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Recycling

Nestlé’s Summer Salvo in Sustainable Food Packaging

Nestlé USA Nestle Aluminum Coffee Capsules Prn

Founded more than 150 years ago, managing 2,000 brands, operating more than 400 plants, and employing 291,000 globally, there are plenty of superlatives that can be used to describe Nestlé, which was named the largest food company in the world in May by Forbes.

It’s also a consumer-packaged goods company that’s improving the sustainability of packaging throughout the product portfolio at an incredible pace.

Thankfully, the food giant has been active socially in messaging its packaging moves and plans on Twitter. We’ve captured a number of these developments and innovations in the Tweets below, which impressively have all been made since June 30 starting with this introductory recognition that sets the stage for what follows: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more about the Starbuck’s dairy creamers packaging, see Nestlé and Starbucks partner for recyclable creamer packaging, published November 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthcare Packaging

Pharmaceutical Packaging Scores Badly for Senior Usefulness

Photo credit: Photographee.eu – stock.adobe.com Seniors-and-pharmaceuticals-AdobeStock_209023802-featured.jpeg

 

Beer Packaging

Pressurized Keg Keeps Open Beer Fresh for 30 Days

Photo supplied by The Joseph Co. Joseph-Eco-Chime-Keg-1-featured.jpg
For this at-home beer keg, the generic blue “chime and tap kit” molded parts can be changed to whatever color a customer wants.

How long after you crack open a beer would you expect it to be still good to drink? 30 minutes, maybe? What if there was a package that could keep the brew tasty for more than 30 days after opening?

The new Joseph Keg reportedly maintains flavor, product quality, and carbonation levels for more than 30 days.

Holding 5 liters, the keg has a patented inside pressurized system that prevents oxygen from getting inside and spoiling the beer through oxidation. The Joseph Keg is designed to replace the gravity kegs currently in use by breweries throughout the world.

The technology, developed by The Joseph Co., is available for territorial licensing to carbonated beverage companies.

Joe Pagliaro, chief commercial officer for The Joseph Co., is on tap in this Packaging Digest exclusive interview with more details on this breakthrough packaging development.

 

How does the Joseph Keg keep beer fresh after opening for more than 30 days? 

Pagliaro: The Joseph Keg is not a gravity keg. It contains a special pressure regulator that keeps a blanket of CO2 over the beer at a constant pressure throughout the life of the keg. This, unlike a gravity keg, prevents air/oxygen reaching the beer. This extends the shelf life by more than 30 days after the keg is breached.

 

How does the inside pressurized system work? 

Pagliaro: As beer is tapped, the internal pressure in the keg reduces — this reduction in pressure operates a valve in the regulator to release CO2 from a capsule inside the keg. As CO2 is released, the pressure rises to a pre-set value and the regulator then switches off the CO2 supply. This keeps the pressure at approximately 1 bar (14.7 psi) inside the keg throughout the keg life.

 

You are marketing this as a consumer package rather than for on-premise sales, right? Why? 

Pagliaro: Yes. There is nothing quite like a draft beer from your favorite bar or restaurant. On-premise sales data proves consumer demand for draft beer. But bars, restaurants, sporting events, and concert venues have been shut down due to COVID-19, essentially terminating on-premise sales. 

This 5L keg (the equivalent of fourteen 12 fl. oz. servings) offers consumers draft quality beer from the convenience of their home, picnics, beaches, and more.  It gives brewers the ability to still meet consumer demand for premium draft beer.

 

What is the shelf life before opening? 

Pagliaro: We are still running long-term shelf tests but we have targeted nine months shelf life for the unopened keg.

 

How does the Joseph Keg eliminate excess foaming? 

Pagliaro: This is a secret — but the solution to prevent too much foam is achieved in the design of the regulator and the behavior of the CO2 contained inside the capsule, and the design of the tapping device.

 

Do you have any customers yet? 

Pagliaro: Yes. While we are under non-disclosure agreements I cannot comment to the specific customers. However, I can confirm we are under contract with global, regional, and local brands around the world.

Photo supplied by The Joseph Co.Joseph-Eco-Chime-Keg-2-web.jpg

The circular “tap handle” on the Joseph Keg can be customized by shape or with a brand logo, just like a custom tap handle for an on-premise bar setting.

Recycling

Recycled PET Plastic Thriving in Packaging

If you were to pick a Plastic of the Year for 2020, what would it be?

Considering the amount of innovation and in-market traction associated with the material, my choice would be recycled polyethylene terephthalate. In fact, I’d pick rPET as PoY already, even though it’s only September.

Highlighting a plastic may be considered by some a counterculture choice in 2020 in the wake of a growing flood of negative press over the last several years. In reaction, some brands have moved into alternative packaging material choices, for example bottles made of aluminum or — more surprisingly — paper, instead of the previous default choice of PET.

Yet, consider the utility of rPET in an era of heightened environmental awareness and you can understand why, remarkably and against a general anti-plastics sentiment, rPET is growing in popularity and volumes. The foundation rests on the fact that rPET is a reuse of widely popular PET, which is recycled at a rate of around 30%.

In fact, the global rPET market is estimated to be expanding at a CAGR of 8% for the period 2019 to 2026 when it is projected to be valued at around $12.5 billion, according to a March 2020 press release from Acumen Research and Consulting (ARC).

Helping drive this market are a number of brand initiatives centered on internal or external recycling and packaging sustainability goals focused on rPET as seen in this slideshow review of Packaging Digest articles published over the past 12 months.

Recycling

US Plastics Pact Articulates Tailored Approach to Circularity

Image: iQoncept/Adobe Stock Circular economy concept

Led by the Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. Plastics Pact promises a unified approach to achieving circularity in the plastics industry. The pact commits to rethinking the way industry designs, uses, and reuses plastics.

The U.S. Plastics Pact will convene 70 brands, retailers, NGOs, and government agencies across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to U.S. packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions. This “first-of-its-kind,” collaborative, solutions-focused initiative seeks to drive significant systemic change by unifying diverse cross-sector approaches, setting a national strategy, and creating a scalable path forward toward a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025.

Two companies joined the U.S. Plastics Pact this week. The Plant-Based Products Council (PBPC), a “founding activator” of the U.S. Plastics Pact, joined the organization with the recognition that “significant, systemwide change is imperative” to realize a circular economy for plastics. “Plant-based packaging materials offer a wide range of opportunities for addressing the environmental challenges we face today,” said Jessica Bowman, PBPC Executive Director. “The PBPC is proud to join fellow collaborators of the U.S. Plastics Pact in working with stakeholders across the plant-based value chain to guide the global economy to a more sustainable future through the application of circular-economy principles.”

Plastics pacts around the world
The U.S. Plastics Pact reflects national priorities and realities, while moving the United States closer to other developed nations in plastic waste management, said the organization. Image courtesy Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Zurich–based Amcor announced on Aug. 26 that it has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, as well. “As a global leader in the packaging industry, Amcor’s colleagues continuously push themselves and others to achieve more, to understand challenges, and advance transformational change,” said Eric Roegner, President of Amcor Rigid Packaging. “We are already working with customers to increase recycled materials in packaging and increase recycling rates worldwide. The goals of the U.S. Plastics Pact are closely aligned with Amcor’s own sustainability agenda and we can leverage our in-depth industry expertise and resources at scale to advance the transition to a circular economy.”

These two companies, in joining the U.S. Plastics Pact, have agreed to collectively deliver against these four ambitious goals:

  1. Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate it by 2025.
  2. All plastic packaging will be 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
  3. By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging.
  4. By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%.

While the U.S. Plastics Pact is complementary to, and follows, the ambitious precedents set by the existing global Plastics Pact network, it is tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the U.S. market. The pact will reflect national priorities and realities, while moving the United States closer to other developed nations in plastic waste management, said a statement from the U.S. Plastics Pact.

Creating a unified framework

The first task of the founding members of the U.S. Plastics Pact will be to establish a roadmap in the first quarter of 2021 to identify key milestones and national solutions for achieving U.S. targets and realizing a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste.

“The U.S. pact will accelerate systemwide change by inspiring and supporting upstream innovation through a coordinated national strategy, creating a unified framework, and enabling members to accelerate progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals,” said Sarah Dearman, Vice President of Circular Ventures for the Recycling Partnership.

Amcor further commented that it believes “there will always be a role for responsible packaging that offers differentiated functionality while minimizing waste in the environment. A responsible packaging system will require innovative packaging design, improvements to waste management infrastructure, and increased consumer participation.” Amcor added that the company is making progress toward its commitment to make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, significantly increasing the use of recycled materials, and driving greater recycling of packaging around the world.