UK Scientists Research Eggshell Recycling

Although the Easter season has come and gone, The Food and Drink iNet is hatching plans (no pun intended) to research the extract materials from egg shells to find useful ways to recycle them after they have been used.

The study is part of a research project by The Food and Drink iNet, which is based at Southglad Food Park, Nottingham, UK, along with a group of advisers from across the UK and including Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

University of Leicester scientists in the Department of Chemistry that specialize in ‘green chemistry’ and sustainable materials are looking for new ways to extract the glycosaminoglycans [GAGs] proteins found in egg shells. Many biomedical applications use GAG and they could prove to be beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry.

One way the team hopes to use the egg shells is to use them as fillers to bulk up different kinds of plastic.

But overall, the goal is to use egg shells in packaging to protect egg products. According to iNet this type of recycling gives a second lease of life to the egg shell in the very role it was created for and makes this a true case of recycling.

“Egg shell is classified as a waste material by the food industry but is in fact a highly sophisticated composite,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. He then adds: “The scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a number of uses for egg shell waste and the Food and Drink iNet is very pleased to support a ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ research project to examine egg shell recycling solutions. This could have potential benefit on many levels, both for food manufacturers and a much wider industry.”

So where are all these eggs coming from?

The project plans to get egg-related companies in the area to help out by giving the team small and medium-sized eggs.

One company, Just Egg, a hard-boiled egg and mayonnaise manufacturer uses around 1.3 million eggs every week. Those 1.3 million eggs create about 10 tons of egg shells. The cost of sending about 480 tons of shells to the landfill adds up and costs the firm about £30,000

Managing director Pankaj Pancholi said the research could bring big benefits to the food and drink sector.

“If I wasn’t spending the £30,000 a year on landfill costs I could employ another worker or two part-time workers, or invest that money in R&D and innovation,” he said. “It would be great if the egg shells could ultimately be recycled to be used in the plastic packaging that we use for egg products, like our new hard boiled eggs in packs. This is a really exciting project.”

Farmers Weekly adds:

“The iNet-funded project aims to develop and validate the pre-treatment process of the eggshell needed to make it sterile; develop a method for the extraction of glycosaminoglycans from eggshell and analyze the products obtained; develop a post-treatment process to convert the eggshell into a starch-based plastic; test the mechanical properties, including the strength of the new material and make a variety of materials to optimize the eggshell loading and particle size.”

Source: Farmers Weekly


Blister Packaging and Other High Visibility Markets Projected to Exceed $37 Billon by 2018

Global Industry Analytics(GIA) recently announced in a press release the comprehensive global report on the Blister and other high visibility packaging markets. Overall, the market for blister packaging and other high visibility markets is projected to exceed in $37 billion by the year 2018. This number comes from the rising demand from developing markets, especially in countries China, India, and Brazil. Factors that affect this number include population increase, sustainability issues, household and demographic variables, consumer spending patterns, retail sales, and the overall economy growth. The food industry remains as the largest end-user of blister and high visibility packaging, but the pharmaceutical/medical industry is also expecting future growth.

There was a steep decline in the packaging industry in 2008-2009 due to the global economic meltdown, this meltdown had an obvious impact on the blister and other high visibility packaging market. In 2010, there was some pickup in the market growth but the demand was weakened by the debt crisis Europe was facing at the time that was caused by the economic conditions in North America. With the economy gaining more momentum and slowly improving, the packaging industry is expected to see growth through the recovery as consumer confidence increases. The industry is also starting to notice a shift among manufacturers in emerging countries. Developing markets are seeing fast paced growth, especially in Asian countries. These smaller markets include Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Vietnam, Nigeria, Turkey and Poland, among others are steadily gaining prominence on the global platform. As these countries being to see increasing investment to infrastructure, housing sectors, urbanization trend, expanding healthcare sector, and steady economic growth, there emerges growth potential in packaging sector.

The food industry remains the largest user for blister and other high visibility packaging solutions due to its use for fresh produce, prepared foods, snacks, baked goods, meats, dairy and other food products. For a consumer, the use of high visibility packaging allows them to inspect the content without the need for handling, a factor that plays a vital role in enhancing consumer confidence pertinent to a specific product. Although the food sector continues to dominate the global blister and other high-visibility packaging market, the pharmaceutical industry is also getting more involved. Manufacturers are likely to change and shift towards low-cost blister packaging.

Source: SF Gate



The Benefits of Thermoformed Trays for Custom Packaging

Not all of us may know the term thermoforming, but there are many popular products that are/were made using this manufacturing process. Before there were DVDs, we all watched videos on VHS, and thermoforming was a popular way to package these video cassettes. Thermoforming is also used in libraries for books on tape packaging. There are also many other uses to thermoforming such as sales kits and medical packaging.

Thermoforming is a manufacturing process in which a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature where it is then formed to shape to a specific mold. The sheet, or “film” when referring to thinner gauges and certain material types, is heated to a high-enough temperature that allows it to be stretched into or onto a mold and is then cooled to a finished shape. Once shaped, the sheet is trimmed to create the final, usable product. There are many different approaches to thermoforming, but the most common is vacuum thermoforming

There are many benefits in choosing a thermoformed package for your company and product kit. Thermoformed packaging kits are highly customizable, durable, and sealable, all important factors when choosing which form of packaging is best for your product.

The first great benefit is that thermoforming allows for a highly customizable package. Thermoformed packaging can molded to a custom shaped to securely fit all kinds of contents inside the kit. These contents can vary in all forms of shapes and sizes to create an effective kit.

Another great feature is the durability of thermoformed packaging. The material inside and outside is rigid and durable to properly hold the contents that you have chosen to fit within the customizable kit.  The outside of the packaging is durable enough to make sure the contents within the package stay safe and protected.

At Sunrise Packaging, we also offer a third great feature to thermoformed packaging kits by sealing, which is popular among our sales kits. Sealing is when thermoformed trays are attached to turned edge chipboard. The chipboard sealing is a great customization tool for promoting your brand and adds more value to the overall look of the packaging because your company can print on the chipboard the image you feel best promotes your brand and the product.

Customization, durability, and sealing are all important factors that go into the decision making of how to create the best possible sales/packaging kit for your company.  Be sure to keep these in mind next time you look for your next sales kit.