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Packaging Innovations 2019: “Big Plastics Debate will progress from ‘what we can do’ to ‘what we have done’ at this year’s show,” says Event Director

22 Feb 2019 --- The UK’s biggest annual packaging show – Packaging Innovations – will take place in Birmingham next week. James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director of Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, expects the plastics debate to dominate the agenda once again, but this time with a more advanced focus on “what the industry has actually done” rather than “what it can do” to find sustainable solutions to a global waste problem. Here, Drake-Brockman speaks to PackagingInsights about improving consumer recycling behavior, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) tax on plastics containing less than 30 percent recyclate and the challenges of finding nationwide consistency in UK recycling.

Health claims on packaging: Simplicity and scientific substantiation key for consumers

22 Feb 2019 --- Health and nutrition messaging on packaging should be as simple as possible, as well as scientifically substantiated. This is according to the findings from a 4-year EU-funded research project, CLYMBOL – Role of Health-related Claims and Symbols in Consumer Behavior – which studied consumer understanding of health claims and symbols on packaging. It is hoped that the findings will inform future policy development to align “consumer protection issues as well as public health and food marketing communication interests.”

Weekly Roundup: Sealed Air acquires flexible packaging presence in Asia, RKW launches “super sustainable” shrink film

22 Feb 2019 --- In packaging news this week, Sealed Air has expanded its Asia Pacific presence with the acquisition of MGM, a printing and laminating flexible packaging specialist headquartered in the Philippines. In another big business move, pharmaceutical packaging supplier ACG Group has opened a US$93 million capsules manufacturing plant in Brazil. Innovative new launches this week included RKW’s “super sustainable” stretchable shrink film, which is unique in that it can be cut smaller than the pallet size and pulled over the palletized goods.

Expiration label confusion leads to food waste, US study confirms

22 Feb 2019 --- Widespread confusion on food date labels is leading to increased waste and food safety risks, a new survey examining US consumer attitudes has found. The survey, published in Waste Management, highlights that consumers interpret package date labels incorrectly and wrongfully believe that the expiration dates are federally regulated. The researchers are calling for tech solutions, such as the use of QR codes, policy changes and consumer education to ensure food waste is diminished and foodborne illness is avoided.

Nanotechnology in active packaging: Willing consumers still wary of “contamination,” survey finds

21 Feb 2019 --- Consumers are increasingly willing to use nanotechnology-based solutions in food packaging, but they are wary of how the essential oils – used to prevent spoilage – may “contaminate” foods, a report carried out by the EU-funded NanoPack Project has revealed. The survey informs NanoPack’s continued testing of the technology, which is forecast to reach Technology Readiness Level 7 (Demonstration in an operational environment) by the end of the project (December 2019).

Food waste problem makes plastic pouches sustainability frontrunners, says UK food innovator

21 Feb 2019 --- Plastic laminate pouches remain the most sustainable packaging option in the UK, despite the lack of facilities capable of recycling them. That is the opinion of Luke Heeney, Technical and Innovations Director at family-run food innovators, Leathems. Heeney, who will be chairing the Food Forum Seminar at Packaging Innovations 2019 in Birmingham next week, tells PackagingInsights that alternatives to plastic pouches are typically heavier and provide poorer shelf-life protection, increasing the net environmental impact of packaged foods.

Boosting bread bag recycling: Hovis teams up with TerraCycle in UK

21 Feb 2019 --- British bakery brand Hovis is partnering with recycling experts TerraCycle to boost the recycling rates of bread bags of all brand sold in the UK. Although in theory bread bags are recyclable, there are a number of barriers that prevent them from being recycled at a national level, Stephen Clarke of TerraCycle, tells PackagingInsights. Not all local authorities in the UK recycle them, and there is a limited number of collection points and the bag's light weight can be problematic for councils seeking to collect them at scale.

“Plastic has massive eco-benefits and can drive sustainable change,” says Co-op packaging technologist

20 Feb 2019 --- With Packaging Innovations 2019 in Birmingham only a week away, PackagingInsights speaks to Rob Thompson, Packaging Technologist at Co-op, about the UK supermarket’s endeavors to drive sustainable change within the plastic supply chain. Thompson discusses a number of recent Co-op innovations, including the UK’s first compostable carrier bag, compostable paper teabags and plans to make all its packaging recyclable by 2023.

Scrapping plastic: HEMA steps up sustainability by replacing single-use plastic products

20 Feb 2019 --- Dutch-based retail store HEMA is to replace single-use, disposable plastic products in all cases where a more sustainable alternative is available, ahead of the 2021 deadline set by the EU as part of the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD). The process has already begun, but HEMA will further roll out the sale of more sustainable versions of plastic stirrers, drinking straws, cotton ear buds and plastic confetti in the fall.

Brexit impact: UK Government suspends food industry consultations and reforms

20 Feb 2019 --- The UK Government has bowed to pressure to delay policy making on chemicals, pesticides, plastics, clean air, waste and possible reforms on food-related matters, following last week’s “no-cooperation” letter from the food industry. More than 30 trade organizations within the UK’s farming and food and drink supply-chain threatened the Government with breaking off cooperation at this time of “potential crisis” as the countdown to Brexit continues. The groups state that it cannot be business as usual during no-deal preparations.

Binning “throwaway culture”: UK waste consultations launched

19 Feb 2019 --- The UK government has launched a series of consultations with the aim of “overhauling the waste system.” The consultations will include the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, improvements in the consistency of household recycling and a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for cans and bottles. A consultation has also been launched on a proposed “world-leading tax” on plastic packaging that contains less than 30 percent recycled content. The government will elicit industry opinions on its plans for a period of 12 weeks, closing on 13 May, 2019.

Self-preservation or valid warning? Plastic bans will result in greater environmental damage, BP stresses

18 Feb 2019 --- Oil and gas “supermajor” BP has released a report suggesting that the global trend of banning single-use plastics and replacing them with alternative materials, such as glass and paper, will lead to drastically increased energy consumption and carbon emissions. Although BP anticipates that overall demand for oil will remain strong, the report speculates that by 2040 there could be a worldwide ban on single-use plastics, which accounted for over a third of plastics produced in 2017.

“Design for the future”: CPI and WRAP launch UK guidelines for paper-based packaging

18 Feb 2019 --- The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), in conjunction with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have launched new recycling guidelines that will help retailers and brands specify and design packaging that can be reprocessed effectively in paper mills. The guidelines were developed following consultations on packaging supply chains and intend to give clarity about what the UK Paper Industry considers recyclable. The guidelines also seek to optimize both the quality and quantity of materials being recycled at paper mills and help create an impetus for future technological development in paper packaging.

“It’s been too profitable for the UK waste industry to offload waste to China,” says Hubbub Founder

15 Feb 2019 --- Ahead of Packaging Innovations 2019 in Birmingham this month, PackagingInsights speaks to Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO of environmental sustainability charity Hubbub, about UK sustainability levels and the issue of plastic packaging pollution. Hubbub collaborates with leading companies like Waitrose, Starbucks and Coca-Cola to create environmental campaigns and measure the efficacy of sustainability initiatives. Here, Restorick discusses the shortfalls of UK recycling, the demonization of plastics packaging and strategies to increase the popularity of reusable coffee cups.

Weekly Roundup: Clariant launches line of oxygen-absorber packets for healthcare, ALPLA acquires Zamil ALPLA

15 Feb 2019 --- In this week’s packaging news, specialty chemicals company Clariant launched a new line of oxygen-absorber packets for the liquid infusion market, while Ishida will be exhibiting three of its weighing and quality control solutions at Empack in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, next month. In business news, Austrian packaging solutions company ALPLA has completed a 100 percent takeover of Zamil ALPLA.

Valentine’s Day designs: “Packaging should capture the uniqueness of how we feel”

14 Feb 2019 --- As February the 14th rolls around, companies seek to attract consumer attention with packaging designs that cater to the day’s romantic connotation. From Christmas to Easter, seasonal releases of products are a classic way to appeal to consumers and product packaging takes center stage. With this in mind, PackagingInsights spoke with industry experts to find out what makes or breaks Valentine’s Day seasonal packaging.

The final straw? SIG and Huhtamaki launch paper straws as single-use plastic bans take effect

14 Feb 2019 --- Two major packaging suppliers are responding to growing demand for plastic-free straws. Beverage carton supplier SIG has launched an FSC-certified paper alternative which can be recycled via existing paper recycling streams. It is made from three layers of paperboard and two layers of adhesive. Food packaging supplier Huhtamaki’s PEFC-certified paper straws, meanwhile, are made of fiber sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Aptar and Ecover launch dispensing closure made of post-consumer recycled resin

14 Feb 2019 --- Aptar Beauty + Home has launched its first dispensing closure made from 50 percent post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) in Europe. The closure was developed in collaboration with Ecover and will feature on the eco cleaning products brand’s washing up liquid. Both companies are seeking to continue exploring opportunities to roll out PCR within the wider Ecover product portfolio.  

The UK must “take back control” of its share of the global plastics problem, says report

13 Feb 2019 --- If the UK wants to be a global environmental leader, it can no longer afford to “sweep its plastic waste issues under other countries’ carpets,” according to The Plastics Packaging Plan, a new report from UK think tank Policy Connect. The report comprises insights from prominent names in research, innovation, politics and industry with support from UK Research and Innovation, and calls for a bold national policy framework to help reduce ocean plastic overseas and boost domestic infrastructure investment and green jobs.

Genesis: Amcor packs a recycling punch with new in-store recyclable laminate

13 Feb 2019 --- Amcor has hit another sustainability milestone with the US launch of Genesis – a new high-performance laminate that offers in-store recyclability. The all-polyethylene (PE) laminate looks and feels like traditional oriented polypropylene (oPP)/PE and oriented polyester (oPET)/PE laminates and can be used to package a variety of consumer goods. Genesis is “complementary” to AmLite, Amcor’s polyolefin-based film that can be used for ambient and retort high-barrier applications, which launched in September 2018.

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