Weekly roundup: Major Australian brewery ditches plastic rings, New Barn Organics adopts renewable carton
15 Mar 2019 --- In this week’s packaging news, Carlton & United Breweries scrapped plastic six-pack rings on its beer cans. The Australian company expects to prevent more than 25 million plastic rings entering the environment each year. Also waving goodbye to plastics, US-based New Barn Organics has transitioned its Almond Milk line from plastic packs to Evergreen Packaging’s paper PlantCarton. Innovating within plastics, Polish ice cream producer Bracia Koral introduced reusable ice cream PET jars from RPC PET Power which are lightweight and durable.
In brief: Sustainability innovations
Carlton & United Breweries’ iconic Abbotsford brewery will no longer use plastic six-pack rings on cans. The move will see plastic rings replaced by cardboard packaging and marks a major milestone for one of Australia’s oldest businesses and leading manufacturers. “Last year we made a commitment that 100 percent of our products will be in packaging that is returnable or made from majority-recycled content by 2025. The decision to stop using plastic six-pack rings is a major step towards achieving that,” comments Peter Filipovic, CEO. The Abbotsford announcement follows the discontinuation of plastic six-pack rings at the company’s Cascade Brewery in Tasmania last year. The brewery will also stop using 137 tons of plain shrink wrap each year on slabs of cans. This will also be replaced with new cardboard packaging.
New Barn Organics is transitioning its Almond Milk line, previously packaged in plastic, to Evergreen Packaging's PlantCarton paper packaging. The PlantCarton brand is the culmination of Evergreen Packaging’s longstanding commitment to sustainability with an emphasis on the importance of using renewable materials in packaging. All of Evergreen’s PlantCarton packages are made with at least 70 percent renewable material, including paper made from trees from forests where responsible forestry practices are used. PlantCarton packaging is also recyclable. “For brands working toward their goals to reduce plastic, PlantCarton packages can offer an immediate opportunity to reduce plastic use by up to 80 percent,” claims DeWitt Clark, Vice President of Sales North American Packaging for Evergreen Packaging.
Polish ice cream producer Bracia Koral has introduced packs that can be reused once the product is consumed. The PET jars from RPC PET Power are lightweight and unbreakable, ensuring safe and easy-handling. The practical design of the jars now offers the potential for them to be reused for many different purposes, further increasing their appeal among consumers. “We don’t want our empty packs to go immediately in the waste bin but instead offer a useful second life as a household, workshop or toy container. We have also launched a competition to highlight this potential,” notes Piotr Gasiorowski, Koral’s Sales and Marketing Director.
Chile has its first renewable trash bag. Braskem, a global producer of biopolymers, has supplied the country’s first trash bags made from green polyethylene and sugarcane, a renewable raw material. Although this input has the same technical properties, appearance and versatility of traditional biopolymers of fossil origin, such as oil and natural gas, its main differentiator is the fact that it captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a study by ACV Brasil, 3.09 kg of CO2 are captured for every kg of Green Plastic produced.
In brief: Investments and alliances
Stora Enso has joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at the source. The Global Commitment and its vision for a circular economy for plastic are led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment. Stora Enso states that signing the commitment is another step to combat the global problem of plastic pollution by providing renewable alternatives. It will contribute by cooperating with customers and suppliers to develop circular and low carbon solutions to replace plastic packaging. The materials are based on wood fibers from sustainably managed forests and plantations. This commitment is an example of the increasing demand for alternatives to plastic, also demonstrated by the EU’s recent policy on single-use plastics, the supplier says.
Rapak, part of DS Smith Plastics, is investing in a new production line for Bag-in-Box packaging. This will be the sixth line at its Shumen plant, located in the North East of Bulgaria. Since 2005, this plant has been manufacturing flexible bags for Bag-in-Box in sizes ranging from 0.75l to 1400l. The new high-speed line provides the required flexibility to rapidly adjust to the demand while drastically reducing delivery times to customers. “Demand for Bag-in-Box packaging in Eastern Europe is rising, and now we are fully prepared to cater to the market needs,” says Ivo Pavlov, Shumen Site Director.
Turkish packaging manufacturer PrintPark joins the Global Packaging Alliance (GPA). The GPA now unites nine independent packaging companies under its roof with the aim of enabling uniform brand presences for FMCG market leaders worldwide. PrintPark is a premium manufacturer of folding cartons. With this addition, the GPA is expanding its network to include a presence in an emerging market: Turkey's packaging industry recorded a significant foreign trade surplus last year. According to the Turkish Manufacturer's Association (ASD), the volume of foreign trade grew to US$539 million in the first half of 2018 alone – a year-on-year increase of around 8 percent in the volume of export goods.
By Joshua Poole
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