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Tetra Pak to make first all plant-based carton

Tetra Pak to make first all plant-based carton

Swiss packaging heavyweight Tetra Pak has launched what is said to be an industry first carton made solely from plant-based, renewable packaging materials. The new Tetra Rex package, developed in partnership with Braskem, one of the world’s top biopolymer producers, will be commercially available in early 2015.

According to the packaging company, what sets Tetra Rex apart from other cartons is that it is the first to be made from density polyethylene (LDPE) films and bio-based high-density polyethylene (HDPE) caps, both derived from sugar cane, in addition to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paperboard.​

Commenting on the new product launch is Charles Brand, vp of marketing and product management, Tetra Pak, who said that environment excellence is one of the company’s strategic priorities and a driver of its product development activities. He adds that together with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, it’s leading the industry towards 100% renewable packaging. Also that they are increasing the renewable content of its packages not only good for the environment, but also offers its customers a competitive advantage in the overall environmental profile of their products.

For existing customers that are currently using the standard 1-L Tetra Rex with TwistCap OSO 34, the company claims they can easily cross over to the new version with any additional investment or modification to their exiting filling machines.

Earlier this year, Packaging Digest reported on Tetra Pak’s industry’s first bio-based cap.  

Packaging lab encourages medical professionals to speak their minds

Packaging lab encourages medical professionals to speak their minds
Boston Scientific’s new, ergonomically-designed closure strip allows users to grab a loose tab and easily pull the closure strip away from the carton’s tuck flap to unseal the package.

Intuitive, user-friendly packaging is essential in healthcare settings, where quick, confident access to treatment devices and diagnostic products can make a life-changing difference for patients.

To improve the user experience for healthcare professionals using its cardiac catheters, Boston Scientific created a unique packaging lab, where it hosts catheterization-lab technicians, nurses and managers. Called the User Experience Research Lab (UERL), the facility is laid out like a working “cath lab,” right down to shelving systems and lighting.

The UERL opened in July 2012 and has hosted several hundred visitors to date. At the lab, the packaging team gathers voice-of-customer (VOC) data by administering surveys, showcasing new packaging concepts and talking one-on-one with product users.

The primary goal is “to allow healthcare professionals to identify the correct product and get it to the patient as quickly as possible,” saysRoss Christianson, principal R&D packaging engineer at Boston Scientific. “Everything we’re doing is focused to that end.”

So far, the lab’s highest profile success story is the company’s Tear Tab closure strip, a patent-pending packaging innovation that vastly improves product access.

The new, ergonomically-designed closure strip allows users to grab a loose tab and easily pull the closure strip away from the carton’s tuck flap to unseal the package.

In addition, the Tear Tab closure strip stays attached to the carton, eliminating an additional piece of packaging to discard. While the packaging team was collecting closure strip VOC data, they learned that technicians handling the packaging “don’t want to deal with all these removable pieces and another trip to the trash can,” Christianson explains.

Earlier this year, the Boston Scientific Tear Tab closure strip won a 2014 AmeriStar award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP). Amie Marshall, senior packaging engineer at Boston Scientific and Tear Tab designer, was recognized as a finalist in the 2014 Visionary Awards, presented by Packaging Digest and Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News.

The UERL has allowed Boston Scientific to gain invaluable customer feedback, giving them unique access to VOC data and encouraging customer-centered packaging innovations.

An inside look at how we can grow sustainable recycling programs in the U.S.

An inside look at how we can grow sustainable recycling programs in the U.S.
Curbside recycling programs at Waste Management diverted 15 millions tons of material from the landfill in 2013.

On Sept. 24, 2014, TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky wrote in Packaging Digest about the recyclability of packaging and the role of the solid waste industry in recycling certain types of materials. Here is Waste Management’s view of the issue.

Consumers have made their interest in recycling abundantly clear: They will recycle when recycling is convenient and cost effective. Thanks to the growth of cart-based single-stream recycling over the past decade, we have seen growth in curbside recycling programs in communities across the nation.

According to U.S. EPA’s most recent figures, Americans recycled and composted 87 million tons of waste in 2012 or 35% of the total waste generated in the country—more than twice the rate in 1990.

In 2013, Waste Management recycled 15 million of those tons, or 17.6% of all of the material recycled in the U.S. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recycling infrastructure that allows us to collect and process recyclables from customers efficiently and conveniently. Of course, none of us in the recycling industry are satisfied with those national figures; nor is Waste Management with its recyclables numbers. All of us in the recycling space want to see much more recycling. Indeed, there’s significant opportunity—and challenges.

Fifty two percent of the municipal waste stream is composed of the basic materials that we can recycle in our curbside recycling carts (primarily packaging materials such as tin, aluminum, plastic, glass and paper). This means that even if Americans recycled 100% of the material accepted in curbside recycling programs, we would recycle about 52% of the waste that we generate. High-achieving communities are now focusing on recycling food and yard waste, which makes up another 28% of the waste generated in the U.S.

Depending on local community preference, many areas target additional commodities to recycle. Textiles, e-waste and wood add a few more percentage points for some cities’ recycling. All of these materials will need to be recycled to achieve the 70% and 75% recycling goals that many communities have set. Cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco—that boast recycling rates that exceed 60% and even 70% —understand the importance of working with partners all along the value chain to be successful. They work with the packaging industry, retailers, residential customers, commercial generators and local recyclers to develop creative new recycling programs meeting their communities’ unique needs.

What’s the surest path to increase recycling? The most successful recycling programs in the U.S. and in Europe include both economic drivers and regulations reliably enforced. Industry leaders in the U.S. from the product and packaging manufacturing industry, retailers, recycling companies and forward-thinking government policy makers are working side-by-side to broadly implement policies proven to increase recycling—policies like universal (commercial and residential) recycling, material bans and pay-as-you-throw trash rates work and are gaining popularity. The successful European programs include these same policies. These same industry leaders, including WM, are collaborating throughout the supply chain to drive systematic change. This includes engaging manufacturers during the design phase to advise on end-of-life material value and considerations needed to properly recover recyclables within the urban areas that generate the largest amounts of material.

In the U.S., the political process guarantees the customer’s voice in determining how much to pay for curbside service. Some customers and communities are willing to support premium recycling services, and others are quick to let their elected officials know that “low cost works just fine, thank you very much.”

Global markets play a significant role in recycling in the U.S. as well. Roughly 35% of the material collected for recycling in the U.S. is exported to recyclers in Asia and Europe. Market demand in the U.S. alone is not sufficient to accommodate the supply of recyclables. End markets are the ultimate litmus test when it comes to recycling, and they determine whether reuse of packages or products made of laminates or other multi-materials makes economic sense. Yes, economics do matter.

Waste Management has focused primarily on recycling large volumes of recyclables cost-effectively, as the customer demands. There certainly is a role for niche programs, like the alternative that TerraCycle has developed, to handle materials with little market value. Waste Management also offers a mail back option for cell phones, ink jet cartridges, laptops, tablets and iPods. In 2013, we refurbished and remarketed 3.9 million of these devices for reentry into the market place. While the actual tons processed in these programs are small, they provide solutions for products that require special handling to protect workers and the environment.

The reality is that recycling must meet the needs of a range of customers across the U.S., and many are not willing to support the cost of expensive recycling programs for those materials with low or no value. Any suggestion that recycling rates are driven by the solid waste industry’s disposal capacity is, well, a canard—and an old one at that. Waste Management continues to look for ways to find value in materials that continue to be discarded—at a cost the customer is willing to pay. We see our competitors doing the same. Success will hinge on partnerships and a commitment to expand recycling policies that are proven to be successful. It takes hard work to do it right. Only with collaboration across industries and communities will we be successful. Together, we can grow sustainable recycling programs in the U.S.

Barry Caldwell, svp, corporate affairs and chief legal officer at Waste Management, has primary responsibility for legal, corporate secretary, state and federal Policy, corporate communications and community relations, real estate, security and aviation. He is a member of the company’s senior leadership team and reports to Waste Management president/CEO, David Steiner.

7 on-the-go packs leading in design: Gallery

Ready Pack introduced six Bistro Wrap Kits in May 2014 in its salad bowl packaging. For the salads and the wrap kits, these bowls are filled with lettuce, with a compartmentalized tray sitting on top holding various fresh ingredients. The wrap kits also include an artisan tortilla, sauces and “a delightful crunch,” according to the company. Then the bowl is sealed with film lidding.

1. Ready Pac Foods Inc. introduced six restaurant-inspired Bistro Wrap Kits

2. Multi-country wine brand, XO, G from Giuliana Rancic served up in stylish, convenient format

3. Baloian Farm's peppers get 'sweet' single-serve packaging

4. Hiball's new can enhances consumers' experience

5. Kraft launches protein trifecta for active consumers

6. Nuvino's wines of the world served up in pouch

7. Ready Pak's packaging for healthy snacks refreshed, optimized

Where package meets person: 3 ways to improve the relationship: Gallery

1. Ergonomic design: Among the packaging design solutions for elderly consumers are a rubber-wrapped cap for Aleve to improve gripping and a flip-top closure for Folgers coffee atop a shaped container for easy access compared to a screw-on closure.

Demographic, lifestyle and healthcare trends are driving demand for better human-package interaction.

When consumers encounter a package in what Procter & Gamble calls the second moment of truth, the point of use, a special relationship emerges. In that moment, product success aligns with how well the consumer interacts with the package.

Here are three ways designers can improve a consumer’s physical rapport with a package.

1. Ergonomic design

2. Single-handed design

3. Smart, “teachable” design

The case of the lost ladder

The case of the lost ladder

Casey was showing off his packaging line. When we got to the end of the line, my heart almost stopped. One of the mechanics was making adjustments on the top of the case packer, about 7 feet above the floor. He was standing on a rolling utility cart.

Casey saw it too and quickly ordered him down. When asked for an explanation, Bob the mechanic told him that he was in a hurry and did not have time to go back to the shop for a proper ladder.

"Is this adjustment something you do routinely?" I asked the mechanic.

"Yes, it is," he told me.

I continued drilling down, "Why not store a proper ladder in the room?"

"We try," Bob told me, "but someone always borrows it and we never know where it is and it takes time to find it. Sometimes we just have to sacrifice a bit of safety to get the job done."

"Fiddlesticks on sacrificing safety, for any reason." Casey roared. (Hey! That's supposed to be my line.) "Bob, you have to always keep in mind that safety is the priority here, first and foremost, before anything else, including production."

I nodded agreement. "Casey's righter then right. But maybe there is a way to avoid the problem of lost ladders. Suppose you build the ladder into the machine? This can be fold-down steps or even ladder rungs welded between frame members. Those won't ever walk off."

Never sacrifice safety for speed or convenience.

Never.

KC Boxbottom, packaging detective, is on the case to solve tough packaging puzzles. He is the alter-ego of John Henry, CPP. Known as the Changeover Wizard, Henry is the owner of Changeover.com, a consulting firm that helps companies find and fix the causes of inefficiencies in their packaging operations. He produces a free monthly newsletter called Lean Changeover, which contains articles and tips on changeover and related issues. Reach him at johnhenry@changeover.com.

Shake, rattle and roll: Cutting-edge label pops on shelf

Shake, rattle and roll: Cutting-edge label pops on shelf
High-impact graphics on roll-fed shrink labels helps this sports nutrition shake stand out.

“This is the best-tasting protein shake on the planet,” says Dave McCabe, founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrient Science Intl. (ANSI), located in Largo, FL. Granted, he may be slightly biased. He’s talking about his company’s Flurry Protein Shake, which comes in an 11-oz aluminum “bright” can.

Bright and lightweight aluminum cans are also called “naked” in the labeling industry, explains Sean Keeney, president/CEO of Walle Corp. The company is a leading label supplier to the beverage, food and household-goods industries—including ANSI. “We recommended a roll-applied shrink label for ANSI’s Flurry Protein Shake as an alternative to a pre-printed can,” Keeney says. “The cost is justified because there is likely to be less surplus inventory of obsolete preprinted cans with label messages constantly changing or becoming irrelevant.”

And who would know better than McCabe how quickly the sport-nutrition industry moves on to new trends? It was he who, in 1995, pioneered the first high-protein, low-carbohydrate protein bar, the No.1-selling Pure Protein Bar—for which he became known as the “bar man.” (This was when McCabe owned Worldwide Sport Nutrition, which he sold before buying ANSI in 1999.)

This was the only low-carb, high-protein bar available back then (though hard to imagine now). And McCabe has kept up the No.1-hit pace. “Just one sip will blow you away and leave you wanting more,” says his website of the Flurry Protein Shake. New on the shelves since October 2013, these shakes are low glycemic, gluten free and naturally flavored. They’re also free of rBST and rBGH hormones, and contain only 2g carbs per can.

Tough label film

When it came to decorating the can, ANSI chose leading shrink-film supplier Klöckner Pentaplast and its Pentalabel PETG 50-micron film for a roll-sleeve shrink label. The label provides 360-degree “billboard” display and attracts consumers’ attention.

Dave Kater, business manager, specialty films, at Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), points out a key benefit: “This is a machine-direction-oriented (MDO) shrink film that’s designed for high-volume applications. It shrinks early and quickly— providing uniform shrinkage up to 65%. Our film form-fits on ANSI’s bright can and has heightened appeal to customers.”

Adds Keeney at Walle, “This ANSI aluminum can required more shrink, and for that, kp’s roll-sleeve film is unique because it’s oriented, or stretched, in the opposite direction—in the direction of the label roll. It rotates 90 degrees, yet doesn’t shrink in width. This gives it more tensile strength, so it’s tougher.”

“Just look at our Flurry cans,” McCabe invites. “The colors really pop on the crowded shelves of GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Walmart, CVS, gyms, health food stores. We sell all over, not just to sport-nutrition places.”

He adds, “I’m the guy with so many No. 1 hits in the industry. Our motto is ‘Cutting Edge Sport Nutrition,’ and that goes for the whole package, label too.”

On the subject of labels, Walle’s Keeney says, “Labeling bright aluminum cans is not new. But with the ANSI can, we needed a greater shrink percentage than is feasible with polypropylene shrink film. We had to use roll-sleeve film from Klöckner Pentaplast,” he stresses. “They are the leading provider of PETG roll-sleeve shrink film; they have the best quality and shrinkage properties. It ends up being less costly, both materially and in its application.”

According to Kater, “Roll-sleeve film eliminates the seaming step. There is no seaming machine. The seam can be made right on the can.”

The seaming is performed on a small rotary labeling machine at ANSI’s contract packager (McCabe declined to identify the company). Strips of hot-melt adhesive are used only to tack the label’s leading edge, and a solvent is applied to the trailing edge to form a secure overlap. Strong enough to resist the forces present during shrinking, quick-setting adhesives appear clean looking and smooth on roll-applied shrink labels.

Kater says, “You can apply roll-sleeve labels simply by modifying existing wraparound label machinery. That means you can take advantage of the high-visibility and superior graphics of shrink labels without making a major capital investment. This technology may be added to many new wraparound labelers as well. Whether this capability is added to an existing line or a new labeler is added, the same line will be able to do shrink labels, as well as the standard roll applied labels.”

Prepress to impress

“We wanted customers to pick up our can and not tell it’s aluminum,” says ANSI’s McCabe. “We’re looking for a different kind of visibility than that. The aluminum look is old school—today’s cutting-edge graphic labels pop off the shelves.”

ANSI achieves superior graphics on its labels with high-quality HD Flexo printing.

HD Flexo combines ultra-resolution imaging at 4,000 pixels per inch—using high-definition optics—to achieve densely saturated graphics that cover the entire area. (Before HD Flexo, plates imaged at 2,400 ppi.) The pixel dot is rounder and more stable on the plate, reproducing with higher consistency, resulting in bolder graphics. With HD Flexo, photo images are more realistic: smoother, sharper and more consistent.

“The high-impact, full-body graphics are a strong advantage of Pentalabel PETG roll-sleeve shrink films,” says kp’s Kater, “Its enhanced shrink performance allows brands like ANSI to have unilateral design freedom—while delivering label conformity to contoured product containers, small and large.”

In other words, a higher shrinkage percentage allows for greater design possibilities on containers of varying dimensions and contours—while still having the label conform to that shape. And as widely acknowledged by many brand owners these days, shape sells.

But roll-sleeve shrink technology has yet another large benefit: Production flexibility to do high-speed short runs of customized labels for special promotions or tweaked messaging. So McCabe gets his shelf-pop and target marketing.

“Four years ago, we were the first label converter in North America certified by Esko to use its HD Flexo technology. Esko trademarked HD Flexo, which has become industry terminology for a pre-press technology now pretty much standard,” says Keeney. “HD Flexo is a digital plate-imaging technology, making it possible to compete with gravure and offset printing in quality, but with better efficiency and economics.”

Within one hour, computer-to-plate, Walle can image the label graphic and get it printed on one of its 50-inch-wide, roll-fed, 10-color, servo-driven flexo presses (as well as running narrow webs less than 24-inches in width).

Looking good

Derived from dairy cows, the milk protein in the Flurry Protein Shake is processed using retort technology to produce a shelf-stable product that has an 18-month shelf life. Cans are labeled after retorting.

McCabe is pleased with the Flurry Protein Shake label, saying, “Walle can turn our labels around with really short lead times—with low prepress costs and, as I understand, relatively low energy and CO2 emissions. The detail and contrast on the labels are great. Like I say, the colors really pop.”

Kater wraps up, saying, “The roll-sleeve shrink film offers crystal-clear transparency with low haze, which broadens the capabilities for label printers such as Walle. The visual aesthetic of Pentalabel film after shrinkage is among the best, bar none.”

And in the sport-nutrition industry, aesthetics, or looking good, is part of the package.

Esko, 937-454-1721

www.esko.com/en/

Klöckner Pentaplast, 540-832-3600

www.kpfilms.com

Walle Corp., 800-942-6761

www.walle.com

Shake, rattle and roll: Cutting-edge label pops on shelf: Gallery

High-impact graphics on roll-fed shrink labels helps this sports nutrition shake stand out.

“This is the best-tasting protein shake on the planet,” says Dave McCabe, founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrient Science Intl. (ANSI), located in Largo, FL. Granted, he may be slightly biased. He’s talking about his company’s Flurry Protein Shake, which comes in an 11-oz aluminum “bright” can.

Bright and lightweight aluminum cans are also called “naked” in the labeling industry, explains Sean Keeney, president/CEO of Walle Corp. The company is a leading label supplier to the beverage, food and household-goods industries—including ANSI. “We recommended a roll-applied shrink label for ANSI’s Flurry Protein Shake as an alternative to a pre-printed can,” Keeney says. “The cost is justified because there is likely to be less surplus inventory of obsolete preprinted cans with label messages constantly changing or becoming irrelevant.”

And who would know better than McCabe how quickly the sport-nutrition industry moves on to new trends? It was he who, in 1995, pioneered the first high-protein, low-carbohydrate protein bar, the No.1-selling Pure Protein Bar—for which he became known as the “bar man.” (This was when McCabe owned Worldwide Sport Nutrition, which he sold before buying ANSI in 1999.)

This was the only low-carb, high-protein bar available back then (though hard to imagine now). And McCabe has kept up the No.1-hit pace. “Just one sip will blow you away and leave you wanting more,” says his website of the Flurry Protein Shake. New on the shelves since October 2013, these shakes are low glycemic, gluten free and naturally flavored. They’re also free of rBST and rBGH hormones, and contain only 2g carbs per can.

Tough label film

When it came to decorating the can, ANSI chose leading shrink-film supplier Klöckner Pentaplast and its Pentalabel PETG 50-micron film for a roll-sleeve shrink label. The label provides 360-degree “billboard” display and attracts consumers’ attention.

Dave Kater, business manager, specialty films, at Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), points out a key benefit: “This is a machine-direction-oriented (MDO) shrink film that’s designed for high-volume applications. It shrinks early and quickly— providing uniform shrinkage up to 65%. Our film form-fits on ANSI’s bright can and has heightened appeal to customers.”

Adds Keeney at Walle, “This ANSI aluminum can required more shrink, and for that, kp’s roll-sleeve film is unique because it’s oriented, or stretched, in the opposite direction—in the direction of the label roll. It rotates 90 degrees, yet doesn’t shrink in width. This gives it more tensile strength, so it’s tougher.”

“Just look at our Flurry cans,” McCabe invites. “The colors really pop on the crowded shelves of GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Walmart, CVS, gyms, health food stores. We sell all over, not just to sport-nutrition places.”

He adds, “I’m the guy with so many No. 1 hits in the industry. Our motto is ‘Cutting Edge Sport Nutrition,’ and that goes for the whole package, label too.”

On the subject of labels, Walle’s Keeney says, “Labeling bright aluminum cans is not new. But with the ANSI can, we needed a greater shrink percentage than is feasible with polypropylene shrink film. We had to use roll-sleeve film from Klöckner Pentaplast,” he stresses. “They are the leading provider of PETG roll-sleeve shrink film; they have the best quality and shrinkage properties. It ends up being less costly, both materially and in its application.”

According to Kater, “Roll-sleeve film eliminates the seaming step. There is no seaming machine. The seam can be made right on the can.”

The seaming is performed on a small rotary labeling machine at ANSI’s contract packager (McCabe declined to identify the company). Strips of hot-melt adhesive are used only to tack the label’s leading edge, and a solvent is applied to the trailing edge to form a secure overlap. Strong enough to resist the forces present during shrinking, quick-setting adhesives appear clean looking and smooth on roll-applied shrink labels.

Kater says, “You can apply roll-sleeve labels simply by modifying existing wraparound label machinery. That means you can take advantage of the high-visibility and superior graphics of shrink labels without making a major capital investment. This technology may be added to many new wraparound labelers as well. Whether this capability is added to an existing line or a new labeler is added, the same line will be able to do shrink labels, as well as the standard roll applied labels.”

Prepress to impress

“We wanted customers to pick up our can and not tell it’s aluminum,” says ANSI’s McCabe. “We’re looking for a different kind of visibility than that. The aluminum look is old school—today’s cutting-edge graphic labels pop off the shelves.”

ANSI achieves superior graphics on its labels with high-quality HD Flexo printing.

HD Flexo combines ultra-resolution imaging at 4,000 pixels per inch—using high-definition optics—to achieve densely saturated graphics that cover the entire area. (Before HD Flexo, plates imaged at 2,400 ppi.) The pixel dot is rounder and more stable on the plate, reproducing with higher consistency, resulting in bolder graphics. With HD Flexo, photo images are more realistic: smoother, sharper and more consistent.

“The high-impact, full-body graphics are a strong advantage of Pentalabel PETG roll-sleeve shrink films,” says kp’s Kater, “Its enhanced shrink performance allows brands like ANSI to have unilateral design freedom—while delivering label conformity to contoured product containers, small and large.”

In other words, a higher shrinkage percentage allows for greater design possibilities on containers of varying dimensions and contours—while still having the label conform to that shape. And as widely acknowledged by many brand owners these days, shape sells.

But roll-sleeve shrink technology has yet another large benefit: Production flexibility to do high-speed short runs of customized labels for special promotions or tweaked messaging. So McCabe gets his shelf-pop and target marketing.

“Four years ago, we were the first label converter in North America certified by Esko to use its HD Flexo technology. Esko trademarked HD Flexo, which has become industry terminology for a pre-press technology now pretty much standard,” says Keeney. “HD Flexo is a digital plate-imaging technology, making it possible to compete with gravure and offset printing in quality, but with better efficiency and economics.”

Within one hour, computer-to-plate, Walle can image the label graphic and get it printed on one of its 50-inch-wide, roll-fed, 10-color, servo-driven flexo presses (as well as running narrow webs less than 24-inches in width).

Looking good

Derived from dairy cows, the milk protein in the Flurry Protein Shake is processed using retort technology to produce a shelf-stable product that has an 18-month shelf life. Cans are labeled after retorting.

McCabe is pleased with the Flurry Protein Shake label, saying, “Walle can turn our labels around with really short lead times—with low prepress costs and, as I understand, relatively low energy and CO2 emissions. The detail and contrast on the labels are great. Like I say, the colors really pop.”

Kater wraps up, saying, “The roll-sleeve shrink film offers crystal-clear transparency with low haze, which broadens the capabilities for label printers such as Walle. The visual aesthetic of Pentalabel film after shrinkage is among the best, bar none.”

And in the sport-nutrition industry, aesthetics, or looking good, is part of the package.

Esko, 937-454-1721

www.esko.com/en/

Klöckner Pentaplast, 540-832-3600

www.kpfilms.com

Walle Corp., 800-942-6761

www.walle.com

5 new sustainable packaging activities and examples: Gallery

Method’s plant to become a LEED-ing facility: Opening in 2015 and located on Chicago’s south side, the Method plant will have several unique features including a wind turbine, solar panel installations, large amounts of natural light throughout the factory, and native land renewal across 22 acres.

Recent strides made by consumer packaged goods manufacturers, packaging vendors and other groups related to sustainable improvements are presented in this 5-slide gallery. Examples shown include integrated manufacturing at Method, Toray’s expanded on-site cogeneration, Coca-Cola’s energy reduction and more.

Sustainability in packaging is accomplished in different ways including outside the box, pouch or bottle or any of the myriad of material and design variations that we cover regularly at Packaging Digest: There are also those improvements made within production plants, for production and converting facilities, in industry programs and initiatives that touch in part or whole on a sustainability improvement that saves materials or resources. We highlight in this 5-item slide show a range of examples of green developments and activities. Use the advance arrow next to each image or the red Next Button at the top above to continue the slideshow.

Amcor to run on-site rPET bottle operation at Method's new sustainable manufacturing plant

Method announced plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Chicago, IL, with the goal of being the first LEED Platinum-certified facility in the CPG industry. Amcor Rigid Plastics will operate an on-site bottle production facility to manufacturer of 100% PCR polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) bottles for household cleaners and hand wash. By using 100% PCR resin, the cradle-to-gate energy consumption of the resin compared to virgin is reduced by 52% and the package’s carbon footprint is lowered by 57%.  

Sidel Services helps stateside Coca-Cola bottler reduce blowing pressure 50%+ on four lines

For Midwest Coca-Cola, Eagan, MN, an operating unit of Coca-Cola Refreshments, the world's third‑largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, Sidel Services has demonstrated just how simple it can be to achieve goals of saving money, increasing efficiency and hitting environmental responsibility. 

Implementing Sidel’s ECO Booster service on four of Midwest Coca-Cola’s SBO14/14 blow molding machines, encompassing various bottle formats, has helped the bottler to make significant reductions in both the blowing pressure and the blowing ovens’ use of electricity.

Toray Plastics (America) powers up second cogeneration facility

Toray Plastics (America), Inc., North Kingstown, RI, is now operating a second cogeneration system at its 70-acre headquarters campus.  The new cogeneration system produces electricity and steam for the Torayfan polypropylene film division and steam for the Lumirror polyester film division. It was operational in August and will enable Toray to continue uninterrupted manufacturing during an unexpected local power outage, such as can occur under severe weather conditions like those of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Carton Council NA launches network of carton recycling “champions”

The Carton Council of North America announced the formation of a Carton Recycling Champions network, a group of companies committed to improving carton recycling. Inaugural members of the network include the following companies, all of whom are committed to improving carton recycling: Boxed Water Is Better; Crystal Creamery; Dean Foods; Fat Tuesday; GoodBelly; JUST Beverages; Kemps; Leahy-IFP; Pacific Foods; The ReWall Company; Turner Dairy Farms and WhiteWave Foods.

Companies can continue to sign up to be Carton Recycling Champions. There is no cost for companies to join, only a commitment to help support and promote carton recycling in any way that makes sense for that member, such as adding the carton recycling logo to their packages (if they have not already), promoting recycling on their social media channels and other ways.

A survey of American adults commissioned by CCNA and conducted by Research+Data Insights last fall found that 86% of respondents say that they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages. The survey also indicated that 76% percent of consumers look to the actual product packaging  they purchase for recycling information—even before turning to other resources.

CartonOpportunities.org.

ABB to join United Nations network to promote energy efficiency

ABB announced at the UN Climate Summit in New York in late September that it is joining the United Nations Environment Programme’s global action on improving appliance and equipment efficiency. The company will provide expertise on energy efficient motors and transformers to help governments devise policies that accelerate energy savings.

Electric motors account for about 28% of global electricity consumption. Many motors are bigger than they need to be and most are running at full speed, even when they don’t have to. Energy savings quickly add up when high-efficiency motors are used in combination with devices that adapt their speed to the task at hand – known as variable-speed drives – because the energy used to run a motor over its lifetime costs 100 times more than the motor itself. Investing in a high-efficiency motor typically has an internal rate of return that is more than 100% higher than for a standard motor.

In a first phase, ABB will share know-how related to energy efficiency in motors and transformers, including its experience with current policies, regulations and standards, and advice on potential applications for the best available technologies.

ABB is one of the world’s largest makers of transformers, electric motors and variable-speed drives.

Halloween-themed packaging sparks spending

 Halloween-themed packaging sparks spending
Following the success of last year’s newly designed Halloween cans from Jone's Soda, this year’s edition features two fun flavors that best represent this holiday. Both the Vampire Blood Orange and the Zombie Caramel Apple have been very popular with consumers, with enhanced graphics featured in this year’s edition that better showcase the bold and creative artwork that Jones Soda is known for. Matching colored tabs top off the look and make for a truly unique and visually eye-catching product.

It’s that time of year where summer is behind us and Thanksgiving steadily approaching which can only mean one thing—trick or treat!

This year’s Halloween season is poised to be bigger than ever as the National Retail Federation predicts total Halloween sales will reach $7.4 billion this year as Americans gear up for the holiday. That number is up from $6.9 billion in 2013, when an estimated 158 million people participated in Halloween activities.

Of the total $7.4 billion that the National Retail Federation expects U.S. consumers to spend on Halloween celebrations in 2014, about one-third of that amount will be spent on candy.

Individual spending is expected to reach $77.52 this year, an increase from $75.03 last year.

To capitalize on this spending, there is a plethora of products being launched in Halloween-themed packaging to commemorate the ghoulish holiday.

To see some of these spooktacular designs, click here to view gallery.

And it’s not just an American tradition anymore as the Halloween phenomenon has jumped shipped across the pond.

New research from Mintel reveals that retail sales of Halloween products in the UK reached £230 million in 2013 and are expected to grow to around £240 million this year.

In addition, the UK food and drink sector seems to be tapping into the spooky season as the number of food and drink products launched with a mention of Halloween grew 263% between 2009 and 2013. Looking beyond the UK, it seems that the season’s excitement is also spreading, with the number of food and drink products launched globally referencing the event growing by 194% in the five year period to 2013.

Chris Brockman, research mgr., food & drink EMEA at Mintel, says:

“The profile of Halloween has started to climb in the UK in recent years and Britons are increasingly embracing this occasion. Situated between the end of summer and the run-up to Christmas, Halloween offers consumers a reason to celebrate during a relative lull in the calendar year. It appears that Halloween has evolved from being a largely child-focused holiday with a focus on trick-or-treating. Adults have now adopted it as a fully-fledged excuse to throw parties and dress up in ghoulish outfits.”

To capture this rapidly growing market, I’ve singled out several exciting packaging designs.