Flexible Packaging

Kellogg’s Bear Naked cereal pouches embrace recyclability

Kellogg’s Bear Naked cereal pouches embrace recyclability
After 18 months’ R&D, Bear Naked’s pouches for 13 products are now store drop-off recyclable.

Lead engineer Shannon Moore shares an insider’s view of the development including the considerations, what was learned, advice and more.

Consumers have always loved convenience in the packaged products they purchase and nowadays it’s important that packaging not only be recyclable, it should be convenient to recycle, too.

It’s something that Kellogg’s Solana Beach, CA-based Bear Naked Inc. granola company took seriously. After 18 months’ development the brand stakes a claim as the first fully recyclable stand-up barrier pouch made for food packaging that’s available nationwide. The previous pouch structure was recyclable, but the process wasn’t efficient or convenient: recycling required customers to sign up for a special program to ship the packaging for recycling; now, the packaging can be recycled using convenient at-store drop-off locations.

Kellogg’s lead packaging engineer, Shannon Moore, was deeply involved in the development in which the company worked with partners to develop a barrier recyclable film that could meet the brand’s technical and marketing requirements. Moore’s four years’ experience at the company followed 10 years’ work at Procter & Gamble that involved various roles in supply chain and package development on household and personal care brands.

The recyclable pouch rollout involves all of Bear Naked core product lines of granola and bites, according to Moore, some 13 product lines in all. “All of the granola has already converted over and we are currently in the process of rolling it out on our bites,” she tells Packaging Digest. The rest of our interview follows.

What’s this about?

Moore: Bear Naked granola wanted to increase their sustainability efforts within packaging by creating a more sustainable pouch. This required development of strategic partnerships across the value chain, from resin to manufacturing. Together, the team worked to design the Recycle Ready pouch for launch in 2019. This is just one part of the overall journey of sustainability for this brand and Kashi as part of Kellogg’s sustainability commitments for 2025.

How was the packaging changed?

Moore: The previous structure was a multilayer PET/polyethylene film. The new film is mono-material PE with ethylene vinyl alcohol barrier. The pouch size and the net weight did not change.

What were the marketing and technical considerations?

Moore: We surface print with a matte appearance and have a window on the front of the pouch. Marketing requirements meant that we had to ensure that these elements were maintained. We had to also maintain our existing shelf life in the new film, which appears on the pouch bottom.

How was the previous package disposed of and what’s done now?

Moore: The packaging was either sent to TerraCycle or landfilled. Now the film can be dropped off at stores and retailers into the store drop-off recycling stream. The pouches are printed with the How2Recycle label information, which appears along the back panel bottom next to a “Recycle Ready” callout.

Next: Vendors, challenges, lessons learned, advice

Vendors Berry Global (film), Fresh-Lock (zipper), Dow (resins) and ColorMasters (printing/converting) were all involved…how unusual is this?

Moore: Our manufacturing partner Hearthside Foods was involved on this from a production standpoint. I led the team collaboration with the vendors, which included in-person on-site development work both at Kellogg’s, the suppliers and at Dow. This is atypical of a packaging change project because for this project we involved the resin supplier.

What else was different about the project?

Moore: It was managed end-to-end from the resin manufacturing all the way through to the transportation and customer involvement. It involved a lot of collaboration and partnership between the different players depending on their place in the supply chain.

 

What was the biggest challenge?

Moore: Compatibility of the film with our existing equipment and ensuring that we maintained the same look and feel of the brand.

Please comment on the R&D timetable.

Moore:  The project took about 18 months’ time; validation and shelf-life testing took the longest portion of that time.

What’s been the reception?

Moore: It has been positive feedback. The pouch was the recipient of the 2019 Technology Excellence Award in Snack and Bakery during Pack Expo in September 2019. In January 2020, the pouch was chosen for a Silver Award in Sustainability in the Flexible Packaging Assn.’s 2020 FPA Achievement Awards

What’s a lesson learned you can share?

Moore: Involvement and engagement from all parts of the material spectrum is very important when designing for sustainability.

What advice do you have for other brands and engineers working in flexible packaging?

Moore: With regards to sustainable packaging—there is no one size fits all, it’s really important to understand your consumers’ needs, the level of understanding they have around sustainable packaging and what your vendor partners capabilities are. Also, having a good understanding of the recycling infrastructure in your area or country is important from a design aspect.

What was the most personally gratifying experience from this project?

Moore: Being able to be a part of an important goal for the brand and being able to see it from initial ideation to launch.

Final thoughts?

Moore: This was a very intense project to lead, but if you were to ask anyone on the team, the one theme you would hear is that everyone gained a deep knowledge about another area of the packaging value chain that they didn’t have previously. We will all use the experience to help further sustainable packaging design in future project work.

 

Valentine’s Day packaging we love: Gallery

Just try not to fall in love with these fun and festive seasonal Valentine’s Day snack packages. From the intimacy of personalization to classic hearts, Valentine’s Day packaging aims to get that special someone’s attention.

Packaging Digest showcased these 16 packages at the recent WestPack 2020 in The Snack Shack experiential exhibit.

Create packaging that inspires love at first sight

Create packaging that inspires love at first sight
Photo credit: By sewcream – adobe.stock.com

“Love at first sight”—cliché for sure, but in a packaging sense, I would go so far as to call it the kind of first impression brands dream of.

Making this a reality, however, requires a pivot in how brands conceptualize a package. From first sketch to first impression, it requires brands to think like a matchmaker. Because an optimal packaging strategy is really one that matches brand identity with the function of packaging.

Smartphone packaging is a perfect example of this—the packaging fits in the palm of your hand like the product inside. Crisp, perfect edges convey a look and feel that’s both high-end and familiar in the tech space. Smartphone packaging delivers a sensory experience that many consider second to none.

Love-at-first-sight packaging doesn’t have to be left to chance—or something only large smartphone manufacturers can achieve.

Remember, packaging is the only form of marketing that connects with every one of your consumers, regardless of the buying channel. To bring brand and function together effectively in a package’s design, I encourage you to play Cupid. Here are six ways to do just that:

1. Test smarter (and faster)

Smaller-run market tests provide companies an efficient, low-risk opportunity to test a variety of packaging combinations—structure, shape, graphics, material, messaging.

Through short runs, brands are able to create prototypes faster and, ultimately, observe how a package might look and perform in the marketplace. This also shortens the initial feedback loop and optimizes production costs by providing targeted clues that help redirect a package’s design for better results.

In the end, a brand is able to put a package on store shelves or door steps that will best appeal to its customers, drive sales, and deepen the brand connection.

2. Personalize the experience through variability

There’s no denying, one-to-one personalization can bring a brand closer to its customer. But personalization in a broader, more mass-produced sense may also strike a chord. Consider an approach that takes a few steps back and tailors a package for larger targets (instead of trying to tailor to each individual consumer).

For example, Snickers’ “You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign replaced the iconic parallelogram on its packaging with 25 (humorous) hunger symptoms. This is an example of high-level personalization that consumers could positively interact and identify with.

3. Put sustainability front and center

According to recent research by Futerra, nearly 90% of consumers would like brands to help them live more sustainably. This isn’t lost on packaging professionals—70% of whom feel environmental concerns for single-use plastic packaging are at an all-time high.

As strategy development occurs around the entire consumer-package interaction, brands have a social responsibility to hold discussions that not only consider sustainable packaging, but aim to deliver it. It is what consumers want and expect. And having packaging that puts sustainability front and center may win over a new customer.

4. Augment reality to show, not tell

Augmented reality (AR) trended hard and fast in 2016 with Pokémon Go. This mobile game generated more than $1 billion in revenue. It also offered up proof the public was AR-interested.

Truthfully, since 2016, AR’s impact on modern product packaging has been a bit muted. Early adopters, however, are using AR technology to make their product stand out on the shelf and take their message beyond the written word and into demonstration mode.

The key to making it work? Avoid using it as a gimmick. This technology is approachable and has endless possibilities. Leverage it to enhance product visualization, remove language barriers, and facilitate the purchase.

5. Drive the multi-sensory experience

Across a number of industries, we’re seeing soft-touch applications rise in popularity as brands swap out high-gloss finishes for a completely different aesthetic. As more consumers associate the touch and feel of a package with the quality of the product inside, soft-touch finishes initiate a multi-sensory experience that’s high-end, velvety, durable and resistant to fingerprints.

Remember, packaging is not meant to exist in 2D. When a consumer is drawn in by the visual elements of a package, a natural next step is to then pick it up off the shelf. This tactile interaction is where the love-at-first-sight—or even love-at-first-touch—experience gains steam.

6. Never lose sight of the where first interactions happen

Front door or in store, your customer’s first experience with a product and its packaging can vary greatly depending on the setting. Design accordingly.

For an ecommerce experience, the buying decision has already been made and the transaction is complete. In this case, brands should place additional emphasis around the opening experience. Consider saving the sensory experience for the inside of the box. Or enhance your credit on sustainability by shipping a product in its own container.

While security and protection for parcel transportation should always be top priority, packaging still provides brands with enough opportunities to produce an unexpected opening experience that deepens brand connection.

As brands think about what will make consumers fall in love with their products this year, they must first think about how to get a consumer to fall in love with their packaging. Appealing to consumer interests like sustainability are a great starting point, while integrating technology or new finishing techniques to create sensory experiences can make a match at the first moment of truth.

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Cannabis Packaging

Innovation adds resealability to food and beverage cans

Innovation adds resealability to food and beverage cans
CanReseal adds value and convenience to a range of can types and sizes for products from foods to cannabis.

Canovation’s patented end design can turn any metal food or beverage can into a resealable one, from carbonated beverages to wet foods to cannabis.
 

The cliché for inventive minds is to create a better mousetrap. If applied to packaging, the most obvious “mousetrap” that could benefit from inventive improvement may be the food or beverage can, made of tin-plated steel or aluminum, respectively.

Both are available universally for good reason: they remain go-to containers for food and beverages because they do the job—preserve the contents and do it reliably—and they are cheap.

In short, they are utilitarian as in being functionally ideal containers that—let’s face it—can be viewed as plain-old boring.

Plus there’s one thing metal cans can’t do, and that’s reseal. Once you open a food can you’ve got to store it in another container if you don’t finish it all, which is a universally accepted routine.

Perhaps no longer, which is part of the reason Canovation LLC believes it has a winner with CanReseal, a proprietary, internally-threaded end design that allows an end made of metal or plastic to be screwed into the top of the can and above the standard metal end, transforming the can into a resealable container after opening. All consumers do is remove the CanReseal end and, after opening the can as they usually do, then reapply the CanReseal cap to preserve the remaining contents.

Virtually any metal can of any size of can be adapted to the CanReseal design, according to the inventor, Daniel Zabaleta of Canovation. “CanReseal is adaptable to most any metal package type and application.”

The list of applicable products is expansive, from carbonated to still beverages, dry to wet foods, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals and to paint and other chemicals.

Cans using the CanReseal ends process, perform, ship and store like regular cans.

Whether made of metal or plastic, the CanReseal cap is designed specifically to meet the brand’s product requirements.

Readily adaptable and gaining traction

It is also easily integrated and manufacturable, highly marketable and differentiating and is economical.

What’s required for canmakers to do to manufacture CanReseal cans is to thread the interior of the can end near the top of the can to allow the reseal cap to be screwed down to create an air-tight seal. That positive seal is something overcaps can’t do, Zabaleta points out.

Canmakers would need a set of specialty changeparts for their existing machinery in order to do the threading, which is what Stolle is developing.

And in this eco-driven era, Canovation’s CanReseal is environmentally sustainable and easily recyclable as any standard can when a metal cap is used.

In development over the past months, the technology is poised to advance. “We are currently building up to enter our commercialization stage,” says Zabaleta.  “Stolle Machinery is leading the effort to finalize the development for the commercial version for the CanReseal all-metal, resealable beverage can for still (noncarbonated) applications. We anticipate this will be completed by this summer. We are also working with potential manufacturing and commercialization partners to manufacture the aforementioned beverage solution, hopefully by the end of 2020.”

What about brand interest?

“There are several major beverage and food brands that have expressed interest in the CanReseal container,” Zabaleta discloses. “A couple major beverage brands are in the process of testing the technology for commercial consideration.”

Concurrently, the company is beginning to work with Stolle to develop a resealable container for the rapidly-growing cannabis products market.

“Child Resistance and Dosing functionality can easily be designed into the CanReseal's cap, allowing our resealable cans to comply with current cannabis packaging regulations,” says Zabaleta. 

See the new CanReseal in person during WestPack 2020 (Feb. 11-13; Anaheim, CA) at the Cannabis Packaging Summit in Booth Level 3 Ballroom, as well during MetPack 2020 (May 5-9; Essen, Germany) in Hall 2, Stand 2A18.

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Colgate launches Smile for Good toothpaste in recyclable tube

Colgate launches Smile for Good toothpaste in recyclable tube
To promote product transparency, Colgate’s Smile for Good toothpaste lists ingredients on the packaging's front panels and explains each ingredient’s purpose in simple language.

Demonstrating its continued commitment to increasing packaging sustainability, Colgate-Palmolive Co. is launching its new Smile for Good toothpaste brand in the recyclable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tube the company introduced last year. The Smile for Good brand is currently rolling out in Europe.

Late last year, the company introduced Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque & Whitening toothpaste in the recyclable tube. The tube reboots toothpaste packaging design by replacing non-recyclable laminate materials with a squeezable material made entirely from HDPE—which is, of course, readily recyclable.

Toms-of-Maine-recyclable-tube

The package is the first tube to be recognized by The Assn. of Plastic Recyclers in North America and RecyClass in Europe. Colgate is sharing its tube technology with tube makers and competitors to support a shift to recyclable tubes that meet regional recycling standards for toothpaste and other products. The Smile for Good launch marks Colgate’s first use of the recyclable tube in Europe.

The tube’s recyclability attribute is a good fit for the Smile for Good brand, which contains a minimal number of ingredients and lists all ingredients, with their purpose/benefit, on the carton’s front panel. The product and/or packaging have been certified by Ecocert, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the United Kingdom’s Vegan Society.

Tom Heaslip, worldwide director, Category Packaging/Global Design & Packaging, Colgate-Palmolive, answers a few questions from Packaging Digest about Smile for Good and its packaging.

When will the Smile for Good toothpaste brand launch?

Heaslip: The Smile for Good launch is currently happening across Europe; it is already available in the United Kingdom, Italy and Poland. This follows the launch of the tube for certain Tom’s of Maine flavors in the United States last fall, which are also continuing to roll out.

Please describe the Smile for Good packaging components.

Heaslip: The new tube design, as well as the shoulder, are made with HDPE with ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), and includes a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flavor insert. The cap is made of polypropylene (PP), and plans are underway for a conversion to a polyethylene (PE) cap. The carton is made with recycled board.

Are all the Smile for Good packaging components recyclable?

Heaslip: From a technical standpoint, yes, though at this point it is likely that the PET flavor insert will become yield loss at the reprocessor and we are working to address that. Actual recycling will continue to rely on the available infrastructure and reprocessing capabilities in each geography. We recognize that we have a responsibility to lead and are at the start of a journey. There is much work to be done. We’re engaging to build awareness and support among all recycling stakeholders: the materials recovery facilities that sort recyclables, the reclaimers that produce resin from recycled plastic, the municipalities that operate recycling programs, and others.

Does the Smile for Good packaging provide recycling instructions for consumers?

Heaslip: With a launch across different countries of Europe, we needed to keep it simple: “Recyclable Carton” and “Recyclable Tube.”

How are the tubes decorated?

Heaslip: The tubes are flexo printed.

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WestPack-2020  WestPack 2020: Ideas. Education. New Partners. Feb. 11-13

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Why did Colgate choose to print the product’s ingredients on the carton’s front panel, especially in a category that competes fiercely on-shelf with dynamic packaging designs, holograms, foil and the like?

Heaslip: We believe that people should have the chance to make an informed decision about the ingredients in the products they choose. Colgate’s Smile for Good Toothpaste sets a new standard for ingredient transparency by listing ingredients on the front panel and explaining each ingredient’s purpose in simple language. Similarly, we’ve started a project to reveal our ingredients on our website.

Is the carton kraft, or is it printed that color? Why did you choose this look for the Smile for Good brand?

Heaslip: It is kraft and meant to be in line with the idea of natural, ingredient simplicity and transparency.

Colgate-recyclable-tube

Is Colgate making the tubes in-house? If not, who supplies them?

Heaslip: The Smile for Good tube is supplied by Albéa, using Colgate’s Samson technology as recognized as recyclable by The Assn. of Plastic Recyclers and RecyClass. We’re now installing equipment at our plants to make the new tubes, but we wanted to get started on the transition. We’re committed to making all of our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

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Integrated tray-former/wrapper turbo charges retail-ready packs

Integrated tray-former/wrapper turbo charges retail-ready packs
This versatile tray former changes over in less than 10 minutes, and has interlocked guard doors and emergency stops for increased safety.

Food companies looking to automate their retail-ready packaging operation now have the option for a total solution that delivers speeds as high as 40 trays per minute, with the appropriate infeed.

At WestPack 2020 (Feb. 11-13; Anaheim, CA), two Pro Mach companies will demonstrate a new integrated system that combines an automatic tray former with an intermittent-motion sealer that feeds into an energy-efficient shrink tunnel.

Wexxar-Bel’s IPAK TF200 tray former mates with Texwrap’s 2219 L-sealer, which then passes filled and wrapped trays into a Texwrap 1322 Single-Chamber Forced Air Convection Tunnel at a pretty healthy clip. Conveyor speeds reach up to 100 feet per minute.

The combined machines are not limited to retail-ready packs for food companies, as they are also suitable for other markets and other secondary packaging operations.

Sporting a compact footprint, the four-corner tray former’s mandrel and compression configurations allow it to create a variety of trays, including those with more complex designs, such as telescoping lids, triangulated corners or retail-ready display designs (see photo at top of page).

The 2219 intermittent-motion L-sealer wraps up to 40 trays per minute.

According to the company, the proper product infeed along with Texwrap’s exclusive Motion Trim technology and its high conveyor speed makes the 2219 the fastest L-sealer on the market today.

Lastly, the Texwrap 1322 single-chamber forced air convection heat tunnel digitally controls temperatures, and provides separate top and bottom controls for the air, which comes from high velocity fans. This ensures the right amount of heat is applied to the right places for the right amount of time.

See this integrated system from Wexxar Bel and Texwrap in person in Booth 5221 at WestPack 2020. Register now to attend.

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Why you need the edge in packaging production operations

Why you need the edge in packaging production operations
Connecting at the edge instead of going all the way to the cloud means sensors and other measurement devices on your packaging machines can bypass internet security concerns while still delivering productivity gains.

Cloud, fog, edge: What’s in it for you?

The internet connected people. It allowed them to share all kinds of data in all kinds of ways. The Internet of Things (IoT) allows internet-connected devices to communicate directly. The IoT uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make decisions and initiate actions as needed, bypassing people altogether. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) takes it to another level. On a packaging line, the IIoT allows machines to communicate and coordinate with each other faster and better than humanly possible.

The cloud is what makes this happen. The cloud is massive arrays of servers, apps, programs, storage and more in which this communication and decision-making takes place. Because they are massive, they must be centrally located which usually means that they are also remote. Centrality has its advantages but also has a huge disadvantage: speed. Electronic communication may be fast, but it’s not instantaneous. It takes time for data to travel to the cloud and the result to travel back to where it is needed. This travel time, called latency, can be milliseconds and is not a problem in many instances. In other cases, it is.

At 600 bottles per minute, the inspection system has 100 milliseconds to take a picture of a label, analyze it, and make a decision to accept or reject. If it has to send this off to the cloud for processing, even a few milliseconds of latency in transmission will hobble the camera’s effectiveness.

Edge computing moves the processing from the cloud to the edge of the network, putting the processing at the camera. The image is captured, analyzed and the accept/reject decision made locally. The data travels inches instead of thousands of miles. Periodically, the system reports to the cloud how many rejects occurred and why.

Reducing the amount of data, as well as its time sensitivity, reduces load on the network, freeing capacity for other purposes.

The IIoT is all about machines talking to machines. Linking machines through the cloud is impractical due to latency and capacity constraints. What is needed is something in the middle that can connect all machines in a plant. This middle something is fog computing. Fog computing takes place locally, at the plant level. Fog computing monitors the inspection system and, if reject levels are abnormal, sends a text alert to the supervisor. Fog computing monitors the labels used and, when needed dispatches an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) to the warehouse to fetch more.

Definitions of cloud, fog and edge can be a bit vague and may vary depending upon the network and operating philosophy. They are best viewed as a continuum, with the edge being hyper local and fast but limited. The cloud has nearly unlimited capability and capacity but is distant and slow. The fog mediates and plays to the strengths of both. This edge-fog-cloud concept is easier to show than explain and this graphic from Winsystems.com lays it out well.

Illustration courtesy of WinSystems.

We hear about the cloud every day but seldom about the edge. Chances are good that you have a number of edge devices on your lines already. The dumb photoeye of yesterday that could only give an on/off signal has morphed into the 3D sensor that not only signals on/off but also position, height, orientation and more. This is possible because of edge computing.

Packaging production operations can now live on the edge. It’s the future. It’s here now. Talk with your packaging machinery manufacturers and device component providers about how edge computing can improve your packaging operation.

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Next-gen print-and-apply system meets Industry 4.0 protocols

Next-gen print-and-apply system meets Industry 4.0 protocols
The Industry 4.0-enabled XPA 934 print-and-apply system is engineered for ease of use.

The XPA 934 meets digital requirements via a multitude of interfaces and real-time data available instantly to support print and apply processes in Industry 4.0 environments.

Fully loaded and enabled for leading-edge capabilities, the XPA 934 print-and-apply system is engineered for ease of installation and use by any level of customer.

Some key features:

  • Easy material handling and quick change of label and ribbon material;
  • The machine’s compactness also allows it be mounted in any position to ensure maximum integration flexibility;
  • 100% tool-free maintenance and replacement of wear parts reduce downtime and increase productivity;
  • Reduced manual handling result from quick, automatic adjustments and transfer of settings after changing the print head or material;
  • The high robustness of the XPA 934 together with easy maintenance and quick material changes help ensure maximum uptime.

The system also meets digital requirements with a a multitude of interfaces and real-time data that can be called up at any time support print & apply processes in Industry 4.0. These include multi-stage, configurable I/O points with M12 connectors for readily adaptable system interfaces. A cross-media provision of information ensures connection via LAN interface, access to operating instructions via convenient QR code and cable-free 1:1 connection via USB stick.

Capability for remote operation via an optional 7-inch Panel PC that permits real-time data retrieval and error messages.

While Novexx only entered the market in 2015 and may be a new name for U.S. customers, the company offers 50 years’ experience in the industrial identification and labeling business. How? It originated from Avery Dennison’s Industrial Print & Apply (IPA) line of business and now leverages its global know-how with the drive of a midsize enterprise to help customers advance their supply-chain capabilities.

See the new XPA 934 in person during WestPack 2020 (Feb. 11-13; Anaheim, CA) in Novexx Booth 5378.

New stretch-wrapper carriage saves film

New stretch-wrapper carriage saves film
By stretching films efficiently for minimal film use, the S-Carriage shrinks film use and costs for customers.

Orion’s S-Carriage delivers 260% pre-stretch and is adjustable for higher or lower pre-stretch as load requirements vary, saving an estimated $1,200 in film costs yearly.

Orion, a product brand of ProMach, introduces the brand’s new S-Carriage pre-stretch system for lowest stretch-film consumption required to contain the load. The S-Carriage becomes Orion’s new standard carriage and will roll out across all models by the end of 2020.

Orion estimates that replacing film carriages offering 234% pre-stretch with the S series’ assured 260% pre-stretch will increase the number of loads per roll from 135 to 154. In this scenario the film cost reduction over three years will be an estimated $3,600. Consistent pre-stretch of 260% and above reduces film acquisition costs for shippers and improves end-user sustainability through less waste. The S design also allows Orion’s customers to take advantage of evolving film technologies, which are now capable of reaching up to 600% pre-stretch.

Orion's S-Carriage delivers 180 degrees of film to roller contact, which reduces slippage and neckdown for improved film coverage and yield. The S pattern of film travel over carriage rollers is ideal for all types of cling films, even one-sided films, as the sticky side remains against the load for improved holding power. Automated Orion Insta-Thread and Insta-Cut features reduce film handling for labor savings, improve throughput and lower risk of worker injury.

See the new S-Carriage in person during WestPack 2020 (Feb. 11-13; Anaheim, CA) at Orion Booth 5221.

Cannabis Packaging

New event tackles packaging challenges in the cannabis market

New event tackles packaging challenges in the cannabis market
Photo credit: Irina – adobe.stock.com

The global packaging market for cannabis products is expected to surpass $20 billion by 2025. As the cannabis industry welcomes a growing number of players, there is an urgent need for innovation and regulation. On Feb. 11-12, 2020, legislative, regulatory, educational, technology and industry leaders will convene at the Anaheim Convention Center for the inaugural Cannabis Packaging Summit, the first event of its kind to focus exclusively on cannabis packaging.

Partnering with North America’s premier packaging technology event, WestPack, the one-and-a-half-day summit will explore packaging challenges and opportunities facing cannabis manufacturers and how the suppliers of packaging solutions can begin to approach this booming consumer market with greater insight and understanding.

Cannabis Packaging Summit brand director Steve Everly identifies key drivers of the event and for this burgeoning market.

How did the creation of the Cannabis Packaging Summit come to be?

Everly: There is no denying the cannabis industry is absolutely booming. In fact, the global legal marijuana market size is expected to exceed $66 billion by the end of 2025. In recent years, we’ve seen numerous cannabis events pop up of all shapes and sizes. However, none have been exclusively focused on fostering a better understanding of the unique challenges involved with packaging cannabis products in North America.

As my team within Informa Markets puts on WestPack, the West Coast’s largest packaging event, we already had strong relationships with the nation’s top packaging brands leveraging the latest technological advances and solutions for several industries—including cannabis. Thus, we created the Cannabis Packaging Summit with a clear goal in mind: Bring the rapidly expanding cannabis industry together with the nation’s well-established networks of packaging providers to help “close the final gap” in understanding between the two markets.

What can attendees look forward to seeing at the show?

Everly: The show floor will host more than 52 companies exhibiting innovative cannabis packaging products, as well as networking sessions with engineers, brand managers and other key decision-makers.

Additionally, Andrew Kline, director of public policy for the National Cannabis Industry Assn. (NCIA), will present the keynote address, “De-scheduling Cannabis: The Road Ahead,” in which he will summarize the industry’s legislative efforts on Capitol Hill, detail the NCIA’s work developing public policy on environmental sustainability and other concerns facing the cannabis sector.

What are the industry trends and main focus areas and topics that will be discussed?

Everly: There is much to discuss and learn amid the ever-evolving cannabis landscape. Cannabis-based products have an increasingly broad range of platforms—from edibles and topicals to pills and dry-herb—with varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or the wildly popular non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD). Our Cannabis Packaging Summit agenda aims to bring potential players from all cannabis sector niches up to speed on where the packaging market is and, importantly, where it is likely headed next.

Top sessions at the Cannabis Packaging Summit include:

Tues., Feb. 11, 10:55-11:20 a.m., “Ethical and Moral Challenges of CBD Packaging Panel Discussion: Sustainability and Beyond”

Tues., Feb. 11, 2:35-3:15 p.m., “Cannabis Producers, Packaging, and the Law”

Tues., Feb. 11, 3:40-4:20 p.m., “Harmonizing Child-Resistant Standards”

Wed., Feb. 12, 10:40-11:20 a.m., “Packaging, Design, and the Needs of the Cannabis Industry”

Wed., Feb. 12, 11:20 a.m.-noon, “Interactive Packaging and Building the Brand”

Wed., Feb. 12, noon-12:25 p.m., “Panel Discussion: What Does the Cannabis Industry Want From Packaging?”

Click here for more information on the Cannabis Packaging Summit and to register to attend.

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