The future of compostable packaging is bright

A multi-pronged, multi-stakeholder systems approach is needed to fully realize the potential of compostable packaging.

 

Large-scale composting has the potential to take approximately one-third of the municipal solid waste stream out of landfills, benefiting the economy, retaining resource availability and addressing climate change impact. Food waste comprises more than 10% of the U.S. waste stream, making it the third largest component.

 

Here are three areas to focus on, along with next steps. Certainly the future of composting and compostable packaging are bright, though the pace of growth remains frustratingly slow.

 

  1. Policy Approaches: Both voluntary and mandatory approaches are detailed, to include case studies, in the EPA’s recently published Managing and Transforming Waste Streams Tool for localities.

 

  1. Outreach and Education:Localities, composters, non-profits and compostable packaging manufacturers and brands can all help answer these critical questions:
    1. Why? In absence of strong policy drivers, why should an organization divert its food and compostable packaging waste?
    2. How? A number of toolkits are now available to help with this question within a number of sectors, but a national resource is needed.
    3. What? Particularly for packaging, this piece is critical to reducing and/or eliminating contamination.

 

  1. Contamination: Recyclers and composters are not merely waste disposal services, but also manufacturers looking to create a viable product. As with recycling, the more contamination that occurs, the less valuable the product and more expensive the process.

 

 

http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/the-future-of-compostable-packaging-is-bright1511

 

Source: Packaging Digest

Six packaging trends for 2016

A new report called “Global Packaging Trends – A Fast-Forward Look at How the Next Generation of Packaging is Engaging Consumers in 2016” identifies six key trends set to transform the global packaging industry this year.

 

These trends include:

  • Digital revolution: The unique capabilities of digital printing have captured the attention of retailers, brand owners and packaging converters globally by creating opportunities to engage consumers on a local, personal and emotional level.
  • Phenomenal flexibles: While brands will still be looking to pouches to capture consumers’ attention, truly innovative brands will be looking to the next generation of rigid/flexible hybrids.
  • Show me the goods: Clear and concise information about ingredients, functional product attributes, or even convenience and safety must be communicated with total transparency.
  • More than “just” green packaging: Two key initiatives are beginning to resonate: a focus on alternative package material sources, and catering to the 63% of U.S. consumers who’ve stated that reusable and repurposable packaging is a key purchasing driver. Going forward, brands cannot afford to ignore this “ecologically friendly” purchasing driver as they develop their brand positioning and marketing strategies.
  • Size matters: If brand owners are to overcome the growing lack of consumer brand loyalty, they must create and deliver packaging that consumers see as right-sized for themselves, their families, and shifting use occasions.
  • Packaging mobile-ution: Moving forward, as brands clamor for innovative ways to engage and connect with shoppers, the mobile environment will become the new front line in the battle to win consumers’ hearts, minds, and wallets.

 

 

To read the full article, please visit

http://www.packworld.com/trends-and-issues/global/six-packaging-trends-2016

 

Source: Packaging World

 

Study finds more plastic packaging could mean less waste

Europe is facing a food waste issue. According to a European Commissioned study, in 2012 more than 100 million metric tons of food was wasted in the EU. Due to the results, the Commission released a policy paper to all EU members to develop a plan to prevent food waste. While plastic manufacturers and their customers in the EU are under constant pressure to reduce the volume of plastic used, plastic may be the answer to reducing the amount of food waste. A study conducted shows that plastic prevents damage and contamination to foods; providing a barrier against moisture and oxygen this translates into a longer shelf life. The study was authored by Harald Pilz, who suggests that packaging technologies are in continuous development to better optimize barrier layers and puncture resistance.

 

Included in the study were six test foods: sirloin steak, Austria’s Bergbaron cheese, a yeast bun, garden lettuce, a cucumber and chicken. These foods were enclosed in the usual packaging. The study compared the rates of spoiling with these foods when using new plastic packaging. Though the new packaging used more plastic, it reduced the occurrence of food waste by fifty percent.

 

To read the entire article, please visit http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20151005/NEWS/310069999/more-plastic-packaging-can-mean-less-waste-say-experts

 

Source: Plastics News

Flexible Packaging and Source Reduction

Is flexible packaging as sustainable as it claims to be? Yes flexible packaging is manufactured using less plastic than rigid packaging resulting in less plastic to transport and dispose of, but flexible packaging’s sustainability may not be as straightforward as perceived.

 

Flexible packaging advocates boast its sustainable advantages, which are mainly true, however if these claims are exaggerated they could result in serious backlash. Unfortunately the method for quantifying sustainability is subjective. Flexible packaging’s source reduction can be a competitive advantage. Although the more easily quantifiable benefits, such as storage and transport, might reside more with supply chains than with the consumer.

 

To win the consumer, companies should make true product sustainability claims. Companies should avoid overselling product sustainability claims and expect consumers to think of sustainability as a tie breaker when all other factors are equivalent.

 

Growth for flexible packaging could be attributed to the utilization of technologies to provide competitive advantages. Examples of this are innovations that allow for multilayer structures for better barrier protection, the ability to create an interlocking strip system to store product for long periods of time without exposure, and producing see-through packaging for product visibility.

 

To read the entire article please visit:

http://www.greenerpackage.com/source_reduction/flexible_packaging_and_source_reduction

 

Source: Greener Package

4 Sustainable Packaging Trends for 2016

Focusing on green is quickly becoming a necessity in today’s product environment. Here are four sustainable packaging trends that we will be hearing more of in 2016.

 

The first trend to make waves in 2016 is clearer labeling. Consumers are demanding clear and concise packaging, especially when it comes to the sustainability claims and the recycling options. Many consumers question whether packaging is able to go in the recycling bin; consumers would like to recycle product packaging simply and efficiently.

 

The second trend we should expect to see in 2016 is conscious consumer appeal. More than ever the consumer population is moving towards a greener future. Consumers will be looking for brands to clearly display their commitments to the environment and make their social responsibility clear.

 

The third trend that will get more momentum in 2016 is the bioplastic boom. The plant derived material has garnered attention and continues to boom. With large scale vertical farming becoming more of a reality, 2016 could be a great year for more sustainably produced bioplastics.

 

Lastly is the lightweight packaging trend. In 2015 the industry saw an emphasis on lightweight packaging that momentum has not slowed down. There is an expectation to see more manufacturers jumping onto the lightweight bandwagon. The intentions behind lightweight packaging is rather clear: reduced material, reduced manufacturing costs, reduced environmental impact, and reduced amounts of natural resources via transportation. The expectation is that 2016 will be a year where the long-term viability of lightweight packaging will be analyzed – meaning the value of lightweight materials in the recovery stream.

 

 

To read the full article, please visit

http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/4-sustainable-packaging-drivers-in-2016-2016-01-14

 

 

 

Source: Packaging Digest

Four Key Trends Driving Flexible Packaging

 

The global market for flexible packaging is forecast to grow at an average rate of 3.4 percent annually over the next five years and reach $248 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Smithers PiraThe Future of Global Flexible Packaging to 2020.

 

Four key trends are driving the flexible packaging market:

 

Downgauging
The combination of environmental pressures and high polymer prices are increasing demand for thinner films. Flexible packaging uses less resources and energy than other forms of packaging. It provides significant reductions in packaging costs, materials use and transport costs and has certain performance advantages over rigid packaging.

 

High-Performance Films
Food packaging films are trending toward high-performance film structures that are less permeable to increase shelf life and enhance flavors. The ongoing success of flexible packaging as a replacement for glass and metal packages can be attributed directly to the substantial improvements in barrier properties of plastic films and particularly clear plastic films.

 

Consumer Convenience
Ready meals that are available in new flexible packaging formats are in a prime position to take advantage of the current social trend toward convenient mealtime solutions.

 

Packaged fresh meat, fish and poultry consumption will grow at a faster rate than unpackaged produce to 2020. Growth in the pre-sliced sector and in premium lines has promoted growing demand for modified atmosphere (MAP) packaging. Demand for chilled food is also being driven by a greater variety of ready meals, fresh pasta, seafood and exotic meats.

 

Bio-Derived and Bio-Degradable Technologies
The proliferation of bio-based plastic films continues with polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and poly-trimethylene terephthalate (PTMT) showing the most promise on the materials side of the equation, and thermoplastic starch (TPS) films on the petroleum replacement side.

 

Read more: http://whattheythink.com/articles/75676-four-key-trends-driving-flexible-packaging/

 

 

Source: What They Think

 

The Future of Food Packaging

A new report from Mintel has identified six trends that will transform the global packaging industry in 2016.

 

The rise of digital printing – Companies will use the customization and quick turnaround capabilities of digital printing to leverage their brands with consumers.

 

Package transparency – Consumers prefer clear, easy to read details regarding ingredients and other product information.

 

Flexible is in – Stand up pouches may be peaking in favor of packaging featuring rigid and flexible components. Brands are looking for packaging with functional and sustainable benefits and a strong shelf presence.

 

Beyond sustainable – 63% of consumers prefer packaging that is reusable or recyclable. If the price and quality of a product are equivalent, sustainability may be the determining factor.

 

Size it up – Consumers want a wider range in pack sizes. Companies offering product in a trial size are more likely to gain new customers.

 

Going mobile – Brands are using new technology, such as nearfield communication and Bluetooth low energy to connect with consumers.

 

To read the entire article, click here

http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/2015/12/The_future_of_food_packaging.aspx?ID=%7BEDBF2A06-7EEF-44E3-B07C-3FF51C09E048%7D&cck=1

 

 

Source: Food Business News

The Rise of Flexible Packaging in the Food Market

Innovative flexible packaging is on the rise in the food industry. According to Canadean’s estimation, by 2018 about 786,095 million units of flexible packaging will be consumed within the global retail food markets. This amount accounts for more than 53% of the food packaging market.

 

The global demand for pouches has increased in the food market; this is estimated to grow by 2489 million pack units between 2014-2017. A significant increase from previous years.

 

To read more about the Canadean report, please visit http://www.foodprocessing.com.au/content/business-solutions/news/flexible-packaging-dominates-food-market-746786589

Source: Food Processing

Five Key Trends Shaping Food and Beverage Packaging

Lifestyles and eating habits of the population today have drastically changed compared to prior years. Demographic changes, such as fewer married couples, more people living alone, smaller household sizes and multi-generational households are impacting packaging developments. The shift in consumer attitude and lifestyle has effected behaviors regarding food and beverage packaging. One of the five new trends includes targeting millennials who have shown more interest and brand loyalty to fresher and/or organic products that are typically found on the parameter of the grocery store. Second, smaller packages have proven a bigger trend. Smaller households or those living alone have more of a demand for smaller or single-serve packaged meals or multiple packaged snack packs. Third, convenient packaging has been a big selling point in snack foods. Ease of opening, reclosing, and portability have been an influence on the packaging. Fourth, transparent packaging. The ability to see ones food prior to buying has had huge influence on the food industry. The demand for more transparency in the food industry has been of grave importance to the consumer, both figuratively and literally. Lastly, eco-friendly packaging options have huge appeal to consumers as of late.

 

For further reading, please visit http://www.packworld.com/package-design/strategy/5-key-trends-shaping-food-and-beverage-packaging

 

Source: Packaging World

New Research aims to recover more flexible packaging

Resource Recycling systems, out of Ann Arbor, MI has focused their efforts on new research aimed at improving the material recovery technology. The research will look into a more efficient way to recover flexible packaging, including reseable food packages, pouches for soup, crackers and tuna, pet food bags, and snack bags for recycling. Resource Recycling Solutions has developed the test methodology that will run various flexible packaging in single stream recycling through existing sorting technologies then measure the amount captured to determine the effectiveness of the technology. This sorting technology is critical when uncovering the flexible packaging loop, what happens in the MRF that is not picking up on various kinds of packaging? This research aims to discover the answer to that question through the use of optical scanners and screens that will capture that data.

 

Material recovery is a hot topic in flexible packaging and many companies have come together to create an alliance called Materials Recovery for the Future. This new alliance trade group includes companies, manufacturers, trade groups, and packaging industry professionals. All with the common goal of collecting data from the research that will help learn how to recover and divert more valuable resins from landfills.

 

For further reading, please visit http://www.wastedive.com/news/new-research-aims-to-recover-more-flexible-packaging/405740/

 

Source: Waste Dive