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KMKnowledge

With 37 years of experience delivering reliable packaging solutions for food manufacturers across the globe, our knowledge is second to none. Stay updated with our latest news here. 

A Guide to Packaging Solutions

Wrap-up - 27/11/2020

In our latest wrap-up ... new products and packaging, latest guide to preventing and designing out packaging waste, how more beans can save lives, inspiring video around Black Friday wastefulness, the resource efficiency of flexible packaging, experts say plastic packaging is safe, and more.

FOR STARTERS …

Chill out

Bakkavor have launched "Heat and Enjoy", their new chilled brand across ready meals, desserts, and sides. The packaging benefits from our K Peel lidding film, which provides a strong peel to PP trays, is suitable for microwave heating and has anti-fog properties for excellent product presentation in the chiller cabinet.

Veg out

BOL foods are putting veg in the centre of the table this week, with the launch of their new range BOL Centrepieces. As they say: "Just pop in the oven, whip up some simple sides and have a restaurant-worthy meal for two made easy." 

This is another product that looks great in a foil tray. You may not be aware, but our K Foil is the world's first range of lidding films explicitly designed for foil trays. It was developed in the late 1990s in response to a request from Marks & Spencer.  

Also this week …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  • Waste disposal

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation have launched Upstream Innovation: A Guide to Packaging Solutions, "rethinking the packaging, product, and business model to prevent and design out packaging waste".

  • The truth about plastics

"The Plastics Paradox" is the science-based book by Dr Chis DeArmitt that claims almost everything we have been told is untrue about plastics and the environment. Read the first few chapters of the book for free here.

  • Full of beans 

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%, according to the World Economic Forum. And the global plant-based meat alternatives market is expected increase to £3.15 billion, according to a report from analysts Research & Markets.

At KM, we're helping to meet the demand with vegan-suitable films that offer an animal-free alternative for plant-based products.

  • Value of packaging

Packaging is not to be underestimated, says Barbara Siegert, expert for food and packaging with the management consultation Munich Strategy. "If there is no packaging, there is no protection. The freshness is lost faster, the goods are more susceptible to defects – a constant quality is more difficult to regulate."

  • Less is more

Change and Challenge have shared an inspiring video about the wastefulness that's exemplified Black Friday. It resonates with us at KM where we advocate using less to do more, down-gauging packaging, using mono-materials when possible, and utilising performance packaging when and where necessary to protect food and extend shelf life. 

RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

Flexible Packaging Europe's latest infographic video highlights the resource efficiency of flexible packaging.  

RECYCLING EFFICIENCY

Biffa is one of 17 industry partners, including Co-op, in a new £1.5m collaborative venture which aims to develop simpler methods of plastic recycling. It is led by the University of Manchester and funded by the Government as part of the UKRI's "Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging" initiative. 

The "one bin" project challenges waste collection methods as well as "improving UK recycling infrastructure so that more recycled material can be fed back into a plastics circular economy". 

CHEMICAL EFFICIENCY

As much as half of all global plastics packaging could be recycled by 2040 if chemical recycling technologies are widely adopted, according to energy research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.

They highlight that more investment is needed into chemical recycling technologies that are able to “reduce fossil fuel extraction and carbon dioxide emissions, and give value to difficult-to-recycle plastics waste by acting as a complement to mechanical recycling.”  

ALTERNATIVES RESEARCH 

  • Algae and seaweeds are being put under the microscope at the University of Hohenheim in an EU research project looking for new, sustainable food additives and packaging materials.
  • Optimising the use of compostable plastics for multiple food packaging applications is the focus of research at the University of Strathclyde, a recent winner of SSPP funding. 

PLASTIC IS SAFE, SAY THE EXPERTS

The safety of plastic food packaging has been confirmed by experts from AIMPLAS, the Technological Institute of Plastics. 

They have concluded: "Plastic is the best option for foodstuffs that must be packaged to be protected from degradation due to external factors, as well as contamination by odours, micro-organisms and dust, given updated legislation and a series of scientific protocols applicable to the current manufacturing system."

EVERYONE'S A WINNER

The tray revolution

Evolve by Faerch, made from recycled bottles and trays, has been awarded the "Plastprisen 2020" by the Danish Plastics Federation for its unique and sustainable packaging solution. It can be repeatedly and fully recycled into new mono-material PET trays. 

Evolve was introduced as a solution to the UK challenge of black tray recycling.  And, at KM, we now we work with food producers around the world, including extensively in the UK and Australia, providing lidding solutions for the Evolve trays, as we meet the demand for sustainable, ovenable ready-meal packaging solutions.

Asda claim to have been the first to have transitioned their ready meal range to Evolve last year, and other major UK retailers are now packaging their products in a rainbow of Evolve colours. 

Also ... 

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

From the KM team … Stay Safe, Keep Up The Good Work, and Value Plastic.

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Sustainability in the plastics chain

Happy New Year and here's our first wrap-up of 2021 ... Sustainability with flexible packaging and throughout the customer chain. Flexible packaging and food waste. The BPF's Recycling Roadmap, past and future consumer trends, and our new C-Range of compostable packaging. Plus much more.

This year's wrap up: 2020 in review

That was the year that was: From the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and our industry's response, to reinforcing the value of plastic. From spinning the wheels of the circular economy, to discovering new packaging ideas and innovations. 

In this annual wrap-up:  We look back at 2020 and forward to the future.

Discover our innovative new range of compostable products

We have launched an innovative new range of compostable products. The C-Range of bio-plastic packaging materials includes shrink wrap, stretch wrap, adhesive tape, net and bags. It enhances our portfolio of sustainable flexible packaging solutions and offers customers a wider range of choice.

Lifting the Lid on Plastic - Part 4: Answering the difficult question with the 3 Ps - protect present preserve

Can I have a “P” please, Bob?, was once the UK’s favourite TV game-show catchphrase, as we sniggered like school kids over the classic double entendre from Blockbusters.

Today, if the contestants again tackled questions whose answers began with a specific letter of the alphabet, there would bound to be a question like “What P is being blamed for causing pollution in our oceans?”.

Of course, the quick-fire answer would be “Plastic”.

But there is a lot more to the plastic question. And a few more “P”s as well!

Plastic Packaging and the Supermarkets

In our latest wrap-up ... PLASTIC PACKAGING and the supermarkets, the BBC, in perspective, in the circular economy, and in the news.  A hard look at soft fruit, counter-terrorism policing and customer service, and more …

Lifting the Lid on Plastic: Any colour as long as it’s not black

Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black. Those were the words of Henry Ford about the Model T which, in 1913, became the first automobile to be built on a moving assembly line.

Black was chosen at the time because it was inexpensive and fast-drying and assisted the speed of assembly.

You could be forgiven for thinking the same statement was previously applied to food trays. Not so long ago, supermarkets’ ready-meal and fresh food shelves appeared to be almost completely stacked with black plastic trays.

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