• Stora Enso and Vogue Scandinavia win the prestigious Red Dot Design Award for magazine packaging concept

    Stora Enso and Vogue Scandinavia have won the Red Dot Design Award for the renewable eco-package concept created to replace plastics in magazine packaging. The packaging is fully carbon neutral, with a renewable, low-carbon raw material and energy efficient production. The first issue of Vogue Scandinavia was launched in August.

    The Red Dot Award was granted for exceptional design quality and creative performance in the category of Brands & Communication design. With roughly 20 000 submissions, the Red Dot Award is one of the biggest design competitions in the world.

  • NGOs say US FDA’s PFAS approvals for plastic food packaging highlight need for action

    News: 

    Environmental groups have strengthened calls for thorough regulatory review of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in food contact materials (FCMs) after discovering that the US FDA cleared several PFASs for plastic food packaging manufacture in the past decade.

    The NGOs’ findings – reached through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) request – follow the detection of PFAS contamination in fluorinated polyethylene containers, which prompted EPA and FDA investigations and the latter’s warning against unauthorised fluorination. 

    In a 12 August blog, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI) detailed their discovery of seven food contact substance notifications (FCNs), granted between 2002 and 2016, for four PFAS processing aids for plastic packaging such as bottles and wraps. Permitted at concentrations up to 2000 parts per million (ppm), the compounds "reportedly improve polymer extrusion, reduce build-up on the injection mould and improve surface roughness, among other technical effects", the organisations said.

    "While FDA has been focused on PFAS contamination from the environment and its use in paper packaging, it has been allowing PFAS-laden plastic to also contaminate the food supply without considering the cumulative effect of their dietary exposure on people’s health," they said.

    EDF, GSPI and other non-profits petitioned the agency in June to ban new PFASs and revisit already permitted ones by factoring in accumulating impacts from the chemical class. 

    The American Chemistry Council (ACC) said "the EDF blog relies on the misleading assumption that the mere presence of any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance represents a health risk; however, nowhere in the text is evidence of this presented". 

    Different PFASs possess "unique properties and uses, as well as environmental and health profiles", the trade association told Chemical Watch. "It is neither scientifically accurate, nor appropriate, to group them all together."

    Foia results
    Tom Neltner, the EDF’s chemicals policy director, said he filed the Foia request for the FCNs after packaging makers disclosed during an early 2020 workshop that they utilised PFASs to create plastic. 

    The blog authors noted that in one case, the documents showed exposure from the compounds’ migration into food could be above some PFASs’ safe drinking water threshold.

    "The FDA was allowing food to be contaminated at significant levels even though the agency was simultaneously realising there were problems," Mr Neltner said. "We were dismayed, but given the agency’s track record with FCNs, not particularly surprised." 

    The non-profits added that the agency overlooked PFAS exposure from plastics that help store, process and transport food ingredients. And the agency failed to adhere to its regulation requiring class-based evaluation of substances with comparable toxicological outcomes, they said. 

    Plastic processing aids and fluorinated polyethylene are the "latest additions to a growing list of sources of ‘forever chemicals’ in the diet", the NGOs said. The agency should assess all these compounds’ total impact across their entire range of applications, they said.

    PFAS pollution is widespread, the organisations said, and "overall exposure adds up quickly" due to bioaccumulation, which increases possible hazardousness. 

    ‘Rigorous safety assessment’
    The FDA told Chemical Watch the agency "conducts a rigorous scientific safety assessment of information submitted" before permitting any food contact substance.

    The agency examines "the nature of the packaging components, the potential cumulative exposure to the food contact substance into the food and beverages (from all food contact substances that the FDA has reviewed) and safe levels of exposure", it said.

    The "safety assumptions embedded in our exposure assessments mean that the actual dietary exposure from the approved food contact use is well below our cumulative dietary exposure estimate," the agency said. "Where new information raises safety questions, the FDA may revoke authorisations if the agency is no longer able to conclude that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from the authorised use."

    3M, which initiated four of the FCNs under its name or that of subsidiary Dyneon, told Chemical Watch "certain fluoropolymers used as components in polymer processing additives (PPAs) are critical to the efficient production of lightweight and high-quality flexible plastic packaging". According to 3M, their great molecular weight and low mobility decrease environmental and health concerns.

    The FDA’s authorisations demonstrate its "determinations that those chemicals are safe for their intended uses, and as indirect food contact substances, should be available for use in flexible plastic food packaging", the corporation said.

    The other FCN submitters, Daikin and Arkema, did not immediately respond to requests for comment

  • Syntegon to showcase robotics and automation solutions at PACK EXPO 2021

    • New robotics pick-and-place platform RPP on show live for the first time

    • Two automated lines for cookie and cracker packaging underline innovation potential

    • Live demonstrations include virtual live launch of new LFS filling machine

    • Smart service concepts and digital solutions

  • Delivery Hero Woos Sustainable Shoppers With Eco-Friendly Packaging

    News: 

    “We are in a unique position to make sustainable packaging accessible and economically feasible due to economies of scale,” Delivery Hero Director of Sustainability, CSR and Safety Jeffrey Oatham told PYMNTS in an interview. “The Sustainable Packaging Program is an effective and scalable way to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions produced by the delivery industry.”

    He highlighted the results of a 2020 Delivery Hero survey of over 2,200 participants across 7 countries, in which 86 percent of respondents reported that they would “consider ordering from restaurants via delivery platforms that offer sustainable packaging for food delivery.”

    While this figure alone is somewhat tepid, and while data from the company selling the product is never the most reliable source, external research also finds clear demand from consumers for sustainable packaging.

    A McKinsey study published in October of 2020 found that 60 to 70 percent of consumers report that they would pay more for sustainable packaging, and a PwC survey conducted in March 2021 found that 61 percent of those who work from home “intentionally buy items with eco-friendly packaging or less packaging,” as do 52 percent of those who work away from home.

    Additionally, Trivium Packaging’s Global Buying Green report, which surveyed over 15,000 consumers across 3 continents, found that two-thirds of respondents believe recyclable packaging is important when making purchasing decisions, and 64 percent believe that packaging made from recycled materials is important. Plus, a recent Market Research Future report finds that the global sustainable packaging market is expected to grow 10.3 percent each year between 2021 and 2027, reaching $470.3 billion by 2027.

    “Overall, there is a clear shift to move beyond single-use plastic solutions,” said Oatham. “This includes changes in global legislation, as well as more conscious and environmentally-minded consumers. In the future, we hope to see less single-use plastics, more compostable packaging solutions, and a continued rise in reuse model for food contact packaging as reverse logistics solutions are refined.”

  • TriMas Packaging’s Affaba & Ferrari™ to introduce tethered cap solutions

    News: 

    TriMas Packaging expands caps portfolio with acquisition of Affaba & Ferrari

    TriMas Packaging, which consists primarily of the Rieke®, Taplast™ and Rapak® brands, sees the EU directive coming in three years on fastened lids and closures as an industry-wide challenge. The group has proactively made significant investments in this field. At the end of 2020, TriMas announced the acquisition of Affaba & Ferrari, a manufacturer of precision closures for the food & beverage industry, as well as for industrial product applications.

    “Affaba & Ferrari supplements our existing food & beverage and industrial product offerings, adding new blue-chip customers and a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation to our European base. Affaba & Ferrari offers proprietary product designs and production capabilities for aseptic applications. The company has earned important food packaging safety certifications, such as the British Retail Consortium/Institute of Packaging (BRC/IoP), the Global Standard and the Food and Drug Administration/Interstate Milk Shippers (FDA/IMS) Compliance, all of which will ultimately enable us to expand our current product offering for our global food & beverage customers,” said Fabio Salik, President of TriMas Packaging.

    Affaba & Ferrari, located in Borgo San Giovanni, Italy, designs, develops and manufactures proprietary precision caps and closures for customers throughout Europe with plans to expand this innovative technology globally. The innovative product offering includes aseptic caps for juices, dairy products and sport isotonic/energy drinks, as well as tamper-evident, child-proof, flex-spout and further caps and closures used in food & beverage, agrochemical and industrial applications.

    An important step forward
    Affaba & Ferrari has decades of expertise and extensive experience in this field, regardless of EU requirements. “Our customers need to be aware of the possible measures they need to adopt and investments they need to make at an early stage, in order to implement against the regulatory backdrop,” says Howard Manning, VP Closure Product Division. All manufacturers of soft drinks, still-water products, aseptic drinks and beer in the EU must convert their systems by July 2024.

    With this goal in mind, TriMas Packaging has accelerated advancements in the field of closures. The innovation leader announced that it will be introducing tethered caps to the market by the end of 2021. The products will feature a new screw and flip concept with a self-locking hinge that ensures food protection, while facilitating convenient consumption and reducing the impact of plastic caps on the environment.

  • DS Smith and DOM-TITAN to reduce 1.7 tons of plastics from packaging each year

    News: 

    DOM-TITAN is the leading Slovenian company in the field of mechanical security protection of doors and locks for furniture. They were looking for a suitable partner for the development of ecological packaging. The idea of ​​replacing styrofoam material was born on the initiative of Tomaž Kališnik, an employee of DOM-TITAN in the development and technology department. For implementation, they turned to the sustainable packaging strategists of DS Smith.

    Based on the conceptual design of DOM-TITAN d.d. (author of the design Igor Plevel), and the experience of packaging strategists, we defined the key starting points of the new solution through a PackRight workshop.

    Challenges of styrofoam packaging filler replacement

    The main requirements from the client for the development of new ecological packaging were:

    • Packaging that is sustainable and raise brand awareness
    • Supply chain optimization.
    • Aesthetic aspect - the impression of consumers when they open the packaging.
    • Easy packing.
    • Improve the protection that the fillings offer to the product.
    • Adaptability of the fillings to different dimensions of locks.

    DS Smith designers incorporated the Principles of Circular Design into the solution design process and followed the PackRight methodology of new product development.

    “We always keep in mind the principles of circular packaging. The packaging is designed according to the respective phases of the product supply chain. In the process of development, we tested prototypes of the packaging several times together with the company DOM-TITAN d.d. and through improvements we came to the final solution, which brings many advantages, " adds Alenka Knez, head of DS Smith's PackRight development center in Brestanica.

    • Achieved sustainable goal of DOM-TITAN d.d .: elimination of the use of styrofoam in the packing process.
      The new solution solves the problem of disposable styrofoam, which often ends up in landfills instead of recycling. They removed 1.7 tons of styrofoam per year, which has so far been used to pack locks.
    • 100% recyclability of packaging fillings
      They can be easily recycled within the good practice of existing systems. They are made of paper with a certificate of responsible forest use, which contains approx. 80% recycled fibers.
    • Due to more optimal loading of products on the pallet within the supply chain, we reduced the carbon footprint by 20%.
    • Fast filler assembly.
    • Contribute to the productivity of the production of locks, despite the fact that the inserts are now manually assembled
    • Complete protection of heavier products. Due to the weight of the locks (approx. 4 kg), the construction of the fillings are very efficient. They ensure the products’ protection to damage.
    • Use of fillings for several different products and lower packaging cost.

    Interest in circular packaging is growing

    Many companies are actively reducing their impact on the environment, looking for and developing circular packaging for their products.  “Companies are looking for packaging that is circular, that is easily recycled or reused and has zero impact on the environment. We are already talking about packaging with a zero carbon footprint, "comments Jožica Hojnik, Sales Director at DS Smith Slovenia. 

    Igor Plevel, author of the design of the styrofoam replacement project for the company DOM-TITAN d.d. on the selection of a partner for the development of organic packaging states: “Very few packaging companies have such a good development department that could compete with DS Smith’s PackRight Center. We have chosen DS Smith as a partner in the project of circular packaging fillings, as they have been supplying us with quality materials for decades, they choose the right type of material for a specific product and are always ready to participate in creating and developing new packaging solutions”.

     "At DS Smith we have just put together a strong sustainable development strategy where we focus on five key sustainability goals. Within three years, we will only produce recyclable or reusable packaging and by 2030 we will ensure that all is recycled or reused. At the same time, we want to accelerate the circular economy, replace environmentally hazardous plastic packaging and continue with projects that reduce our customers' CO₂ emissions, ”adds Jožica Hojnik.

     

  • Amcor announces breakthrough healthcare lidding technology for combination products

    • Developed in collaboration with leading healthcare company
    • Ideal for combination healthcare products, such as devices with an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
    • Technology leverages Amcor’s best-in-class innovation and R&D capabilities

     

    Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing a diverse offering of responsible packaging solutions, today announced the launch of a proprietary healthcare lidding technology that will be utilized for combination products – those consisting of two or more regulated components (device, drug or biologic).

  • Hyderabad Startup Launches Compostable Bags To Provide Sustainable Packaging Solutions

    News: 

    With an aim to provide sustainable product-packaging solutions, a Hyderabad-based startup is all set to launch a range of eco-friendly compostable bags. SpruceGel is going to provide greener alternatives to carry bags, shopping bags, grocery bags, apparel bags as well as disposable pouches. Speaking to The New Indian Express, Dr Premnath Basa who is a materials scientist and has co-founded the company said that their organisation comprises of a team of entrepreneurs sharing the common goal of manufacturing 'green and sustainable products' for packaging purposes. He explained that the cloth bags which are being sold in the market and is being used as an alternative to plastic has polypropylene which is harmful to the environment. He said that SpruceGel products are 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable under controlled conditions.

    The bags are made from starch extracted either from corn or sugarcane and would biodegrade within six months once disposed of, according to the scientist. He also said stated that the decomposition would be toxic residue-free. "However, careless disposal, home composting or backyard composting are not recommended for our products. Users can contact us or local municipality for guidelines on proper disposal," said Dr Premnath. The publication reported that the company's factory in Jeedimetla suburb caters to hospitals and bio-medical industries, hotels, residential complexes, pharmacies, retails stores and other sectors. It added that their Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) for carrying bags is 2,000 pieces/order and the company accepts payments via online wire transfer to their bank account. Describing the team, Dr Premnath said that the company was founded in 2019 and the team which is being led by two women amongst the three founders has spent a period of over 12 months in research and development.

     

  • Spouted Pouches: Gualapack and TOMRA join forces for a ground-breaking, full-scale recycling trial

    News: 

    In a context of full-scale sorting and recycling infrastructure, Gualapack’s first-ever monomaterial polypropylene spouted pouch was proven recyclable. The results of extensive testing, carried out on several sites during the course of 2020, demonstrate that sustainability through innovation is possible.

    Industry leaders TOMRA and Gualapack, both members of CEFLEX (the European platform for the Circular Economy of Flexible Packaging), joined forces to test how one of Gualapack’s innovative products, which combines monomaterial laminates and semi-rigid multi-layer components, could be automatically and effectively managed for recycling in the rigid PP (polypropylene) stream.

    Gualapack is the world leader in pre-made spouted pouches and a global player in the flexible packaging industry, manufacturing laminates, caps and pouches for baby food, snacks, pharmaceutical products and a wide range of other applications. The company is fully committed to sustainability, which in the past few years has been its greatest driver for growth and innovation.

    Michelle Marrone, Gualapack Sustainability Manager recalls, “It was 2018 when I first met Jürgen and TOMRA. At Gualapack, we were busy tackling the challenge of designing a monomaterial spouted pouch that had to resist hot-filling, pasteurization, and maintain its barrier properties 12 months on the shelf. But at the same time, I knew that to be monomaterial by design was not enough! It was equally important to prove our circularity by demonstrating that our pouch could be correctly identified as PP, sorted, processed and extruded on an industrial line.”

    As a passionate and trusted innovation leader with 50 years of experience in circular waste management, TOMRA provides technology-led solutions and contributes proven expertise, established processes and market knowledge, which enable Circular Economy solutions through advanced collection and sorting systems.

    “After development of the new pouches, and to determine whether these could be sorted with optical sorters, we added a significant amount of them to a combined separate source and mixed waste stream sorting plant for automated sorting,” explained Jürgen Priesters, SVP Business Development TOMRA Circular Economy. “The result was very good detection and accurate separation rate of all pouches. A subsequent washing and recycling trial showed that the Gualapack mono-material pouches could be easily recycled into standard products.”

    As a first step, different percentages of Gualapack pouches were added to rigid PP waste, which was then processed through TOMRA’s AUTOSORT®, a sensor-based sorting machine that confirmed pouches are well identified as a PP material, with over 80% redirected to the rigid PP stream. Then, a waste PP bale with 5% additional pouches and a bale without any pouches were compared, in a back-to-back trial that took them through all the steps of a standard recycling process. First shredded into flakes and hot washed with water and sodium hydroxide at 85 °C (185 °F), then post-sorted through a second AUTOSORT FLAKE machine to further improve the quality of the material, the two bales were then extruded on an industrial scale extruder and pelletized back to PP.

    Results were surprisingly good, with ink and adhesives from the pouches not impacting on extrusion, and affording high thermal stability without any odor or volatile issues. Furthermore, the pelletized materials were characterised by third party laboratories and declared comparable to PP copolymer grades suitable for injection moulding.

    This key takeaway demonstrates that the Gualapack monomaterial pouches are well tolerated within a German DKR rigid PP stream and that TOMRA sorting systems, in real-life scenarios, are suitable infrastructure to correctly identify and sort monomaterial laminates, even in the presence of semi-rigid multi-layer structures. Furthermore this is a successful example of design for recyclable packaging according to the CEFLEX D4ACE (design for a circular economy) guidelines.

  • US: Price for recovered paper spikes

    News: 

    These corrugated boxes refer to used containers or packaging made from unbleached, unwaxed paper with ruffled (‘corrugated’) inner lining-said corrugated materials (also known as containerboard) make up the likes of pizza or shipping boxes.

    So far, a shortfall in the production of semi-conductor chips, an industry that helps generate a lot of OCC, has led to a shortage in available corrugated containers. Paper mills across the Midwestern US have offered to pay premiums on top of prices far higher than the national average to garner access to said corrugated boxes.

    According to Cascades, a Canadian and US paper and packaging company, OCC prices during the first quarter of this year were 97% higher than during the same time in 2020, the demand for recovered fiber being stoked by pandemic buying habits and export demands.

    China, previously having imposed a ban on recovered paper imports, is now helping to drive up OCC prices in the US.

    The country’s full-scale implementation of its solid waste import ban as of January 1, 2021 served to slash the total amount of global waste and scrap paper as well as paperboard entering China. Yet said legislation does not affect the impo

    Currently, mills in these countries are waiting for US prices to fall prior to making buying decisions despite their increased material demand.

    A fall in price level, however, is unlikely given the 10-month price hike for the commodity in question.  

    Recovered paper demand is currently at 250 million metric tons per year and projected to gradually grow to 260 million metric tons by 2025.

    rt of brown recycled pulp, which is derived from OCC and set to generate 5 million metric tonnes worth of demand per year by 2025.

    The South and South East Asian market (counting countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Vietnam) serve to shore up further demand for OCC due to their persistent fiber shortages. (In July 2020, India imported 42,000 short tons of US OCC, the number rising to 170,000 in December of the same year. Vietnam saw the import of 92,000 short tons in July 2020, a figure reaching 208,000 short tons in December.)

     

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