse packaging [applications].”
The Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics (SPICE), co-founded by L’Oréal and sustainability consulting firm Quantis, is an initiative that brings together organizations in the cosmetics industry to work towards a common goal: to collectively shape the future of sustainable packaging. The initiative has now released what it calls “a science-based ecodesign tool that assesses the environmental footprint of any cosmetics packaging, empowering cosmetics packaging engineers to make more sustainable design choices and accelerate innovation toward sustainability.”
The publicly available SPICE Tool is the latest solution developed by the 25 members of SPICE, created to shape the future of sustainable cosmetics packaging while addressing the issues that beauty and personal care companies face while trying to improve the environmental performance of their products’ packaging. Along with the Tool, SPICE has released a set of best practice materials, including environmental claims guidelines.
According to the group, the SPICE Tool solves one of the key sustainability challenges facing the beauty industry: embedding ecodesign into the packaging development process. Further, they say that the platform, with a Free demo version and a Pro version, “makes robust environmental data accessible to packaging designers, giving them the insights they need to develop more resilient packaging designs. The Tool calculates a holistic environmental footprint across the full lifecycle of a product’s packaging (from production to end-of-life), covering 16 environmental indicators that assess impacts on climate change as well as resource depletion, water use, biodiversity and more.” This, they say, will enable beauty companies to now have an easy way to measure, improve and communicate more credibly on their packaging’s environmental performance.
"The SPICE Tool ushers the entire cosmetics industry into a new era of sustainable packaging innovation,” affirms Dimitri Caudrelier, CEO of Quantis. “It delivers robust environmental metrics and actionable insights for packaging designers to make resilient decisions. This is a huge step toward SPICE’s mission to collectively shape the future of sustainable packaging — and we’re just getting started!”
"As the co-founder of SPICE, L’Oréal is proud to see the initiative uniting the cosmetics industry around a shared vision of sustainable packaging,” adds Philippe Bonningue, group global director of sustainable packaging at L’Oréal—and a member of Beauty Packaging’s Board of Advisors. “For more than a decade, we have been committed to innovating our packaging toward sustainability. We are pleased to share this experience to help develop the SPICE Tool so that, together, we can drive the industry’s sustainable transformation.”
L’Oréal Hong Kong is kicking off a cross-brand recycling program with its 13 beauty brands. This month, Kiehl’s, Lancôme and L’Oréal Paris will be taking the lead in accepting used product containers at their stores.
By the end of Q2 2021, the program will cover the group’s other 10 beauty brands in Hong Kong, contributing together to Hong Kong’s sustainable development through joint effort of the brands. Partnering with local environmental social enterprise V Cycle, beauty packaging which can be recycled in the program includes not only plastic bottles but also glass and metal parts of the beauty products such as mascara tubes, brow pencils tubes and body, lipstick cases and compact powder cases, etc.
“Having worked alongside L’Oreal Hong Kong for 2 years, we’re delighted and grateful for the opportunity to step up our efforts in this exciting citywide recycling program,” said Eric Swinton, founder and CEO at V Cycle. “In offering people a platform to recycle and reuse valuable resources, we are creating a circular economy that benefits both the environment and our society, while changing consumption habits by stemming the inflow of plastic. We are confident that together with L’Oreal Hong Kong, we will raise consumer awareness on the need to recycle and that this initiative will inspire people to take action.”
The two companies have agreed to develop specific projects for the optimised management of compostable products and packaging, to be recycled and recovered together with the organic fraction of solid municipal waste in Iren’s treatment plants.
Iren operates in the sectors of electricity, gas, thermal energy for district heating, management of integrated water services, environmental services and technological services.
Under the agreement, dedicated flows (some of which experimental) will be organised for organic waste fractions containing disposable compostable products coming from markets, catering businesses and large events.
Renato Boero, Iren chairman, said: “Innovation and attention to the circular economy are two distinctive aspects of our vision and this collaboration with Novamont, through research and experimentation on the ground, further enhances Iren’s role as a strategic player in the Green Economy.”
Catia Bastioli, Novamont chief executive, added: “The partnership with Iren will be strategic not only to improve waste management, but above all to close the carbon cycle, regenerate soil and decarbonise the atmosphere, while experimenting new solutions in a logic of learning by doing”.
MOB’s reusable, interchangeable design is made from PET resin with at least 50% post-consumer recycled content. The brand says it is on a mission to hit 100% PCR for all of its packaging.
Element Packaging took the process a step further, introducing Element CarbonX, a material science innovation replacing Carbon Black. This is a new black infrared-visible pigment allowing the optical scanners used in sorting plastics during recycling to be recognized by the NIR (Near Infrared) detectors installed in waste sorting plants.
“Element CarbonX helps in contributing to our circular economy and brings sustainability in design options utilizing black componentry,” explains the Florida-based supplier of beauty packaging solution and turnkey products.
Co-founded by Victor Casale, CEO and former chief chemist at MAC, Alisha Gallagher, chief brand officer, formerly of Cover FX, Beatrice Seguin, chief innovation officer, formerly of CSR Beauty Solutions and Steve Blanchet, formerly of CSR Beauty Solutions, MOB Beauty commits to launch new beauty products only when they can have a sustainable packaging solution. The brand therefore focused on compacts and palettes that are infinitely customizable.
Plastic is the world’s most adaptable material. From bikes to food wraps and from jets to pencils,you can make anything and everything from plastics. With the infinite number of uses, plastic also have some devastating impacts on our planet. Most plastics produced today are made using petroleum-based compounds that release harmful gases into the atmosphere. Waste solutions are inefficient, and harmful by-products toxic our land, water and wildlife.
Oberschleissheim, March 22, 2021 – When Schreiner Group’s Chinese production site opened its gates for the grand opening billed as "Inspired by Tradition – Built for Innovation," an extensive planning process had preceded the event. For the medium-sized family business based in Oberschleissheim near Munich, opening a Chinese location proved to be a positive venture that paid off. Now, the manufacturing facility in the Shanghai metro area is celebrating its fifth anniversary—and the future has already been planned.
Ireland-based corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa has collaborated with Dutch LED lighting systems manufacturer Signify to develop an integrated sustainable packaging system.
The companies have developed the BioShift UV-C Chamber Case, a packaging solution for shipping and transporting UV-C lights that can kill germs and viruses.
The fully paper-based solution removes all plastics and reduces the number of packaging materials used from five to one.
The case is secured by a fit-to-size hood with special multi-use locks before being placed on a corrugated pallet.
As well as its sustainability aspects, the case is claimed to be cheaper and reduce assembly labour by 50%.
It also reduces storage space by 30%, allowing up to 16 additional pallets to fit in one truck, and is claimed to guarantee 100% security during transport.
Smurfit Kappa Poland CEO Jacek Nieweglowski said: “Working with Signify locally to create more sustainable packaging, which is innovative in design and optimised from a cost perspective, has brought a great sense of pride to our team, especially by supporting the worldwide shipping of a product offering protection against viruses.”
Signify EMEA strategic buyer Damian Grzelak said: “UV-C lights are a growing segment of business for us, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Smurfit Kappa has been vital in helping us reduce costs and ship our products in a safe and more sustainable manner.”
The BioShift UV-C Chamber Case is part of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging product line, which offers renewable, recyclable and biodegradable products.
This week, Smurfit Kappa launched an ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) film for its Bag-in-Box solution.
The 60-micron film, to be marketed as E Compact 60, will reduce the amount of plastic used by the company when manufacturing bags.
Tetra Pak calls for collaborative innovation to tackle sustainability challenges in the food packaging industryNews:
According to the latest research the global food supply chain system is responsible for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions; a third of all food is lost or wasted somewhere in the supply chain; fossil fuel-based materials need to be phased out; and significant improvements are needed to the way packaging is dealt with after use.
Laurence Mott, Executive VP for Development and Engineering at Tetra Pak, says: “We are joining forces with our strategic partners and paperboard producers to find solutions. It's possible to make a completely sustainable package, but you have to make it safe. And if you can’t make it at scale, you can't minimise food waste, and you can't serve a growing global population. In order to bring those three things together, it takes very strong collaboration.”
Mott says that the scale of the environmental challenges the world faces requires that actors within the value chain join forces to develop truly sustainable packaging solutions.
Hannu Kasurinen, Executive Vice President Packaging at Stora Enso, a leading global provider of renewable solutions, says: “We trust, we share, we learn together. Our best innovators collaborate, and we move forward and we innovate. Sometimes we fail, but then we learn from those failures. We have grown much closer to each other, because we have the same strategic objectives – which are good for the people and the planet.”
Francisco Razzolini, Industrial Technology, Innovation, Sustainability and Projects Director at Klabin, Brazil’s largest paper producer, says: “We are seeing new demands from society and from consumers to make products and processes that are more sustainable. Meeting these demands requires a lot of collaboration between our companies. By sharing experiences, thoughts, ideas and developments, we can speed up the innovation process.”
Malin Ljung Eiborn, Head of Sustainability and Public Affairs at BillerudKorsnäs, a world leading provider of fibre-based packaging material, says: “The vision is 100% fibre-based and fully recyclable packaging, where plastic and aluminium are not needed anymore. We still have, of course, some steps to go before we are there from a technical perspective. But we work as one project team on this because the only way that we can solve them is to do this together.”
The challenges the industry faces include removing the thin layers of plastic and aluminium replacing them with plant or wood fibre-based materials, developing a renewable alternative to the plastic straw, and improving the recyclability of packages. When responsibly sourced, plant-based renewable materials can support towards protecting biodiversity and the natural ecosystem. This means the industry can minimise the need for fossil-based materials.
And it is these and other challenges on which Tetra Pak and its partners are teaming up within the new collaborative innovation model. Tetra Pak’s aim is to create the world’s most sustainable package – one that secures food safety and availability while reducing the impact on the planet.
Rick Michelman, chief technology officer & EVP, Americas, and printing and packaging, said, “We want to help transition the industry into more sustainable packaging. Our barrier coatings help improve fibre-based packaging’s functionality and performance while managing its end-of-life.”
The company has been opening new markets for paper and film packaging ever since creating its first repulpable water-based coating over 50 years ago. Their current barrier and functional coatings for paper and film make it possible to develop recyclable, repulpable, and industrially compostable packaging.
Michelman added, “Because IMFA’s members include manufacturers of moulded fibre products, industry suppliers and service providers, Michelman has surrounded itself with like-minded organisations that will help accelerate the pace of product innovations for moulded fibre applications.”
Like moulded fibre, Michelman’s water-based coatings offer opportunities to increase sustainable practices, reduce waste, and deliver product performance using fewer raw materials, with repulpable, recyclable, compostable, and renewably-sourced options.
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