Rigid Plastics

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.

“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.

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.

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.

Waste to paste: VTT Finland develops “revolutionary” recycling device

12 Feb 2019 --- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed the first prototype of a cylindrical extruder which has shown promise in “revolutionizing the processing of recyclable materials.” The extruder can be used, for example, to turn problematic textiles and plastics as well as food waste into pellets. VTT say that the first prototype has already exceeded the industrial steering group's expectations during initial testing. VTT is currently looking for a partner to commercialize the technology.

Watermarks can harmonize sorting processes amid regulation squeeze: Petcore Conference 2019 review, Part 2

11 Feb 2019 --- One of the key findings at the Petcore Europe Conference, held in Brussels last week, was that in order to achieve the stringent recycling targets set out in the EU Plastics Strategy, the industry must collaborate more efficiently to develop harmonized, efficient sorting processes. Since most recycling problems can be brought back to the sorting process, cracking sorting will crack recycling, according to Gian De Belder, Packaging Technologist, Sustainable Packaging Development at Procter & Gamble (P&G). One potential breakthrough technology that could add efficiency and precision to the sorting process is watermarking.

Shifting conditions, mounting pressure: Petcore Conference 2019 review, Part 1

08 Feb 2019 --- The first ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics was announced in January 2018, but one year on, what impact has this had on the European plastics value chain? PackagingInsights reports from the Petcore Europe Conference 2019 in Brussels, where the “EU Plastics Strategy 2.0. Taking the PET industry to the next step,” discussion centered around what the future of PET will look like amid wide-reaching regulatory and societal change.

The negative list: Nestlé identifies the six "no go" plastic types in its sustainability charge

06 Feb 2019 --- Nestlé has identified several plastic material types that it will avoid using in new product packaging and immediately begin phasing out from existing packaging. The FMCG giant has determined that effective recycling schemes are unlikely to be established for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polyvinyliden Chloride (PVDC), Polystyrene (PS), expanded Polystyrene (ePS), Regenerated Cellulose and non-recyclable plastics/paper combinations and, as such, these materials will be discontinued for packaging purposes.

Aegg to showcase new rigid food packaging lines at Packaging Innovations UK

06 Feb 2019 ---  Premium glass and plastic packaging suppliers Aegg is set to unveil several new lines of rigid food packaging at Packaging Innovations in Birmingham, UK, later this month. This will include an extended range of table-presentable glass food pots, a new range of glass packaging jars and bottles in addition to its new thin-walled ultra-clear PP and PET pots and its innovatively designed PP plastic sauce and soup pots.

PET Engineering and GEA collaborate on Huel RTD launch

05 Feb 2019 --- With a turnover of £14 million (US$18.6 million) in 2017 and £40 million (US$52 million) in 2018, replacement meal brand Huel is seeing impressive growth in the global market. To accommodate its expanding range, the company worked with Pet Engineering and GEA Procomac on a ready-to-drink (RTD) product that was recently launched in the market. The packaging design needed to meet two main requirements: coherency with the existing product portfolio and functionality.

Microplastics: Micro or macro risk?

04 Feb 2019 --- Microplastics have been found in the guts of every marine mammal, including dolphins and whales, examined in a new study of animals washed up on UK shores. The new University of Exeter study joins an ever-growing list of research on the presence of microplastics in wildlife and natural habitats, from freshwater to marine settings. PackagingInsights takes a look at the most recent literature, consults experts on the topic, and asks: How big is the microplastics threat and is enough being done?

The straw that broke the cow’s back: Ben & Jerry’s to eliminate single-use plastic in Scoop Shops worldwide

29 Jan 2019 --- Ben & Jerry's is to eliminate plastic straws and spoons from its more than 600 Scoop Shops worldwide in early 2019. As part of the company’s commitment to eradicating single-use plastic, it also “plans to address” plastic cups and lids used to serve ice cream by the end of 2020.

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.

Highland Spring to launch eco bottle as permanent fixture after shoppers choose sustainability

23 Jan 2019 --- UK producer of natural source water Highland Spring is making its 100 percent recycled and recyclable eco bottle a permanent product offering in 2019. The decision comes after the brand experienced “major success” in a trial of the eco bottle last year. Further eco bottle product ranges will also launch later this year after shoppers expressed a desire for more sustainable options during the trial.

“Waste-free future”: Nestlé’s biodegradable water bottle may be 2-3 years away

17 Jan 2019 --- A notable collaboration between Nestlé and Danimer Scientific may produce a marine biodegradable water bottle prototype in the next two to three years. The partnership is part of the company’s broader plan to reach its “waste-free future” vision. The plan looks beyond recycling, to include further investment in research alternatives to plastic material.

Transparent jars: Danone and Amcor create 100 percent recyclable container for all-natural yogurt

17 Jan 2019 --- Danone has collaborated with Amcor to produce a transparent, wide-mouth, spoonable jar for its all-natural yogurt, sold in Argentina. Appealing to the growing “mindful consumer” market in Latin America, the 200ml jar is made from transparent PET, meaning it is 100 percent recyclable, while consumers can easily see the all-nature yogurt through the jar.

Waitrose on target to eradicate black plastic, encourages reusable containers at fresh service counters

16 Jan 2019 --- UK supermarket chain Waitrose has ceased using black plastic to package hundreds of its own-label products. It plans to completely eradicate hard-to-recycle black plastics from own-label products by the end of 2019. Waitrose is also encouraging customers to bring reusable containers to the supermarket’s fresh service counters to minimize the use of plastic bags.

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