Research has shown retailers and consumers are wanting more sustainable packaging solutions when they make purchasing decisions. Moreover, the EU’s single use plastic (SUP) directive, which came into force on 3 July 2019, aims to reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. This has caused large brands and manufacturers to re-evaluate their packaging strategies and seek out alternatives.
Ecogrip is designed to replace single use shrink wrap plastic for bottles between 330 ml and 1.5 litres, providing a recyclable and biodegradable corrugate solution for multi-packs. Adaptable to the many different bottle styles on the market regardless of diameter, it provides brands, retailers and consumers with a sustainable multi-packing solution for four, six or eight bottles.
The ergonomic design makes it easy to transport, handle and store and the corrugated board can be customised through a variety of print technologies for maximum brand and on-shelf impact.
‘Every business is now focused on sustainability,’ said Armin Höttges, managing director at Blue Box Partners.
‘While we continue to see improvements in recycling rates for many packaging products, secondary packaging such as shrink wrap falls into the category of single use plastic which can create issues if not disposed of responsibly.
‘This has resulted in considerable pressure from governments, environmental groups and consumers – all of whom are demanding packaging which is more sustainable and the launch of Ecogrip now delivers a solution for brands that want an effective multi-packing option.’
VPK Group offers, together with the other members of Blue Box Partners (Klingele Paper and Packaging Group, Hinojosa and Cart-One), expertise and collective intelligence and delivers local solutions across Europe. Working with brands to develop packaging solutions that not only solve their current issues around single use plastic, but also provide sustainable packaging solutions for the long term, the launch of Ecogrip is the perfect example of the partnership.
Students developed use cases with open source technology OPC UA and automation solutions from B&R.
‘Goood’ results for Interquell with Mondi’s paper-based FlexiBags: packaging made from renewable materials, reducing plastic and CO2 footprint
Mondi creates sustainable paper-based packaging for Goood, Interquell’s sustainable alternative to organic pet food brands
By using packaging made from renewable resources, Mondi reduces plastic usage and CO2 footprint with innovative paper-based FlexiBags
Collaborative approach means Mondi supports Interquell in meeting their sustainability commitments
15 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, is launching two new paper-based bags for German pet food producer Interquell, delivering both consumer convenience and sustainability benefits.
100% recyclable corrugate
Sustainable alternative to single-use plastic
Complete solution for bottle multi-packs
Blue Box Partners, the pan-European Alliance of suppliers for corrugated board packaging solutions, has launched ECOGRIP, a corrugated alternative to shrink wrap for the multi-packing of a wide range of bottles that builds on the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging.
Essentra to launch latest consumer research results on packaging functionality at ThePackHub webinar
Essentra Tapes is to showcase findings from its latest consumer survey at the ‘Packaging Insight’ webinar hosted by ThePackHub on 16th February 2021.
From identifying the packs that frustrate and delight us to understanding the features consumers value, the views of 1000 members of public from across the UK will be shared, highlighting key insights around packaging functionality, and demonstrating the role it plays in all our lives.
Exclusive, informative, secure and sustainable
12 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, received eight awards in three categories at this year's WorldStar Packaging awards. In this annual competition of the World Packaging Organisation, judges from 55 countries recognised achievements in packaging innovation and technologies worldwide, with a focus on sustainability, product protection and end-user convenience.
Belgian milk producer Inex has selected Sidel’s aseptic PET packaging line to help meet a growing demand for locally produced milk, prompted by the COVID-19 restrictions in March. Thanks to Sidel’s new and sustainable packaging line, Inex plans to boost production capacity by supplying ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk products in PET bottles.
Do you know the tapes printed with "Action" that bundle several products into multipacks in the supermarket? Or the transparent bands that hold together the different sized goods ordered online in the shipping carton? Do you take all the information about zucchinis, bananas or apples in cardboard trays that you buy in the vegetable section at retail from printed bands? Are you familiar with the bands that hold together stacked printed items, cardboard or corrugated cardboard in such a way that the edges of the fragile products are not damaged? Or have you ever bought convenience food or other products where a double-side printed band up to 100 mm wide, for example, holds a tray packaging securely together and at the same time takes care of all the communication around the product? That - and much more - is banding.
How banding works
In banding, a band of paper or film up to 100 mm wide is placed around one or more products by a banding machine and welded with the use of a sonotrode with ultra-sonic technology or, in fewer cases, with a hot wedge. Glue or other adhesives are not used. The continuously adjustable tension of the band varies depending on the properties of the product or application. It reacts to the resistance of the product to be banded. For soft and fragile products, the band tension is alternatively controlled by a fixed length or soft length. Also possible: Sensors measure the product to be banded and automatically adjust the band length. This variant is used, for example, when banding mail packages of different sizes that are fed to the banding machine by a conveyor belt (end-of-line automation).
Printed and unprinted bands
Depending on the application, bands are used unprinted, printed on one or both sides in advance using the flexographic printing process, and additionally or exclusively printed with a thermal transfer printer during banding. While the flexographic printing process focuses on the branding of the product, thermal transfer printing is used to print variable information such as the producer, the best-before date, the batch number, the weight or a bar code. Printed bands therefore also replace labels. Unprinted bands are often used in intralogistics when logistical units have to be formed to simplify processes.
Different banding machines for different applications
Depending on the production volume and requirements, different banding machines are used: mobile stand-alone models or fully automatic banding machines integrated into the production line.
In the simpler standalone models, the banding process is usually triggered manually (e.g. via a foot pedal).
In automated applications, sensors and I/O or bus-based interfaces come into play. Example: A robot holds the product to be banded in the banding machine, the sensor confirms the presence of the product and the banding process is triggered via the interface.
In fully automatic applications, the banding process is triggered by a PLC (programmable logic controller). Depending on the application, the process is optimized by different signals and factors. Depending on the machine design and the system concept, a performance of up to 300 products per minute or 100 banding processes per minute can be achieved.
Banding is environmentally friendly
Banding stands for "only as much packaging as necessary". Bands often replace shrink films or sleeves, thereby significantly reducing plastic and material consumption. Ultrasonic banding machines are also extremely energy-efficient and thus help to reduce CO2 emissions. Because a banding machine with integrated thermal transfer printer also replaces the labeling machine, additional material and energy can be saved depending on the application. In most countries, bands made of coated paper are recycled via the paper cycle. If the band has to be made of paper, but the proportion of foreign material must not exceed 5%, our partially coated paper is used. Bands made of film are made of pure and high-quality PP, HDPE or PLA. The amount of recycled material is at least 20% for all foils. The thinnest film (FTU) has a thickness of 50 my. All banding films are considered mono-material and are 100% recyclable.
Banding stands for frustration-free packaging
Banding not only reduces plastic and packaging material, but also stands for frustration-free packaging. Bands can be opened by hand without any problems: Either at the weld seam in the case of bands made of film or at any position in the case of bands made of paper. Amazon shows what constitutes frustration-free packaging and how important it is in the video Frustration Free Packaging.
The majority of takeaway meals are packed, transported, and served in single-use plastic containers, most of which are then either burnt or dumped in our oceans. On top of this, take away packaging is ghastly - it's cheap, flimsy and however appealing the meal inside, the packaging completely detracts from the consumer experience.
Take Back is designed to be easy to clean for reusability and stackable for ease of storage. The double-walled construction helps ensure the temperature of the meals is maintained through delivery. The structural design of this particular example is reminiscent of a pagoda for specific use by Asian cuisine proprietors and purposely unbranded for flexibility of use by different restaurants. The design also serves as a desirable container beautiful enough to be proudly placed on the dinner table.
The concept envisages a returnable system whereby the container provider hosts a platform for use by members - namely, local restaurants and cafes. Members deliver meals in 'Take Back' containers, consumers then keep hold of them and return them during their next delivery. The infrastructure for tracking the location of the containers for retrieval is already in place via platforms such as Deliveroo and Just Eat and one can easily imagine a small deposit system paid for by consumers to help validate the investment in the reusable packaging.
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