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20.05.2024
Latest News Wrap-Up / 06.05.2024

Retail reaping benefits of flexible packaging

In our latest Wrap-Up … Retail reaping benefits of flexible packaging, plastic recycling awareness campaign, new generation of barcodes, packaging alternatives creating gas. And more …

FOR STARTERS …

Retail reaping benefits of flexible packaging

In an era of convenience and sustainability, the retail industry is increasingly shifting towards flexible packaging solutions. As revealed in a special feature from Packaging Gateway, flexible packaging reduces material usage, enhances consumer experience, and contributes to a circular economy.

The flexible packaging benefits that are highlighted include:

  • Reduced material usage and carbon footprints.
  • Extension of the shelf life of perishable products, minimising food waste.
  • Convenience and ease of transportation for retailers and consumers.
  • Smart integrated technologies that engage consumers and provide product information.
  • Contribution to a circular economy through developments in biodegradable and compostable materials.

However, it’s also underlined that the challenge lies in creating a robust recycling infrastructure for flexible packaging materials.

MEANWHILE …

What a load of rubbish

UK households throw away 1.7 billion pieces of plastic packaging every week, according to the “Big Plastic Count” survey conducted by Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic.

The survey involved nearly 225,000 participants, and the findings indicate that snack and vegetable packaging are the most commonly discarded plastic items, with only 17% of the plastic being recycled.

On your Marks

Marks & Spencer has announced plans to trace the journey of its plastic packaging by working with Polytag to understand where the material is recycled.

BRAND NEW …

  • Spreading sustainability: The “world’s first” paper tub from margarine brand Flora is now available in the UK. The plastic-free packaging is made from compressed wet paper fibres and is resistant to oil and water. The move comes as food company Upfield - which owns the Flora brand - aims to reduce plastic across its portfolio by 80% by 2030.
  • Krafty rebranding: Kraft Heinz, in the US, has rebranded and repackaged its sauces, dressings, and spreads into the newly formed Kraft Sauces portfolio. The company also launched its first product innovation under the Kraft Sauces umbrella, called Kraft Creamy Sauces.
  • Seeking harmony: Nestlé is advocating for a more streamlined global approach to recycling and supports legislation that harmonises recycling standards. Nestlé monitors recycling and packaging-related laws in the 188 countries it operates in.
  • Packaging progress: Del Monte Foods has highlighted its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts, particularly in sustainable packaging. The company aims to include 25% recycled content in its plastic packaging by 2023 and make 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2030.

RECYCLING NEWS …

  • Rigid initiative: Faerch has opened a new plant in the Netherlands to tackle the issue of circularity in rigid food packaging.
  • Raising awareness: The British Plastics Federation (BPF) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA) have launched a campaign to raise awareness about plastics recycling in the UK, using social media and online influencers to engage consumers and improve recycling rates.
  • Flexible capacity: Berry Global Group's Flexibles division has increased recycling capacity across three European recycling facilities. This expansion will help meet the growing demand for high-performance films made with recycled content.
  • Challenging partnership: Dow and Procter & Gamble have announced a partnership to develop new technology for recycling challenging plastics. The companies aim to create a dissolution process that can recycle rigid, flexible, and multi-layer packaging.
  • Circular collaboration: Australian company Viva Energy has partnered with waste management firm Cleanaway to develop a circular solution for recycling soft and hard-to-recycle plastic waste. The project aims to transform these materials into food-grade plastic resin feedstock.

INDUSTRY INTEREST …

  • Raising the barcode: GS1 is leading a global collaboration to transition to the next generation of 2D barcodes backed by brands like PepsiCo and Walmart. The shift promises enhanced supply chain visibility, efficiency, and consumer safety.
  • Tray to tray success: Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) has launched the first food packaging trays made from 100% recycled PET (rPET) sourced exclusively from trays.
  • Wrap wrapped up: Samworth Brothers has acquired the remaining shares of The Real Wrap Co, a sandwich and wrap producer based in Bristol.
  • Using their loaf:  The first bread packaging made with fully recycled post-consumer plastic in Saudi Arabia has been rolled out. The new FONTE bread bags incorporate 100% mass-balanced certified content of recycled feedstock from mixed post-consumer used plastics.
  • Animal rights and wrongs: The RSPCA wants more precise labels on animal food products to inform consumers about how products are made. And people are being urged to have their say on a government consultation looking at clearer pork, chicken, and eggs labels.
  • China syndrome: US President Joe Biden has called for a tripling of tariffs on particular steel and aluminium imports from China. Donald Trump has proposed a more than 60% tax for products from China.

SUSTAINABLE TOPICS …

  • Alternative gases: Using conventional alternatives to plastics is likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions, according to research from the University of Sheffield. The study compared plastic products with alternatives in 16 applications, finding that in 15 cases, plastics resulted in lower emissions.
  • Root funding: Swedish food-tech company Saveggy has raised £1.5m in funding for its plant-based vegetable packaging that aims to replace plastic. The company’s packaging is designed to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables without harming the environment.
  • Sensors of purpose: Senoptica Technologies has received FDA approval for its food-waste-busting sensor technology, which uses optical sensors to detect the oxygen level inside packaged foods.
  • Plastic commitment: A survey conducted by Tetra Pak has found that three out of five sustainability commitments made by business leaders involve reducing plastic usage. The study also revealed that consumer demand is the main driver behind implementing sustainable solutions.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY …

From the KM team … protecting, presenting, and preserving your products.

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