Key Interviews

“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.

“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.

“Visual language is the future of packaging design,” says Dutch expert, Marc Pruijssers

22 Jan 2019 --- “It’s not what you read,” says packaging design expert, Marc Pruijssers, during his recent TEDx Venlo talk on visual language, “it’s what you see, is what you get.” Pruijssers demonstrates that the most aesthetically-pleasing design choice is not always the most commercially effective and that a more scientific approach to packaging design is required. He speaks to PackagingInsights about the power of visual language in connecting consumers with packaging at the all-important point of sale.

“Earth is our production machine”: All-natural wheat straw brings hope to Syrian refugees

18 Jan 2019 --- Last year’s announcement by the European Commission that several single-use plastic products will be banned has highlighted the need for alternative, more sustainable options. In this space, Omnes, a Greek non-profit, voluntary association is producing and marketing a single-use wheat straw that is 100 percent natural and compostable. The move may even help lift the economy of a region struck by the financial crisis and help with the integration of 700 Syrian refugees.

Sealed Air sustainability exec: “Being ‘recyclable’ isn't a silver bullet for e-commerce design”

07 Jan 2019 --- As expectations from consumers and customers become ever-more stringent around how their e-commerce parcels are delivered – sustainably and safely – Sealed Air has been at the forefront of innovation. Speaking to Dan Healey, Director of Sustainability for Sealed Air’s Product Care division, PackagingInsights explores how the company has developed its e-commerce packaging offerings and how being “recyclable” alone is far from being a silver bullet for sustainable e-commerce design.

French start-up launches ultra-sustainable, commercially-viable cotton coated food wrap

03 Dec 2018 --- A 29-year-old French entrepreneur has created and independently-launched a 100 percent renewable and recyclable food wrap packaging called Cosse. Produced from organic cotton coated with resin, wax and oil, the sticky but not gluey material can be used to package a wide range of foods including fruit and vegetables, pasta salad, cheese and bread. It can be washed in warm soapy water and reused up to 250 times. PackagingInsights speaks to the creator, Clémence Maurel, about the environmental and commercial success of this innovative packaging.

Consumer interest in liquid nutraceutical delivery forms grow as “pill fatigue” perseveres, says Bormioli Pharma 

13 Nov 2018 --- Consumers are more mindful of their health and nutraceutical products have become aspects of an everyday diet. This, coupled with a faster pace of consumer living has spurred a number of packaging innovations for nutraceuticals. This is according to Elena Piazza, Business Development & Marketing Manager at Bormioli Pharma, which supplies pharmaceutical and nutraceutical packaging solutions. Its portfolio includes a dual chamber system packaging which offers precise reconstitution for oral products, including food supplements.

New Plastics Economy Lead: “Only businesses and governments can solve the plastic pollution crisis – it’s a race to the top”

09 Nov 2018 --- On 29 October 2018, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced that more than 290 organizations comprising 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally had signed a Global Commitment to eradicate plastic waste at source and work collaboratively towards the development of a circular plastics economy. PackagingInsights speaks to Sander Defruyt, Lead of the New Plastics Economy project, about this landmark agreement, increased company transparency, effective consumer recycling, the role of bioplastics and more.

How could the proposed UK tax on non-recycled plastic strain the packaging industry?

05 Nov 2018 --- Food and beverage companies could be taxed on plastic packaging that contains less than 30 percent recycled content from April 2022, the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the 2018 Budget speech last week. Kenton Robbins, the Managing Director of PFF, the UK’s largest independent producer of thermoformed plastic for food packaging, notes that applying a degree of pressure to deal with plastic waste is the right thing to do, but that there are hurdles facing the UK recycling industry that will make 30 percent recycled plastic levels difficult for some companies to achieve. 

Tetra Pak’s Vice President of Sustainability: “We are the largest user of biopolymers today, but the market is not yet there”

22 Oct 2018 ---  A holistic approach to sustainability that will lead to a packaging portfolio of 100 percent renewable materials is driving the vision of Tetra Pak. Mario Abreu, Tetra Pak’s Vice President for Sustainability and Chairman of the Sustainability Forum tells PackagingInsights about how Tetra Pak is attempting to increase the viability of the renewable sources market in an effort to only use “renewable and available materials that will always be replenished.”

Peel Saver innovation packages street fries in their own peel waste

11 Oct 2018 --- The packaging solution is sometimes right in front of your eyes. That is the view of Simone Caronni, Pietro Gaeli and Paolo Stefano Gentile, three product designers from NABA University in Milan, who have created cone-shaped fries packaging from discarded potato peels. Fries companies produce a lot of potato peels: the idea of this project is to use this material to save on waste while producing eco-conscious packaging, the trio says, and so the Peel Saver was born.

“The plastic system is broken,” but science has the answers to fix it: VTT Research Center on the future of packaging

04 Oct 2018 --- VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, a leading European research and technology organization, are using science and technology to prove to the industry that plastic can be part of a strong circular economy, with the addition of bio-based raw materials and sustainable design, as well as a three-pronged approach to recycling: mechanical, chemical and biological. PackagingInsights got in contact with the team at VTT to detail some of their key developments, as well as their outlooks for the future of packaging.

Garçon Wines: The intersection of the emotional, functional and sustainable in wine packaging

20 Sep 2018 --- In collaboration with RPC M&H Plastics UK, Garçon Wines has reimagined wine retailing, logistics and delivery with the invention of a full-sized, letterbox-friendly 750ml wine bottle made from 100 percent recyclable PET. As the granted IP holder of the invention, Garçon Wines commercializes these unique, slimline and lightweight wine bottles, operating as both a drinks packaging provider and wine wholesale supplier. PackagingInsights speaks to Santiago Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder, about the ripples they are creating in wine retailing and e-commerce at large.

Luxury Packaging: Global growth driven by new technologies

12 Sep 2018 ---  Luxury Packaging London 2018 – the UK’s only designated luxury packaging show – has exhibited a market in good mood and one which is growing on a global scale, even exceeding general consumer goods packaging by some accounts. This is despite challenges concerned with how luxury packagers can continue to “stand-out” and be commercially successful in an arena where new technologies and processes have enabled cheaper production and greater efficiency, allowing competitors to undercut prices.

“We face a storm on the horizon and we have to adapt, fast”: UK Recycling Association CEO

12 Sep 2018 ---  The state of recycling in the UK has been shaken by a string of Asian countries banning or restricting the import of post-consumer plastic and mixed paper grade. “Millions of tons of recovered materials collected globally, and of varying quality, was displaced,” Simon Ellin, CEO of The Recycling Association, tells PackagingInsights. He further warns that “we face a storm on the horizon as China looks set to ban imports of all solid waste in the next couple of years.” How can the industry prepare? Adapt – and fast.

Sidel on PET for the liquid dairy industry: Differentiation, flexibility and sustainability

29 Aug 2018 --- The use of PET as a packaging material is expected to continue its growth within the global liquid dairy sector. Traditionally packaged in carton or HDPE containers, liquid dairy products bottled in PET are forecasted to grow by 4.4 percent in the period from 2018 to 2020, according to Guillaume Rolland, Vice President Sensitive Products at Sidel. Sidel, provider of complete solutions for packaging liquids in PET, can and glass, advocates for the dairy industry to swap to PET packaging. Rolland explains to PackagingInsights.

European Bioplastics: Challenging misconceptions and building platforms

27 Aug 2018 ---  Bioplastic packaging is gaining popularity in a global market driven by sustainability demands. Yet the inherent difficulties in finding mainstream definitions for the many complex variations in bio-based materials means that bioplastics do not always get the attention from regulatory bodies that they deserve. PackagingInsights speaks exclusively to Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics (EUBP), about the message his organization is working to promote.

Flexible packaging and the sustainability demand: How are manufacturers responding?

09 Aug 2018 --- “Sustainability has undeniably become a key focus in packaging innovation,” Charles Smithson, Managing Director at KM Packaging tells PackagingInsights. Smithson explains how sustainability is driving manufacturer demand and details how KM Packaging, a leading global supplier of flexible packaging and lidding films, is responding to this joint consumer and customer mandate.

Talkin’ Things on connected packaging: Where is it going?

03 Aug 2018 --- Connected, smart and digital are all words that are becoming firmly embedded in the packaging industry’s wordbook. As the industry begins to apply the technology for both consumer-facing and logistical means, the market is growing at an unprecedented pace. PackagingInsights speaks to Talkin’ Things CEO Marcin Pilarz about what he thinks is behind this market growth and what we can expect from the sector in the future. Even if smart packaging is a fad, its B2B potential is unrivaled.

Fine and Raw: Standing out on the health food shelf with color, texture and taste

06 Jul 2018 ---  New York-based raw chocolate company Fine & Raw speaks to PackagingInsights about the challenges of matching packaging to brand identity, and the creative journey the company wishes to reflect through its chocolate and its wrapping. Fine & Raw has been enjoying the high that has come with a surge in consumer interest in raw treats and healthy indulgence.