News by Material

22 Feb 2019 --- In packaging news this week, Sealed Air has expanded its Asia Pacific presence with the acquisition of MGM, a printing and laminating flexible packaging specialist headquartered in the Philippines. In another big business move, pharmaceutical packaging supplier ACG Group has opened a US$93 million capsules manufacturing plant in Brazil. Innovative new launches this week included RKW’s “super sustainable” stretchable shrink film, which is unique in that it can be cut smaller than the pallet size and pulled over the palletized goods.
21 Feb 2019 --- Plastic laminate pouches remain the most sustainable packaging option in the UK, despite the lack of facilities capable of recycling them. That is the opinion of Luke Heeney, Technical and Innovations Director at family-run food innovators, Leathems. Heeney, who will be chairing the Food Forum Seminar at Packaging Innovations 2019 in Birmingham next week, tells PackagingInsights that alternatives to plastic pouches are typically heavier and provide poorer shelf-life protection, increasing the net environmental impact of packaged foods.
20 Feb 2019 --- With Packaging Innovations 2019 in Birmingham only a week away, PackagingInsights speaks to Rob Thompson, Packaging Technologist at Co-op, about the UK supermarket’s endeavors to drive sustainable change within the plastic supply chain. Thompson discusses a number of recent Co-op innovations, including the UK’s first compostable carrier bag, compostable paper teabags and plans to make all its packaging recyclable by 2023.
20 Feb 2019 --- Dutch-based retail store HEMA is to replace single-use, disposable plastic products in all cases where a more sustainable alternative is available, ahead of the 2021 deadline set by the EU as part of the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD). The process has already begun, but HEMA will further roll out the sale of more sustainable versions of plastic stirrers, drinking straws, cotton ear buds and plastic confetti in the fall.
20 Feb 2019 --- The UK Government has bowed to pressure to delay policy making on chemicals, pesticides, plastics, clean air, waste and possible reforms on food-related matters, following last week’s “no-cooperation” letter from the food industry. More than 30 trade organizations within the UK’s farming and food and drink supply-chain threatened the Government with breaking off cooperation at this time of “potential crisis” as the countdown to Brexit continues. The groups state that it cannot be business as usual during no-deal preparations.
19 Feb 2019 --- The UK government has launched a series of consultations with the aim of “overhauling the waste system.” The consultations will include the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, improvements in the consistency of household recycling and a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for cans and bottles. A consultation has also been launched on a proposed “world-leading tax” on plastic packaging that contains less than 30 percent recycled content. The government will elicit industry opinions on its plans for a period of 12 weeks, closing on 13 May, 2019.
18 Feb 2019 --- Oil and gas “supermajor” BP has released a report suggesting that the global trend of banning single-use plastics and replacing them with alternative materials, such as glass and paper, will lead to drastically increased energy consumption and carbon emissions. Although BP anticipates that overall demand for oil will remain strong, the report speculates that by 2040 there could be a worldwide ban on single-use plastics, which accounted for over a third of plastics produced in 2017.
18 Feb 2019 --- The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), in conjunction with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have launched new recycling guidelines that will help retailers and brands specify and design packaging that can be reprocessed effectively in paper mills. The guidelines were developed following consultations on packaging supply chains and intend to give clarity about what the UK Paper Industry considers recyclable. The guidelines also seek to optimize both the quality and quantity of materials being recycled at paper mills and help create an impetus for future technological development in paper packaging.
15 Feb 2019 --- Ahead of Packaging Innovations 2019 in Birmingham this month, PackagingInsights speaks to Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO of environmental sustainability charity Hubbub, about UK sustainability levels and the issue of plastic packaging pollution. Hubbub collaborates with leading companies like Waitrose, Starbucks and Coca-Cola to create environmental campaigns and measure the efficacy of sustainability initiatives. Here, Restorick discusses the shortfalls of UK recycling, the demonization of plastics packaging and strategies to increase the popularity of reusable coffee cups.
15 Feb 2019 --- In this week’s packaging news, specialty chemicals company Clariant launched a new line of oxygen-absorber packets for the liquid infusion market, while Ishida will be exhibiting three of its weighing and quality control solutions at Empack in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, next month. In business news, Austrian packaging solutions company ALPLA has completed a 100 percent takeover of Zamil ALPLA.
14 Feb 2019 --- As February the 14th rolls around, companies seek to attract consumer attention with packaging designs that cater to the day’s romantic connotation. From Christmas to Easter, seasonal releases of products are a classic way to appeal to consumers and product packaging takes center stage. With this in mind, PackagingInsights spoke with industry experts to find out what makes or breaks Valentine’s Day seasonal packaging.
14 Feb 2019 --- Two major packaging suppliers are responding to growing demand for plastic-free straws. Beverage carton supplier SIG has launched an FSC-certified paper alternative which can be recycled via existing paper recycling streams. It is made from three layers of paperboard and two layers of adhesive. Food packaging supplier Huhtamaki’s PEFC-certified paper straws, meanwhile, are made of fiber sourced from sustainably managed forests.
14 Feb 2019 --- Aptar Beauty + Home has launched its first dispensing closure made from 50 percent post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) in Europe. The closure was developed in collaboration with Ecover and will feature on the eco cleaning products brand’s washing up liquid. Both companies are seeking to continue exploring opportunities to roll out PCR within the wider Ecover product portfolio.
13 Feb 2019 --- If the UK wants to be a global environmental leader, it can no longer afford to “sweep its plastic waste issues under other countries’ carpets,” according to The Plastics Packaging Plan, a new report from UK think tank Policy Connect. The report comprises insights from prominent names in research, innovation, politics and industry with support from UK Research and Innovation, and calls for a bold national policy framework to help reduce ocean plastic overseas and boost domestic infrastructure investment and green jobs.
13 Feb 2019 --- Amcor has hit another sustainability milestone with the US launch of Genesis – a new high-performance laminate that offers in-store recyclability. The all-polyethylene (PE) laminate looks and feels like traditional oriented polypropylene (oPP)/PE and oriented polyester (oPET)/PE laminates and can be used to package a variety of consumer goods. Genesis is “complementary” to AmLite, Amcor’s polyolefin-based film that can be used for ambient and retort high-barrier applications, which launched in September 2018.
12 Feb 2019 --- A new chemical conversion process developed at Purdue University, Indiana, US, could transform the world’s polyolefin waste – a form of plastic – into useful products, such as clean fuels, pure polymers and naphtha. The researchers believe that the technology could boost recycling profits while shrinking the world’s plastic waste stock. The conversion process incorporates selective extraction and hydrothermal liquefaction. Once the plastic is converted into naphtha, it can be used as a feedstock for other chemicals or further separated into specialty solvents.
12 Feb 2019 --- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed the first prototype of a cylindrical extruder which has shown promise in “revolutionizing the processing of recyclable materials.” The extruder can be used, for example, to turn problematic textiles and plastics as well as food waste into pellets. VTT say that the first prototype has already exceeded the industrial steering group's expectations during initial testing. VTT is currently looking for a partner to commercialize the technology.
11 Feb 2019 --- One of the key findings at the Petcore Europe Conference, held in Brussels last week, was that in order to achieve the stringent recycling targets set out in the EU Plastics Strategy, the industry must collaborate more efficiently to develop harmonized, efficient sorting processes. Since most recycling problems can be brought back to the sorting process, cracking sorting will crack recycling, according to Gian De Belder, Packaging Technologist, Sustainable Packaging Development at Procter & Gamble (P&G). One potential breakthrough technology that could add efficiency and precision to the sorting process is watermarking.
11 Feb 2019 --- Advances in robotics are facilitating ever-increasing speed and efficiency in packaging automation. Robots are able to perform menial, repetitive functions with far higher productivity than humans, allowing personnel to focus on higher value tasks. As the global population and levels of consumption continue to rise, robotics will be an increasingly significant factor in meeting the growing demand for packaged goods.

Shifting conditions, mounting pressure: Petcore Conference 2019 review, Part 1

08 Feb 2019 --- The first ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics was announced in January 2018, but one year on, what impact has this had on the European plastics value chain? PackagingInsights reports from the Petcore Europe Conference 2019 in Brussels, where the “EU Plastics Strategy 2.0. Taking the PET industry to the next step,” discussion centered around what the future of PET will look like amid wide-reaching regulatory and societal change.