Protective Pharmaceutical Packaging with Eco/Save/Pack

The majority of pharmaceutical and medical products require extra care and attention to detail during the packaging process. Syringes, vials, and small bottles require gentle handling and therefore, higher costs for shipping and packaging. In order to account for this need, the correct manufacturing and materials need to be available and precise. Bosch Packaging Technology and August Faller have come together to develop an innovative packaging process for this purpose. The ultimate goal of these two companies was to provide a secondary sustainable packaging process that has the flexibility of handling the various products in the medical industry while keeping in mind the fragile needs of the materials being processed. One of their solutions is the Eco/Save/Pack, which has a chamber design that offers optimal protection using inlays. This product is produces on the CUT 120, which made its debut in 2002. It is a horizontal carton machine that can be retrofitted for new applications and continues to be adapted for pharmaceutical and medical products. The benefits of the Eco/Save/Pack are that it can be produced on existing machinery, it is a sustainable solution, and therefore saves on investment costs.

More information at Packaging Digest

Non-Biodegradable Bioplastics Take the Lead

Positive developments in bioplastics production have increased success predictions for the use and manufacturing of non-biodegradble bioplastics. A market of around 1.2 million tonnes is predicted to see an increase in production volumes fivefold by 2016. The result of this market forecast is published by the industry association European Bioplastics. The strongest growth in this market will be in the biobased, non-biodegradable bioplastics group. These “drop-in” solutions are building up large capacities because of their differentiation from conventional solutions based on theri renewable raw material base. In the lead is partially biobased PET accounting for about 40% of the global bioplastics production capacity. The pattern of growth in this market will consistently allow for the development of sustainable solutions because there will always be an increasing demand.  Read more at Packaging Digest

Where do we Draw the Line in Sustainable Packaging Changes?

While being involved in the ‘green’ movement, many packaging companies face major issues. The new packaging options are said to potentially leave fresh produce under-packaged. What this results in is product damage and food waste. By making packaging thinner and using less materials is only attainable if it does not affect the products performance. The problem lies in the definition of sustainable packaging; that there is no single definition of sustainable packaging. The way I see it is that the purpose of packaging is to keep the product safe and showcase the benefits the product holds. Creating packaging that is also environmental friendly is another important factor when thinking of sustainable packaging.

When it comes to the produce industry, sustainable packaging has a completely different definition. 40% of the world’s food produce is wasted. Studies show that a major percentage of this food being wasted happens when it is in the consumers home. What produce packaging companies need to focus on is cutting back on waste. So for them does this mean that they need more packaging? In result, finding ways to cut back and reduce waste on packaging is necessary when it does not affect the products performance.

What is your definition of sustainable packaging?



AT&T Uses Thermoformed Clamshells Made from Sugarcane

AT&T is now using an eco-friendly thermoformed clamshell package for more than 300 SKUs of their wireless accessories. Dubbed TerraPET®, the new material used in thermoforming is composed of 30% renewable-resource content sourced from ethanol harvested from natural sugarcane. By using this TerraPET®, fossil fuel-based materials can be replaced without compromising quality and clarity.

The thermoformed clamshell previously used before TerraPET® was made from recycled PET (RPET) with 30-60% recycled pre-consumer content. But that wasn’t good enough for AT&T. This new initiative proves that the company will go the extra mile to make their packaging options more sustainable. “What can we do next?” is the attitude when it comes to minimizing environmental waste.

The transition to TerraPET® began on October 2, 2011. The sugarcane that makes the film will yield two to four harvests per plant making it a rapidly renewable agricultural crop. It permits the replacement of a third of the fossil fuels traditionally used in AT&T’s accessory packaging. AT&T is the first U.S. telecom company to use this plastic in its packaging.

The primary reason for using a thermoformed clamshell in their accessory packaging is so AT&Ts customers have access to the products. Consumers can easily open the clamshell while in the store and close it back up to test the product and see if it’s right for their device. The clamshell also gives consumers a 360-degree view of the products inside the package.

New Look for the New Year

Popular cosmetics and beauty brand, L’Oreal, recently redesigned its on-shelf bottles for its Pureology brand professional hair products. L’Oreal has a strong understanding that package design is crucial to the success of a beauty brand.The brand hopes to combine sustainable packaging with the professional, sleek looks expected in the beauty industry.

The Pureology brand professional products features shampoos, conditioners, masques, and treatments. The brand has not been redesigned since being bought by L’Oreal in May 2007, so the French brand based in Paris decided it was time for a new, modern, and fashionable look.

The brand professional products have been literally flipped over on-shelf and are contained in pearlescent toned, multi-tasking bottles in order to reflect their 100 percent vegan formulation and sustainable packaging.

The Pureology redesign, by Robert Bergman, the founder of Mpact and former L’Oreal creative director, takes the form of a curved set of bottle designs that are manufactured from a single mold. Bergman has a rather simple philosophy for when it comes to package design.

“No matter what a brand’s tone or message, a package must always be stunningly beautiful,” he says. Bergman, whose appreciation for beautiful aesthetics came from working in fashion, says, “Image and status are so important in fashion and beauty, so package design is especially crucial to the success of a beauty brand.

The creative brief for the package redesign presented two challenges to the team
1. Give the brand, whose original structure was inspired by classic olive oil bottles, and had not been redesigned since its purchase by L’Oreal, a modern, upscale look cool enough to be sold at Colette, in Paris
2. Correct a structural design flaw in which the thin-necked bottle prevented the popular flash-foam effect of the luxuriously viscous liquid.

“L’Oreal wanted the new Pureology bottle to appear organic and natural in form, while looking different from all other salon products. Toward that goal, Bergman made dozens of exploratory sketches before rendering the finalists in 3D. “If there is a name for that bottle shape, I would call it ‘organically professional,'” said Bergman. “I’m constantly aware of masculine and feminine package design cues; Pureology is definitely feminine, yet highly functional with its wider neck and flip-top cap allowing for easy one-handed use in the shower.”

“It’s a complete redesign, from shape, to color to graphics, and it has to appeal to current Pureology users while attracting new customers so every nuance must be carefully considered to achieve the brand’s growth goals.”

Amazon and Wal-Mart Promote Rage-Free Packaging

In 2008, Amazon launched its “Frustration Free Packaging” initiative which was born out of demand from consumers to have packaging that was easier to open. Nineteen items from Mattel and its Fisher Price brand, Microsoft Corp. and memory-card maker Transcend Information Inc. were used for the project. It has grown to 80,000 products this year, with more than 12 million items expected to ship under the program. Amazon wants to at least triple that number next year.

Teaming up with Wal-Mart, Amazon is pushing more manufacturers to change their packaging to cut waste and ease shoppers’ “wrap rage”. The nation’s largest online store and the world’s biggest retailer are asking large vendors like Procter & Gamble and headset maker Plantronics to do away with unnecessary and cumbersome packing materials. Such awkward packaging includes hard plastic packaging and wire ties used to secure toys to cardboard backings. Amazon is contacting manufacturers that get poor customer feedback about their packaging and sending engineers to help them improve their designs. By 2013, Wal-Mart plans to reduce packaging by 5 percent compared with 2008 levels, saving an estimated $3.4 billion annually.

While reduced packaging can boost consumers’ satisfaction, lower shipping costs and appeal to the environmentally conscious, companies are balancing those benefits with the need for packaging that still prevents theft and damage.

This year, manufacturers have been criticized for not using enough recycled or sustainable materials in their packaging. Greenpeace has targeted toy companies who were sourcing packaging materials from Indonesia that derived from the rain forests.


Paper Packaging Market Will Reach $236 Billion in 2011

With a global recession negatively affecting many industries there are some industries experiencing phenomenal growth. One example is the paper packaging market which according to recent research, is expected to hit $236 billion dollars globally before the end of 2011. Further, in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India, the growth is expected to persist. The consumer demand in North America and Europe is also on the rise.

So why the growth in this market? Various factors such as the ability to recycle, convenience, and cost-effectiveness can be attributed. The main advantage the paper packaging industry has through is its environmentally friendliness. Combined with quality, paper packaging is a viable packaging option in our modern world that is concerned about sustainability. As technologies and innovations continue to evolve, the paper packaging market only gets stronger providing manufacturers with more customized solutions.

This report comes as no surprise to anyone who has observed packaging in a retail setting over the past handful of years. Paper packaging is replacing many types of plastics packaging. Consumer behavior is changing, demanding less packaging that is recyclable and marketers and packaging manufacturers are capitalizing on the opportunities.

Method Unveils Packaging Made From Upcycled Ocean Plastic

Method has unveiled its latest innovation in sustainable packaging- a bottle that is made out of plastic collected from the North Pacific Gyre, also referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The bottle contains 100% post-consumer polyethylene, 25% of which is plastic collected from the Gyre. Method has partnered with Envision Plastics who is one of the largest recyclers in the US making it possible to make this Ocean PCR that is the same quality as virgin HDPE plastic.

The process starts will collecting and cleaning the plastic removing unwanted contaminants where it is then blended and remanufactured into high quality plastic. The beauty is that the upcycled ocean plastic can be recycled again and again. Method’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness that the real solution to plastic pollution lies in reusing and recycling the plastic that’s already on the planet. Method also aims to prove that green business can grow the US economy and create jobs.

Method made its first bottle entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic in 2006. Since then they’ve been known as a leading innovator in premium eco-friendly household and personal care products by developing plastic packaging that is completely free from virgin plastics. Method products can be found in over 35,000 retail locations.

AT&T Announces Plant-based Plastic Packaging

Just two days ago, we wrote about Coca-Cola switching to plant-based packaging for their 500ml plastic bottles. The change was part of their green initiative to recover the equivalent of 100% of their packaging by 2020.

Now, AT&T has announced that they will be using plant-based packaging for their accessories. The new packaging will contain 30% plant-based materials sourced from sugarcane ethanol. This will make AT&T the first U.S.telecom to use sugarcane-based plastic for packaging. This integration will not completely eliminate plastic but will cut their fossil fuel use by a third compared to the old accessory packaging.

Already, AT&T has been making strides to reduce their environmental impact. In March of 2010, they slimmed down their accessory packaging which cut the use of 500+ tons of paper and plastic from packaging in 2010 and 2011. AT&T also uses soy and vegetable inks in packaging. The new plant-based accessory packaging will be available by October 2, 2011.

Coca-Cola Releases New Plant Bottle

Coca-Cola has made their vision clear of making all of their plastic bottles from plant-based materials and recycled plastic by 2020. Their latest development is rolling out new packaging for their 500ml drinks. The new PlantBottle packaging is made from 22.5% renewable plant-based PET and 25% recycled plastic. The reason these new bottles are more eco-frlendly is that they’ll reduce the company’s dependency on fossil fuels. They are being released today in the UK and can be identified with a PlantBottle logo.  More than 5 billion of Coke’s PlantBottles will be available in 20 countries by the end of 2011.

Coca-Cola is not new to the green movement. In fact, last year they won the Best Sponsor Activation award at the UK Festival Awards for their recycling program. Coke is committed to recover the equivalent of 100% of their packaging by 2020.