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Flexible packaging makers react to polymer price rise

Polymer prices are likely to rise by 10 per cent in the wake of a sharp increase in crude oil prices. This is already prompting flexible packaging material manufacturers to shift to value added products.

“Polypropylene prices tend to move in the direction of crude prices with a lag of about a month. Thus, we estimate at least a 10 per cent spurt in polymer prices in the next four weeks,” said Neeraj Jain, finance head at Cosmo Films.

“Flexible packaging material manufacturers work on a cost-plus model. Hence, a volatility in crude oil prices is completely passed on to the client,” said a senior industry leader.

Operating earnings have dropped for most of the other companies in the flexible packaging segment, due to pressure in commodity films’ gross margins.

The industry had embarked on the next phase of expansion, with the end-user industry driving healthy demand growth; flexible packaging has been seeing a growth wave over recent years in India.

 

To read the full article: http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/flexible-packaging-makers-react-to-polymer-price-rise-116121900028_1.html

Source: Business Standard

Top 5 packaging gifts of November 2016

Here are the top articles about sustainable packaging on PackagingDigest.com in 2016, based on page views:

 

5. Why are pouches becoming the go-to package format?

Have you noticed? It seems like brand owners are putting just about every type of product in flexible packages these days. TerraCycle CEO and regular Packaging Digest contributor Tom Szaky shares a few insights about why in his popular article The ‘pouch-ization’ of the world.

Is it because of better packaging performance? Consumer convenience? Environmental reasons? Yes, yes and yes.

But wait! There will be more because, as Szaky says, “Pouches continue to push enhanced functionality and convenience in excitingly fresh ways.”

 

4. Is the search for the Holy Grail of sustainable packaging over?

Sustainable guru Nina Goodrich believes we may have discovered the Holy Grail of sustainable packaging. As director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and executive director of GreenBlue, Goodrich knows a significant development when she sees it.

New recyclable barrier films and pouches using Dow’s Retain technology are a pretty big deal. But when you also combine that with up-and-coming high-pressure processing (HPP), food companies can do so much more than improve their environmental footprint.

“I believe that these two innovations combined (package and process) may lead to many new sustainable innovations,” Goodrich enthuses. “This is a huge step towards the circular economy for flexible packaging and a significant opportunity to reduce food waste.”

 

3. Riding the wave of sustainable packaging

With the new year less than one month old, TerraCycle CEO and regular Packaging Digest contributor Tom Szaky (yep, same author of the No.5 article—he’s on a roll) outlined 4 sustainable packaging drivers in 2016 and many of you jumped all over these hot trends.

Szaky explains why he thought clearer labeling, an appeal to the conscious consumer, a boom in bioplastics and the continuation of lightweight packaging would command your attention this year.

With 2017 looming and new trends to be identified, how do you think Szaky did in calling out the 2016 sustainable packaging trends?

 

Click here to read the top 2 packaging gifts: http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/top-5-sustainable-packaging-trends-and-news-of-2016-2016-11-30/page/0/2

Source: Packaging Digest

Who’s responsible for making plastic packaging more recyclable?

In the ongoing discussion about whether manufacturers, material recovery facilities (MRFs) or recyclers should be responsible for the sustainability of plastic packaging, the answer still seems to be all of the above.

MRFs have always had to keep up with an evolving waste stream by adapting to the various shapes and sizes of consumer packaging that end up on their tipping floors. When it comes to plastic packaging — some of which has become lighter and more complex — players from all sides of the supply chain have their own ideas about how to best manage it. The work of reconciling these opinions, while keeping consumer communication as simple as possible, looks to be even more visible in the year ahead.

“We continue to see more and more products in the marketplace that in fact are difficult, if not impossible, to recycle so they become a contaminant in the recycling stream,” said Steve Alexander, executive director of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR).

APR doesn’t believe that brands intentionally design products with inherent recycling challenges, but says it still happens too often. Alexander said that by releasing an updated design guide last year, APR hopes to become more involved in the “embryonic” stage rather than having to find solutions after the fact. He compared retrofitting a package to renovating a house rather than building features in from the start — unintended consequences are sure to come up along the way.

One of the more common examples of this type of retrofitting is what has happened with full bottle or shrink sleeve labels. The labels had been sinking in the plastic recycling process and in many cases this was creating sediment and contaminating material during washing.

Research and engineering company Plastics Forming Enterprise consults with APR, brands and recyclers to sort out the finer details of their packaging challenges through testing. Kristina Hansen, their technical director, has worked on a wide range of adhesives, labels, additives and fillers, and the factors involved in these areas vary. Many of them come back to the need for a cleaner material stream to ensure that recyclers can offer a better product and manufacturers can have higher percentages of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in their packaging.

 

Full article: http://www.wastedive.com/news/whos-responsible-for-making-plastic-packaging-more-recyclable/433851/

Source: Waste Dive

Consumer options exist for difficult-to-recycle plastics

Americans generate more than 33 million tons of plastic annually. A recent report by the EPA places the plastics recovery rate at 9%. Why does so little plastic find its way back into the system?

A cause of low plastics collection and capture is consumer confusion. The SPI’s Resin Identification Code was introduced in 1988 for recycling centers to help with sorting plastic waste. Used to identify the plastic resin in an item, the RIC uses symbols that look a lot like the universal recycling symbol, confusing many people to think it’s recyclable, which is often not the case.

Types of plastic accepted at most recycling programs vary greatly and the instructions delineating what is and is not recyclable are often inconsistent. For example, the term “plastic bottle” refers to an item that is understood to be recyclable. In terms of accepted waste, food and beverage plastics, such as soda bottles, are different than household plastics, like cleaning sprays and their trigger heads.

Program language when referring to recyclables (polymers, specifically) can lead well-intentioned people who recycle to place unaccepted plastic waste into the recycling bin—and this causes problems on all fronts. Complicating this issue further for both the consumer and the collection facility are products and packaging comprised of mixed plastic resins and other materials

To read the full article, click here: http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/consumer-options-exist-for-difficult-to-recycle-plastics-2016-07-21

Source: Packaging Digest

Plastic Packaging Better for Environment than Alternatives Made with Other Materials

A recent life cycle assessment analyzed the energy and climate benefits of alternative plastic materials in contrast to plastic material. The categories included caps and closures, beverage containers, other rigid containers carrier bags, stretch/shrink wrap, and other flexible packaging materials. Carol Hochu, President and CEO of the Canadian Plastic Industry Association noted, “Plastic packaging enables the safe and efficient delivery of various products which form part of our daily lives, everything from food to essential health and safety aids. However, many are unaware that plastics carry out these functions while at the same time conserving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

In Canada, the LCA found that replacing all plastic packaging the non-plastic packaging would:

 

  1. Require nearly 4.4 times as much packaging material by weight. Increasing by nearly 5.5 million tons.
  2. This would also increase energy use by 2.0 times. This was calculated as being equivalent to the amount of oil transported by 18 supertankers
  3. This would result in 2.3 times more global warming potential. This was equated to adding 3.3 million more cars to the road.

 

Engineering in plastic packaging enables innovation and performance – the ability to extend the shelf life of foods and medicines. Plastic packaging viewed from the entire life cycle have more benefits than the snapshot that has been taken in years.

 

The afterlife of plastic is further contributing to sustainability in many ways. The ability to recycle, reuse and repurpose for energy value and converted to liquid oil, electricity and into other fuels.

 

There have been great strides made in the reusability and repurposing of plastic containers. These valuable resources are used to make fleece jackets, new plastic bottles, pipes, pallets, creates and buckets, decking and other lawn and garden products. The majority of product stemming from recycled plastic bottles, non-bottle rigid plastics such as deli and dairy containers, bakery, vegetable, fruit containers, and plastic film, bags and outer wrap.

 

Plastic enhances our lifestyles, our economy, and the environment.

 

Source: Canadian Plastics Industry Association

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

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

Environmental Concern Empowers the People

Environmental awareness is now mainstream. It is no longer limited to a small niche of people but rather consumers across the board. A concern for the environment is changing consumer’s purchasing behaviors. More and more, people are looking for signifiers that companies are a part of the rainforest initiative or packaged using post-consumer recycled products. Also, this translates into consumers consciously choosing to avoid brands where there is no message of environmental sustainability. Consumer commitment to the environment has moved from concern to action, creating positive change in the industry.

The evolution of environmentally conscious consumers has created a demand for manufacturers to incorporate sustainable practices into their business strategies. Food manufacturers and retail operations have adopted environmental initiatives; this incorporates the recyclability of a product, analyzing manufacturing equipment to ensure the operation uses minimal energy and creates less waste, lastly, using responsibly sourced materials.

Concerns for the environmental are not slowing down; they will continue to influence buyer behavior and increase the drive within corporate America – consumer awareness and purchasing power will continue to drive corporations to adopt sustainability into their business strategies.

To read the full article, please visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-kennell/environmental-concern-emp_b_8105580.html

Source: Huffington Post

Is 100% recyclable flexible packaging possible?

According to the Flexible Packaging Association, flexible packaging accounts for 18% of the $145 billion American packaging market. Currently there is no closed loop system to handle recycling flexible packaging constructed of multi-layer high-barrier films. Recycling multi-layered flexible packaging involves more steps than recycling traditional packaging; each layer must be separated, analyzed, identified and recycled individually.

Some manufacturers are implementing the cradle to cradle concept by using eco-friendly material that biodegrades, biodegradable bio-based plastics or techno-friendly materials that can be recycled without being altered.

Currently the best solution for multi-layered packaging waste is pyrolysis, as there is no adequate solution to recycle plastic components into other plastic materials. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen (or any halogen). It involves the simultaneous change of chemical composition and physical phase, and is irreversible. Research still needs to be done to develop a way to convert the carbon liquid fuel into an energy source.

Source: Packaging Digest

To read the entire article click the link below

http://www.packagingdigest.com/flexible-packaging/is-100-recyclable-flexible-packaging-possible140807

Plastic packaging gaining momentum in Mexico

Smithers Pira is forecasting Mexico to have the highest percentage of plastic packaging growth in North America. The gain on average is expected to be 3.1% every year until 2017. The increased demand for plastics in Mexico is driven mainly by the food and beverage markets. The health and beauty and chemical industries are also seeing growth in plastic packaging.

It is anticipated Mexico’s flexible packaging market will grow at an average of 8.7% a year, reaching a value of $3.13 billion in 2018. According to Smithers Pira, flexible plastic packaging is expected to continue to gain popularity, experiencing the highest growth 
rate across all the packaging segments.

More consumer packaged goods companies are investing in Mexico due to the country’s growing middle class and to take advantage of low-cost labor. Mexican manufacturers are the second largest importers of U.S. packaging and processing machinery, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Import/Export Statistics for Sept. 2013.

“Mexico’s middle class is expanding,” said Enrique Guzman, director of the Latin America office of PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. “And
 its economy is forecast to grow 
at 3.4% this year, making it the fastest-growing among the largest economies in North and South America,” according to show organizers. Expo Pack México is part of the Pack Expo family of trade shows.

Source: Plastics Today

To read more click here: http://www.plasticstoday.com/articles/Plastic-packaging-gaining-momentum-in-Mexico-141216