This announcement comes after a successful UK trial last year( see AIPIA newsletter 14-10-20) in partnership with Co-op, on Kellogg’s Coco Pops boxes. Evaluation of the pilot by the UK charity Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) showed that 97% of the participants would like to see more of these accessibility features available on grocery packaging.
Important information on food packaging, such as allergen details, can often be printed in typeface that’s difficult for blind or partially sighted people to read. The new boxes will allow a smartphone to easily detect a unique on-pack code and playback labelling information to these shoppers. All Kellogg's Europe boxes will contain the NaviLens tag in 2022.
“This announcement from Kellogg’s is a real game changer within the packaging world. It marks a significant step-change in how big brands can put accessibility at the forefront of design and packaging decisions and be a catalyst for change," said Marc Powell, strategic accessibility lead at RNIB.
“Designing packaging so that it works for everyone makes complete sense and we hope that other brands will follow Kellogg’s lead in making packaging information more accessible,” said a company spokesperson. Unlike other types of printed codes, the new technology includes high contrasting colored squares on a black background. Users do not need to know exactly where the code is located to scan it.
The first accessible boxes of Special K will appear on shelf next January. The idea came to life when Kellogg’s met with children from St Vincent’s in 2019, a specialist school in Liverpool for children with sensory impairment.
"Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss and are unable to simply read the information on our cereal boxes," says Chris Silcock, head of Kellogg’s UK. "As a company focused on equity, diversity and inclusion we believe that everyone should be able to access important and useful information about the food that we sell. Kellogg’s will be the first company in the world to use NaviLens on packaging. We will share our experience with other brands who want to learn more.”
The technology allows smartphones to pick up the on-pack code from up to 3 metres distance. This then alerts the phone and the shopper can choose to have the ingredients, allergen and recycling information read aloud to them – as well as reading it on their device using accessibility tools.
"The incorporation of the NaviLens codes onto food packaging is a positive step towards a more inclusive and accessible shopping experience for the visually impaired," according to Javier Pita, CEO of NaviLens.
The report, funded by the Rethink Plastic Alliance and Break Free from Plastic movement, details how charging companies differentiated fees according to the environmental sustainability of their products could incentivize producers to stimulate a more circular economy.
“Redesigning products and packaging addresses the issue of waste at the most upstream source and places responsibility there,” explains Blaine Camilleri, policy officer at the European Environmental Bureau on behalf of the Rethink Plastic alliance.
The eco-modulation of EPR fees is “an effective way” of incentivizing the redesign of products by making them more sustainable and circular, and shifting the focus of waste prevention to the design phase, he details.
“EPR fees should reflect the true environmental costs of products and serve as a price signal for consumers to opt for sustainability when making their consumption choices.”
The importance of eco-modulation
Modulating fees for different packaging materials depending on sustainability criteria such as recyclability is already practiced in various EPR schemes around Europe. For example, infinitely recyclable materials like glass have lower fees than harder to recycle materials like flexible plastics.
However, in current EPR systems, most eco-modulation criteria, such as sortability, recyclability, market demand of secondary raw material, are primarily focused on improving the recycling of packaging and not on generating less waste in the first place.
Since packaging is not a durable product and typically turns to waste after one use only, product lifetime-related criteria, such as durability, do not play a significant role in fee modulation unless there is an increased focus on reusable packaging.
The report argues that reusability can play an essential role in reducing waste; however, most EPR schemes currently promote recycling and end up inadvertently discouraging reuse as a more expensive alternative.
Innova Market Insights has highlighted the importance of reusability as a criteria of waste reduction, marking the “Reusable Revolution” a top packaging trend for 2021.
The market analyst notes the majority of global consumers (52%) believe reusable packaging is the most sustainable model, followed by recyclable (50%) and recycled (39%), biodegradable (31%) and compostabl
Besides these issues, EU member states also face a range of implementation and enforcement challenges that further complicate the use of EPR systems for waste prevention.
These challenges include:
1) Lack of uniform modulation criteria and fees across member states, which “creates complications within the domestic market and weakens the effort for EPR to achieve the desired results.”
2) Limited availability of data on the real costs of end-of-life (EoL) treatment as well as product specifications, which is needed to estimate EPR fees and eco-modulation.
3) Governance challenges: free riding, reporting and enforcement challenges leading to distortion of EPR internal market by making it difficult for uniform and widespread adoption among producers.
4) In competitive EPR scheme
an increase in EPR fees could create a competitive disadvantage for certain PROs. Certain Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) would be impacted more than the others depending on the product portfolio.
Addressing the issues
The report suggests supplementing the EU’s current recycling targets with reuse targets, which would provide a regulatory basis for stakeholders involved in an EPR system to develop reuse systems.
This would require expanding the scope of cost coverage and “necessary costs” to include costs required to build a value chain for reusable packaging. To meet the new cost coverage to achieve reuse targets, EPR fees would have to be increased, which in turn would increase the revenue generated.
However, care should be taken while increasing EPR fees. Following the principle of waste hierarchy and eco-modulation, EPR fees should be increased for single-use packaging, it suggests.
Conversely, reusable packaging should be incentivized through lower or no fees for producers to shift from single-use packaging to reusable packaging.
“The increase in revenue generated will further need to be utilized to develop the logistical infrastructure required to ensure the reusable packaging reaches back to the producers for reuse. This would need sound governance, more data and increased transparency, which a centralized online public register can meet,” concludes the report.
nual sustainability report spotlights 70% greenhouse gas reductions in last decade EmailPrint Click to copy link Decrease font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font sizeNext Article ›‹ Previous ArticleNews:
Tetra Pak’s 22nd annual sustainability report is highlighting the company’s 70 percent greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction in its own operations from 2010 to 2020, Scope 1 and 2. The company also reduced total emissions by 19 percent within the same time frame.
The company is now working toward achieving net-zero GHG emissions in it own operations by 2030, with an ambition to go net-zero across the value chain by 2050.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic threw up unprecedented challenges, it also served as an important catalyst for change in many ways,” Lisa Ryden, sustainable development director at Tetra Pak, tells PackagingInsights.
“For Tetra Pak, the pandemic made our sustainability strategy even more important, because it demonstrated clearly how the planet, society and the economy cannot each survive in isolation.”
In 2020, Tetra Pak became the first company in the F&B packaging industry to be awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification, with a portfolio of tethered cap solutions ready to deploy.
The company also extended the use of renewable electricity across its factories to 83 percent in 2020, up from 69 percent in 2019, which surpasses its target of 80 percent.
Moreover, Tetra Pak sold 13.5 billion plant-based packages and 7.5 billion plant-based caps, made from segregated plant-based polymers, fully traceable to their sugarcane origins.
The cheese processing line marked the first time a supplier created a white cheese processing line with its own equipment.Food safety first
In a previous interview with PackagingInsights, Markus Pfanner, Tetra Pak’s vice president for sustainability, maintained the importance of high-performance food packaging to mitigate climate change and world hunger.
“The pandemic revealed just how vulnerable our global food system can be,” says Adolfo Orive, CEO and president of Tetra Pak.
“The importance of getting food to where it’s needed, when it’s needed has never been more apparent. And we expect this will only increase in the future, as we strive to ensure that the world’s growing population has access to safe and nutritious food.”
Throughout the past year, Tetra Pak launched its first complete processing line for white cheese, designed to ensure high food safety standards at the same time as minimizing product loss.
It also promoted the benefits of consuming milk in aseptic packages rather than loose milk in reused containers as part of its ongoing loose milk conversion initiative.
Another means of keeping packaged contents safe is through eBeam technology, which sterilizes packaging material using electron beams and replaces the traditional hydrogen peroxide sterilization. Meanwhile, it can reduce energy consumption by as much as one-third.
Low carbon tweaks
Certain adjustments to Tetra Pak’s packaging have also brought down the company’s carbon emissions. Last year, it carried out a limited commercial launch of its first non-foil aseptic packaging solution, which replaces the aluminum layer with a polymer film applied with a Tetra Pak proprietary coating.
The EU SUPD demands caps and lids remain attached to containers from July 2024.This coating offers a robust solution that is effective and equally safe as our current foil barrier, but has a significant climate impact reduction.
A life cycle assessment to quantify this reduction is still pending, “but consider that our aluminum represents some 5 percent of our total base materials by weight but around one-third of their GHG emissions. We aim to field test an aseptic package made fully from renewable sources by 2023,” says the report.
Meanwhile, Tetra Pak launched a low-energy processing line for juice, nectar and still drinks to take beverage processing to “a new level of efficiency.” Instead of pasteurizing the whole volume of the product, the new production line separates out water and pasteurizes only the concentrate.
Recycling & circularity strides
In another interview with PackagingInsights, Pfanner highlighted how recycling is “crucial to planetary health” but “not a silver bullet.”
Tetra Pak carton packages are already widely recyclable, “but through design-for-recycling, we can do more to increase recycling levels and keep recovered materials in use,” reads the sustainability report.
This February, two Tetra Pak production sites in Europe received certification to produce packaging with recycled polyethylene polymers – deemed as “a must” for the circular economy transition. Recycled polymers can contribute to increased plastic recycling rates, make better use of resources and reduce dependence on virgin fossil materials.
Moreover, the company increased its global carton package recycling rate of 27 percent, as well as its carton package recycling facilities to more than 170 worldwide.
Tetra Pak E3 Speed/Hyper with eBeam technology can boost production capacity by 60%.Tetra Pak also became a member of the Holy Grail 2.0 consortium last year to develop digital watermarking technology for enhanced packaging recycling.
Each actor’s responsibility
Ultimately, in Tetra Pak’s view, packaging recycling should be a responsibility shared by governments, local authorities, producers and citizens.
“It is the role of national governments to put legislation in place to set the ground rules for recycling, that of local authorities and industry to
Using advanced recycling technologies, the site will have the capacity to recycle any plastic used in Sweden using entirely renewable energy, making the country’s plastic economy completely circular.
Located in the city of Molata, construction is expected to conclude in 2023. It will expand an existing facility, which the company says is already the “most efficient on earth.”
“We are doubling our capacity and will be able to handle 200,000 tons of plastic packaging per year. This creates the conditions needed for receiving and eventually recycling all plastic packaging from Swedish households,” says Mattias Philipsson, CEO of Swedish Plastic Recycling.
“The investment creates the prerequisites needed for making Sweden a world leader in plastic recycling. Being able to do it together with our producer customers and owners, who consist of large parts of the Swedish business community, is very inspiring.”
Tackling all plastic types
Currently, the facility recycles four types of plastic; once construction is complete, it will have sorting capacity for 12 types: polypropylene (PP), HDPE, LDPE, PET tray, PET bottles (colored and transparent), PP film, EPS, PS, PVC, two grades of Polyolefin mix, metal and non-plastic waste.
Any small parts of plastic that remain after the sorting process will be separated and sent to chemical recycling or become new composite products. Zero packaging will go into incineration.
“There is today no other facility in the world that has that capability,” asserts Phillipson.
“We are also preparing for washing and granulation of the plastic in phase two, which is planned for 2025. Then our entire plastic flow in Sweden can become circular.”
Any materials or rare types of plastic that are unable to be recycled at the facility will be sent to a Carbon Capture Storage, which prevents carbon emissions produced during incineration from entering the atmosphere. There are further plans to run the facility using solar panels.
Advances in advanced recycling
PackagingInsights recently sat down with Susan Hansen, global strategist for F&A supply chains at Rabobank, to discuss recent developments in advanced or chemical recycling technologies and what they could hold for the future of plastic waste management.
She explained that Rabobank has seen a “huge amount of activity” in advanced recycling since 2019. According to the bank’s estimates, there were around 70 plants installed worldwide in 2020, with approximately 1.1 million tons of capacity.
However, Hansen emphasized that chemical recycling should not be seen as a “silver bullet” to the limitations of mechanical methods.
Even if all the global advanced recycling projects recorded are actually completed, there would be a doubling in the number of plants and around three or four times the capacity there is today. However, this would only mean 140 plants on earth, which would be a maximum of about four million tons of capacity.
The UN estimates roughly 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced each year globally.
AEROBAL World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award 2021 Focus on sustainable concepts, printing and finishing, marketing and design
AEROBAL, the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers, held its much-acclaimed competition for the world’s best and most innovative aluminium aerosol cans also during the second year of the pandemic. AEROBAL Secretary General Gregor Spengler said he was pleased to find that the innovative strength of the industry had not diminished at all, despite the particularly challenging situation during the crisis and the difficult market situation overall.
FACHPACK 2021: Greiner Packaging to showcase innovative and sustainable packaging concepts for the future
Alternative and recycled materials, barrier technologies, innovative solutions for the POS, and the circular economy itself will be the focus of Greiner Packaging’s appearance at FachPack this year. The packaging experts will be exhibiting in Nuremberg, Germany from September 28 to 30, giving prospective and existing customers an exciting look at current developments, trends, and innovations.
The initial trials carried out in Switzerland demonstrate that Greiner Packaging is already capable of producing yogurt cups from 100 percent recycled material. Basically, it’s the most eco-friendly and sustainable solution imaginable.
WHITE CASTLE® INTRODUCES THE “CRAVE CLUTCH” PERFECTLY SIZED FOR FAMILY MEALS AND COVID-APPROPRIATE SMALL GATHERINGSNews:
Holding 20 Sliders of any variety, the Crave Clutch sits nicely between the classic 10 Sack and the 30-Slider Crave Case, making it the perfect choice for family meals and small gatherings. That’s especially helpful now as people spend more time at home or outdoors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Crave Clutch has been something we’ve been working on behind the ‘Castle walls’ for a while. Faced with the pandemic we decided that now is an ideal time to introduce this new size of Slider packaging,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle. “We’ll be here for Cravers when they need to feed a crowd, but today this is about taking care of their own family and close friends.”
The easy-to-carry Crave Clutch stands out from other White Castle packaging. It has a faux leather stitched cardboard handle, and one side looks like an old-school Boombox, complete with an image of a blank cassette tape where customers can write their favorite songs. White Castle will introduce a campaign on Instagram to coincide with the release of the Crave Clutch, asking customers to share the title of the song they most like to listen to when enjoying White Castle. White Castle will add these “snack tracks” to the boombox and repost the images on Instagram.
White Castle has long been known for its innovative packaging, dating all the way back to 1927 when founder Billy Ingram came up with the concept of carryout food and created a bag so customers could buy Sliders by the sack. In 1931, White Castle started using individual boxes to package its steam-grilled goodness on a bun. Seventy years later, in 2001, White Castle introduced the Crave Case, a box of 30 Sliders to feed a hungry crowd. The Crave Crate came along in 2004, holding 100 hot and tasty Sliders and providing an easy way to transport and share them. White Castle fans have always engaged with the packaging. Slider boxes, for example, double as stackable blocks, and the Crave Case has been used as carry-on luggage!
ExtraPET PCR has been purposely developed to meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable lidding film solutions. The new film development sets out to reduce plastic waste and plastic going to landfill. It also utilises the circular economy, reducing the use of fossil feedstocks, alongside reducing carbon footprint, and supporting recycling streams along with improved waste collection. The film still provides an all-PET structure and maintains Camvacs’ high gas barrier performance, both OTR and WVTR as required for MAP & CAP packaging applications.
Available in either peel or weld seal laminate structures, the mono-material lidding film has been designed to offer excellent sealing properties and exceptional barrier performance. Whilst guaranteeing the film appearance is not hampered by using food contact approved PCR grade base webs. Camvac can offer a sustainable film that truly challenges virgin PET films, due to very similar characteristics and visual appearance – no yellow hints are visible in the barrier lidding film!
The high barrier polyester laminate film’s versatility contributes to the film being used for a wide range of processed meats, fresh meats, poultry, pastas, vegetable, and bakery packaging solutions, where presentation and fresh appearance is critical.
Camvac’s Development Director, Gary Chalkley, states “ExtraPET traditionally provides a variety of environmentally friendly and atmosphere packaging solutions in peel and non-peel, anti-fog, and high barrier options. By introducing a minimum 60% PCR content film into the range boosts the film’s environmental attributes of this mono-material film in the drive for more sustainable film solutions for the packaging of fresh and prepared produce.”
The peelable ExtraPET PCR is available as an adhesive laminate of 12-micron polyester to 20-micron polyester. ExtraPET PCR Peelable total PCR content makes up 62% of the laminate structure.
The weld seal laminate structure is 12-micron polyester to 15-micron polyester. This laminate structure uses two base webs that accumulates the total post-consumer recycled content of 65-percent of the laminate structure.
As a direct result of the ExtraPET range being an all-polyester structure, the potential of total recyclability, where post-consumer collection infrastructure exists, is possible.
The recyclable lidding film has the capability to seal and peel from various tray structures including PET trays. A PET tray and ExtraPET film lid combination meets the ever-growing requirement of a complete mono-material packaging solution that is truly recyclable.
Camvac’s ExtraPET film range is found in most UK supermarkets and has a growing presence globally, particularly in mainland Europe. Not only are the UK consumers demanding greener and more sustainable options but also the imminent introduction of the UK plastic tax is forcing converters and food packaging companies to find sustainable alternatives.
ExtraPet is a perfect solution to enable products currently packed in multi-polymer tray/lidding combinations to switch a 100% PET film / tray solution that is already extensively used in the MAP/CAP markets.
ExtraPET PCR has been developed to go beyond the 30% post-consumer recycled minimum.
With this new product being added to Camvac’s ExtraPET portfolio, the predominant customer base of converters and packers will not change. The long-standing supply partnerships will continue to be built upon, albeit with a new environmentally friendly stance, alongside the proven reliability of Camvac’s ExtraPET film.
ExtraPET PCR Key Product Benefits
- Mono-material (widely recyclable)
- Chlorine free barrier coating (environmentally friendly)
- Excellent seal integrity
- Minimum 62% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Content
- Peel and weld seal options
- Market leading antifog properties
- Excellent light transmission / low haze values. Excellent clarity and product visibility
- High barrier laminate offers extended product shelf-life
- Print receptive top coating
As Camvac continues to invest and develop new packaging films, the company is continually seeking new opportunities to partner with likeminded companies and would welcome any opportunity to discuss new partnerships – not only for their ExtraPET films but also their other packaging solutions.
According to data by the National Restaurant Association of India, both social distancing and food safety concerns have heavily impacted food businesses leading to more than 40% closures in the past fiscal.
Covid-19 has brought noticeable changes in the consumption pattern as well. For instance, instead of visiting a restaurant or a food court, people are more comfortable ordering a takeaway or food delivery service, citing health and hygiene reasons.
Hence, to stay in business, restaurants and snack outlets are meeting consumer demands by investing in food delivery. They are either collaborating with third-party food delivery service providers or initiating their very own service, getting the food to one’s doorstep.
Along with food delivery, businesses are enhancing their packaging practices to ensure food safety and hygiene, shifting mostly to disposable packaging. But are these new changes in alignment with eco-friendly practices? That’s where the concern lies.
Increase in use of plastic for food packaging
There is no denying that the food packaging industry has experienced exceptional growth throughout 2020, and trends continue in 2021. All the leading packaging manufacturers reported up to a 70% jump in the productions of packaging materials.
While that translates well for the food and packaging industry, it has raised new concerns regarding environmental degradation. Why? It is because most of the packaging materials used are single-use plastic, which is adding to the non-biodegradable waste especially in the urban areas.
Why are businesses using plastic and not a greener alternative?
Disposable plastic containers and food packaging are cheaper, easily available, leak-proof and help the food vendor or restaurant abide by the hygiene regulations. Since plastic containers give the impression of sealed and safe food, it fits the consumer satisfaction as well. Nevertheless, it has dealt a severe blow to the government’s efforts to curb the use of plastics.
Is there a way out of this new plastic packaging crisis?
Let’s face it; Covid-19 is here to stay. Even with vaccination, businesses and consumers would have to abide by the safety protocols to prevent transmission of the virus. So, restaurants and eateries will have to intensify their delivery efforts in the coming days, as physical outlets are yet to open up with full occupancy for the consumers. Businesses need to rethink the use of plastic for packaging and opt for a greener alternative with minimal environmental impact.
Here are a few options to try:
Recycled or Agro Based paper is the cheapest alternative to plastic packaging. One can use quality paper packaging for snacks and food items (leak-proof consistency).
Kraft paper is a viable alternative to plastic since it is both oil and waterproof. It addresses your leaking issues.
Another option here is using quality containers to deliver the food. The customer would receive the food and return the container for reuse. It would curb the use of disposable food containers.
What food businesses and restaurants can do is collaborate with paper packaging manufacturers to come up with, economic and eco-friendly solutions to the plastic packaging problem.
Mitigating the initial impact of the pandemic followed by the gradual shift to new business practices has been tough on business across all sectors. The transition commenced in haste to extenuate the immediate crisis. Now, as we ease into new-normal, it’s time to correct the errors committed and innovate sustainable practices towards a safer future.