Packaging & Technology News

50 days till Brexit: Labeling guidance revealed as “no-deal” cliff-edge imminent

07 Feb 2019 --- With just 50 days to go until the UK crashes out of the EU, there is still no sign of a deal. A hard Brexit is looking increasingly likely, and the British Government is issuing guidance on food and drink labeling in the event of a no-deal scenario, claiming that preparing for “every eventuality” is the responsible thing to do. In the event of a no-deal, food businesses will have a 21-month transition period for the most significant changes to food labels – which include not using EU logos, emblems and making sure origin labels are correct. But there are some technical changes to labels that will be required from day one.

Expect innovation: Fruit Logistica predicts shelf-life advancements as sustainability challenge heats up

07 Feb 2019 --- A new report by Fruit Logistica anticipates “significant innovation” in fresh produce packaging and supply chain management in the coming years. This prediction is based on increased consumer awareness of the environmental damage caused by food packaging and the need for greater shelf-life and efficiency in the supply chain.

Low alcohol beverages offer opportunities to paper-based packaging suppliers: Smurfit Kappa

31 Jan 2019 --- Saxon Packaging (which is owned by Smurfit Kappa, one of the world's largest manufacturers of paper-based packaging products), has revealed a 61 percent increase (compared to 2017) in demand for packaging solutions for low and non-alcoholic beverages from its customers. Additionally, the company notes a staggering 377 percent increase (compared to 2017) in the quantity of drinks packaging manufactured for use in the low and non-alcoholic beverage market. Saxon Packaging believes the rise of Generation Z (16-25-year-old) consumers is a driving factor behind this type of behavior.

UK Environment Secretary proposes stricter allergen labeling laws

29 Jan 2019 --- The UK government has launched a consultation to strengthen allergen labeling laws. British Environment Secretary Michael Gove unveiled proposals to overhaul allergen labeling laws and give consumers more transparent information on the food they buy last Friday (25 Jan). Subject to the consultation launched last week, food outlets selling pre-packaged food directly for sale could be required to follow new rules designed to give the UK’s two million food allergy sufferers greater confidence in the safety of their food.

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.

Brexit and packaging: Plastics to be the hardest hit sector in a “no deal” scenario, experts warn

15 Jan 2019 --- The pan-European plastics sector will be the hardest hit in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, experts are warning. The UK Parliament will vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Brexit deal later today. MPs are widely expected to vote against the proposed deal, increasing the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit. As the historic vote looms large, PackagingInsights asks what a “no-deal” Brexit could mean for the European packaging industry.

Fully automated BreadBot really is “the best thing since sliced bread,” says developer

10 Jan 2019 --- Family-owned The Wilkinson Baking Company has unveiled The BreadBot – the world’s first fully automated bread making machine – at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas (CES). The BreadBot turns flour into loaves all on its own, producing bread which is fresh, healthy, preservative-free and eco-friendly in comparison to center aisle bread. The system is aimed at re-establishing an “emotional connection with the shopper” that has been lost in an age of industrial food production.

Robot campus delivery: PepsiCo launches self-driving robots for better-for-you snacks

07 Jan 2019 --- Snackbot, PepsiCo’s snack delivery robot created in collaborative partnership with Bay Area-based Robby technologies, is now delivering nutritious snacks to students attending the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, US. In an effort to make better-for-you snacking convenient, the outdoors, self-driving robots deliver snacks and beverages from Hello Goodness, a curated portfolio of better-for-you brands from PepsiCo.

Recycling overhaul: Packaging suppliers set to pay own costs as England looks to counter “throw-away” society

19 Dec 2018 --- Manufacturers will have to foot the bill for recycling or the disposal of their own waste as part of UK government’s Resources and Waste Strategy announced this week. Also contained in the plan – said to “overhaul” England’s waste system – were steps aimed at simplifying recycling labels for consumers, limiting levels of food waste, introducing a deposit return scheme for single-use bottles and clamping down on the illegal movements of waste within the recycling industry. The proposals will only effect England.

Starch-based, edible film for seafood could kill pathogens on food surfaces

18 Dec 2018 --- A biodegradable, edible film made with plant starch and antimicrobial compounds may control the growth of foodborne pathogens on seafood, according to a group of international researchers. The innovative finding could help prevent food poisoning, as well as support the seafood industry’s transition away from its reliance on plastic packaging.

Clever Cup: Costa and Barclaycard launch UK’s first reusable contactless payment coffee cup

10 Dec 2018 --- Costa Coffee and Barclaycard have collaborated to launch the UK’s first reusable coffee-cup with integrated contactless payment technology. Powered by Barclaycard’s bPay technology, Costa Coffee’s Clever Cup allows users to make purchases with the cup, top up their in-store credit balance and track payments online or via a dedicated app on both iPhone and Android devices. Launched last month in Costa Coffee stores across the UK, this reusable innovation is expected to decrease the volume of discarded coffee cups.

UK trailblazing sustainable packaging: Government invests US$76.4m

06 Dec 2018 --- The concept of turning household food scraps into environmentally-friendly packaging for bags and cups has been given a huge cash boost as part of a package of sustainability measures awarded £60 million (US$76.4 million) in new UK government funding. It’s part of the UK’s plan to “lead the world in the development of sustainable packaging”. Innovators are rising to the challenge of reducing the impact of harmful plastics on the environment, as Britain seizes the chance to become a trailblazer in the global shift to greener and cleaner economies.

UK proposes tax on non-recycled plastic packaging by 2022

30 Oct 2018 --- Food and beverage companies will be taxed on plastic packaging that contains less than 30 percent recycled content, the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced yesterday in the 2018 Budget speech. The tax aims to “transform the economics of sustainable packaging” and posit the UK as “as a world leader” in tackling the scourge of plastic littering across the world and its oceans.

“A line in the sand”: Global plastic players sign landmark commitment to establish new circular economy

29 Oct 2018 --- More than 290 organizations comprising 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally have signed a Global Commitment to eradicate plastic waste at source and establish a circular economy for the material. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment, and will be officially unveiled at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali today. Signatories include well-known consumer businesses such as Danone; H&M group; L’Oréal; Mars, Incorporated; PepsiCo; The Coca-Cola Company; and Unilever; major packaging producers such as Amcor, plastics producers including Novamont, and resource management specialist Veolia.

Smart labeling: Time and temperature “traffic light” label tipped to reduce waste

24 Oct 2018 --- Tipped as a “next-generation” smart labeling project aimed at dramatically cutting food waste across the perishable goods industry, a Time Temperature Indicator label (TTI) provides real-time information on a product’s condition throughout its supply chain journey. Using a green, amber and red traffic light system to highlight the condition of the goods, which highlights shelf-life issues.

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.”

Greenpeace reveals world’s worst plastic polluting companies: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé respond

11 Oct 2018 --- Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were the most frequent companies identified in 239 cleanups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and six continents, the Break Free From Plastic movement has announced. Over 187,000 pieces of plastic trash were audited, identifying thousands of brands whose packaging relies on the single-use plastics that pollute our oceans and waterways globally. Coca-Cola was the top polluter in the global audit, with Coke-branded plastic pollution found in 40 of the 42 participating countries. This brand audit effort is the most comprehensive snapshot of the worst plastic polluting companies around the world, according to Greenpeace. PackagingInsights speaks to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé about Greenpeace's latest report.

Welcome to the future? Coca-Cola China integrates retail, recycling and AI technology in vending machine 

03 Oct 2018 --- The Coca-Cola Company has launched a new vending machine concept in China where consumers can purchase beverages, as well as return and recycle used bottles and cans, marking the first concept equipment to combine beverage sales and packaging recycling by Coca-Cola China. The vending machine also uses AI technology such as facial recognition and sound interaction to provide an interactive experience to the consumers.

Schubert Lightline series lights up FachPack 2018 with compact automated efficiency

26 Sep 2018 --- Gerhard Schubert’s new Lightline series consisting of The CartonPacker, The Flowpacker and The Pickerline has attracted much attention at the ongoing FachPack 2018 show in Nuremberg. The preconfigured machine range boasts compact design, targeting customers looking for improved efficiency in automated food and beverage package processing involving reduced formats and packaging variants. PackagingInsights speaks with Marcel Kiessling, Managing Director Sales and Service for Schubert, on the show floor.

Plastic-free compostable Futamura crisp bag lights up Packaging Innovations 2018

17 Sep 2018 --- Compostable and renewable packaging film specialists Futamura grabbed headlines at Packaging Innovations 2018 in London with its 100 percent plastic-free, compostable crisp bag made from barrier film NatureFlex. The bag is the first of its kind on the European market, originally launched in Germany. Futamura collaborated with packaging manufacturer Bio4Pack to create the pack for German organic crisps producer, myCHIPSBOX. The bag was displayed on the Packaging Innovations Showcase as well as the Futamura stand.

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