In Packaging

The End of 2019 in Packaging

2019 had been a busy year for packaging. The top brands around the world have come together to focus on improving the world through collaboration. We have seen massive improvements in the way goods are packaged and the attention that is placed on the materials used. Consumers have also paid more attention than ever to the packaging products and processes. Here are the top news stories from the packaging industry in 2019.

DELL USES BLOCKCHAIN TO TRACK RECYCLED PACKAGING

Cloud and virtualization software company VMware is working with Dell Technologies to track and trace the latter’s recycled packaging material using blockchain. VMware’s Pratima Gluckman shared a few details regarding the project during an interview with GreenBiz.

Southeast Asia accounts for 60% of the total ocean plastic, reports Nikkei. Most laptop and computer peripheral makers, including Dell, have strong supply chains in Southeast Asia. The company is using this to its advantage by adding recycled products in its supply chain. 

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PLASTIC-LIKE PACKAGING MADE FROM FISH SKIN AND ALGAE

This new packaging prototype looks like conventional plastic, but it’s actually made from fish waste and algae—and unlike plastic, if it escapes into the ocean, a fish could likely eat it safely. The material, called MarinaTex, is the winner of this year’s James Dyson Award.

“It began with my desire to work with waste,” says Lucy Hughes, a recent graduate from the U.K.’s University of Sussex, who began developing the material as a student. Through a contact at the university, Hughes visited a fish processing plant to see the massive quantity of waste generated by the industry and find new ways to use it. She focused on fish skins and scales. “When I had it in my hands, I realized this has got potential,” she says. “It’s super strong and flexible and pliable.”

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THE WORLD’S FIRST PAPER BEER BOTTLE

The bottle forms part of Carlsberg’s Together Towards Zero initiative, which includes a commitment to reach zero carbon emissions and a 30% reduction in its “full-value-chain carbon footprint” by 2030.

The brewer has revealed two prototypes for its green fibre bottle. Both are made from sustainably sourced wood fibres and have an “inner barrier” allowing the bottle to hold beer. One uses a thin recycled PET polymer film barrier, while the other has a bio-based PEF polymer film barrier.

Carlsberg initially launched plans for the project back in 2015, working alongside EcoXpac, BillerudKorsnäs and post-doctoral researchers from the Technical University of Denmark. This collaboration has resulted in the creation of paper bottle company Paboco, a joint venture between BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist ALPLA.

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INVERTED POUCH TRENDS

A category-first application of the inverted pouch aims to have retail and ecommerce consumers abuzz about the no-mess convenience of Chico Honey’s new packaging.

Thriving packaging segments draw brand owners like blossoms draw bees.

For example, consider the inverted pouch. Starting in 2015 with Daisy brand sour cream, the topsy-turvy revision of the universally popular stand-up pouch continues to gain traction with brands across a widening swath of packaged foods from barbecue sauce to yogurt (see article links at the end).

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KRAFT CHEESE INTRODUCES INTERACTIVE PACKAGING

Kraft Cheese is launching a nationwide “intelligent packaging” campaign for its products sold at Walmart. Consumers can use their mobile phone to tap Kraft American Singles packs to play a scratch-and-win game. In-store shoppers can receive recipe content along with an interactive scratch-and-win game that can be done at home. 

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PLASTIC PACKAGING: HOW ARE SUPERMARKETS DOING

Bunches of bananas wrapped in plastic. A pre-peeled orange in a plastic box. Shrink-wrapped cucumbers. Over-packaged food has been bothering shoppers for years and supermarkets have responded by looking for alternatives to all that plastic. But now MPs are saying that the UK needs to move away from all single-use packaging – not just plastic. 

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KITKAT DITCHES PLASTIC PACKAGING FOR PAPER YOU CAN TURN INTO ORIGAMI

Candy bar packaging, which is traditionally made of plastic film, is known for its hyper-glossy exterior. This bright finish is partially used to entice the sweet-toothed, but also because plastic, on a large scale, requires less energy to produce than paper products. In an effort to attract KitKat lovers to buy this newly matte version, Nestlé Japan has designed the updated packaging to include instructions for how to fashion it, post-snack, into the iconic origami crane, a traditional Japanese messenger of thoughts and wishes. (The mini-bar bags also feature designs that encourage consumers to alchemize their trash into origami art.) Ideally, this will guarantee that the paper remains in use, longer.

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