Business News

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.

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.

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.

“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: SIG targets Asian market with new China Tech Centre, Singapore researchers convert durian husks into biodegradable packaging

08 Feb 2019 --- Aseptic packaging supplier SIG is expanding its Asia presence with a new Tech Centre in Suzhou, China. Plant-based ingredients company Roquette has developed two new products in its Stabilys EVO special paper and coated cardboard range. In this week’s big research news, scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have succeeded in turning durian husks into biodegradable packaging materials.

50 days till Brexit: Labeling guidance revealed as “no-deal” cliff-edge imminent

07 Feb 2019 --- With just 50 days to go until the UK crashes out of the EU, there is still no sign of a deal. A hard Brexit is looking increasingly likely, and the British Government is issuing guidance on food and drink labeling in the event of a no-deal scenario, claiming that preparing for “every eventuality” is the responsible thing to do. In the event of a no-deal, food businesses will have a 21-month transition period for the most significant changes to food labels – which include not using EU logos, emblems and making sure origin labels are correct. But there are some technical changes to labels that will be required from day one.

Weekly Roundup: Smarties go plastic-free, Tetra Pak welcomes new CEO

25 Jan 2019 --- In packaging news this week, Nestlé has committed to a range of new sustainability measures, including the planned launch of Smarties in plastic-free packaging this year and the elimination of all plastic straws from its products next month. Similarly, KFC has pledged to use 100 percent “recoverable or reusable” plastic packaging by 2025 across its restaurants. Carton innovators Tetra Pak has appointed Adolfo Orive as its new CEO effective 1 April, 2019.

Brexit, what Brexit? US private equity firm secures RPC in US$4.3 billion deal

24 Jan 2019 --- US private equity firm Apollo has struck a US$4.3 billion deal to acquire UK plastic packaging giant RPC. The sale was agreed just hours before the expiry of the regulatory deadline, which had previously been extended five times since negotiations began in September 2018. Notably, the buy-out has come amid continuing Brexit uncertainty and increasing public and regulatory scrutiny of plastics and their role in a more sustainable future.

Davos 2019: TerraCycle launches reusable and refillable packaging initiative for e-commerce

24 Jan 2019 --- Recycling specialist TerraCycle has launched a first-of-its-kind reusable packaging home delivery service in partnership with a host of leading global brands. Taking place today in Davos at the World Economic Forum (WEF), the launch fuses e-commerce and sustainability in a way that a green-minded public has long been calling for. Consumers will be able to use durable, reusable or fully recyclable packaging made from materials such as alloys, glass and engineered plastics. Could this be a step closer to saying goodbye to single-use plastics?

“A who's who of companies investing in plastic production”: Is the Alliance to End Plastic Waste hypocritical?

23 Jan 2019 --- The newly-launched Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) reads like a “who’s who of companies investing in the expansion of plastic production,” which, considering the alliance’s goals, is ironic. This is according to research from the Dutch-Belgian environmental NGO Recycling Netwerk. The findings showed that many of the alliance’s 28 members have scheduled billion-dollar investments in the expansion of plastic production.

Dutch Novio Packaging Group acquires Swiss-German Flacopac and Deflaco in bid to boost personal care segment

22 Jan 2019 --- Novio Packaging Group, an international player in the packaging industry, has acquired German-Swiss packaging companies Flacopac (Germany) and Deflaco (Switzerland). The move is aimed at increasing the group’s market share in Europe and gives the Netherlands-based company a significantly stronger presence in the industry.

“Smart shopping”: Bizerba and Supersmart adapt AI to retail sector for ultra-convenient consumer experience

21 Jan 2019 --- A smart, digitally-enhanced shopping experience is now a reality in supermarkets after the strategic partnering of Israeli start-up company Supersmart and packaging and labeling innovators Bizerba. The latter is actively supporting Supersmart in its development of AI, algorithms and computer vision for advanced software and hardware solutions which can achieve a “fundamentally new customer experience in all sectors and formats of the retail industry.”

Brexit and packaging: Plastics to be the hardest hit sector in a “no deal” scenario, experts warn

15 Jan 2019 --- The pan-European plastics sector will be the hardest hit in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, experts are warning. The UK Parliament will vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Brexit deal later today. MPs are widely expected to vote against the proposed deal, increasing the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit. As the historic vote looms large, PackagingInsights asks what a “no-deal” Brexit could mean for the European packaging industry.

“Fragmented” rigid plastics market set for steady growth despite industry challenges, says Frost & Sullivan

09 Jan 2019 --- The rigid plastic packaging market will reach US$166.63 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.2 percent between 2017 and 2022, according to new Frost & Sullivan forecasts. The main obstacles to further growth, as identified by the market researcher, include the option of flexible packaging alternatives, particularly stand-up pouches, increasingly challenging environmental regulations and the “fragmented” nature of the market.

Weekly Roundup: Iceland reverse vending machine trial success, Noluma warns against poor light protection in dairy packaging

04 Jan 2019 --- As 2019 kicks off, UK supermarket chain Iceland revealed encouraging results from its reverse vending machine scheme for plastic bottles. Iceland has been rewarding eco-conscious shoppers with 10p vouchers for every deposited bottle since June. Also in recycling, Indorama Ventures is raising its sustainability ambitions with the acquisition of a PET recycling facility in Alabama, US. In this weeks’ big research news, light protection technologists Noluma warned that insufficient packaging can result in the rapid degradation of dairy nutrients by up to 51 percent.

UK government launches 10p plastic bag consultation after success of 5p scheme

02 Jan 2019 --- The UK government has launched a consultation to increase the 5p plastic bag charge to 10p and extend the scheme to all retailers. The move comes as part of Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s strategy to reduce single-use plastic waste and transform throwaway culture.

Weekly Roundup: UK-wide deposit-return scheme planned for 2023, Stora Enso teams with FSC

21 Dec 2018 --- This week in packaging news, the UK government unveiled plans for a nationwide deposit-return scheme, which is set to launch in 2023. Sustainability action was widespread and exemplified by Stora Enso’s new partnership with FSC, which will aim to increase levels of certified wood supply across Europe, and Ritrama SpA’s launch of a new 50 percent dried grass label for wine, spirits and beer. Meanwhile, Coveris will open its new Pack Positive Centre in Leeds, UK, in the New Year, with the aim of driving sustainable plastic and paper packaging advancements.

“Transforming the future of sustainable PET production:” Loop and thyssenkrupp sign Global Alliance Agreement

20 Dec 2018 --- Sustainable plastic innovator Loop Industries has signed a Global Alliance Agreement with thyssenkrupp’s Industrial Solutions division, Uhde Inventa-Fischer. The Alliance intends to combine Loop’s depolymerization technology with thyssenkrupp’s PET Melt-To-Resin technology. The move is expected to increase the availability, resource-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of 100 percent sustainable PET on a global scale.

Providing clarity: EU announces 10 single-use plastics to be banned by 2021

20 Dec 2018 --- Following months of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have reached a provisional agreement on ambitious new single-use plastic measures proposed in May, and identified the 10 types of single-use plastics that will be banned under the EU’s Plastics Strategy.

Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa to accelerate high-grade, recycled PET development

17 Dec 2018 --- The Coca-Cola Company is extending a loan to Ioniqa Technologies, based in the Netherlands, to facilitate the development of Ioniqa’s proprietary technology which can reportedly turn colored and hard-to-recycle PET plastics into transparent, virgin-grade material. The agreement is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of high-grade recycled content PET for use in Coca-Cola bottles.