Nestlé India “masks up” iconic brands to generate health and safety awareness
11 Aug 2021 --- Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, PackagingInsights is dedicated to bringing its readers all the latest and most relevant industry updates. Visit this regularly updated news feed for the coronavirus information and insights you need to guide your business through this challenging period. [Last updated: 11/08/2021 11:45 CEST]
Nestlé India is running a on-pack campaign called #FaceOfHope to encourage consumers to continue wearing face masks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “By leveraging the power of iconic brands like Maggi, KitKat, Nescafé and Everyday, we aim to spread even greater awareness on the importance of masking. Our aim is to ensure that this important message gets reinforced every time consumers look at our products,” a Nestlé India spokesperson tells PackagingInsights.
VIPA International highlighted how vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) can help tackle the “unprecedented logistical challenge” of shipping billions of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide at very low temperatures (-20°C to -70°C). VIPs have high insulation values, which enable stable temperatures for up to ten days without power. The insulations also enhance resistance in extreme climatic conditions, which is especially effective for the “soft last mile” to the vaccination centers and doctors’ offices. Their low insulation thickness also allows for thinner container and packaging walls, therefore more vaccines can be shipped per journey.
VIPs have been prevalent in temperature-controlled packaging for many years, but they are also commonly used in appliances and buildings, among other applications. As well as being highly energy-efficient and saving space, they are also reusable, recyclable and non-toxic.
“VIPs have unique characteristics that make them ideal for shipping COVID-19 vaccines, which is why they have been used for many years to transport other life-saving products, such as organs for transplant and blood for transfusions,” adds VIPA International president Sebastian Baars.
Novolex introduced its response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a new target in its 2020 sustainability report. The company’s report details how it safeguarded employee safety performance across its several plants worldwide. Moreover, Novolex reported its first time manufacturing safety gear, such as face shields and sanitary garments, for global distribution.
“Developing personal protective equipment was an incredible but rewarding challenge. It was a new product for us, for an unfamiliar market, and required compliance with a new and continually evolving regulatory framework from the US Food and Drug Administration. From the process, we created an entirely new company approach to product development and other projects that now benefit from Rapid Innovation Teams,” says Scott Houtz, director of Novolex operations... Read more
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has published a members survey revealing 60 percent of plastics companies have staff absent due to being “pinged” by the NHS COVID-19 app, with an average of 7 percent of staff being requested to isolate. The flash survey also found that 71 percent of companies had people off work because they are self-isolating (possibly due to being “pinged”), cannot get to work due to a lack of travel services, are caring for others who are isolating, or have contracted the virus. Taking all these factors into account, companies reported an average of 8 percent of staff off work.
Completed by 106 companies in just under 24 hours, 53 percent stated they have had to reduce production, with 60 percent of those citing staff shortages due to COVID-19. Moreover, since the start of the pandemic, one in five companies has completely stopped production at some point.
Meanwhile, 50 percent of companies reported they were considering more automation in their plants due to the pandemic, and 60 percent were permanently changing their work from home policy.
“Plastic and plastic products are absolutely essential for many industries and services to function. The pandemic is presenting huge challenges to almost every business and the safety of workers should be of paramount importance. But if the situation gets worse, it risks having a knock-on effect, disrupting numerous supply chains, so it is imperative the UK plastics industry receives clear messaging from the government on whether plastics manufacturers are deemed a ‘critical’ sector,” says BPF director general Philip Law… Read more
PackagingInsights spoke exclusively with Camvac CEO Greg Kingham about raw material availability issues conjured up by the COVID-19 and Brexit “perfect storm.” Camvac’s films are used within the thermal insulation industry, specifically Vacuum Insulated Panels, and play an essential role in transporting COVID-19 vaccines worldwide… Read more
Arjowiggins launched an antimicrobial surface treatment for paper products that inhibits the ability of bacteria and viruses to survive on packaging surfaces. The company is touting the technology’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by up to 93 percent within one hour… Read more
Thermo Fisher Scientific introduced its Thermo Scientific SpeciMAX Saliva Collection Kit to support large-scale research and surveillance programs. As businesses, universities and schools reopen, SARS-CoV-2 virus surveillance is critical for managing outbreaks and emerging new strains, including the Delta variant making up 91 percent of new cases in the UK.
While most approved methods for SARS-CoV-2 saliva collection use specialized tubes and buffers for RNA stabilization and virus inactivation, researchers have found this expensive approach may not always be required. The SpeciMAX Saliva Collection Kit is designed to provide a widely available, cost-effective solution for raw saliva collection to simplify saliva-based testing, necessary for SARS-CoV-2 mapping and epidemiological studies globally. The easy-to-use self-collection kits facilitate clean saliva transfers, reduce the risk of cross-contamination when paired with liquid handlers, and fit seamlessly into viral RNA extraction and direct-to-PCR downstream automation workflows for high throughput surveillance testing.
“As governments lift mask mandates and new, more transmissible strains gain dominance, increased SARS-CoV-2 surveillance is needed to quickly curb outbreaks before they spread,” explains Ellie Mahjubi, vice president and general manager of sample preparation at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
“Effective surveillance largely depends on testing frequency and labs need a cost-effective solution for saliva collection that can work within current automation workflows. With SpeciMAX, labs will be able to capture raw saliva with minimal workflow disruption and minimal manual processing, enabling more efficient SARS-CoV-2 research and surveillance.”
The individually packaged and barcoded kits require just 1 mL of saliva and include a convenient funnel and cap to secure the sample for processing. The standardized collection tube size can hold 6 mL sample volume yet requires less refrigeration, incubation, and storage space than other collection kits available on the market.
Südpack announced plans to launch its first virtual exhibition stand at the end of June. Designed to avoid COVID-19 restrictions, the stand will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for customers and interested parties, presenting the film manufacturer’s latest product developments. It will also host discussions, presentations and news about the company’s diversified solutions.
Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) is warning the continuing issues concerning the supply of raw materials are creating a potential risk to the stable supply of food, pharmaceuticals and medicals. Guido Aufdemkamp, FPE’s executive director, tells PackagingInsights that the general COVID-19 economic recovery has increased the demand for all raw materials across all sectors worldwide. However, polymer supply issues are creating challenges for the value chain... Read More
Avery Dennison extended its COVID-19 employee fund to support life-saving services in India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. The fund is used to provide drastically-needed medical equipment and services in several countries where the pandemic is taking a heavy toll. In northern India, The American India Foundation (AIF) will use an Avery Dennison Foundation grant of US$230,000 to help meet the acute shortage of hospital beds in the Gurgaon area by working with a local company to build temporary hospitals in the parking lots of healthcare facilities. In the southeast, where the government has asked for help procuring medical supplies and equipment, AIF will apply a separate Foundation grant of US$235,000 in the Bangalore area to support the sourcing and increasing awareness of vaccines, supplying diagnostic and emergency equipment to hospitals, and mitigating nutrition gaps caused by COVID-19 among women and children.
DS Smith has released its 2020/21 financial results, reporting that the start of the financial year coincided with the initial impacts of COVID-19 felt across many parts of the business. This manifested in an initial fall in the box supplier’s packaging volumes and significant volatility in the cost of various raw materials.
With all its sites fully operational and the maintenance of high levels of customer service, DS Smith started to see a good gain in market share with increasingly positive volume growth, primarily in the FMCG/e-commerce sectors, during the second quarter of the year. This was combined with a lessening in the volatility of input costs. The second quarter of the year therefore showed a significant improvement in the run-rate of profitability over the first quarter, albeit at a lower level than the comparative period last year.
Encouragingly, the momentum in packaging volumes seen in the second quarter has continued to build throughout the remainder of the financial year resulting in second-half growth of 8.2 percent, against the previous comparative period, which compares to -1.0 percent in the first half.
For 2020/21, pre-tax profits fell 37 percent to £231 million (US$323 million) while revenue dropped by 1 percent to £5.9 billion (US$8.3 billion).
“The growth drivers of e-commerce sustainability and plastic-free packaging have accelerated over the last 12 months and we are very well placed to capitalize on this growth,” said Miles Roberts, DS Smith Group CEO. “We have worked hard over many years to focus our business purely on fiber-based packaging and this differentiation is clearly recognized by our customers.”
Guala Closures has launched a vaccination initiative for employees and their families, helping speed up Italy’s anti-COVID-19 vaccination plan. The initiative is reportedly the first of its kind in the province and has seen extensive participation from employees and their families, who received their vaccination at a purpose-built hub at the company headquarters in Spinetta Marengo. Administrations of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine started on June 4 and concluded yesterday. The second dose will be administered by July 16, bringing the workforce to 90.7 percent inoculation.
The Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging trade show in London, UK, announced it will return in September (22 and 23) for its eleventh edition. The event brings together perfume and cosmetics brands, beverage and food manufacturers, breweries and luxury distilleries and retailers.
“We are extremely excited to host Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London this year and have our visitors and exhibitors back. It will be brilliant to get everyone in the same room as each other, sharing ideas and doing business in a way that cannot be replicated virtually,” commented Renan Joel, divisional director at Easyfairs.
Syntegon Technology launched a pick-and-place platform for product handling, feeding and loading, with the COVID-19 pandemic “further fueling the automation megatrend.” Manufacturers of different products, especially food, increasingly rely on robotic solutions to automate critical process steps or fully automate entire systems. With its new robotic pick-and-place platform – Syntegon RPP – the company says it has set a new standard in the automation of packaging lines.
“We are more than ready for the requirements for the factory of the future. Automation and robotics are important strategic focus areas for Syntegon,” said Dr. Silke Blumer, VP strategy and product management for the food business unit at Syntegon.
Metsä Board’s simulation and testing services are helping develop secure pharma packaging, ensuring vaccine vials and their potentially life-changing contents remain safe, sterile and identifiable throughout the tightly controlled supply chain. With its new extended 360 Service offering, Metsä Board is testing the paperboards and simulating packaging designs used by pharma manufacturers to package and protect vaccine doses.
COVID-19 and other vaccines are typically stored and transported in extremely cold conditions, which can be as low as -70 degrees Celsius, before being thawed out ready for administration. The secondary paperboard packaging must withstand these temperature extremes and protect the vials throughout the entire process.
“Paperboard for pharma packaging needs to retain its specified thickness, mechanical strength and water absorption properties regardless of the conditions it faces, and it must not affect the primary packaging in any way,” explains Markku Leskelä, VP research and product development at Metsä Board.
“Any changes in dimensions could cause curling or bulging, which could pose a risk to the integrity of the packaging and therefore the safety of the product inside. We can test paperboard and packaging samples in both extremely cold and extremely humid conditions and develop packaging strength simulations to demonstrate how a package will perform in the real world.”
UFlex is providing COVID-19 vaccines to its approximately 6,000 employees in India free of charge. The vaccinations commenced at the end of May in the company’s Noida headquarters in collaboration with Kailash Hospital. UFlex expects to have vaccinated all its employees by early June.
According to Syntegon Technology, the COVID-19 pandemic, ever smaller batches for individual therapeutic approaches, and new cost-intensive biopharmaceuticals are changing the pharmaceutical industry more rapidly than ever before. The company will showcase solutions to these challenges at the virtual Achema Pulse from 15-16 June. “Highly flexible filling technologies with maximum yield, fast product and packaging changeovers, shorter production and delivery times, and digital technologies – these are the hot topics in the industry, and for which we present innovative answers,” says Dr. Andreas Mattern, director for global product management pharma at Syntegon Technology.
TC Transcontinental has responded to the Québec government’s call for businesses to support the health and social services network in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. According to the order of priority established by public health, the company will offer supervised vaccination to the local population, employees and their families starting at the end of May.
“This mobilization is part of our campaign to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination among our employees and is in addition to the measures put in place in TC Transcontinental facilities across Québec, Canada, the US and Latin America to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. As a responsible corporate citizen and a major player in economic development, in addition to contributing to the community, we have a duty to play a major role in protecting our employees, our organization and our activities,” says François Olivier, president and CEO of TC Transcontinental.
Stora Enso has announced it will start co-determination negotiations with employees at its Kvarnsveden Mill in Sweden and Veitsiluoto Mill in Finland to permanently close down pulp and paper production at both mills. The planned closures would take place during the third quarter of 2021, and directly affect 670 people in Finland and 440 people in Sweden. “Paper demand in Europe has declined for over a decade,” the company highlights. “This trend has further accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to changes in consumer behavior. As a consequence, there is a significant overcapacity in the European paper market, which has resulted in historically low price levels and challenged the cost-competitiveness of many paper mills.”
New research has revealed Taghleef Industries’ Derprosa Antibacterial film can eradicate more than 84 percent of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) on its surface area after 24 hours, compared to a laminating film without its antimicrobial agent. Derprosa Antimicrobial inhibits the proliferation and neutralizes the survival of bacteria and viruses on non-porous surfaces... Read more
MetsäBoard’s paperboard Pro FBB Bright 245 g/m2 has been approved by the Chinese pharma companies Sinovac (Beijing) and Sinopharm (Wuhan) for COVID-19 vaccine packaging. The lightweight yet robust vaccine packaging comes in two size options – one for the COVID-19 vaccine bottle only and the other for the COVID-19 vaccine bottle and the injector. MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright is a premium lightweight folding boxboard made with 100 percent pure fresh fiber from renewable, traceable and sustainably managed northern forests. The paperboard is available with PEFC or FSC certification.
“MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright is of consistently high quality, and its outstanding performance has resulted in many highly satisfied customers. The most impressive part is its smooth runnability for printing, die-cutting and gluing processes and even on automatic packing lines at a speed of 500 boxes per minute,” said the person responsible for production at the converting company.
BillerudKorsnäs has released its Annual and Sustainability Report for 2020, showing a 2 percent decrease in net sales growth due to “challenging market conditions in certain product segments.” Demand declined for some of the company’s product segments due to lower industrial activity and consumer behavior changes, as people spent more time at home, notes the report… Read more
Berry Global announced its second investment for 2021 in the wipes segment to support the long-term consumer behavior shift toward infection prevention, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment, located in Europe, will increase Berry’s production footprint in support of its global customers, with total investments reaching over US$110 million in nonwoven materials for products such as hard surface disinfectant wipes. Before the demand surge of 2020, the European impregnated wet wipes segment for home cleaning and disinfecting was growing at the rate of five percent between 2014-2019, Berry says. COVID-19 has increased the heightened focus on sanitation and personal hygiene for infection prevention, suggesting permanent consumer trends away from the chore of cleaning to a health and safety priority, the company indicates.
Greiner Packaging is meeting increased demand for sanitizer bottles by introducing a plastic bottle range featuring 16 different bottles for this application. The new bottles – all produced using the ISBM process – have round bodies, can be made from up to 100 percent recycled PET (rPET), and are custom-decorated at the customer’s end. Greiner Packaging’s new bottle range is suitable for sanitizers as well as other chemical and liquid products. Also, the bottles also have food-grade approval, allowing them to be filled with items such as syrup or sauces.
“This expansion of our PET bottle range allows us to meet the increasing level of demand and individual requirements of our customers in the chemicals, cosmetics, and food product segments. We can supply these bottles made from up to 100 percent rPET, which underscores our sustainable thinking and our approach aimed at achieving a well-functioning circular economy,” explains Marcus Hinterberger, sales director at Greiner Packaging.
Mondi has started up new production lines for melt-blown nonwoven fabric and medical face masks at its site in Gronau, Germany, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The fully automated high-speed machines enable the production of 700 masks per minute and more than one million face masks per day, with all critical components manufactured on-site.
“We identified the shortage in melt-blown nonwoven fabric in Germany early on in the pandemic last year and reacted swiftly to set up the production of high-quality medical face masks. With our high-speed production set-up and certifications in place, Mondi Gronau is ideally positioned to supply high-quality medical masks that offer reliable protection and high comfort from the moment they are put on to when they are taken off,” comments Jürgen Schneider, managing director at Mondi Gronau.
Softbox is supporting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution by supplying high-performance temperature-controlled parcel shippers developed specifically for Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) applications. ULT vaccines, such as that developed by Pfizer – BioNTech, uses mRNA (messenger RNA) technology and must be stored at temperatures between -90°C to -60°C to ensure the vaccine’s quality and efficacy is maintained. The Softbox ULT shipper can maintain the required temperature during COVID-19 vaccine shipping for at least ten days unopened... Read More
European thermoformer TEQ – which has delivered a range of medical packaging solutions to meet customer demand during the pandemic – is now manufacturing high-quality COVID-19 testing kits. The Sonoco-owned company believes its IVD (In Vitro Diagnostic) test kit trays will be in great demand because they offer a high degree of functionality coupled with a speedy route to market. TEQ’s stance is that as the market becomes flooded with kits of varying quality, there is now a critical need to differentiate and focus on the manufacture of high-caliber, bespoke kits. The company says its thermoformed trays offer “superior presentation” and “enhanced component protection.” The trays can be integrated with postal packs and easily embossed with concise instructions, product references and codes.
The European polymers market has been under pressure for several months, and the negative consequences of raw material shortages and price increases are seriously impacting the production of plastic products in the EU, according to European Plastics Converters (EuPC). Plastic converting companies are reporting “alarmingly low stocks” and difficulties keeping their production running. Demand for polymers had recovered in Europe in the second half of 2020 after a significant drop in production due to COVID-19 and lockdown measures. However, while plastics converters began to re-increase their production, the supply of raw material has not grown accordingly, EuPC says.
“Since December 2020, the situation worsened rapidly. Additionally, extreme weather conditions in the US lead to production losses also affecting the European market. In addition, European producers have also been declaring increased numbers of Force Majeure cases in the past months, as the Polymers for Europe Alliance reported already in January,” comments EuPC managing director Alexandre Dangis.
Indorama Ventures, a global chemical producer, supplied 1,500 PPE coveralls made from its recycled PET yarns to the Nakhon Pathom Provincial Health Office, Thailand. The PPE supports eight hospitals and other medical personnel in the province against COVID-19. The project was conducted with the collaboration of HSBC Thailand, Michelin Thailand, The Street Ratchada and P-far Thailand, who helped collect over 600 kg of post-consumer PET bottles, equivalent to 27,000 standard 600- ml PET bottles, for recycling and conversion to high-quality yarns at IVL's recycling plant in Nakhon Pathom Province.
Mondi announced its full-year results for the year ended 31 December 2020, highlighting “a robust financial performance with excellent cash generation” after a “decisive and effective” COVID-19 response... Read more
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have again underscored there is no credible evidence of food or food packaging associated with or as a likely source of COVID-19 viral transmission.
“Our confidence in the safety of the US food supply remains steadfast. Consumers should be reassured that we continue to believe, based on our understanding of currently available reliable scientific information, and supported by overwhelming international scientific consensus, that the foods they eat and food packaging they touch are highly unlikely to spread SARS-CoV-2,” stated Janet Woodcock MD, acting commissioner of food and drugs at FDA.
Aptar, a global leader in drug delivery, consumer product dispensing and active packaging solutions, announced its Activ-Film technology was selected to protect a new SARS Rapid Antigen test for COVID-19 that recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The QuickVue SARS Antigen test is a point-of-care rapid antigen test developed by Quidel Corporation, a leading manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare solutions, that delivers test results in 10 minutes. The visually read test requires no supplemental instrumentation and offers expanded access to affordable and accurate COVID-19 testing, helping meet the urgent testing needs of the global economy, including for those in school systems and rural areas.
The next in-person edition of MeetingPack has been postponed until 20-21 April 2022 due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, due to rising interest in barrier packaging and sustainability, a virtual event will take place on the 27 May as a prelude to the in-person event in 2022, the organizers have confirmed. In this virtual workshop, the latest technological innovations in sustainable barrier packaging will be presented in two blocks: solutions in sustainable packaging and incorporation of recycling in packaging. The goal of Virtual MeetingPack 2021 is to offer companies a strategic vision of the sector trends in barrier packaging and to share the common challenges through presentations, round-table talks and visits to virtual exhibitors.
Antalis Packaging is spotlighting cardboard box and corrugated board supply shortages due to delays getting pulp fibers back into the recycling chain. These delays and other factors are leaving many businesses with logistical problems, the company says.
“While we are optimistic that present supply issues may settle down quickly, this year will be different with the growing demand for packaging expected to be an ongoing trend. The recent problem lies partly in the recycling chain as there is a shortage of pulp used to make packaging and this is affecting supply. Pre-pandemic, most deliveries were made directly in bulk to shops and restaurants, and packaging found its way quickly back into the system via established recycling policies and good practices. Today, availability of recovered paper and board is limited, and is expected to decrease further in the future. With high street retail closed, packaging is now going directly to consumers and is taking much longer to reach the recycling chain; and, even if it does, there is a high possibility of it being contaminated from household use or poor consumer disposal practices,” explains John Garner, head of business development for packaging at Antalis.
Avery Dennison is reporting that the pressure-sensitive label (PSL) industry is benefitting from the shift to FMCG product home consumption. Health and personal care labeling grew, especially in hand sanitizers, while curbside pickup, home delivery and e-commerce accelerated, the company highlights. However, there has not been growth in all categories. Avery Dennison experienced lower demand for durables, wine and spirits, and even some of the pharmaceutical categories in mid-2020, although those categories recovered later in the year. From a geographic perspective, the company mainly saw strong 2020 growth in North America (+10%) and mid-single-digit growth in most other regions. Meanwhile, film demand grew by almost 15 percent in North America. Paper demand grew at approximately half of that rate.
Berry Global is investing over US$70 million in its US wipe substrate capabilities. The investment includes a new line producing additional capacity. Berry provides many leading brands with wipe materials for infection prevention. Prior to the demand surge of 2020, the impregnated wet wipes segment, specific for home cleaning and disinfecting, was growing at six percent between 2014 and 2019, according to Berry. Amplified by COVID-19 prevention, the demand for disinfectant wipes is expected to have permanently shifted to its current, increased use.
Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) members have expressed concern about recent developments in the European polymer markets. In a short period, flexible packaging manufacturers were confronted with an increased number of “force majeure” declarations or “maintenance” announcements by the leading polymer manufacturers, creating sudden and significant shortages and price increases in the supply chain, FPE reports. The effect on converters means they may have difficulties in supplying finished products to meet their customer’s order requirements, particularly in the F&B sectors, where there is increased demand to serve the European population during pandemic lockdowns. With canteens and restaurants mostly closed, and more adults and children working from home, European consumers depend on a safe and stable supply of F&B products, FPE stresses. Almost half of FMCG products in the EU are packed with flexible packaging, excluding beverages, FPE adds.
Sappi is showing a recovery in results for the first financial quarter 2021 despite the ongoing adverse effects of COVID-19. For the quarter, the overall improvement was due mainly to dissolving pulp (DP) markets and graphic paper demand in North America recovering faster than anticipated. These benefits were partially offset by the impact of the Ngodwana Mill, South Africa, maintenance shut, which had been rescheduled from the third quarter of last year, as well as the scheduled Somerset Mill, US, maintenance shut. The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact performance, with graphic paper sales still well below 2019 levels. The pandemic also severely affected global shipping and container availability, which reduced Sappi’s DP sales volumes in the quarter.
“I am pleased with the continued recovery in our results over the past nine months. EBITDA improved progressively from a low of US$26m in our third quarter of 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 to US$98m for the first quarter of our 2021 financial year. I am confident that our recovery is on track despite the ongoing negative effect from COVID-19,” comments Steve Binnie, Sappi CEO.
Schreiner MediPharm is launching a label with a comprehensive first-opening indication for pre-filled syringes. Offering enhanced patient safety, the new Syringe-Closure-Wrap features a label that wraps around the syringe barrel and the complete cap. When the user pulls off the upper part of the label, the integrated first-opening indication is triggered. Due to special security die cuts, the label is irreversibly destroyed and cannot be closed again unnoticed. Frequently in healthcare situations, every second counts. The fewer the moves staff must make, the better for the patient, so pre-filled syringes are often used for injections. Schreiner MediPharm’s user-friendly security label for sealing prefilled syringes enables healthcare professionals to quickly ascertain the drug they are about to administer is an original that has not been tampered with or previously opened.
Aid organization Care has made a mission of providing emergency assistance in 69 countries, including war zones and crisis regions, to mitigate the COVID-19 threat. Syntegon’s €5,000 (US$6,070) grant supports Care’s efforts to deliver food and protect the health of people in the greatest need. This donation was prompted by a company social media campaign that ran for several weeks. Employees, business partners, and anyone else interested in the cause were welcome to take part and raise money. Care has earmarked some of Syntegon’s donation funds for aid packages to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on people in crisis regions. Shipments include hygiene kits with soap, detergent, and disinfectants for families, as well as handwashing stations for use in shelters. Other emergency relief packages contain cereals, legumes, and cooking oil.
Extreme cooling is essential for pharmaceutical products such as COVID-19 vaccines to guarantee their effectiveness. These logistical requirements also affect the packaging and labeling of containers. Adhesive specialist VPF is introducing the ultra-deepfreeze adhesive 972 to the market segment. Tests demonstrate the adhesive can be used in connection with suitable PP substrates for temperatures down to -75 °C, ideal for the labeling of vaccine doses or syringes that must be stored and transported in extremely low temperatures.
O-I Glass is gifting US$50k to the Victory Over COVID-19 Through Vaccination (VProject) through its O-I Charitable Foundation. As Northwest Ohio prepares to enter Phase 1B for vaccine distribution, the VProject is engaging more than 250 community leaders to ensure vaccine access and information to all populations represented in the area. Through the committee’s formation, the VProject coordinates the logistics, education and communications to remove barriers for vaccine distribution. O-I is supporting the VProject in its goal to ensure that more than 70 percent of the population in Lucas and Wood Counties are vaccinated against COVID-19.
LastObject is unveiling a new product as part of its efforts to eliminate single-use items. LastTissue BigBox is a tabletop version of the brand’s on-the-go reusable tissue pack, LastTissue. LastTissue BigBox is designed to look like its single-use alternative, the Kleenex box, but is reportedly better for the environment… Read more
Sealed Air is providing customers with packaging solutions, including custom-fabricated shipping boxes and automated packaging and bagging systems, that enable the distribution of medical equipment, face coverings, and test kits. The supplier is also supporting vaccine distribution and administration by offering a complete range of temperature assurance materials that can be used in packaging vials requiring a cold supply chain, including during the critical last mile of delivery. TemPreserve KF is a customizable thermal polyurethane packaging that, along with a coolant, helps maintain required temperatures (ultra-cold, cold or hot) for the specific length of time needed during transit.
BITO-Lagertechnik Bittmann and start-up Tec4med Life Science have created a digital transport box for shipping temperature-sensitive pharma products that fulfils the specific requirements of COVID-19 vaccines. The transport boxes cool vaccines while Tec4med’s cloud application allows shipments to be tracked in real-time, enabling remote access to critical data such as temperature and shipment status. A lock also makes the boxes theft-proof.
Camvac is supporting Cam Lock UK in supplying 75 microns metalized film for use in their Matrix face mask. To help in the fight against COVID-19, Cam Lock UK has increased its manufacturing of the mask, designed to fully seal the user’s face from external, potentially hazardous conditions. Camvac’s film is used within the speech diaphragm system of the mask. The unique diaphragm system ensures the mask remains fully sealed but enables the wearer to communicate with others clearly. The pandemic has seen Cam Lock UK’s demand sore and it is now supplying a minimum of 2,500 masks per week globally.
H.B. Fuller is unveiling adhesive grades with hot melt advanced technology for extreme cold storage of vaccines and medication packaging. Advantra adhesives provide a secure bond at -70 C (-94 F), with tamper-evident fiber tear. Effective packaging is essential to securely and reliably preserve and transport pharmaceutical products, including vaccines and medication, from the time they are filled until they get to a patient. Adhesives play a crucial role in packaging performance, especially in the face of strict storage requirements. Some vaccines need to be kept at -70 C, which leads to complex packaging requirements and the need to set up ultra-low-temperature freezers at vaccination centers. These storage requisites create logistics and transportation challenges for carriers and a wide preparation for national health systems. Advantra 9280 EU and Advantra BOLD 9480 are designed for tough surfaces and harsh conditions such as high-speed pharmaceutical packaging lines without counterpressure. Both solutions are commercially available in Europe, India, Middle East, and Africa (EIMEA) and with equivalent performance grades available globally.
Metsä Board is launching a corrugated waste bin designed for the hygienic disposal of face masks. Face mask use during the pandemic has justifiably grown to hundreds of millions worldwide, the supplier notes. However, masks can easily end up littering public places or natural sites. Metsä Board partnered with packaging design agency Futupack and corrugated board converter Capertum to manufacture a corrugated mask bin for the specific disposal of face masks. The bin’s design pays special attention to renewability of its materials, usability and disposability.
UK-based paper products group James Cropper is promoting its antiviral packaging technology, PaperGard, as a customizable solution for industry in 2021 after tests showed the paper reduces COVID-19’s viability by 95 percent… Read more
Aptar CSP Technologies expanded capacity for producing multiple configurations of its patented 3-Phase Activ-Polymer technology to support increased demand for diagnostic test kits protection solutions. The recent surge in the development of new COVID-19 test kits in tandem with pandemic-related supply chain challenges has led to increased demand for solutions to improve result accuracy of critical diagnostic tests. Aptar’s 3-Phase Activ-Polymer technology provides unique and customizable integrated solutions, creating a microclimate within both strip-based and cassette-format lateral flow tests. The technology’s user–friendly, seamless integration adsorbs moisture to provide environmental conditions, preserving test integrity and ensuring accurate results.
XPO Logistics’ expedited transportation fleet began delivering Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shipments this week in support of Operation Warp Speed, the US government’s public-private alliance to combat the pandemic. XPO is a global expert in cold-chain logistics and one of North America’s largest managers of expedited shipments. The company has deployed its fleet of state-of-the-art tractor-trailers to support partners in moving the heat-sensitive vaccine to US distribution points and healthcare facilities. The thermal-mapped equipment is outfitted with sensors that constantly monitor the temperature inside the trailer and alert the driver to any variances. XPO has allocated additional transportation resources to handle COVID-19 vaccines awaiting approval for emergency use.
Mondi-commissioned research has found just under half of Central and Eastern European consumers (45%) are doing more online shopping in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, just under nine out of 10 (86%) new online shoppers say they will continue to “click and buy” post-pandemic. Eight out of 10 (80%) people say eco-friendly packaging is important, with over half (57%) willing to pay more for packaging that meets all of their needs. Nearly half (49%) of consumers also experienced new online retailers, websites and brands during the pandemic.
“The global coronavirus pandemic has seen an acceleration in online shopping beyond expectations for 2020, in particular in new markets across Central and Eastern Europe. However, this change has not seen consumers compromise on their appetite to have their online shopping delivered wrapped in sustainable packaging. The research also confirms that corrugated packaging is yet again the preferred material choice because of its environmental friendliness, ease of disposal and easy opening and reuse,” comments Armand Schoonbrood, COO of Corrugated Solutions at Mondi.
Toppan Printing and Suntory Liquors are releasing the design for face shields specifically for eating and drinking as open data. Anyone with a 3D printer and suitable material can produce the face shields to help overcome COVID-19 challenges. The face shields are developed based on research findings using RIKEN’s Fugaku supercomputer, scheduled to begin full operation in fiscal 2021. Toppan and Suntory Liquors have leveraged scientific insights provided by RIKEN’s research on prediction and countermeasures for virus droplet infection in indoor environments to devise a unique bowl-shaped design. The shield is worn like a pair of glasses, and the part covering the mouth can be opened and closed with a simple action when eating or drinking.
DS Smith and Touchguard have developed a range of antimicrobial e-commerce cardboard packaging to protect consumers against potentially harmful bacteria. DS Smith is finalizing the technology’s rollout, commercially available at scale in the coming months across its global footprint. While there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission from cardboard, Touchguard’s patented technology is reportedly effective against several bacteria and viruses, including enveloped viruses, of which COVID-19 is a member… Read more
Novolex has introduced a new face shield designed specifically for children. The Junior Face Shield, manufactured by the Waddington North America (WNA) division of Novolex, is lightweight and shields the eyes and face from fluid, sprays and splashes. The innovative shield can be used with goggles or glasses as well as a face mask. The Junior Face Shield features flexible headgear that contours to the forehead and includes a transparent shield with an anti-fog coating. The face shield is adjustable, while foam padding makes it more comfortable to wear. Novolex is also offering an optional sticker kit so children can customize their shield with colorful stickers.
Drupa, a world-leading trade show for print technologies, has canceled for 2021 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made after close consultation with exhibitors and partners. The event was due to take place in the Messe Düsseldorf Hall, Germany, the same location as the also canceled interpack trade fair. In place of the bricks and mortar drupa show comes “virtual.drupa,” a four-day digital event. The date of “virtual.drupa” falls within the period originally planned for drupa: April 20 to 23, 2021.
Westamerica Communications, a 45-year-old end-to-end marketing communications company, expanded its capabilities to include printed products featuring antimicrobial treated coating. The new coating is a proprietary ingredient applied during the printing process, proven in controlled tests to remove 99.9% of the microbes that may come in contact with the printed sheet. Westamerica identifies numerous coating applications, including paperboard packaging, menus, greeting cards, business cards and instruction sheets. The antimicrobial technology’s first use was on gift-wrap paper for client gifts. These colorful paper selections can’t be distinguished from other papers, but they carry the unique feature of reducing microbial growth, an important feature during these times, the company says. Each sheet carries the “99.9% cleaner” logo signifying the use of antimicrobial paper.
Recoup plastics recycling member-based charity published its annual UK Household Plastics Collection Survey, finding that working from home is boosting recycling rates. Recoup reports that, up until March, citizens were “failing to engage with the recycling message,” and plastics packaging recyclable by local authorities was not given the opportunity to be processed into new products. More recent statistics indicate the change in citizens’ lifestyles, working from home, home schooling, less travel and less on-the-go food consumption, has led to a significant plastics recycling rate increase from household collections.
Steve Morgan, policy & infrastructure manager at Recoup, explains: “Local Authorities report an increase in excess of 20 percent of recycling in the first lockdown period, evidence which has been backed up by Recoup member Veolia, who have seen a 10 percent increase in kerbside plastics collected this year. This is a sizeable increase on figures from the 2020 Recoup Plastics Collection Survey report, which showed only a 2 percent increase in collection rates during 2019. With more people being at home and many changing their ways of working during 2020, initial figures do suggest that when people have the easy access to be able to recycle plastic that they do choose to do the right thing.”
Messe Düsseldorf has canceled both interpack and components 2021, scheduled to take place from 25 February to 3 March, due to COVID-19 restrictions. On 25 November, the German government resolved to implement stricter measures in Germany and extend these measures into the New Year. “This unfortunately does not give cause for hope that the situation will improve significantly over the course of the coming months. This will affect all Messe Düsseldorf events within this period of time,” the announcement reads. “To date, we have done everything we can to do justice to interpack’s tremendous importance for the processing and packaging industry, even in times of a pandemic – above all because we have received your encouragement as exhibitors in support of a face-to-face event and have a hygiene concept that has been tried and tested in practice in place to protect everyone involved.” The next interpack is scheduled to take place in May 2023.
Symphony Environmental Technologies received successful test reports from the Laboratory of Virology at the University of Campinas, Brazil, on anti-viral nitrile gloves and polypropylene fabric facemasks. The PPE is made with Symphony’s d2pAM antimicrobial technology. The gloves and facemasks were tested in accordance with ISO 21702-2019 against the Coronavirus strain MHV, genus Betacoronavirus. The d2pAM glove showed a 99.99 percent virus-reduction after only one hour of contact. The d2pAM facemask showed a 99 percent virus-reduction after one hour of contact and 99.9 percent after two hours. The same tests were performed on a glove and a facemask without d2pAM, and no virucidal effect was detected.
Macpac is providing the University of Cambridge, UK, with a “simple but effective” plastic pack designed to protect COVID-19 testing kits, particularly during transit. The University is working with selected individuals across England who participate in the TRACK-COVID study by providing blood samples for antibody testing. A resin prototype with precise CNC-engineered cavities was created using Macpac’s modern tool room facilities. Samples were then sent to the University for stringent assessment before receiving the go-ahead to make the aluminum production tool. This was machined in-house and ran on one of Macpac’s 12 inline thermoforming machines to manufacture the final clam packs, which were formed in recycled PET (rPET) material containing up to 86 percent recycled content while ensuring recyclability through kerbside collections.
GEA is supplying aseptic separator systems for COVID-19 vaccine and other pharmaceutical production to Chinese biopharmaceutical company Beijing Sinovac Life Sciences through an expanded partnership. The continued collaboration is motivated by the urgency to find and safely commercialize a COVID-19 vaccine in large quantities… Read more
Packaging Innovations and Empack in Birmingham, UK, has been postponed until June 2021 due to COVID-19 disruptions. The event has been rescheduled from 3-4 March 2021, to 17-18 June 2021. The show focuses on primary, secondary and protective packaging, contract packing and fulfillment, machinery, labeling, printing and industrial packaging solutions. Event organizers Easyfairs is launching a digital industry magazine called Packaging in Focus starting next year.
US-based company Sanikind is launching what is touted as the first reusable and refillable, plastic-free hand sanitizer spray bottle. The move comes as COVID-19 prompts a boost in hand sanitizer use, traditionally featuring in single-use plastics packaging. Made from 100 percent recycled plastic, Sanikind’s personal spray bottle clips on to a key ring, so it can be taken anywhere by the consumer. The sanitizer refill bottles are made of aluminum, an infinitely recyclable material… Read more
Berry Global is expanding its PET bottle and dispensing closure capacity to meet growing demand for hand sanitizer and soap packaging. The capacity expansions include new 2 oz. and 8 oz. oval PET bottles and 410-finish flip-top dispensing closures. Both bottles come in a familiar shape for hand sanitizer and are compatible with standard continuous thread (CT) dispenser closures. The 8 oz. also pairs well with a pump dispenser. Berry selected these particular bottles as they are two of the most popular sizes and come in the most popular shape. They are also widely recyclable and easy to squeeze.
Amcor Rigid Packaging (ARP) is expanding its healthcare product portfolio to include general-purpose face masks. After piloting the assembly for employee use, ARP expanded production to support its customers. Face masks are a critical tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ARP is assembling the general-purpose face masks at its Millville, NJ, US facility. The face masks meet general purpose-use requirements with a triple layer consisting of a non-woven inner and outer layer, and a melt-blown middle layer.
Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Marine Conservation Society are teaming up to tackle the “dire effects” caused by single-use face mask litter. The Scottish environmental organizations are raising awareness of the issue and promoting the benefits of reusable face coverings. The partnership comes after Marine Conservation Society published the results of its Great British Beach Clean, revealing COVID-related litter, such as face coverings or gloves, constitute almost a quarter (23.5%) of Scotland’s beach litter. Single-use face coverings cannot be recycled and should be placed in the general waste bin after use. In recent months, used disposable masks have increasingly contaminated local authority recycling collections across Scotland, the partnership highlights.
The value of bakery packaging is defined by its production, preservation, storage, transportation and marketing capabilities – all of which the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting. In a Special Report, experts from Gerhard Schubert, Syntegon Technology and Waddington Europe – a Novolex company – tell PackagingInsights how the pandemic is impacting the bakery packaging sector under the eco-conscious consumer’s watchful eye… Read more
Hilex Poly, a Novolex brand, is introducing high-quality polyethylene disposable capes and aprons to help businesses protect their employees and customers. The new capes and aprons are lightweight and comfortable, with a tie closure in the back for a secure fit and easy wear. The capes are designed for hair salons, barbershops, restaurants, delis, foodservice providers, grocery stores and food processors.
The Sherwood Group joined forces with KMD Company to support the fight against coronavirus by investing in a new protective face covering production line in the UK. KMD Company relocated to Sherwood’s manufacturing site in Nottingham in 2018 to allow both businesses to offer a wider range of products and services. Sherwood’s new, twin-stream face mask machinery produces 250,000 items per week, including high-quality, 3ply single-use face coverings featuring non-woven, melt-blown material and 95 percent bacterial filtration. The face coverings are suitable for the general public, manufacturing staff and healthcare workers.
Stevanato Group, a glass packaging producer and provider of integrated capabilities for drug delivery systems, is expanding its longstanding collaboration with Catalent – a leading US global provider of advanced delivery technologies for drugs, biologics and consumer health products – to include the provision and accelerated delivery of advanced visual inspection systems to help with potential solutions to the pandemic. Stevanato is supporting Catalent and its customers' by reliably inspecting biologics and sterile injectables, maximizing the detection rate while keeping false rejects low. Stevanato is accelerating the delivery of the high precision and high throughput equipment by several months due to the expediency required in the current environment.
Schreiner MediPharm, a Germany-based global provider of innovative functional label solutions for the healthcare industry, is enhancing its tamper-evident specialty label, Cap-Lock, with a special RFID inlay. Developed to help hospitals expand digitization initiatives, the label-and-cap security concept for prefilled syringes is now also enabling automated inventory and supply chain management and digital first-opening indication. The Cap-Lock plus RFID solution offers efficient and reliable product authentication and enhanced patient safety.
LastObject has launched the LastMask x Spray – a reusable kit to help people stay protected on the go without sacrificing the environment. The kit includes a face mask and a refillable sanitizer spray in a compact silicon carry case, which can all three be washed and repacked. The mask meets the WHO guidelines for fabric masks and can be machine washed 500 times. Coronavirus waste has become a new environmental issue as billions of single-use PPE flood the oceans. According to Waste Free Ocean, over 4.2 billion single-use masks are thrown out every day, and each one takes around 450 years to decompose.
Macfarlane Packaging, a leading UK protective packaging materials supplier, is offering customers the opportunity to work remotely with designers and receive instantly produced prototypes, following new investment at the company’s Innovation Lab. Integration with a cloud-based solution is enabling the software to synchronize data in real-time.
Novolex has manufactured more than 2.6 million face shields to help frontline workers during the pandemic. As schools, restaurants and small businesses across the US cope with COVID-19, Novolex is offering innovative shields directly to consumers at several online outlets and retail locations. The lightweight face shields, produced by Novolex’s WNA division, come in two styles. Both can be used by a variety of different businesses and organizations, including restaurants, cafeterias, coffee shops, bars, spas, hair and nail salons, grocery stores, schools and universities.
LaunchWorks CDMO, a contract development and manufacturing company serving the life science market, has been approved to manufacture and distribute Viral Transport Media, in accordance with Section IV.B of the FDA’s COVID-19 Transport Media Policy. The company’s Viral Transport Media is available in the form of bulk tubes, large volume containers and a specimen kit, which includes a tube of sterile LaunchWorks VTM, a biohazard bag and an absorbent bag. Additional options include Nylon-flocked NP swab, Barcode or QP-coded labels, patient card, and a UN 3373 return box.
A survey performed in 14 European countries by the Lucid polling agency in association with the Every Can Counts initiative found that the vast majority (86%) of Europeans consider it more important than ever to protect the environment and recycle after COVID-19. Moreover, 52 percent of respondents would not put the economy over the environment, despite the economic slowdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two out of three said recycling is an obligation for all and there is an urgent need to tackle the problem. More than three-quarters of respondents always or often recycle all types of materials, while 76 percent often or always recycle their aluminum drink cans.
“The findings show there is a growing awareness about the need to recycle as much waste as possible, and the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated that process. People realize how pressing this problem is and are willing to work towards establishing a true circular economy,” says David Van Heuverswyn, Every Can Counts’ Europe director.
BillerudKorsnäs reported a resilient financial performance with strong cash generation despite “challenging markets.” The third quarter was impacted by annual maintenance shutdowns at BillerudKorsnäs’ mills in Karlsborg, Gävle and Gruvön in Sweden, initially planned for the first half of the year but rescheduled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The corona crisis is far from over, uncertainty remains and visibility going forward continues to be limited. We don’t foresee a fast recovery for the fourth quarter and expect unchanged market conditions. Raw material costs are expected to decline slightly,” comments Lennart Holm, BillerudKorsnäs’ acting president and CEO.
Delhaize Belgium supermarket chain is optimizing its packaging process to meet the increased demand for home deliveries in partnership with DS Smith. Delhaize and DS Smith’s circular design experts created the recyclable Direct Box from 100 percent recycled cardboard. The Direct Box saves 160 tons of packaging material annually. The savings equate to 32 fewer trucks in the supply chain, storage space reductions of over 1,000 pallets, and a global CO2 cut of 87,2 tons, DS Smith estimates. Delhaize is also introducing an automated box erecting machine to ensure efficient delivery to Belgian homes and shops.Read more..
The UK Local Government Association (LGA) has reported that 8 in 10 councils are experiencing an increase in the amount of recycling being collected since the COVID-19 outbreak and national lockdown. The amount of household recycling collected has soared as much as 100 percent in some council areas. The LGA says these rates are not likely to return to normal any time soon, with many people continuing to work from home. The association is calling on the government to ensure all extra cost pressures on waste and recycling services due to the pandemic are met.
Mondi delivered a “resilient performance” of €306 million underlying Q3 EBITDA. The business saw “good volume growth” in its uncoated fine paper and fiber-based packaging products, which together with ongoing strong cost control were more than offset by the impact of planned maintenance shuts, negative currency effects and lower average selling prices.
In the packaging businesses, demand for e-commerce and consumer applications “remained strong.” Corrugated Solutions’ and Paper Bags’ volumes grew year-on-year. Encouragingly, uncoated fine paper demand improved from Q2, as lockdown restrictions in Europe, Russia and Southern Africa eased with a gradual pick-up in activity in schools, offices and commercial printing.
Packaging Innovations will host its first online event on 15 October 2020, from 12-5 PM GMT. The Online Discovery Day includes speakers from The Co-op, Absolut Company and Coca-Cola and a streamed version of the Big Carbon Debate focused on COVID-19. Thirty packaging suppliers, including Sirane Group, Aegg, Quadpack, Schur Star Systems, Grays and Lil Packaging, are set to exhibit their latest solutions and technologies remotely.
Novolex has been named the winner of the 2020 Manufacturing Excellence Award for Innovation. The award, presented by the Association of Washington Business (AWB), honors Shields, a Novolex brand located in Washington, US, for retooling its manufacturing capabilities to produce protective isolation gowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using sophisticated equipment, the Shields plant normally produces food packaging and containers at its Washington facilities in Yakima. But after the pandemic hit, the company quickly repurposed its equipment to manufacture medical isolation gowns, which have been among the most urgently needed types of personal protective equipment and in short supply.
Berry Global invested in a state-of-the-art Reicofil R5 asset to provide incremental capacity to serve the fast-growing Asia healthcare markets. The investment is targeted to meet forecasted market and customer growth and will be focused on high performance applications in the desired healthcare markets. Berry will be the first company in the world to secure two state-of-the-art R5 assets. Once installed, the asset will be critical in the manufacturing of healthcare nonwoven materials, primarily surgical drapes and gowns.
KHS is offering various digital systems and solutions, such as the intelligent ReDiS remote maintenance system and Basic Line Monitoring, to ensure production processes remain efficient during the pandemic. ReDiS allows engineers to quickly, easily and securely access registered KHS components worldwide through a network connection. Customers can also benefit from fast, uncomplicated technical support through KHS’ Augmented Reality Service and 24/7 Service HelpDesk.
Ardagh research found that 34 percent of households from over 2,100 people surveyed in the UK, Germany and Poland have recycled more glass packaging during the months of lockdown. With the closure of bars and restaurants in the initial phase of lockdown, people consumed more foods and beverages packed in glass at home, leading to an increase in the volume of glass being recycled via the domestic recycling streams.
Glass recycling companies in the UK confirmed a significant increase in household recycling rates since lockdown. The research also showed that recycling methods vary due to differences in national collection infrastructures. In Germany and Poland, the most common way to recycle glass is via glass banks, with 86 percent of households in Germany and 72 percent in Poland saying that they “always” or “often” use glass banks to recycle their glass.
Berry Bramlage unveiled a convenient and sustainable hand hygiene on-the-go pack solution. The new Hands’Up 50 ml Tottle is a refillable bottle that consumers can continually top up with liquid soap, hand gel or sanitizer. The bottle is small enough to fit into bags, briefcases and pockets and also incorporates a hook on the base, allowing the bottle to be attached to a belt or hung around the neck. The polypropylene bottle can be recycled and ensures accurate dosing with a flip-top closure for convenient one-handed opening.
With PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO canceled, process and packaging technology specialist Syntegon is presenting its latest solutions at the virtually-hosted PACK EXPO Connects from November 9-13, 2020. In a series of video and Q&A sessions, Syntegon is showcasing its intelligent and sustainable technologies for the pharmaceutical and food industries, including customer services and digital solutions. Visitors can register for PACK EXPO Connect sessions free of charge. The Syntegon session recordings will remain online until March 2021.
Constantia Flexibles secured a new customer in Nuvae Healthcare, located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, bringing the “GOSAN Hand Sanitizer” product to consumers in the recyclable flexible packaging solution, EcoLamPlus. Nuvae Healthcare handcrafts the easy-to-use, 70 percent alcohol-based GOSAN hand sanitizer for water-free cleansing in small batches. EcoLamPlus laminate is one of Constantia Flexibles’ products in the monopolymer EcoLam packaging family based on PE. It replaces non-recyclable multipolymer structures where water vapor and oxygen barrier are needed and helps to sustain highly volatile products like alcohol.
A Viridor-YouGov poll of UK consumers found that 51 percent say the increase in single-use products amid COVID-19 has made it more important to find recycling solutions for all materials. Only 13 percent suggested recycling is of secondary importance at present. Meanwhile, a growing number find it difficult to understand what is recyclable. For example, 27.5 percent in 2016 to 52.5 percent in 2020 struggle to understand the recyclability of plastic wrapping.
Novolex brand Waddington North America (WNA) created containers, trays, bowls and platters to help schools provide meals safely to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made several recommendations for schools, including offering individually packaged meals in classrooms instead of in a cafeteria, using disposable foodservice items and providing pre-packaged meals. The Atrium product line from WNA offers various covered containers, single-serving portion trays, grab-and-go containers, multipurpose trays, bowls with lids, platters and pre-portioned snack trays.
SavrPak deployed the laws of physics and thermodynamics to eliminate moisture from a container before its food deteriorates. With at-home deliveries and takeout spiking during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has ramped up production of its patented food waste prevention technology... Read more
ALL4PACK in Paris has postponed until November 2022. The trade show was due to take place in November 2020. Comexposium Group, the organizer of ALL4PACK, postponed the show in view of the current public health trend and the reintroduction of travel restrictions in many countries.
Coveris has launched a hot food on-the-move packaging range. The Heat range boasts dual ovenable and hot-hold functionality and eliminates the need for direct food contact. The board-only and window patched designs, including clamshell, nested box and wrap box formats, are designed for heat-instore applications such as pastries, wraps, toasties, and pastas... Read more
Berry M&H has increased handy 50 ml pack with flip-top capacity at its Beccles and Llantrisant UK sites to meet increased hand sanitizer demand. The bottles are particularly suitable for hand sanitizer, soap products and lotion pumps. The European bottle is fully recyclable and made from PET or PCR PET bottle and can be created in any color to meet company branding.
The Empack Reconnect trade show for packaging technology will now take place as a fully online event on September 17, 2020, after the physical event in Utrecht, the Netherlands, was canceled. Easyfairs announced Empack Reconnect as “the first hybrid packaging event.” However, the majority of the community reportedly showed a preference for the online variant. The online event focuses entirely on Empack’s main function: connecting supply and demand in the market. Packaging professionals can virtually visit and interact with more than 300 exhibitors. Moreover, visitors can talk one-on-one with other attendees via network lounges focused on themes such as carbon reduction, food safety, food waste, the role of plastics and e-commerce.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers about alcohol-based hand sanitizers packaged in containers that may appear as food or drinks and put consumers at risk of serious injury or death if ingested. FDA discovered that some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles. Also, the agency found hand sanitizers that contain food flavors, such as chocolate or raspberry.
“I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizer being packaged to appear to be consumable products, such as baby food or beverages. These products could confuse consumers into accidentally ingesting a potentially deadly product. It’s dangerous to add scents with food flavors to hand sanitizers which children could think smells like food, eat and get alcohol poisoning. Manufacturers should be vigilant about packaging and marketing their hand sanitizers in food or drink packages in an effort to mitigate any potential inadvertent use by consumers,” says FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.
Waitrose resumed its carrier bag delivery driver recycling service after the UK retailer temporarily paused it during the pandemic. The supermarket's decision to bring back the scheme was encouraged by new OnePoll research from Waitrose, which shows that reducing plastic is still at the forefront of people’s minds and still takes precedence over other sustainability areas. While 25 percent of people said COVID-19 made them less concerned about their plastic usage, more than half (54%) said they would still like supermarkets to make plastic reduction their main priority. Plastic concern was followed by committing to high levels of animal welfare, reducing food waste, and pledging to reduce global deforestation.
Sappi’s Algro Design Advanced solid bleached board has found favor with textile manufacturer Wolford for its reusable “Care Mask.” The combination of physical and optical features combined within the Algro Design range of products was enough to convince Wolford to adopt this packaging. When creating the solution, Wolford chose to combine the premium 350 gsm Algro Design Advanced solid bleached board with “extremely challenging” ink covering and several finishing options. The end result is a packaging solution that is as elegant and complements the product inside.
ROSUPACK has been canceled amid concerns over holding “mass events” in the country. A statement from the organizers clarified that, despite a ban on mass events in the Moscow region being lifted by the Governor, there was insufficient time to comply with the guidelines as they were not issued quickly enough. Russia’s largest packaging show had already been pushed back from the originally scheduled dates of June 15-18 to August 25-28 and will now be postponed further.
A new report warned that nearly half of all take-out food packaging tested across major US food chains contains potentially toxic chemicals that weaken the immune system. The Mind the Store campaign and Toxic-Free Future nonprofit combined forces to investigate the presence of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) – chemicals known to threaten human health – in Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s as well as top health-minded food chains Cava, Freshii, and Sweetgreen. The investigation showed that all six food chains sampled had one or more food packaging items that “likely contain” toxic PFAS... Read More. “These toxic chemicals are linked to serious health problems like cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and asthma,” explains Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, Scholar in Residence at Duke University, Scientist Emeritus and Former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and National Toxicology Program (NTP). “PFAS can weaken our immune system, making us more vulnerable to infectious diseases like COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has ignited an upsurge in take-out delivery orders, and consequently, single-use plastic container waste. Particularly polystyrene – the material used to make Styrofoam – is experiencing a renewed demand due to the pandemic. Aiming to cut back on harmful throwaway materials, Harvest Pack has stepped up to provide 575 US restaurants and foodservice distributors with customizable, compostable packaging made with 100 percent upcycled sugarcane fiber... Read more
Mondi Group issued its H1 results, flagging a dip in revenue from the same period last year amid pandemic strains. This was attributed to lower average selling prices across its key paper grades, offsetting good volume growth in Corrugated Packaging and Flexible Packaging. Uncoated fine paper volumes were impacted by lower demand for commercial, professional and office printing as a result of the widespread lockdown measures... Read more
PACK EXPO International in Chicago, US, has been canceled “due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the current state and local regulations.” To ensure this essential industry remains connected, PMMI Media Group will use its digital marketing expertise and extensive industry knowledge to launch a brand new live, web-based event: PACK EXPO Connects 2020, November 9-13. The digital event will include live chats and live product demos.
Viscose Closures, a UK-based manufacturer of caps, closures and security seals, has reported “unprecedented” demand for its products as clients show an increasing need for security and sustainability during the pandemic. Viscose’s compostable and biodegradable seal solutions are particularly sought after as producers, retailers and consumers balance security and environmental impact requirements. Evolving trends indicate that market leaders aim to phase out single-use plastics in the “new normal,” fueling a green recovery following the pandemic, Viscose indicates. While tamper evidence has been mandatory in several sectors, current trends suggest this is becoming more consumer-led. Previously, regulators have taken the lead when it comes to driving product safety; however, this is changing, according to Viscose. The current situation has given engaged consumers a heightened desire to guarantee product security through the protection that tamper evidence seals provide.
According to the Ocean Conservancy, the global population is set to consume 129 billion face masks and 65 billion single-use gloves per month due to the ongoing COVID-19 regulations. Concerningly, most face masks are made from conventionally unrecyclable polypropylene. University College London (UCL), UK, estimated that 124,000 tons of plastic waste will be generated in the UK if each person used one single-use mask per day for a year. Likewise, WWF warned that even 10 million binned face masks equates to 40,000 kg of plastic waste. UCL has recommended installing designated disposal sites for used masks in public streets and increased uptake of reusable face masks.
Berry Global reported that its Health, Hygiene & Specialties segment recorded strong volume growth of 14 percent in Q3. The growth is related to the company’s recent investments and targeted market approach, and COVID-19-related benefits in its healthcare portfolio. Taking the company as a whole, net sales were up 50 percent to US$2.9 billion and operating income up by 61 percent to US$347 million, compared to Q2.
Smurfit Kappa announced financial results for the six months ending 30 June 2020, recording “strong performance against key metrics.” “Our EBITDA of €735 million with a margin of 17.5 percent, together with strong free cash flow of €238 million, demonstrates the strength of the Group,” notes Tony Smurfit, Group CEO. “I remain incredibly proud of the entire SKG team who have delivered these results against the backdrop of COVID-19, which created an extremely challenging operating environment.” Smurfit explains that the strength and scale of the company’s integrated system and supply chain expertise meant it was able to ensure the continuity of supply of essential products for everyday life across multiple sectors.
Sappi reported that COVID-19 had a “severe impact” on the business in Q3. “During the quarter, we continued to focus on the preservation of liquidity and cash flow through cost containment initiatives, a reduction in capital expenditure, delays to major annual maintenance shuts, furloughing of staff where possible and a focus on optimizing working capital,” explains Steve Binnie, Sappi CEO. In Q3, dissolving pulp and graphic paper sales volumes were 29 percent and 40 percent lower, respectively. In response, several containment initiatives were implemented, which along with a positive currency movement, resulted in fixed costs being US$67 million less than the equivalent quarter last year. Consequently, the Group generated EBITDA excluding special items of US$26 million compared to US$118 million in the equivalent quarter last year, which led to a loss of US$73 million for the quarter.
Berry M&H developed and fast-tracked to market a 100 ml hand sanitizer pack, creating “much needed” additional capacity for the packaging of an essential product in the fight against the COVID-19. The squeezy HDPE bottle features the company’s Secure Flip closure, which is generally used for sport drinks bottles but, in this instance, provides a solution for the safe and convenient dispensing of gels. The closure enables intuitive one-handed opening via an ergonomically designed Thumb Tab. The cap opens to a full and stable 180°, ensuring easy access, and an audible click confirms that it is either fully open or re-closed. The oval design of the bottle allows comfortable handling and provides a generous labeling area for individual branding. The bottle was developed utilizing Berry M&H’s in-house design and tool room facilities, with two sets of molds produced in under four weeks.
Ball Aerosol Packaging Devizes (UK) took action to support local communities during the COVID-19 lockdown by collaborating with renowned manufacturers Reabrook and the Lindal Group. The three companies worked together to design, produce and fill 25,000 cans of Rainbow hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer is packaged in Ball's aluminum aerosol cans and accommodates Lindal's valve and actuator technology. It is to be filled on one of Reabrook's high-speed filling lines and safety checked with leak detection and pressure testing to ensure the product is safe for consumer use.
Silgan Holdings recorded the strongest quarterly performance in the company’s history. The company reported a 55 percent increase in adjusted earnings per diluted share in Q2 due to sustained growth, largely driven by the continued increased home preparation and consumption of food and increased consumer focus on health and hygiene.
“We are particularly thankful for the exceptional dedication and success of the Silgan team in meeting the sustained needs of our markets and customers under the challenging operational circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our metal container business reported strong Q2 segment income, driven largely by unit volume growth of approximately 15 percent in food cans which was sustained throughout the quarter. Our closures business also delivered strong Q2 segment income, with a 25 percent increase over the prior year period, driven by volume growth for pumps and triggers offset in part by demand declines in beauty and certain beverage products,” explains Tony Allott, Chairman and CEO.
XPO Logistics supply chain specialist released survey data from the US and the UK showing consumer trends during COVID-19 through May. Notably, results indicate that 55 percent of respondents in the US and 56 percent in the UK worked on a DIY home improvement project during the pandemic. Also, more than 50 percent of XPO’s survey respondents indicated that proper social distancing and cleaning would encourage them to shop in stores again. At the same time, the majority said they will likely continue buying a range of products online after the pandemic, including appliances and other large items.
Stevanato Group has secured a deal to supply 100 million Type 1 Borosilicate glass vials to package up to two billion COVID-19 vaccines. The Italian glass pharmaceutical packaging leader signed the agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – the partnership managing the funding and coordination of COVID-19 vaccine solutions. Once a vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, Stevanato’s glass vials will store 20 doses per vial, which equates to two billion vaccines.
“Since the pandemic outbreak, we have activated a taskforce acting on two fronts. On one side, we have been implementing all the health and safety measures to protect our staff in all our global operations, and we have been supporting with donations the unprecedented effort of the hospital staff in a multitude of healthcare structures. On the other hand, we have proactively increased our global capacity to sustain the industry’s scale-up industrialization need. We are proud to support CEPI in this important project. We share the same deep sense of responsibility and commitment to achieving our industry goal of successfully addressing this public health challenge, ensuring no patient is left behind,” explains Franco Stevanato, Stevanato CEO.
Braskem is supporting companies and research centers in 3D printing to produce face shields for public healthcare professionals. In addition to donating 21 tons of raw materials, Braskem specialists in additive manufacturing are supporting 12 research centers in the states of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo in Brazil on the use of 3D printing technologies. 3D printing has made a “vital contribution” to saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Brazil, the rapid turnaround and, especially, the low cost of production processes, already are helping to make items such as face shields and prototypes of lung ventilators, Braskem notes.
DS Smith has shipped more than 385,000 containers of fruit and vegetables to food banks and non-profit organizations across South Carolina, George and Florida in the US, using 100 percent recyclable Greencoat boxes produced at the local DS Smith plant for Atlanta-based Collins Brothers Produce. The US Department of Agriculture awarded Collins Brothers Produce a US$8 million contract under the Farmers-to-Families Food Box program, set up to help growers, distributors and others facing economic strain amid the coronavirus pandemic.
BillerudKorsnäs has reported relative stability in its Q2 product demand, delivering sales volume growth. However, COVID-19 impacted negatively certain segments with lower demand, mainly within the company’s Division Paper. Division Board continued to deliver higher sales in all segments while Division Solutions struggled with significantly lower demand from North American-based brand owners.
Paccor Packaging Solutions has launched Pac-Guard, a protective visor that provides full-face protection and 100 percent recyclability. The anti-fog Pac-Guard visors have been supplied free of charge to the Supportive charity, which provides home care and patient transport within the community, carried out by volunteers from its headquarters in Ferryhill, UK.
Sappi Biotech has brought its natural cellulose called Valida to the formulation of eco-friendly hand sanitizer. “Valida is a highly fibrillated cellulose manufactured by Sappi. Derived from wood fiber, it is a 100 percent natural, biodegradable and sustainable material,” notes Matt Spence, Vice-President Biomaterials at Sappi Biotech. “Valida can successfully perform as an opacifier and thickener in sanitizing gels, providing a natural alternative for acrylate-based polymers while providing some unique additional benefits, including replacing microplastics with a natural ingredient.
Owens-Illinois (O-I) reported that its Q2 2020 performance ended on a positive note after the company “endured the brunt” of the COVID-19 pandemic in April and May. As markets began to reopen, the glass packaging giant's June sales volumes were down approximately 3 percent compared to June of last year. June trends represented a significant improvement from the 18 percent decline in daily shipment levels for April and May, which was previously disclosed. Overall, Q2 total sales volumes were down approximately 15 percent from the prior year. Operating performance was “very good” as the company’s turnaround initiatives continued to progress well, including significant efforts to control costs to partially mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Macfarlane Group has taken the first tentative steps in response to the easing of some of the UK Government’s lockdown measures. With all sites remaining operational throughout lockdown and some staff also working from home, Macfarlane recently implemented a program at all its sites to improve workplace distancing and hygiene procedures to ensure its customers and staff stay protected. The suppliers field sales teams have been provided with new sales tools to enable them to operate effectively on a remote basis and have new strict H&S protocols where customers accept face to face meetings. Macfarlane has also invested more resources in its online ordering system, Simplicit-e, in response to increasing demand from customers who choose to order over the internet, and upgraded its Innovation Lab with a £200,000 (US$252,000) investment in new technology.
Berry M&H has delivered a new 50 ml snap-on bottle that can be combined with the Evo Classic pump for a “stand-out blend to other container and closure combinations in this size.” The luxury dispenser is available with short lead time and comes as increased handwashing has led consumers to seek out moisturizers and lotions to prevent the drying effects of this practice.
Global BioProtect, a US manufacturer and supplier of environmentally-friendly cleaning products for commercial use, announced the addition of a patented hand sanitizer that comes in a 100 percent recyclable, air-powered can. The US Food and Drug Administration approved hand sanitizer kills 99.99 percent of harmful germs and is available in non-alcohol and alcohol formulas. This month, Global BioProtect will introduce a customizable option for companies to brand the BioProtect hand sanitizer. Manufactured in the US, BioProtect hand sanitizer eliminates 45 bacteria, fungi and viruses, including germs that cause pneumonia, staph infections, colds and the flu, through the use of patented antibacterial technology.
Owens-Illinois has reported that COVID-19 has impacted recycling programs and practices to the point that manufacturers are “having a hard time” getting enough recycled materials to create everyday supplies, including O-I Glass, the world’s largest manufacturers of glass packaging for food and beverage makers. The United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation recognizes the pandemic’s “profound” impact on US manufacturing and hosted a virtual panel to address coronavirus’ immediate and long-term implications. Sue Magness, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Cincinnati, highlighted that municipalities who “pulled the plug” on recycling took a “short-sighted” view, and urged leaders to consider the bigger picture of how recycling directly impacts US manufacturers. Later in the discussion, the panelists discussed ways to rethink how the US approaches waste and recycling. One major theme is building a future that focuses on reusable and refillable packaging.
Smurfit Kappa extended its Bag-in-Box range by adding a hand sanitizer solution to meet increased COVID-19-induced demand. The Bag-in-Box boasts a high oxygen barrier to protect product contents from air and light, which maintains the physical and chemical properties of the hand sanitizer. On the environmental sustainability front, the supplier indicates that a 5 L Bag-in-Box solution uses 54 percent less plastic than a 5 L PET bottle. The solution is available in a range of sizes and offers refill possibilities.
The UK Processing and Packaging Machinery (PPMA) show has been postponed until 28-30 September 2021. The event was originally due to take place from 29 September – 01 October 2020. The National Exhibition Center and PPMA Board of Directors said that the logistics and social distancing measures required for a show of this size were not feasible to maintain health and safety during COVID-19. The UK Government has also not relaxed the rules on the reopening of exhibition and conference venues.
The transposition of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) into domestic law has stalled in most European countries, largely due to COVID-19-induced disruptions. However, in the opinion of Seas At Risk, “it is not an excuse [to delay 2021 deadlines] for all governments but some might use it to delay further the national process.” Six months after the entry into force of the Directive, the pandemic and lockdown measures increased the “already sluggish pace” of national legislative development, the NGO says… Read More
Berry M&H’s Suffolk UK production site is offering tubes for hand sanitizer that are pre-labeled or directly printed, the latter meaning customers only need to fill them before they are speedily sent out. The extensive spread of COVID-19 has led to sustained demand for sanitizer and with the lifting of social isolating, this demand is likely to remain for a significant time, meaning new ways of supplying users with hand cleanser is needed, the supplier notes.
Staeger Clear Packaging has secured a six-month NHS contract for the supply of face visors. The contract will reportedly enable the company to quadruple in size. Staeger explains that it uses UK-recycled plastic to make the face visors due to the machinery being readily available in its factory. Another advantage of having the material readily available is that the costs are “immensely cut down” due to no additional Air Freight charges.
Two Dow customers in airbag manufacturing have repurposed their airbag weaving and coating operations to produce medical gown fabric coated with Dow SILASTIC liquid silicone rubber (LSR). When coated on fabric, the hydrophobic nature of LSR offers an added level of protection as a fluid barrier while supporting added reusability. The two customers aim to deliver millions of medical gowns to healthcare professionals in 2020.
Berry Global formed a collaboration with The Medicom Group (Medicom) to design the manufacturing solution and guarantee the supply of nonwoven fabric intended for use in producing hundreds of millions of face masks annually as part of Medicom’s agreement with the British Government. Medicom is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical and respiratory masks.
Easyfairs announced that Packaging Innovations 2020 has been postponed until December. The show, which is held at the Olympia in London, had been scheduled to take place on September 23-24 but will now be held from December 8-9. The event organizers explained that with more than 40 percent of visitors traveling from overseas, potential quarantine restrictions had made the September dates unfeasible.
Guala Closures Ibérica delivered 300 face shields to the city of Jerez to fight against COVID-19 and guarantee the safety of health workers who continue to carry out their work on the frontlines of the pandemic. Guala Closures Ibérica also donated 800 kg of food and basic necessities for all people in Jerez in difficulty.
Ricoh 3D, a UK-based additive manufacturing specialist, has achieved CE marking for its COVID-19 face shields, certifying the product for use by businesses as they prepare to reopen. Telford-based Ricoh 3D has designed, manufactured and shipped essential face shields to health and care workers since March, both in the UK and overseas.
The State of California, US, has reinstated its single-use plastic bag bans and reusable bag Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) content mandate after the 60-day lifting period expired on June 22. The temporary liftings were designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among essential workers handling reusable grocery bags or containers. Reports indicate that the temporary liftings inflicted adverse effects on the supply and production of PCR. In a presentation this month, Sunil Bagaria, President of GDB, noted that, “None of the bags are being made with any recycled content … [and] all the manufacturers all across the state, which were using 40 percent PCR LDPE resin, are now making everything from virgin resin.”
thyssenkrupp Elevator is offering digital solution packages based on its cloud-driven predictive maintenance platform MAX for free to hospitals and other medical facilities that are impacted by COVID-19. The special offer applies to France, Brazil, and the US.
An international health expert group has concluded that reusable packaging can be used safely by employing basic hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic, based on the best available science. The group explained that “Reuse and refill systems are an essential part of addressing the plastic pollution crisis and moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy … [and that] single-use plastic is not inherently safer than reusables, and causes additional public health concerns once discarded.”
Today, European Heads of State and Government are meeting to discuss the Recovery Plan for Europe proposed by the European Commission in May. Rethink Plastic has called on European decision-makers to ensure that recovery funding is used to speed up the transition to a toxic-free circular economy in Europe, based on reducing resource-use through waste prevention and reuse.
Weighing in on the debate, Huhtamaki has urged the EU to continue striving towards a greener economy and invest in forward-looking technologies that help bring about a circular, carbon-free economy. To get there, stakeholders must start partnering across the value chain, designing for circularity while ensuring effective use of renewable resources and energy, the paper-based supply says.
Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, a business unit of Ardagh Group and long-term partner Stanpac are providing glass milk bottles to meet increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Ardagh manufactures the American-made glass milk bottles that Stanpac supplies to regional dairy brands across the US.
Camvac, a UK-based global supplier of metalized films, has reported an increase in demand for products used in the healthcare, food and liquid packaging markets. In particular, demand for its Extrapet material increased substantially. Extrapet is a transparent barrier polyester laminate, which is used in a wide range of lidding film applications, including processed meats, fresh meats, poultry, pasta, vegetables and baked goods. The supplier shares that it experienced some raw material supply chain issues during the COVID-19 peak but the Camvac team “worked tirelessly” to minimize the disruption.
Huhtamaki has launched Huhta Mask, a high-quality face mask to “help a responsible return to a new normal.” The Huhta Masks are suitable for everyday use and help reduce the spread of droplets. The comfortable masks are breathable and washable and made of high-quality fabric with anti-microbial and fluid repellent properties. The Huhta Mask is not intended for use as a medical device or personal protective equipment.
UK Environment Minister Rebecca Pow MP has confirmed that the introduction of legislation banning the sale of plastic drinking straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plastic stirrers is delayed because of the coronavirus. “Originally, the regulations were laid in March this year and set to come into force in April. However, in light of the unprecedented situation that this country has faced due to COVID-19, they were delayed to reduce the burden placed on industry and to avoid adding further to the demands placed on local authorities. We were asked to delay entry into force for a short time whilst we were in the peak of this crisis. Delaying the regulations was only a temporary measure in response to this crisis,” Pow explains.
Oji Holdings announced that it will launch its Nepia Long Lasting Best Fit Face Mask in 50 piece boxes on July 10. The face mask was designed in response to requests from medical health experts. It features a form-fitting longer wire around the nose, allowing it to stay on the face more easily. All materials, including non-woven fabric and straps, are produced in Japan.
Mondi has donated 100,000 medical grade N95 face masks to protect healthcare workers in KwaZulu Natal, a coastal South African province.
The lifestyle changes that have come with people responding to COVID-19, such as eating more at home and stockpiling foods, have served to reinforce public perceptions of packaging and its core values, David Clark, VP Sustainability at Amcor tells PackagingInsights in a video interview. “People are appreciating the role of packaging and the fact that plastic is often one of the more efficient materials in terms of both performance and environmental impact,” he says … Watch here
Braskem has joined forces with Alpargatas, a consumer goods manufacturer, to produce personal protective equipment, such as hospital footwear and masks. The footwear is being distributed to hospitals in São Paulo while the masks are being donated to the public health systems of Alagoas, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Tocantins. The footwear was made from 4.6 tons of EVA resin donated by Braskem. Meanwhile, the masks were produced by Alpargatas from nonwoven fabric made using PP resin donated by Braskem to Fitesa, another partner of the company committed to combatting the coronavirus.
Stora Enso’s Ingerois Mill in Finland has donated to a program collecting funds to buy food and supplies for low-income families in the Kymenlaakso region in southeastern Finland. Meanwhile, the supplier’s Ostroleka Mill in Poland donated 7,000 boxes made from renewable corrugated board to the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC), a charity that donates high-tech equipment to Polish hospitals. Also, on the eve of the Chinese Children's Day, Stora Enso Packaging Materials China Beihai Mill donated packaged milk to 1377 primary school students in Xinggang Town in support of communities suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of its “Helping Hands” initiative, BASF is donating disinfectant and protective face masks and providing support worldwide to academic research groups in their search for a suitable active ingredient to treat patients infected with the coronavirus. “We do not develop active pharmaceutical ingredients, but BASF has more than 150 years of experience in researching substances. This means we have the knowledge and large substance libraries with a wide variety of active ingredients,” comments Dr. Peter Eckes, President Bioscience Research at BASF. The company has also developed computer programs to design molecules and has its own supercomputer called Quriosity. “Leveraging these enormous research capabilities is another way we can contribute to combating the coronavirus pandemic,” adds Eckes. The company says it is taking multiple approaches in these efforts.
As the world navigates the unprecedented challenges of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic, UNITED CAPS continues to monitor and respond to developments. The company continues to act in real time and taking additional actions to help keep all of our people safe and help limit the spread of COVID-19. The company adheres to all regulations and guidelines from government authorities related to its containment, it says. The safety and well-being of the extended UNITED CAPS family of staff, customers and suppliers is top priority. Many of its products are used in food production and clinical nutrition packaging. The company has created an Operational Team, tasked with the constant supervision of developing situation along with the provision of instructions and information to all of the companies’ organisations and departments. They have laid out very clear working procedures and are closely monitoring guidance by the World Health Organisation and other public health organisations, implementing proper health precautions where warranted. A risk assessment has been carried out covering UNITED CAPS' complete supply chain (from reception of raw materials through to customer delivery) and will be reviewed and updated if needed. The company has also informed its suppliers, collaborators, and carriers about new guidelines for access to its sites, in compliance with the indications received by the Relevant Competent Authorities. This is in order to guarantee that all the business activities are carried out at the maximum health and safety levels.
Amul, India's largest Dairy Company and one of Tetra Pak's key customers, was faced with an unprecedented demand for Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk following the COVID-19 lockdown, requiring an immediate expansion in the overall capacity while ensuring delivery reliability. One of their facilities - the integrated UHT plant of Banaskantha Union, is part of the a large milk processing plant in Asia. In order to maximize the line output at this plant, Tetra Pak's Service Engineers worked with focus and dedication, to configure and implement changes in production, resulting in the plant's highest-ever single day production; a whopping 576,534 litres compared to the daily average of 400,000 litres.
Moreover, another of Tetra Pak's customers – which remains unnames but is a key player within nutritional science – came to the company with an urgent need, on an increased order for one of their products – a calorie-dense, nutritionally rich beverage consumed directly from the package or delivered by IV tube. The requirement for an additional 2 million Tetra Prisma Aseptic Edge 250 packages could not be serviced by the packaging material factory in Limburg, Germany as it was already working above normal capacity due to increasing and changing food consumption demands as a result of the pandemic. To arrive at the fastest possible solution, the Tetra Pak team connected with another customer using the same packaging to explain the situation, and within 24 hours they generously agreed to delay their order to release the capacity we needed.
Paper specialist Transcend Packaging is the latest packaging company to turn its hand to producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company has converted operations to create protective face shields. Made from reinforced paper boards and recyclable materials, the inexpensive visors are designed for single use and to be recycled. Transcend has linked with Life Sciences Hub Wales to meet all standards required for use by NHS Wales, frontline and key workers. Nearly 3 million shields have been manufactured. Lorenzo Angelucci, Managing Director at Transcend Packaging notes: “We quickly realised that we could adapt our digital printing equipment to create face shields and with the help and guidance of Life Sciences Hub Wales, we were able perfect the design and produce products that were fully certified and met the right standards.”
Committed to playing its part in the supply of essential products during the COVID-19 outbreak, Mondi Korneuburg has developed packaging for QIAGEN's SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus test kit. QIAGEN is a leading global provider of molecular Sample to Insight solutions. The company recently launched a syndromic test cartridge kit for the QIAstat-Dx Analyser System that can identify the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus within an hour. Designed for use in hospitals, clinics and laboratories, the new QIAstat-Dx syndromic testing platform comes in the form of a compact, modular, table-top device into which multi-chamber cartridges containing test samples are inserted for analysis. During times like these, flexibility in production is key to help support essential packaging needs in the medical industry. “Given that timely testing is a critical component of mitigating the spread of the pandemic, we stand ready to assist the medical community in any way we can. We adjusted our production planning in order to meet the increase in demand to support QIAGEN,” explains Eveline Wagner, Managing Director at Mondi Korneuburg.
The European Commission has unveiled a €750 billion COVID-19 recovery plan to revitalize the EU economy. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen views the recovery plan as an opportunity to invest in the European Green Deal, which was recently reinforced with a new Circular Economy Action Plan that considers mandatory plastic requirements for recycled content and waste reduction measures for key products such as packaging. Several key packaging industry players, including Tetra Pak and Plastics Recyclers Europe, previously voiced their support for an EU recovery plan that prioritizes the building of circular economies... Read more
Retail display specialist, Benchmark has teamed up with leading flexible and paper packaging supplier Coveris to develop a disposable, hygienic barrier visor to help protect and prevent against the spread of COVID-19. Responding to concerns about the lack of available PPE, Benchmark Displays has pioneered its Rainbow Visor face shield alongside Coveris and design partner OrsCol Creative. With the capacity to produce up to 10 million units a week, the visors are suitable for the workplace and general use and do not impact the current government procurement strategy of PPE for the NHS and front-line workers, meaning they are easily accessible and do not compete with healthcare or other UK supply chain priorities.
Eco To Go Food Packs has unveiled a disposable and recyclable cardboard face shield designed as a protective aid in situations where increased protection or infection control measures are required. Comfortable to wear, the disposable face shield is adjustable to accommodate most head sizes. It also features a two-position forehead band to allow additional room for eyewear. The frame is created from solid biodegradable cardboard while the visor window is made from an anti-mist treated recyclable polyester material.
ULMA Packaging is using its flow pack machines to package two million COVID-19 NG Biotech test packs per month. The small “all-in-one” plastic case pricks the fingertip, collects a drop of blood and analyzes it with reagents. ULMA Packaging’s FM 305 model was chosen as the packaging machine due to its flexibility of use, rapid format changes, productivity and speed, ULMA Packaging indicates.
Thyssenkrupp plans to make production adjustments in its steel business at short notice as the coronavirus pandemic forces a sharp decline in customer call-offs and a deterioration in orders. Against this background, thyssenkrupp and IG Metall have agreed on an immediate “Corona crisis package.” The bargaining parties have agreed that in the current situation individual measures of the “steel strategy 20-30” will be regularly reviewed in the course of implementation. The immediate package also includes the requirement for thyssenkrupp Steel Europe's operations to increase short-time work compensation to 80 percent in the event of short-time working.
Restaurants in Europe are starting to reopen their doors as governments relax COVID-19 self-distancing measures but health and hygiene remain top of the agenda. Set against this backdrop, Norwegian company ZincIn is launching ocean plastic food trays that leverage integrated antimicrobial safety technology from Dutch company Parx Materials. The natural trace element found in the trays is vital to the human immune system and protects against bacteria and viruses without needing to wipe the trays clean. According to third-party testing, the innovation boasts approximately 99.9 percent fewer germs than those found on conventional food trays... Read more
International Paper has donated two million corrugated boxes to hunger-relief organizations as part of its COVID-19 relief strategy. The product donation will benefit hunger-relief organizations such as Feeding America and The Global FoodBanking Network among other relief agencies in communities where International Paper employees live and work. Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, estimates that an additional 17.1 million Americans could face hunger in the next six months as a result of the pandemic.
Stora Enso’s Paper Division has introduced a solution called Snap Support to provide technical know-how to customers remotely. The solution includes a mobile application used to transfer real-time information and media whenever a customer encounters challenges or have questions in their printing and converting processes. Through the application, the customer will be connected with experts in Stora Enso’s technical support team.
Smurfit Kappa released its Vitop Blue tap for Bag-in-Box cleaning products that has first been utilized for hand sanitizer. Although more testing will be undertaken to ensure compatibility with a wide range of hand sanitizers and other cleaning products, Stora Enso describes the Bag-in-Box packaging as “a promising solution due to its variety of sizes and flexibility to be used either by the end-consumer or as a refill solution.”
Smartrac, an Avery Dennison company, and blockchain startup SUKU, launched a digital verification solution to authenticate COVID-19 testing kits and PPE. The NFC-powered platform enables instant verification of authenticity and provides end-to-end supply chain transparency. By equipping COVID-19 test kits and PPE with Smartrac’s CIRCUSTM NFC tags, the solution utilizes Avery Dennison’s Digital Identity Platform to feed tag data to SUKU’s blockchain-based supply chain application. The data from the mobile engagement then confirms the authenticity and provenance of the tagged product, reassuring customers and ultimately increasing trust. Customers can also view their purchase price of PPE compared to the global average, providing transparency to help in the fight against price gouging.
Mondi is set to build new production lines in its plant in Gronau, Germany, to produce melt-blown nonwoven fabric and surgical face masks. This is part of Mondi's efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and respond to increased demand by health authorities, businesses and consumers for face masks.
CANPACK Group, a global packaging manufacturer with its headquarters Krakow, Poland, has begun using 3D printing to make face shields that will be delivered to local hospitals. The project is funded by the CANPACK Foundation as part of the employee volunteer program “Time to volunteer.”
Tetra Pak has joined the European Alliance for a Green Recovery, launched by the European Parliament on April 14, to help build a more environmentally sustainable economy post-COVID-19. The alliance gathers stakeholders to support a green recovery plan that puts the fight against climate change, the protection of biodiversity, and resilient food supply chains at the center of Europe’s economic policy for the next seven years (2021 – 2027). Together with 270 other signatories, including political decision-makers, business leaders, financial institutions, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and political think tanks, Tetra Pak will gain insights from other relevant stakeholders and contribute to the quick recovery of economies and societies.
Berry Global announced an investment towards the expansion of its spunmelt nonwoven capacity in Statesville, North Carolina, US. The Statesville facility will install US$8 million of new equipment and enhance existing production lines, allowing Berry to further optimize its production of in-demand spunmelt applications used in the fabrication of medical gowns, face masks and other PPE.
Berry Global also announced the capital investment in its global meltblown nonwoven fabric capacity for South America. This investment further strengthens the supplier’s global reach and position as the leading nonwovens manufacturer. This line is Berry’s first meltblown asset, based on its Meltex technology, and supports the demand for health and wellness products.
The British Plastics Federation launched an online portal to help organizations across the UK locate suppliers in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Companies that provide products vital to the UK’s response to COVID-19 are listed, including those who can provide visors, ventilator parts, aprons, hand sanitizer bottles, clinical waste sacks and other key supplies.
SIG and other leading companies have committed to science-based climate action and released a joint Recover Better statement, which calls on governments around the world to match their ambition to achieve a zero-carbon economy by aligning COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science. Signed by 155 major multinationals, the Recover Better statement is the largest ever UN-backed CEO-led climate advocacy effort. It calls for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.
“The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt around the world and it’s encouraging to see people uniting to weather this crisis, but we must not lose sight of the urgent need for collective action to tackle the climate emergency. At SIG, we’re committed to delivering low-carbon solutions for our customers and reducing our own emissions in line with the latest science. We’re joining other leading corporates to call on governments to ensure efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic support the transition to a zero-carbon economy and deliver on the climate commitments of the Paris Agreement,” notes Rolf Stangl, CEO at SIG.
European Plastics recycling industry has closed production due to the current market developments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The major problems are the lack of demand due to the closure of converting plants and the record low prices of virgin plastics as well as the decreased activity globally.
“If the situation is to persist and no actions are taken to remedy the sector, plastics recycling will cease to be profitable, hampering the attainment of the EU recycling targets and putting in jeopardy the transition towards circular plastics. In such a case, recyclable plastic waste will have no alternatives but to be sent to landfill or incineration,” warns Ton Emans, Plastics Recyclers Europe President.
Damage to the recycling market would also have far-reaching socio-economic impacts due to the extensive employment in the waste management value chain. The plastics recycling industry calls on the EU and the Member States to include recycling as one of the sectors supported by their Recovery Plans and to continue implementing the measures under the Circular Economy umbrella. Safeguarding the positive developments within this market is essential to reduce Europe’s use of virgin plastics and, therefore, for the survival of the secondary raw materials market as well as further investments in the sector, according to Plastics Recyclers Europe.
Pact Group has launched a range of hygiene products specifically designed to enable Australians to get back to work safely. The Stay Safe – Spread Good Vibes Only range consists of hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and multipurpose cleaners in single-use and refill packs. In March, Pact announced that it had converted production lines at three of its Sydney, Australia, plants to start making hand sanitizer for the first time. Since then Pact has grown the capacity to become the one largest manufacturer of hand sanitizer in Australia, producing more than 2 million units of per month.
In association with A Plastic Planet, Reel Brands, part of the Transcend Group, has introduced “the first” plastic-free certified protective visors, the first in the range of REEL Plastic Free PPE. In the UK alone, 488 million items of PPE were distributed to frontline healthcare workers, Reel Brands reports. While the supplier recognizes that PPE is necessary, “it is also coming at a cost to the planet … [with] the vast majority made from fossil-fuel plastic and much ending up in our environment after only one use.” Reel Brands’ solution is made of FSC food-grade paperboard and PEFC renewable and sustainable wood pulp. The visors are available for £75 (US$92) per crate, the equivalent to £0.50 (US$0.61) per unit.
Mondi has contributed material and processing expertise to produce plastic protective gowns for staff at local nursing homes and retirement facilities to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. The first 500 of these disposable, single-use garments have been delivered to the regional district’s Civil Protection Authority in Diepholz, who will oversee the distribution to facilities that need it most. Mondi plans to produce 10,000 gowns in the coming months.
PFF Packaging Group has shared details of how its sister company Fetera is producing high-quality PLA filament for 3D printing. Fetera has donated 50 reels to three groups of volunteers who are using 3D printers to create headband components for face masks. The two UK based groups’ products will be used to supply the NHS and care staff, whilst a unit in Malta plans to distribute the headbands worldwide.
Amcor has reported its year to date results and raised outlook for fiscal 2020, in which it provides a detailed COVID-19 update. Throughout the pandemic, the company has operated its 250 plants around the world with minimal disruption and has not experienced significant business continuity issues related to access in raw materials. To date, operating costs have also not been materially impacted, Amcor confirms.
“The extent to which the global pandemic influenced overall demand for the company's products in the third quarter is unclear as certain regions and segments appear to have benefited while others were constrained. For example, the company has seen good demand for healthcare globally and most food and beverage end markets were relatively strong in the developed world but weaker in emerging markets including China and India. Volumes in the Flexibles North America business were 4 percent higher than the March quarter last year. In the Specialty Cartons and Flexibles Latin America businesses, volumes improved compared with the first six months of the year, but remain below the prior year on a year to date basis,” the Amcor statement reads.
The ultimate near-term impact of the pandemic on the company's businesses, including the fourth quarter, will depend on the extent and nature of any future disruptions across the supply chain, the duration of social distancing measures and other government-imposed restrictions and the nature and pace of macroeconomic recovery in key global economies, the company adds.
Berry Global has announced the continued expansion of its global Meltex meltblown capacity with the addition of another asset to support the growing global face mask demand. This announcement comes as demand surges due to COVID-19 and the increased need for non-woven protection materials. The new asset is expected to be operational in October 2020 and will be placed in Europe at Berry’s existing production facility in Berlin, Germany and will incorporate Berry’s patented charging technology post-installation.
“We are now beginning to see the localization of varying forms of equipment that produce materials for PPE as countries and governments look to be able to react with speed to any future outbreaks,” notes Cedric Ballay EVP & GM for Europe in Health, Hygiene and Specialties at Berry.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Just Eat have conducted research that reveals food waste from UK restaurants has risen as a result of “unpredictable [takeaway] ordering patterns” during the pandemic. According to the research, food waste generated in takeaway outlets has risen from an average of £111 (US$136) per week to £148 (US$182) per week – the equivalent of £16.7 million (US$20.5 million) across the UK sector. Almost half (45%) of the restaurants surveyed by SRA and Just Eat admitted that they throw most food in the trash.
Macfarlane Group has reported that the first quarter of 2020 delivered a strong trading performance with Group sales growth of 2 percent and profitability well above the same period in 2019. As a result of UK government actions to address the COVID-19 crisis, Macfarlane expects demand levels in the second quarter to reduce to between 75 percent and 80 percent of those seen in the second quarter of 2019. “We are managing our cost base in line with the reduced levels of activity and we would expect the second quarter to be a profitable period of trading albeit well below that achieved in the first quarter,” the company confirms.
Syntegon Technology lifted the veil off its machinery and technology innovations during its first Virtual Show, which has reportedly attracted more visitors than the company was expecting. Through videos, live chats, webinars and an opening press conference held on May 7, the company has self-accommodated for the lost networking platform that the postponed interpack trade show would have provided. In primary packaging, Syntegon launched the Kliklok ACE carton former for flow wrapping with mono-materials and paper during the Virtual Show. Kliklok premieres glue-free carton and tray forming, while the company’s TTM top load cartoner and Elematic 2001 case packer, which reliably process recycled and grass fiber cardboard, respectively, were also on exhibit… Read more
SIG has launched an online story hub, featuring the latest activities and actions the company is taking as part of a global response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The story hub is now live at www.sig.biz and will be updated in the coming weeks and months as the company continues to act and respond to the new COVID-19 reality.
Vegware has published a 24-page interactive guide to new packaging requirements to help the foodservice sector plan for the return to work. Back to business: A practical guide to packaging for socially distanced catering covers topics including service models for social distancing, marketing support and environmental support. “Disposables are in greater demand and sustainability is more important than ever. Our entire range is made from plant-based materials and is suitable for commercial composting where accepted. The guide shares marketing support and environmental advice, helping our clients access suitable composting collections,” Vegware states.
Smurfit Kappa has launched a portfolio of products designed to help businesses, schools and offices resume operations in accordance with safety guidelines as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions start to be reduced. The Safe Portfolio comprises wall dividers, desk and work station separators, point-of-sale screens and safety signage made from corrugated board. The SafeShield desk protector was first produced in France where schools are re-opening this week after two months. This simple and lightweight product protects the area around each child, ensuring physical and psychological safety, and has a varnish coating so it can be repeatedly cleaned with alcohol-based cleaners.
Thyssenkrupp has reported that its performance in the first half of the fiscal year 2019/2020 was “significantly impacted by the initial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.” The weak automotive market and price and volume losses in the materials businesses harmed performance. In order intake, this is reflected in an 8 percent year-on-year decrease to €15 billion. Sales were down by 4 percent to €15.9 billion. Despite immediate countermeasures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, adjusted EBIT at €433 million was significantly lower than a year earlier (€55 million) particularly due to the situation at Steel Europe.
MENSHEN has launched a pilot project to produce large quantities of soap boxes for 1,200 students in the German municipality of Finnentrop. Large quantities of soap were procured, the lid was manufactured in-house and with the support of Henkel, a crucible was converted into a soap box. The lid of each soap person soap box reads “Stay healthy.”
Gerresheimer is currently working “flat out” to produce a high number of PET bottles to be filled with the required disinfectant and supplied to recipients. For interested parties and customers, Gerresheimer has recently revised and updated its PET program so that the desired bottle can be found quickly and easily using various search criteria.
KraussMaffei’s Extrusion Technology division in Hanover in Germany and KraussMaffei site in Slovakia have responded to the shortage of face protection shields and quickly moved into the production of reusable face visors and masks.
DS Smith has supported Finnish pizza company Kotipizza's home delivery expansion. Due to the pandemic, the Finnish Government ordered all restaurants to either close or switch to take away sales at the end of March 2020. Kotipizza has significantly increased sales of products online and added new home delivery areas to its distribution. To respond to this increased demand for pick-up and delivery, Kotipizza turned to its pizza box supplier DS Smith. DS Smith indicates that it has “worked tirelessly” to ensure that Kotipizza can meet the increased consumer demand and that it can receive the safe and environmentally sustainable pizza boxes it needs for the increasing takeaway sales.
Sappi has announced financial results for Q2, reporting a “relatively small” impact on profitability during the quarter. However, an anticipated improvement in dissolving pulp (DP) prices did not materialize, principally as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the supplier says. “The subsequent actions taken by various governments only directly impacted our operations during the last few weeks of the quarter, and there was minimal disruption to production, although the Condino Mill in Italy was temporarily shut. We began to receive significant cancellations of DP and graphic paper orders scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter, and new orders for both product categories slowed considerably,” Steve Binnie, Sappi CEO, explains. Last week, Sappi presented its latest solutions at a virtual event… Read more
Braskem and Biopromotions have collaborated on an environmentally-sustainable mask strap made of a Braskem’s bio-based material. The mask straps are designed to help those who need to wear a mask all day, for instance, in hospitals or at the doctor’s practice, but also those who are not used to wearing a mask. The innovation lies in the adding of a mask strap that supports the rubber band of the mask, removing excess pressure from the ears, making the mask more comfortable to wear.
Wipak has taken to LinkedIn to reveal its extended product range over 12 consecutive days. The move comes after the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of interpack 2020. Today marks the first day of Wipak’s digital campaign and the high barrier film specialist has unveiled the REPAK TOP 65 XX PET, the supplier’s thinnest reclosable lidding film for sliced cheese and meat. Using recycled material for the bottom film – already tried and tested for food applications – can achieve a 60 percent lower carbon footprint, Wipak indicates.
Syntegon Technology has reported increased demand from the pharmaceutical and food industries for its services business amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since interpack – the largest trade show in the industry that was originally scheduled for May – has now been postponed until next year, Syntegon is presenting its latest process and packaging technology at a virtual trade show from today until May 13. Visit the virtual trade show here.
Proseal has reported that its fast-response service on which the tray sealing specialist has built its reputation is proving invaluable in enabling food customers throughout the world to maintain production and output at a time of greatly increased demand. The company’s in-house manufacturing teams are working “flat out” to meet the increased demand, liaising closely with the planning team to prioritize tasks dynamically. Spare part production and dispatch have been sped up wherever possible and this has been aided by Proseal’s strategic stockholding of standard parts. Machine tooling production, which is normally completed within a two-week lead time, has also been accelerated; in several recent instances, tooling has been designed, manufactured, tested and dispatched within a matter of days to meet customers’ emergency requirements.
A Fact.MR report has indicated that reusable water bottle demand is faltering due to production issues and the ongoing restrictions on events, gatherings and sports. As a result, manufacturers have been forced to scale down production. At-home utilization of reusable water bottles remains consolidated.
The MaskForce Consortium, which includes Briggs & Stratton and financial support from New Berlin Plastics, Rockwell Automation, Quad Graphics, A.O. Smith and Sharp Packaging, has designed, developed and produced a reusable face mask with disposable filters to protect healthcare and other workers. The MaskForce face mask is temporarily authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by healthcare professionals to help prevent the spread of infection or illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be sanitized and reused, unlike most face masks that are designed to be discarded after a single-use. Its filters, however, are intended to be disposed of after every eight hours of wear, further extending the life of the mask.
Berry bpi, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of polythene film, has adapted its existing manufacturing facilities and invested in new equipment to provide localized production and supply of much-needed PPE for NHS workers. In just three weeks, the company has equipped four of its UK factories – in Heanor, Derbyshire, Stroud, Gloucestershire and Greenock and Dumfries in Scotland – and by early May will be manufacturing around 200,000 special fluid-resistant, long-sleeve apron-style gowns and over six million standard disposable aprons every week. Berry bpi is a long-standing supplier to the NHS, currently producing the majority of clinical waste sacks used in UK hospitals, the company indicates.
Zero Waste Europe has declared its support for the European Commission’s COVID-19 waste management guidance, which was released in April. The guidance gives recommendations to Member States on how to ensure a high level of human and environmental protection while preventing and reducing disruptions in the provision of proper waste management services. ZWE has, however, warned against the risk of short-term policy-making that could undermine the EU’s long-term circular economy objectives while highlighting that the crisis provides an opportunity to invest European recovery funds in building circular economies… Read more
The UK government is extending deadlines to ten consultations and calls for evidence currently underway by three months – including the Plastic Packaging Tax, which will be moved from May 20 to August 20. The extension will give all stakeholders, who are facing disruption due to COVID-19, more time to submit their views and allow them to fully engage with these documents and contribute to the tax policy making process.
Richard Kirkman, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Veolia UK and Ireland says: “We are fully in support of the Government's tax provisions for single-use plastic. Whilst COVID-19 has demonstrated the huge value that plastics bring in logistics and food safety it's also paramount, and deliverable, to include recycled content in new packaging. With this in mind it makes sense to give everyone their say. We are ready to press the button on significant developments of plastic recycling when this tax is confirmed amongst other policies to revolutionize the manufacturing in the UK to a circular economy such as the Resources and Waste strategy which we look forward to resuming over the coming months.”
Greiner Assistec is now supplying a high-quality face covering for various lines of work – the Greiner Visor. The innovative plastic shield offers maximum protection and reduces the risk of infection from COVID-19 in today’s much-altered world of work. The visor is equally suitable for a company’s employees, as a giveaway with a practical benefit in the current situation, or as a sought-after donation in kind.
SATO, a global pioneer in the development of auto-ID and labeling solutions, is providing new on-demand technical, hardware and software support services to the retail sector during this period of unprecedented volatility. “At SATO, we are working with our partners and customers to supply on-demand technologies that can be used both online and offline to meet today’s retail challenges, save time and reduce inaccuracies,” says Laurent Lassus, SATO Europe Managing Director.
Handtmann has unveiled a highly modern hygiene concept: the Handtmann VF 800 vacuum filler. The filler offers not only innovative hygienic design and automatic cleaning programs but also an optional integrated UVC degermination module for degerminating the ambient air. In addition to bacteria, yeasts and spores, it efficiently inactivates in particular UV-sensitive viruses (e.g. influenza, coronavirus) in the ambient air. Studies show that, due to the high UV sensitivity of coronavirus aerosols, UVC degermination can be an effective tool for the prevention of serious viral diseases of the respiratory tract, such as SARS. The spread of viruses and other airborne germs can thus be reliably prevented using the UVC degermination function of the Handtmann VF 800, the company says.
The European Commission has released its guidance on waste management in the context of the coronavirus crisis. The Commission’s guidance states that “there is currently no evidence to suggest that standard waste management procedures are unsafe or insufficient, in terms of the risk for COVID-19 infection, or that household waste plays a role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2” or other respiratory viruses.
The Commission specifically advises Member States to safeguard the overall continuity of proper municipal waste management services, including separate collection and recycling, that continue to align with and adhere to current EU waste regulations.
Zero Waste Europe supports the Commission's acknowledgment of the importance of science-based decision-making, whilst warning against the risk of short-term policy-making that could undermine the EU’s long-term circular economy objectives.
Rapid Action Packaging (RAP) has turned over its production line to manufacture disposable PPE face shield equipment. The company has already begun operations by producing one million face shields of which the first 65,000 have been earmarked for free distribution to care homes across the UK and Ireland. With an established supply chain and industry accredited manufacturing facilities, RAP is able to reach full scale production immediately in order to deliver between seven and ten million face shields a week. Mobilizing its award-winning design and technical team, the new RAP Face Shield is a lightweight, disposable and unique PPE solution.
Mainetti has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by manufacturing protective face shields for front-line medical and care services at its Jedburgh plant in Scotland, UK. 1,000 face shields will be donated to the plants local hospital – Borders General Hospital in Melrose.
TIPA has warned that the coronavirus crisis provides the conventional plastic industry with “an excuse to resurrect old habits.” Speaking to Bio Market Insights, Julia Vol, Director of Public Affairs at TIPA, said: “At the moment politicians are under a lot of pressure from the fossil fuel industry that is losing money every day to setback regulation on single-use plastic under the excuse of fighting the virus. However, we cannot try to solve one problem by creating another. We would like to encourage decision-makers to ask why do we need to revert the ban on items such as straws, plastic cotton buds and stirrers, what purpose does it serve in the fight against the virus?”
The comments come as The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently confirmed that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent disruption to businesses, its ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds is delayed until October.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has published the second edition of its COVID-19: Guidance on Good Manufacturing Practice document. Originally published on April 3, the updated guidance is free for all companies to download. It gathers the best available information on hygiene, social distancing, adjusting shift patterns, working from home and developing policy to protect the workforce.
Huhtamaki has partnered with Bloc Blinds, a blind manufacturing company, to streamline Bloc’s emergency production of face shields. The initiative is now using Huhtamaki’s high-speed packaging lines for automation, which multiplies the volume of protective face shields that can be produced per week. The protective face shields are classified as adjunctive personal protective equipment and designed to be used in conjunction with other PPE such as face masks.
FiberShield, a new international coalition of paper and packaging companies, founded by Ed Zumbiel of Zumbiel Packaging, Hebron KY, US, and Andreas Keller, of Pawi, Switzerland, in response to the PPE shortage, has, in less than a month manufactured more than one million face shields to help protect those on the frontlines fighting COVID-19. Ed Zumbiel reports that the majority of those shields have been donated to medical professionals and first responders. Production continues and will until there is no longer a need, the coalition indicates. The FiberShield organization has grown quickly and now counts more than 50 paper and packaging member companies worldwide.
Saxon Packaging has donated 500 fit-for-purpose corrugated boxes to assist in fulfilling East Suffolk PPE deliveries to the critical supply chain, which includes Norfolk & Norwich University, Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, E-Zec Patient Transport and various care homes in the UK. East Suffolk PPE is a local business made up of a collective of individuals consisting of laser cutters, tailors & seamstresses, plus a network of volunteers, who have come together to produce and donate PPE to local emergency and healthcare workers.
Lifestyle Packaging has designed a novel one-hand dispensing mechanism for alcohol-based hand sanitizer coined Snappd. The product developed to deliver a single dose solution with minimal contact when dispensing liquid. The launch comes as hand sanitizer production is skyrocketing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the company, Snappd offers an even more sanitary solution than traditional plastic unit dose bottles, which can be touched by several people and contribute to the spread of bacteria and viruses… Read more
Aquapak has donated innovative water-soluble infection control bags to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace to thousands of frontline NHS workers across the UK. The eco-friendly bags can be put straight into the washing machine to limit exposure to the virus. This means workers can remove their work clothes in the workplace, take them home safely and put them straight into the washing machine without exposing their homes to the virus. The control bags dissolve in the washing machine on a 60C wash cycle.
Berry bpi has delivered 150,000 waste sacks to the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, UK. The supplier's Heanor factory has become a major supplier to the purpose-built COVID-19 hospital throughout April and has reportedly prioritized much of its production capacity to meet the increased demand for clinical waste sacks, which are vital in the battle against the pandemic.
“We have been working closely with the NHS at the highest level to ensure that we meet the increased demand for clinical waste bags. However, given the speed of development of the Nightingale Hospital, we were asked to deliver these sacks in less than 24 hours. I am deeply proud of the efforts from everyone at bpi and XPO who have helped us in meeting this challenge in very difficult circumstances,” notes Lorcan Mekitarian, Sales Director at Berry bpi.
Novolex has retooled its manufacturing capabilities and repurposed its supply chains to develop up to 25,000 face shields and 100,000 medical isolation gowns per week. Phil Rozenski, Novolex’s Vice President of Public Affairs comments: “As international supply chains have stalled and the COVID-19 crisis escalated, we’ve seen a critical shortage in medical protective equipment in the US. When we found out about this need, it was a no brainer. Our facilities are already uniquely equipped to produce food-grade products, so we are thrilled to be able to jump in and use our know-how and engineering expertise to make protective equipment that can help those on the front lines.”
MakeGrowLab has dodged coronavirus-induced supply chain disruptions by upcycling locally sourced food waste. Co-Founder Roza Janusz tells PackagingInsights that the Polish biodesign consultancy is able to deflect internal shortages by being part of a closed loop supply chain, where the company is “much more independent in production”... Read more
The FDA has confirmed that “there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus.”
Krones announced that it will host a virtual interpack between 28-30 April after the show in Düsseldorf, Germany, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The supplier has brought its booth and all of its exhibits to life in a digital format – true to the original and in 3D. Krones experts will be available for live conversation during the virtual interpack.
The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent disruption to businesses, its ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds is delayed until October. The ban was originally due to come into force this month. There have been some media reports suggesting that the delay was due to lobbying from the plastics sector but DEFRA has said this is incorrect.
“Given the huge challenges posed to businesses by the coronavirus ... we will delay the introduction of our ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds until October 2020. We remain absolutely committed to turning the tide on the widespread use of single-use plastics and the threat they pose to our natural environment,” a DEFRA spokesperson said.
Berry has announced strategic initiatives to increase production of face mask materials. The initiatives include designating additional capacity for the production of face mask materials in North America and introducing a new material for face masks in Europe.
Greiner Packaging has implemented “extensive measures” to safeguard its personnel against infection and simultaneously maintain deliveries to its customers. The company has been classified by the Austrian federal government as being part of the “critical infrastructure.” Accordingly, Greiner is upholding the supply of food packaging to its customers so that deliveries to supermarkets can be guaranteed.
Macpac has designed and produced a PPE Visor for Critical Care workers requiring vital protection to combat COVID-19. The thermoformed visor, which is lightweight in construction and sits comfortably against the forehead with an adjustable elastic headband, has been in production since April 13. The hygienic design means that the visor can be washed or wiped down easily for re-use if required.
“Manufactured using high clarity recycled PET material that is 100 percent recyclable offers a cost-effective, quick-to-market option, helping to fight COVID-19 and save lives. We are all trying to do our bit, and we are doing this as a strictly non-profit exercise,” notes Graham Kershaw, Managing Director of Macpac.
The RKW Group is participating in the production of FFP-2 protective masks with a laminate made of spunbonded nonwoven fabric from its Gronau site in Germany. In less than two weeks, the FIGHT consortium, in which the RKW Group is involved, succeeded in developing masks from the first draft to certification and market readiness. Production is now running at full speed with the aim of achieving a weekly capacity of around 750,000 masks.
AIMPLAS plastics technology center in Spain has made its resources and production capacity available in the fight against COVID-19 and designed a new mask with replaceable filters. Its production capacity and technical knowledge have been made available to the public authorities and health authorities for the manufacture and supply of personal protective equipment.
SIG has implemented strict health control measures and currently all its plants worldwide are running normally. Michael Hecker, Director Group Environment, Health & Safety at SIG, tells PackagingInsights: “We believe we have a resilient supply chain able to cope with the current situation, including planned safety stocks covering raw materials as well as consumables. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our teams, we have been able to satisfy our customers. We cannot comment on possible future impacts since we do not know how long the current crisis will continue.”
European Plastics Converters (EuPC) delivered an open letter to the EU Commission requesting it to recast or postpone the Single-Use Plastics Directive. “When drafted and pushed in an extreme short period this “political” piece of legislation the EU Commission DID NOT TAKE into account the hygienic consequences of banning or reducing Single-Use Plastics. It only reflected on littering aspects,” the letter reads. EuPC claims that COVID-19 has shown that not all materials are the same and that single-use plastics are not easily substitutable, in particular in keeping the same hygienic properties to safeguard consumers.
Lumi is tracking operational data from thousands of factories to provide up-to-date information about COVID-19 disruptions. Over 700 factories in the US reported status updates to Lumi last week. Packaging factories have continued to be deemed essential services and are remaining operational. No new closures have been reported. Up to two week delays can still be expected for most factories in the US, Lumi indicates. PackagingInsights recently interviewed Lumi about its digital identification technology… Read more
Syntegon Technology, formerly the packaging division of the Bosch Group, will host its Virtual Show 2020 from May 7-13, where it will present MIRA (Machine Intelligence Reporting & Analytics) for the first time. MIRA is capable of identifying machinery component failure up to six weeks in advance, preventing downtime without intervening with machine controls. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Syntegon Technology is also offering its Remote Services for customers needing assistance with machine settings or troubleshooting... Read more
Camvac has leveled-up the production output of its medical and core food packaging solutions by transitioning from a two-shift to a three-shift 24-hour operation. Europe’s first supplier to produce food-grade metalized OPP and PET packaging, Camvac is experiencing particularly high demand for its mono-material tray lidding films, which offer high barrier options. Greg Kingham, CEO, takes PackagingInsights inside Camvac’s enhanced operations to discuss international supply chain challenges, employee safety and how established product lines are trumping the latest eco-friendly innovations in these unprecedented times... Read more
The British Plastics Federation reports that plastics companies are under “unprecedented pressure” and that many have altered their typical manufacturing schedules to produce “essential products at breakneck speed.” Companies like Cromwell Polythene are providing everyday but vital products such as refuse sacks and recycling sacks to key industries, as well as manufacturing clinical waste sacks, gloves and aprons. Some manufacturers have shifted to 24/7 production and are using innovations like the Intouch i4 Cloud to facilitate this as it allows them to leave the machines completely unmanned during the weekend, increasing production whilst keeping staff safe.
Smurfit Kappa launched a “Design for Help” portfolio of products to help alleviate some of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first products that made their debut in a Smurfit Kappa plant in France were corrugated workplace dividers. These are used to protect people who work closely alongside each other so they can maintain a safe distance while carrying out their jobs. Smurfit Kappa designers have also created corrugated beds for temporary hospitals and isolation spaces, a range of protective face masks and temporary furniture including shelves and tables.
Mondi announced that, except for the temporary closure of the Merebank paper mill in South Africa and temporary closures or other production interruptions at a small number of its paper bags converting plants, all the supplier’s facilities have been in operation throughout the COVID-19 period. To date, supply chain issues have been “manageable,” although Mondi indicates that it is experiencing delays and increased costs in logistics. The potential impacts of COVID-19 remain “very unclear” and the pace of change means any effect on operations and Mondi’s financial performance for the year is difficult to predict, the supplier said in a statement.
Kite Packaging devised, designed and began supplying a new protective face visor for the NHS in the UK – with 10,000 units ready for dispatch. The initial batch will reach front line medical staff in the next few days and the supplier will produce 100,000 masks a week.
BillerudKorsnäs reported that, as a consequence of COVID-19, the planned maintenance shutdown at Gruvön, Sweden, which would have taken place in March, has been postponed until the third quarter of 2020. The postponement is expected to have a negative effect on earnings of around SEK 140-200 million (US$14-20 million) during the current year.
With food safety taking on increased importance, Pizza Pizza unveiled a tamper-proof pizza box that features a safety locking mechanism that must be broken by the customer to access the pizza inside. Distribution of the tamper-proof pizza box began yesterday (April 08). Pizza Pizza aims to have the pizza boxes available in all sizes at all of its 420 restaurants across Canada by the end of this month.
PackagingInsights gets UK packaging expert Neil Farmer’s take on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the packaging industry:
“Packaging can play a key part in the response to the COVID-19 crisis. I know of several companies who have responded quickly to requests for help with producing protective face visors, for example. It`s all about being quick on your feet and willing to respond at any cost.
However, there are likely to be businesses that will struggle. I have seen surveys that indicate that many companies, for example in the plastics industry, expect a drop in turnover over the next six months. It`s my opinion that it will be 2021 before we see anything like a return to levels of profitability before COVID-19.
I know of businesses supplying packaging to the food and drink industry that are extremely busy. Demand has been as high over the last four weeks as the Christmas period in these instances. People have to eat and drink no matter what is going on in the world.
I believe the contract manufacturing sector will do well in the current crisis. Those who offer a wide variety of packing solutions will be able to keep retailers and wholesalers well stocked. However, these companies will depend on the supply chain for products to be supplied before they can be filled so there is no guarantee all will go smoothly,” the Founder and Owner of Neil Farmer Associates explains.
Canadian-headquartered IPL Plastics has implemented a number of contingency planning measures as it continues to keep all 14 of its manufacturing facilities operational. In jurisdictions where it is applicable, its plants are considered to manufacture “essential products for essential businesses.” While it is too early to fully assess, IPL Indicates that the overall impact of Covid-19 and the associated containment measures will reduce overall demand for its products. However, IPL has experienced increased demand for some of its products such as food packaging containers. IPL manufactures customized injection-molded packaging solutions and rigid containers for food and consumer markets.
Berry M&H revealed that it is working with gin producers to help them switch to making hand sanitizer. The supplier reports that it has received interest from across the UK and is working closely with gin distilleries to find new ways of supplying the right packaging bottles and closures to enable hand sanitizer production. Berry M&H's Llantrisant and Corby teams are supporting UK gin producers with its Mercury, Hercules, Orion Euro Squeeze and squeeze bottles.
Sidel has transformed its international center of excellence for PET packaging development and blowing solutions in France into a production center for bottles for hydro-alcoholic gel. A first batch of 5,000 PET plastic bottles for the disinfectant has already been provided to the Hospital of Dijon and an additional one has been distributed for Le Havre town’s pharmacies and hospitals in Normandy.
“Our virtual interpack is the perfect solution for us to inform our customers and interested parties before this year end about the range and quality of our solutions and our successful applications. We are continuing to set new standards with our products. In Spring 2021, we are looking forward to the personal contacts in Düsseldorf,” comments Thomas Kratochwill, Vice President Sales & Marketing Packaging and Speciality Papers at Sappi Europe.
GEA launched GEA Remote Support – a service that provides real-time streaming with GEA experts. From their own production locations, customers can use a commercially available mobile device to connect and communicate in real-time with a GEA expert to resolve their issue. With just two elements, a mobile device and internet access, customers can initiate a session by receiving a short email or SMS containing a secure link, followed by a video conversation, with the option to share high-resolution imagery back and forth, send descriptions and instructions via the chat function or take and share notes during the conversation.
In Iberia, DS Smith's Dueñas Mill installed glass walls between the offices in the stock preparation control room and the reception to ensure social distancing. The mill also sealed the floor with safety floor tape to remind everyone to maintain required social distancing. While at the Alcolea Mill, the plant created a shoe disinfector to reduce the risk of contamination. The Spanish government announced that only people working in essential sectors – such as those working in the food and medical equipment production or supply chain – can attend work as of 30 March.
Berry Global has provided a business update. The global plastics supplier indicates that its underlying long-term demand fundamentals remain intact as it focuses on delivering protective solutions that enhance consumer safety. These fundamentals have been demonstrated with preliminary results for its second fiscal quarter ending 29 March 2020 performing in-line with expectations, including “modest positive organic volume growth on a year-over-year basis and sequential improvement in the legacy RPC business.” Berry maintains a strong liquidity position with over US$900 million of cash at the end of the quarter as well as an undrawn US$850 million asset-based line of credit at quarter end. The supplier concedes that some markets it serves will be more negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than others, while issuing a reminder of “the crucial role plastics play in infection prevention and protecting us from the spread of disease and contamination.”
Cepac, a UK-based manufacturer of corrugated packaging for the food, hygiene and pharmaceutical sectors, revealed that raw materials deliveries are continuing into its plants and that stock levels remain well-managed. The supplier indicates that it is working “extremely closely” with its logistics partner, Woodland Logistics, to ensure that packaging deliveries continue.
PackagingInsights speaks to Jasper Gabriëlse, Co-Founder of Dutch cleaning products company Seepje, who explains how his company’s 97 percent recycled HDPE bottles are circumventing critical supply chain disruptions while offering an environmentally sustainable product, both inside and out.
“Worldwide, the demand for soap is greater than the supply and our hand soap sales have increased tenfold over the past few weeks. We launched two hand soaps at the beginning of November 2019, which are now the best running products in our product assortment,” Jasper Gabriëlse, Co-Founder of Seepje, tells PackagingInsights... Read more
Mondi's Personal Care Components team has converted a production line at its Gronau plant in Germany to manufacture soft, elastic straps, which are now being used for face masks and used by medical professionals and consumers globally. Mondi’s Gronau plant typically focuses on making materials used in hygiene products such baby diapers, adult incontinence pads and feminine care items. However, the plant was able to quickly adapt one of its manufacturing lines to produce a three-layer, laminated strap that binds a stretchable plastic film between layers of soft, nonwoven material. The straps, which Mondi supplies to its mask-making customers on a reel, are then cut and attached to each side of a mask, which can loop comfortably over the user’s ears to hold the mask in place.”
“Mondi Gronau is working to provide straps that will fit more than one billion nonwoven face masks. As there is increasing demand for such types of face masks, we are building up our capability to meet this demand. By producing this soft elastic strap we are able to produce more volume to meet growing demand,” says Dr. Michael Trinkaus, Director of R&D and Application Engineering for Mondi’s Personal Care Components division.
The 2020 Environmental Packaging Summit has been moved from July to 3 November 2020 in the Ricoh Arena Coventry, UK.
The British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association (BCMPA) has praised the actions of UK Government agencies in relaxing rules over the manufacture of hand sanitizer. Due to the spike in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the HSE is temporarily allowing hand sanitizers containing Propan-2-ol to be sold in the UK, and HMRC has prioritized applications to use denatured alcohol in hand sanitizing products.
Dow announced that it is extending the 2020 Packaging Innovation Awards entry deadline to 17 July due to the global impact of COVID-19.
INEOS announced plans to build a third hand sanitizer factory in France in 10 days to manufacture one million bottles per month.
Resolve Business Management has announced the launch of Global PrintExpo – marketed as the world’s first Virtual Exhibition and conference facility for the printing industry. The 10,000m² venue and all the stands will be rendered out to real physical dimensions. When the show opens in June 2020, visitors will register and be able to navigate through the hall and visit stands, complete with 3D products, HD videos and literature downloads, generating real time sales enquiries... Read more
To support the global response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Tetra Laval Group has announced a €10 million donation to various voluntary organizations supporting the health care systems across the countries that the Group operates in.
According to an ad hoc survey conducted by Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie (GDA), the packaging sector for both food and pharmaceutical products is experiencing a special development. Fifty percent of the companies surveyed are reporting increases in orders and call-offs while the other half is anticipating stable demand. “It is crucial now to maintain the supply chains in their entirety,” says Marius Baader, Executive Director of GDA. “These highly relevant chains will cease to function without metal production, the manufacture of semi-finished products and recycling, including the recycling of process scrap.”
INEOS has delivered on its ten-day promise and begun UK production of one million bottles of hand sanitizer per month. INEOS’s new hand sanitizer plant at Newton Aycliffe, near Middlesbrough, UK, started up at the weekend and a free supply of hand sanitizer to the National Health Service commenced today.
The UK Recycling Association has warned of looming European and potentially worldwide shortages of paper and cardboard, which are essential to the distribution of food and medical supplies. The Association attributes the issue to local council decisions to scale back and suspend food, green waste and recycling collections to fight the COVID-19 spread and also identifies skyrocketed home delivery as a contributor to the problem, with more fiber ending up in household bins and, by extension, landfill.
“Of huge concern to us is the signs that Europe is already becoming short of fiber with which to make cardboard boxes. Food and medical supplies all move by cardboard box and if we can’t make cardboard boxes, everything stops. If councils stop collecting recycling, and many are, all this fiber is burnt or goes to landfill and we will be short,” Simon Ellin, CEO of The UK Recycling Association, was quoted as saying.
Unprecedented times have forced the packaging industry into unparalleled action. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing major disruption to the global economy as human health takes priority, yet the essential role that packaging plays in society means that the industry must adapt to ensure supply meets demand. PackagingInsights investigated the contingency plans put in place by leading packaging suppliers, including strategies to overcome trade show cancellations like interpack, and explores how perceptions of packaging are changing in these desperate times… Read more
The FDA has advised that there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. The FDA does not believe that there is a need to conduct environmental testing in food settings for the virus that causes COVID-19 for food safety.
International Paper confirmed that it will continue to operate its mills and converting plants while practicing personal hygiene, social distancing, site cleaning and other measures recommended by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other national Health Authorities in the countries where it operates. Governments around the world consider forest products as an “essential industry” that should remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading European thermoformer TEQ announced that it is continuing to deliver a range of medical packaging solutions for customers working to address critical health needs related to COVID-19. Many of TEQ’s medical technology customers have “Essential Business” status and are playing a key role in preparing and responding to the crisis. With production in full flow, TEQ can provide a shorter supply chain, with all packaging products coming from its state-of-the-art cleanrooms based in the UK and Poland.
To minimize supply chain disruption on the roads, the European Commission has approved the use of “green lanes” for packaging delivery and called for the removal of internal border restrictions.
Berry Global is running its packaging and nonwoven manufacturing lines “around the clock” and prioritizing production to combat COVID-19, Jean-Marc Galvez, President of Consumer Packaging International Division for Berry has announced. Berry’s products range from healthcare materials to packages for food preservation, many of which have seen a demand surge in the fight against COVID-19. These critical materials include nonwoven fabrics for face masks, N95 respirators, disinfectant wipes, and protective apparel. Berry also produces necessary products for hand sanitizers, soaps, medicines, and preserved foods.
Amcor announced that its global footprint and strong financial profile is allowing it to offer support to its customers through the COVID-19 pandemic. It has “thorough business continuity plans” across plants and raw material supply chains to manage risk and maintain productivity while keeping people safe.
In Australia, Pact Group joined the fight against the Coronavirus by commencing local production of hand sanitizer. Production is expected to be in full swing by mid-April when the supplier expects to be making around two million units of hand sanitizer per month.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has surveyed its members to learn exactly how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the plastics industry within the UK. With 127 BPF members responding in just a few hours, almost 80 percent of the companies surveyed expected a drop in turnover over the next six months, with 98 percent of those expressing concern over the coronavirus’s impact on business operations. Almost 90 percent of responders said they expected the coronavirus to impact their supply chains over the next three months, while more than half stated that the coronavirus had impacted their staff’s ability to work. Across the entire industry, 25 percent of the workforce could potentially work from home. Amongst plastics processors that number falls to 18 percent.
“I wrote to the government yesterday to explain why the plastics industry should be classified as a key part of the national infrastructure and that many of its workers and their skills are critical in the production of much-needed products. This survey demonstrates that the plastics industry is a crucial, strategic industry playing a pivotal role in national security and in ensuring we as a country can effectively fight the coronavirus. We urge the government to provide the essential support to keep manufacturers and their supply chains in operation, so the nation can be safely fed and professionally cared for,” states Philip Law, BPF Director General.
The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) called on the European Commission to recognize packaging as an essential component in maintaining the uninterrupted flow of product groups that the Commission has identified as critical such as “health-related and perishable goods, notably foodstuffs.”
AB Group Packaging has announced that all of its manufacturing sites in the UK, Ireland and Spain are fully operational and ready to supply paper bags across sectors.
The Flexible Packaging Association issued letters to the White House, all Governors and Capitol Hill leadership with regard to the need for essential packaging manufacturing during this time of uncertainty, particularly food insecurity and access to pharmaceutical and medical supplies. The letters also highlight the need for clarity with respect to federal, state, and local government proclamations distinguishing “essential” business operations from mass population event limitations.
In light of interpack’s postponement until 2021, Bühler has invited its network to a “virtual interpack” between 11-15 May, 2020. Under the motto “Creating food sensations,” this online experience will use digital showrooms, chats and webinars to present Bühler’s latest technologies and solutions.
Likewise, Syntegon Technology will present its latest processing and packaging technology on a virtual exhibition booth from 7-13 May, 2020. The online presence will cover digital product presentations and individual contact opportunities with Syntegon Technology experts.
Berry M&H is “pooling its collective resources” to target the production of important frontline packaging products such as inhalers, hand sanitization and disinfection products for home, businesses and hospitals. The supplier is supporting this from a global basis and underpinning local shortfalls while also offering several off-the-shelf packaging solutions to underpin its supply options.
“While we would rather not be facing this [COVID-19] dilemma, I think this outbreak allows the market and consumers to understand the vital role we can play as responsible packaging suppliers. We can help minimize the impact of this outbreak, mainly in terms of health, sanitization, product, people protection and food security whilst extending the shelf-life of certain products,” Simon Chidgey, Sales and Marketing Director at Berry M&H, tells PackagingInsights.
Due to current circumstances regarding the COVID-19 virus, BillerudKorsnäs has postponed the major parts of the maintenance shutdown initially planned to be held week 13, 2020, in Gruvön, Sweden.
Global packaging producer Ecolean and its customers in the Chinese dairy sector are donating products to hospitals and other institutions in communities affected by general restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
A study led by researchers from Princeton University and the National Institutes of Health in Montana, US, found that coronavirus can be detected on plastic for up to three days and cardboard for up to 24 hours. However, many experts refute claims that packaging may aid the spread of coronavirus and governments are yet to ban the home delivery of consumer packaged goods.
The implementation of Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has been pushed back from April 2021 to July 2022 due to coronavirus concerns. “This will give businesses more time to prepare their premises for the scheme and crucially, provides flexibility in the immediate term as the whole country prepares to deal with COVID-19,” states Roseanna Cunningham, Environment Secretary.
Amcor is maintaining its production output of protective healthcare and food solutions without jeopardizing employee health. “With Amcor’s global footprint, we’re well-positioned to adapt our production rate to serve near-term increased demand or to increase our customers’ inventories. We continue to prioritize the safety of our employees and focus on delivering the packaging products and services our customers need,” Melinda de Boer, Director of External Communications at Amcor, tells PackagingInsights.
Messe Düsseldorf in Germany has postponed the leading international trade fair interpack. It will now take place from 25 February to 3 March 2021… Read more
Commenting on the news, Jakob A. Mosser, Coveris CEO, tells PackagingInsights: “Coveris had a busy schedule of events planned for 2020 … [and] meeting face to face with people at events and sharing our new products is important. However, this is an unprecedented situation and we are well equipped to maintain communications online with video and conference call facilities. With a number of exciting new brand changes set to launch at interpack, we will continue to develop these for Q2 this year.”
FBIF 2020 has been forced to postpone due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The trade show has been rescheduled to 8-10 July in the original location of the Hangzhou International Expo Center, China.
“Event organizers like us are also working with business leaders to host online sharing, case studies and seminars for the industry, including the opportunity to participate in 60-minute online presentations to an audience of around 5,000 professionals,” Shushu Li, Awards Director at FBIF, tells PackagingInsights.
In response to questions from the investment community on its recent quarterly call, Berry Global indicated that it is prioritizing the production of nonwoven healthcare products in its Nanhai, China and Suzhou, China facilities, which are used to manufacture products that can help protect against airborne particles like the Coronavirus… Read more
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