Gurugram, India, July 27, 2020 - PackagingConnections has started with a series of webinars during July’2020. After successfully completing the first one on “Introduction to PackagingConnections”, the company is coming up with a new paid webinar on an important topic SUSTAINABILITY. The company has completed the initial research on Sustainability in Packaging and is ready to present its findings to the packaging community. The webinar will cover the current practices, challenges, and ways forward. This webinar would also take its audience through many examples that are already implemented.
Their research was published in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials IF:25.809 earlier this year: "A Self-Healing Nanofiber-Based Self-Responsive Time-Temperature Indicator for Securing a Cold-Supply Chain." This cold-chain safety sticker creates an image on it when exposed to room temperature (10 0C or higher). Room temperature exposure history and time throughout the cold chain delivery process are indicated but cannot be manually edited. When refrigerated or frozen foods are exposed to room temperature, usually bacteria begin to grow and reproduce. However, it is difficult to see visually as certain bacteria do not affect the taste and smell of foods and frozen foods have almost the same appearance even after melting and refreezing. The core technology of the cold-chain safety sticker is nanofibre film. The researchers attempted to attach a typical film on the back of this newly developed film. At low temperatures, the nanofibre film has a stable structure where thin threads intersect each other, making it opaque because the light is scattered. When exposed to room temperature for a period of time, this structure collapses. Specifically, the thin threads start to melt and become entangled with each other. This allows light to transmit through the film, making it appear transparent. Then the image produced on the typical film on the back becomes visible from the front, showing that the food may have spoiled. The researchers found a way to control the time that is required for the film to become transparent when exposed to room temperature, accounting for variations in spoilage times of different foods. So each sticker was designed to become transparent after a minimum of 30m and a maximum of 24 hours of exposure. This was achieved by controlling the composition and thickness of the nanofibres. Dr Dongyeop Oh from the KRICT said, "This sticker, once exposed to room temperature, cannot be restored to its original state, even if one attempts to refrigerate or freeze it again. Also, room-temperature exposure time cannot be manually adjusted. This means that there is virtually no room for any manipulation." “It does not require modularization, accurately measures localized or gradient heat and functions even after crushing, cutting, and when weight?loaded in a manner that existing TTIs cannot. It also contains no drainable chemicals and is attachable to various shapes because it operates through an intrinsic physical response,” he added. The cold-chain safety sticker can be widely used not only for food product applications but also for the cold-chain distribution of expensive medicine and medical supplies, they say. This is because the sticker is thin and flexible. It is estimated manufacturing cost is low at one cent per unit.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Elopak’s Sustainability Director Marianne Groven stated, “To be sustainable in business is not only possible, it is highly necessary. Maintaining healthy growth without exploiting natural or human resources is essential.” Sustainability is at the heart of Elopak’s mission to provide consumers with a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles that fit within a low carbon circular economy. The company has previously recorded a number of key environmental milestones including the reduction of its emissions by 70 per cent between 2008 and 2018 and the attainment of carbon neutrality in 2016. In the introduction to the report CEO Thomas Körmendi sets out the context for Elopak’s ever-strengthening focus on sustainability stating, “2019 was a year of many global challenges. We saw teenagers on strike for climate change. We saw the Amazon on fire. We saw hurricanes and flooding, and terrorist attacks. We saw politicians struggling to agree on how to tackle the global challenges ahead. Lately we have also seen how the whole world can rapidly change and adjust to forces greater than ourselves.” “We recognize our part in the global struggle to preserve the planet for future generations,” Körmendi continues. “In 2019, Elopak strengthened the focus on sustainability, thoroughly embedding sustainability as part of our overall business strategy. A set of goals and strategic initiatives were anchored in the Board of Directors and several projects have been initiated in various business units. Elopak was one out of 87 companies, and the first packaging company, to lead the way towards a 1.5°C future at the UN Climate Action Summit,” he explains. As one of the first companies to have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative commitment to keep the rise in global average temperature below 1.5°C, Elopak continues to push itself towards new sustainability goals. These include a 55 per cent reduction of internal GHG emissions by 2030, and a 16 per cent reduction in emissions across the value chain by 2030 from a 2017 baseline, as approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Other targets include a 70 per cent recycling rate in the EU and Canada by 2025, a sustainability evaluation of key suppliers by 2022, and 100 per cent certified forestry in Elopak cartons. Innovation is set to play a key role in helping Elopak meet its ambitious targets going forward, with the company increasing R&D spending by 25 per cent between 2017 and 2019. Recent innovation efforts contributed to the launch of Elopak’s most environmentally friendly carton to date – the Pure-Pak® Imagine. Launched in 2020, the carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, containing 46 per cent less plastic and designed with a new easy open feature. It has no plastic screw cap and is 100 per cent forest-based made with Natural Brown Board.
CTI has invented a new suite of colour-change technologies using solvent inks, including thermochromic (temperature-activated), photochromic (sunlight-activated), glow-in-the-dark and reveal technology (which reveals a message after product consumption). Previously, solvent-ink printers were forced to use water-based inks that slowed down manufacturing operations. The new solvent-specialty inks eliminate the operational hurdles of water-based inks. The company’s consumer research has found that the colour-change technology is an effective tool for brands to drive content on their social media platforms. When brands do a great job of creating ‘wow’ experiences on their packaging, consumers turn and share that story with their friends on social media, it discovered, resulting in increased sales as friends try the new technology and share their own experiences. “Consumers have their phone in their right hand and a Starbucks, Coke or Coors Light in their left hand,” explained Patrick Edson, former vice-president of consumer insights for Coors Brewing Company and, since 2012, the chief marketing officer for CTI. “In brand mapping exercises, we call this challenge ‘getting the right hand to talk to the left hand.’ If you can create an experience or start a story with your product in the consumer’s left hand they, in turn, will share that experience on their phone in the right hand. “Brands realize that the colour-change technology is more than just creating an experience on a cup, it’s a new form of content for digital marketing,” Edson added. Lyle Small, founder of CTI, continued, “Colour-change technology is now affordable for cup printers and they offer a tremendous innovation tool for them to help drive new margins for their customers in quick-serve restaurants and convenience stores.” For over a decade, brands such as Coors Light have used thermochromic inks to turn their mountains blue to deliver on the promise of Rocky Mountain Cold Refreshment. Coca-Cola ensured a cold promise for 7-Eleven consumers with its “Ice Cube” 16-oz. can. Cheetos used photochromic technology in Mexico for their “Where’s Chester?” promotion on chip bags. Oreo supported the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with Glow-in-the-Dark packaging. CTI can now offer in-house design services to help cup printers and brand owners develop concepts that can be quickly tested with consumers.
The international community set a goal of halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With a reliance on imported crops, Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate is at a 25-year low. In contrast, 6.43 million tons of food in Japan are wasted per year due to food products that are unsold, unconsumed or past the expiration date. “Plastic packaging can play a critical role in reducing food loss, ensuring consumer safety and meeting environmental goals of lowering carbon emissions,” said Dr. Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, circular economy market director for Dow and global technology and sustainability director for Dow Olympic and Sports Solutions. “At Dow, we foster collaboration across the value chain – film producers, converters, equipment manufacturers, brand owners and retailers – to promote packaging solutions that support resource efficiency and a more circular economy. In teaming up with AEON on this project, the goal is twofold: integrate new packaging technologies that preserve food freshness and deliver quantifiable environmental impacts, while raising awareness with consumers on the issue of food loss and its importance.” In 2017, AEON committed to contributing to the industry’s SDG by setting a target of halving the company’s own food waste by 2025. AEON started adopting the use of vacuum skin packaging (VSP) for several types of food in its stores owned by group companies. Supported by Dow’s lonomer technology (in Japan, a joint venture, Dow-Mitsui Polychemicals Co., Ltd., manufactures and markets under a license from Dow)4, VSP extends the shelf life of products and offers better protection during shipment, leading to food loss mitigation and carbon reduction throughout the lifecycle. “Powered by our vision for a low carbon society and a country with zero food waste, AEON has set challenging yet attainable sustainability goals for our company and customers that will contribute to the industry’s effort to help build a sustainable future,” said AEON. “This agreement will accelerate the achievement of our goals through this first-of-its-kind food packaging collaboration in Japan.” Aeon’s group company – Daiei, made a trial sale in November 2019 with four of its beef products. Since then, they have expanded their product lineups to include poultry and lamb packaged products, with plans to increase the store count and expand this packaging solution to seafood application. The collaboration with Dow and AEON will drive the adoption of more sustainable solutions that mitigate GHG emissions throughout the products’ lifecycle. The resulting climate benefits will be validated by a third party and contribute to Dow’s Official Carbon Partnership with the IOC.
There is no easier way to recycle than with packaging steel “We have created this animation film because we are frequently asked how exactly steel packaging can be recycled”, explains Carmen Tschage who is responsible for communication and market development at Germany’s only manufacturer of tinplate. “Recycling couldn’t be any easier than with tinplate, as it’s a magnetic packaging material that is virtually 100 percent recyclable. This can be clearly seen in the animation film. Recycling packaging steel saves valuable resources such as iron ore, coking coal and limestone. A tinplate can is therefore the perfect packaging for a future where packaging can be recycled multiple times. 84 percent of all steel ever produced are still in the material cycle today. Tinplate stands for a closed material cycle and for multi-recycling “Consumers, manufacturers and the trade industry can have a share in protecting the environment and reducing CO2 emissions by selecting packaging material which stands for a closed material cycle, for multi-recycling and which safely protects the product. Every recycled tinplate can helps to save primary resources and to reduce CO2”, says Tschage.
Sustainability In Packaging Asia is Going Virtual in 2020!
Since its launch in US in 2006, our sustainability in packaging conference has gone from strength to strength and has been successfully launched in Europe.
* As the packaging industry faces growing consumer and regulatory pressure to find sustainable packaging
options that ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’, companies across the value chain are looking to sustainability to differentiate from their competitors and win new business. Brands have ambitious sustainability goals to hit, converters want to champion the sustainable credentials for their materials and raw materials companies are innovating to solve performance and end of life issues.
* The challenge is that the things that make packaging (especially plastics packaging) effective at its job (its cheap and durable) also hinder its sustainability – it lasts a long time and is uneconomical to recycle
* Asia is becoming a key arena for sustainability discussions because the consumer base is growing quickly and with it demand for packaging but the recycling infrastructure and waste management is less developed. China’s recent‘National Sword’policy has curtailed European and US plastic waste going to China to be recycled and created heightened awareness of sustainability in both China and surrounding countries.
As global brands look to Asia to drive their growth, Asia provides many opportunities and challenges for creating a growing need for sustainable packaging solutions in the region and these will create the key themes for this new event.
According to Südpack, the solutions have been designed to be more recyclable, as well as significantly lower material consumption compared to standard packaging. The Flow Pack PurePP film claims it can achieve material savings of up to 60% compared to tray packaging, with a pack for 1kg of minced meat weighing 9.5g. Südpack also says its new film can be processed quickly and efficiently on all common flow wrapping machines even at high speeds due to its advanced sealing properties.
According to Cure, its partial depolymerisation process allows the removal of many impurities and the conversion of food grade PET to high-quality rPET, that can be used again for food and drink packaging. Following its commercialisation, CCEP will receive the majority of the output from a Cure -licensed, new-build plant. It will reportedly enable one continuous process on the same site, which can be less energy intensive than full depolymerisation and offers lower associated C02 emissions. CCEP, in partnership with Coca Cola Western Europe, intends to eliminate virgin oil-based PET from its PET bottles, which will see the removal of over 200,000 tonnes of virgin oil-based PET from its packaging portfolio a year. Josse Kunst, chief commercial officer at Cure Technology, said: “Polyester is one of the world’s most reversible plastics and should not go to waste. In the pilot plant phase of the Cure process, we were supported with a subsidy from the European Union and the three northern provinces of the Netherlands. “Now our ambition to create an energy-efficient solution for product to product polyester transformation will be accelerated because of this funding. The support of CCEP Ventures will enable us to start with opaque and difficult to recycle food grade PET and take the first step towards our ultimate vision of recycling all polyester, again and again.” The investment marks a step by CCEP towards 100% recycled PET for its plastic bottles and supports the transition to a circular economy for PET packaging. Nick Brown, head of sustainability at CCEP Great Britain, said: “We know that we have a key role to play in supporting the on-going development of a successful and effective recycling industry. “That’s why we’ve invested in numerous recycling technologies and partnerships over the years, from when we first began using recycled PET in our bottles in the 1990’s, to our joint venture with Clean Tech UK in 2012, to more recently partnering with Loop Industries and Ioniqa to turn post-consumer PET into food-grade recycled PET. “From later this year all of our bottles will contain 50% rPET, and this partnership with Cure marks another significant milestone in our ambition to achieve a world without waste.”
Leading global packaging and paper group Mondi, has partnered with Austrian meat producer Hütthaler to produce a fully recyclable thermoforming film made from a mono-material for their meat and sausage products. The film is made of a mono-material solution that can be fully recycled and provides a barrier to protect the food and extend its shelf life. The independent cyclos-HTP Institute for Recyclability and Product Responsibility has awarded this film the highest classification "AAA" for recyclability. Hütthaler's requirement was to replace the previously used film with a recyclable solution. The company was looking for a more sustainable approach that would not compromise on quality or the attractive presentation of the food. Hütthaler approached Mondi to provide an alternative. Using its customer-centric EcoSolutions approach, Mondi was able to re-invent the packaging for Hütthaler by maintaining optimum functionality while replacing less sustainable packaging, reducing raw material usage, and designing packaging that was ready for recycling. Mondi completely manufactures the new packaging. In particular, the bottom film is supplied by Mondi's Styria plant in Austria, which has also been awarded AA+ for food safety by the British Retail Consortium (BRCGS). We worked with Hütthaler to find a more sustainable approach that still meets the high food standards, preserves shelf life and guarantees runnability on the machines. The new film meets all these requirements and also helps to save disposal fees due to its recyclability. At Mondi we have an amibition to be sustainable by design and meet our customers sustainability requirements by providing innovative solutions. Thomas Kahl, project manager for EcoSolutions at Mondi Consumer Flexibles
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