• Kuhne Anlagenbau Touts Triple-Bubble Technology for Recyclable Barrier Film


    While mono-material film structures are a modern solution for packaging applications that require both high performance and environmental attributes, the production of full polyolefin (PO) films poses challenges for plastics processors. Plastics processors have to adapt and expand their manufacturing equipment and meet all the requirements of the food industry.

    To provide a sustainable solution, Kuhne Anlagenbau GmbH has developed Triple Bubble technology, which enables the economical production of uniformly oriented, high-quality mono-material films that are directly sealable.

    “We have been building Triple Bubble blown-film lines for over 20 years and, thus, have an enormous wealth of experience both in terms of machine technology and formulation development,” said Jürgen Schiffmann, Managing Director of Kuhne Anlagenbau. “We have transferred this know-how to five-layer full-polyolefin film structures, an alternative that has many advantages over conventional blown-film lines with machine direction orientation (MDO) stretching units.”

    Kuhne Anlagenbau tested and optimized the five-layer structures at its in-house technical center on a 13-layer Triple-Bubble R&D line. The result is a uniformly oriented film with a full PE or PP barrier film structure. The primary advantages of these film structures are their sealability and the waste-free production process, said Kuhne.

    There are few packaging solutions today that don’t involve a barrier function, especially when it comes to food products or pet food. “The term mono-material is somewhat misleading,” explains Schiffmann, “because all commercially available full-PO films contain up to 5% of foreign material in order to achieve the desired barrier properties.”

    In Kuhne’s construction, the sealing layer consists of materials such as metallocene PE or plastomers, and the inner EVOH barrier layer is enclosed by two PE-based tie layers. An HDPE blend is used for the outer layer. “With the same line configuration, we can also produce a mono PP film without any modification,” emphasized Schiffmann.

    The technology is just as flexible in terms of the film thickness, which can vary between 15 and 150 microns, and its properties. Shrinkage is also adjustable, depending on whether the film is to be used for stand-up pouches, coffee, and snack packaging, which require non-shrinkable films, or for lid films, which require slightly shrinkable films. Bottom web film for food packaging can also be designed to be thermoformable and even deep-drawable and shrinkable for form-shrink applications.

    Since the films are produced using Triple Bubble technology, they have the same properties and thickness over the entire circumference. In the first bubble, the film tube is rapidly doused with water in order to achieve ideal amorphous properties; in the second bubble, simultaneous biaxial orientation is imparted; and annealing takes place in the third bubble.

    Kuhne Anlagenbau's technology also eliminates the need to laminate a multi-direction olefin film with a sealing layer. “Our films are directly sealable and can be processed further,” said Schiffmann, adding another economic and environmental argument for the production of mono-material film structures with Triple Bubble technology.



    The solution is based on a mono web TF-BOPE film structure which has a thickness of only 20 micrometers – an unprecedented benefit in this market. This thin gauge provides a potential packaging material reduction of approximately 35-50% compared to incumbent blown PE film. The reduced thickness of the packaging solution minimizes environmental impact and supports brand owners and retailers who are aiming to reduce their packaging material consumption. The new packaging solution is also 100% recyclable and fits mono-PE recycling streams.

    This innovative packaging solution for frozen food is the result of SABIC’s close collaboration with film suppliers/extruders Ticinoplast and Plastchim-T, as well as packaging machine manufacturer Syntegon Technology.

    Stephan Eltink, SABIC’s Business Director for PE in Europe, said, “At SABIC, we focus on delivering sustainable solutions and working collaboratively with our customers to help them achieve their ambitions and solve key industry challenges. By working closely with Ticinoplast, Plastchim-T and Syntegon, and by leveraging our innovation together, we have been able to introduce a new solution to the market that allows for more sustainable packaging without any compromise on productivity and consumer convenience.”

    Pierre Hamelink, Syntegon’s Director of Business, Market and Sustainability Strategy, said: “This innovative packaging solution demonstrates the true value of collaboration. Stakeholders throughout the supply chain have had to work together to bring this to life: sustainability cannot be achieved single-handedly.” He added: “Our research and development efforts are driven by our mission to deliver sustainability – without compromise. Our new PHS 2.0 sealing technology can process thinner films whilst offering the same level of sealing quality, product protection and processing speed as conventional sealing technologies. When replacing composite packaging materials on new and existing Syntegon machines with films made of SABIC’s BOPE, brand owners benefit from even more material and cost savings.”

    TF-BOPE film made of SABIC® LLDPE BX202 material offers tear direction and low tear strength provides an easy unidirectional opening. Compared to conventional solutions, it offers much better visibility of packaged products due to higher light transmission and lower haze. Meanwhile the high gloss delivers first-class design and aesthetics.

    The 20 micrometer thin film was successfully tested on Syntegon’s vertical form, fill and seal machines, which feature the newly-developed PHS 2.0 sealing technology. This technology reduces the amount of clamped film by 25 percent and increases packaging speed by up to 25 percent. The thin TF-BOPE film also requires less cooling time which increases packaging speed even more. During the evaluations, a constant speed of 130 bags per minute was achieved.

    For packers, TF-BOPE film delivers a robust sealing performance and increased productivity resulting from improved packaging speed. The thin gauge results in increased film roll efficiency which reduces logistic handling, storage space and transport costs.

    For converters and brand owners, SABIC’s TF-BOPE film material offers a wide range of benefits that include good printability, cost-saving opportunities, higher yield, less consumption of plastic materials and lower packaging taxes due to reduced material consumption. It further reduces the package weight to product weight ratio, resulting in a more optimized packaging design.

    The TF-BOPE film is based on SABIC© LLDPE BX202 grade, which is available globally. TF-BOPE stands for Tenter Frame Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene. This is a PE grade that can run in tenter frame machines traditionally used to make Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) film. TF-BOPE has the potential to be used in new applications and markets which support the circular economy, where mono material solutions are required to enhance recyclability. TF-BOPE can replace multi material laminates into a mono-PE structure.

    SABIC® TF -BOPE polymer is part of the “Design for Recyclability” under TRUCIRCLE™ solutions supports easy and full recyclability through enabling mono-PE material structure in multilayer tenter frame of flexible packaging, aiming to minimize waste. This new product can be also available as certified circular polymer from the company’s TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio. At SABIC, the TRUCIRCLE™ initiative encompasses the company’s circular materials and technologies, which include certified circular polymers from the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste and certified renewable polymers based on bio-based renewable feedstock.

  • Registration Opens for First of Its Kind PACK EXPO Connects


    Attendee registration is now open for the industry’s most engaging and innovative new web-based event, PACK EXPO Connects 2020, (Nov. 9-13) produced by PMMI Media Group.

    PACK EXPO Connects delivers the power of PMMI Media Group and the PACK EXPO brand to connect the packaging and processing industry during these challenging times. In creating this unique experience, PMMI Media Group combined its digital marketing expertise and extensive industry knowledge into one intuitive interactive platform making live engagement with exhibitors easy. With over 600 solutions-providers featuring state-of-the-art virtual showrooms, attendees can spend less time and effort searching for the latest innovations and more time fostering connections via live chats, live product demos and interactive educational opportunities.

    At the heart of PACK EXPO Connects is what attendees value most: technology in action. With more than 2,600 live product demos over five days, attendees will be able to watch demonstrations of machinery and products in 15-minute increments. Attendees can schedule one-on-one live chats with product and technical experts to find targeted solutions and expeditiously search for specific products among 12 targeted categories.

    “We recognize how busy today’s packaging professional is and made it our goal for PACK EXPO Connects to maximize attendees’ time, making it easy to connect with the right suppliers remotely,” says Joe Angel, president, PMMI Media Group.

    In addition to exhibitor interaction, PACK EXPO Connects offers world-class virtual educational opportunities covering the most pertinent industry trends. These include the daily Jumpstart to kick-off each day of the event, complete with a special Packaging and Processing Women’s Leadership Network session on Tuesday, Nov. 10, featuring Jan Tharp, president and CEO at Bumble Bee Foods. Innovation Stages, Trend Chats and The Solution Room will feature expert-led interactive educational sessions, and the Showcase of Packaging Innovations will feature a web portal full of the latest in award-winning packaging from PACK EXPO Connects partners. Daily Download sessions with PMMI Media Group editors will discuss each day’s PACK EXPO Connects highlights.

    Live showroom hours will run Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CT and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT. International demo hours have also been added each day, to expand PACK EXPO Connects global reach. International demos will be broadcasting at 10:00 a.m. China Standard time (9:00 p.m. CT) and 10:00 a.m. Greenwich Mean time (4:00 a.m. CT). These time slots will enable attendees who reside outside the Western Hemisphere to view solutions and enjoy live interactions with exhibitors. In addition, all educational sessions will be available on-demand for international attendees to watch at times convenient to them. Spanish language closed captioning will also be provided for the Jumpstart sessions.

    The MyConnects Planner will serve as the first stop for every attendee after registration, assisting in advance planning for the most efficient PACK EXPO Connects experience. An Outlook calendar integration is available for attendees to add events to their Outlook calendars for ease of reference, ensuring the most efficient use of time during event days.

    Preview Week (Nov. 2-6) will be the week before PACK EXPO Connects where attendees are encouraged to browse, add product demos, educational sessions and all items of interest, as well as finalize their MyConnects Planner, which will assist registrants with planning in advance of what to attend during the event. The planner helps to organize information and plan what sessions to attend, exhibitors to visit and more, ensuring the most productive use of time during event days.

    Gear up for PACK EXPO Connects and start browsing and building your MyConnects Planner.  For more information and free registration online, visit www.packexpoconnects.com



    This innovative plastic packaging has now been presented by the participating companies Zur Mühlen Gruppe (Gutfried), BASF, SABIC and SÜDPACK. The special thing: Around two-thirds of the raw materials used for the packaging come from plastic waste, which is thus reconverted into valuable raw materials. In this way, the collaboration partners want to make a contribution to reducing waste volumes and conserving valuable resources. During the chemical recycling process of mixed plastic waste, the used plastic is converted into pyrolysis oil in a high-temperature process. Like fossil based raw materials, this oil is then used at the beginning of the chemical production chain, thus saving conventional crude oil. The recycled content is allocated to the chemical end products via a mass balance method. The products thus have the same high quality and performance as new products. The bottom film and top film of the packaging each consist of several layers of different polymers and are produced by the film producer SÜDPACK. BASF supplies the necessary polyamide, SABIC supplies the polyethylene. Both components are based on raw materials that have been recycled chemically from mixed plastic waste which was not possible before. "The innovative packaging based on recycled raw materials is a perfect match for our new Gutfried organic chicken meat sausage," says Maximilian Tönnies, Managing Director of the Zur Mühlen Gruppe. This group also includes the Zur Mühlen Gruppe with its Gutfried sausage brand. "Our customers increasingly value sustainability. This of course applies to the production of our products, but also to aspects such as packaging". The new product therefore not only stands for enjoyment without regrets, but also for less plastic waste and the careful use of limited resources. "More than a year ago, SABIC already took a big step forward with the chemically recycled products from the TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio to close the waste cycle of plastics", says Mark Vester, global circular economy lead at SABIC. Christoph Gahn, responsible for BASF's polyamide business in Europe, adds: "Plastic products made of chemically recycled material can be recycled again after use without impacting the quality". High quality and food-conformity of the material are crucial when used in food packaging. "If the material and thus the oxygen barrier fails, the packaged product would no longer be optimally protected and in the worst case could spoil early," explains Carolin Grimbacher, managing partner and head of research and development at SÜDPACK. Product safety is therefore top priority, especially with sensitive foods such as meat.



    Eden Mill, Scotland’s first single-site distillery and brewery, crafting gin, whisky and beer, opted to change the packaging of its stylish pink gin in response to trade and consumer feedback. The result is a new lightweight glass bottle, which is more easily recycled than its ceramic counterpart. And by using 18% less glass than most other spirit bottles, it attracts a lower carbon footprint, helping Eden Mill to emphasise its sustainability commitment. From an aesthetic perspective, the crystal cut dimple effect ties into heritage of St Andrews and golf, replicating the style of bottle previously used on the Eden Mill distillery site back in the 1800s. An additional benefit of the design is that it provides much better pouring capability for the trade in mixing and serving drinks, as well as in stock taking. The bottle is complemented by a printed shield label design on the front and a white cork stopper as a closure. “Having listened to feedback from both trade and consumers, the new glass Love Gin design represents an important statement for Eden Mill,” said Tony Kelly, co-owner of Eden Mill. “By being 100% carbon efficient, we aim to be the first carbon neutral distillery by 2022, so from a sustainability perspective, moving to glass is the right strategy for the business. It also enables us to create some important production and supply chain efficiencies as a result. “Once again Croxsons have provided an on-brand solution that not only complements our existing range, but also helps reinforce our heritage in a striking and stylish way, whilst providing some beneficial practicalities, particularly for the trade. It also helps that customers can see the beautiful pink colour of our gin in the bottle”. Croxsons’ chief operating officer, Tim Croxson, commented: “Eden Mill’s ceramic look is well established, but the switch to glass has been important, not least in delivering increased sustainability. As a new addition, the new 70cl size bottle will be well suited to the trade for volume serves, stock takes and ease of pour, while the traditional 50cl Love Gin version will continue to delight consumers.” Eden Mill and Croxsons are currently in collaboration on the development of a glass miniature Love Gin version, which will be used across the range in a variety of miniature packs.

  • Mondi partners with SalzburgMilch and SPAR to reduce plastic waste from food packaging


    Leading packaging and paper manufacturer, Mondi, is launching a fully recyclable 80% paper-based packaging solution for cold meats and cheese. The new packaging will reduce plastic usage for Austrian dairy producer SalzburgMilch by approximately 40 tonnes per year, compared to its previously used rigid plastic trays. Mondi has launched its innovative PerFORMing removable in partnership with SalzburgMilch for the brand SalzburgMilch Premium and the premium own-brand SPAR Natur*pur organic cheese slices. The shallow paper tray combines the recyclability of paper with the essential barrier properties of a thin plastic coating to keep food fresh and avoid waste. Mondi released its original PerFORMing range in 2019 and has continued to work hard to make it even more sustainable. The original product could be recycled in Austrian paper recycling streams. The updated product now consists of paper and fully removable plastic which can easily be separated from the paper tray allowing for 100% paper recycling across Europe. The product is made locally in Austria, meaning transportation is kept to a minimum and the overall carbon footprint is reduced. The base paper for the tray is Advantage Formable made predominantly from locally sourced wood and produced by Mondi Frantschach, while the trays are processed and coated by Mondi Zeltweg, both located in Austria. PerFORMing removable is part of Mondi’s EcoSolutions approach to find the most sustainable and fit for purpose packaging for its customers with a focus on replacing, reducing, and recycling. SalzburgMilch and SPAR are using Mondi’s product for their 175g packets of sliced cheese, which are available in SPAR stores across Austria. Switching to paper-based packaging offers numerous environmental benefits including being a renewable resource with higher recycling rates than other packaging materials. The paper industry accounts for less than 1% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions1, while 72% of paper in Europe is recycled. Technical details about the product • Formable paper packaging with a patented barrier • Made from natural brown paper (Advantage Formable Brown) • Ideally suited for shallow food trays (e.g. for cheese, meat or fish) • High symmetrical stretch for uniform formability • Suitable for existing filling lines • Results in 70% less plastic used compared to plastic trays • 70% CO2 reduction compare to plastic alternative

  • Mondi partners with SalzburgMilch and SPAR to reduce plastic waste from food packaging

    The PerFORMing removable range is the first in Europe to create 100% recyclable paper-based food trays Reduction of approximately 40 tonnes of plastic a year for dairy producer SalzburgMilch Reduces carbon footprint by two thirds compared to the previous packaging solution
  • Bold, Appetizing Packaging for New Tyson Product in Europe

    Earlier this year, Tyson Foods, Inc. approached full-service creative agency Pemberton & Whitefoord (P&W) with the challenge of designing the packaging for a new range of frozen chicken products for the Tyson flagship brand, to be launched in the European Foodservice market. Tyson wanted to expand its offering in Europe to continue the brand’s legacy with legacy with high-quality foodservice products, helping businesses, distributors, and chefs. The new range of 28 frozen poultry products is to be sold to restaurants, cafés, and caterers. The two-tier range—Speciality and Core—caters to a broad range of consumers and includes raw, skewers, and coated and fried varieties such as Southern Fried Crispy Chicken Mini Fillets and Coated Chicken Schnitzel. After conducting market research, considering 2020 market trends, and studying packaging innovations, P&W produced and presented diverse creative solutions to the Tyson team. P&W’s design thinking behind the chosen concept was guided by five key principles: 1. To capitalize on consumer recognition of the Tyson brand 2. Bold color coding for strong product and range delineation 3. Mouth-watering photography to entice consumers 4. Unified incorporation of 13 languages 5. Product visibility via windows into the product Says P&W, effective packaging speaks to consumers directly, through both visual and written language. There is a definite discipline to producing copy for packaging that consists of three key factors, it explains: empathy, lucidity, and spatial-awareness. P&W was intrinsic to the crafting of the copywriting on both front and back of every pack and within the catalog and brochure. It was essential to encapsulate the informative yet personable tone-of-voice of the Tyson brand. From short product-descriptive copy for back-of-pack to extended explanatory prose for the product catalogue, P&W says it ensured that Tyson’s visual and written brand messaging was entirely unified. The P&W team incorporated the recognizable Tyson brand logo at the visual entry point of each pack, and selected strong black branding for the Speciality range and confident red for the Core range. Product photography is aligned to the bottom right of each pack, with gourmet products presented on garnished plates at a three-quarter angle for the Speciality range and on more rustic, textured boards at an (almost) overhead angle for the more casual-dining Core range. Says P&W, it was essential to address the language and labeling needs of consumers to help ensure the success of the Tyson brand across all European countries. Therefore, packaging for each product integrates 13 languages on front and back of pack. Says P&W Partner Adrian Whitefoord, who directed the project, “It was vital our team produce strong and communicative creative packaging which expressed high-quality and versatility of the Tyson products. Numerous languages provided clarity for chefs and stood out from competitor foodservice brands. We’ve succeeded in creating the new range, a catalog and packaging guidelines in our first project with the company. We look forward to partnering with Tyson again across their exciting and growing portfolio of products.” The packaging is also fully-recyclable with items produced in Europe packaged in 50% bio-based plastic material and items from Thailand and Brazil packing in recyclable monolayer plastic. The shelf life of all of the products is 18 months, and they are portion controlled, encouraging zero-food waste. As a full-service creative agency, P&W also produced comprehensive brand guidelines to ensure cohesive brand messaging and produced the brochure design as well as explanatory data sheets to help sales teams and foodservice customers. The confident brand slogan “Keep it real. Keep it Tyson” is integrated across marketing collateral, including exhibition boards, signage, and uniforms.
  • McDonald’s partners with Zero-Waste platform loop to Pilot reusable packaging


    McDonald’s Corporation has announced a global partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to test a new reusable cup model for hot beverages. The initiative, which will first be trialed in 2021 across select McDonald’s restaurants in the UK, helps customers enjoy their favorite McDonald’s hot drink in a reusable cup, while cutting down on packaging waste. The model marks significant progress toward innovative circular packaging solutions that help protect the planet for communities today, and in the future. This unique new partnership will conveniently allow customers to reduce waste by choosing a durable Loop-created cup, for a small deposit. The deposit can then be redeemed by returning the cup to participating McDonald’s UK restaurants in order to be safely washed through the Loop system and reused again in McDonald’s restaurants. “We’re on a journey to rethink how we package products to give customers options that reduce waste, maintain the highest safety standards, and enhance the McDonald’s experience they expect and enjoy,” said Jenny McColloch, Vice President, Global Sustainability, McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, the Loop partnership meets McDonald’s cleanliness and safety standards, which have only become more important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. "This groundbreaking partnership with McDonald's enables Loop to greatly expand its reach by bringing convenient reusable packaging options to the food service industry," said TerraCycle and Loop CEO, Tom Szaky.

  • Coca-Cola in Western Europe transitions to 100% recycled plastic (rPET) bottles in two more markets


    Coca-Cola in Western Europe today takes another important step on its journey to eliminating new virgin oil-based plastic as Coca-Cola in the Netherlands and Coca-Cola in Norway announce their transition to plastic bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET). Following the announcement (December 2019) that Coca-Cola in Sweden would become the first market to switch to 100% rPET, Coca-Cola in the Netherlands has announced that from October 2020 it will transition all its locally produced small plastic bottles to 100% rPET, including iconic brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. Large plastic bottles will follow in 2021, making it the second market to transition its locally produced portfolio to 100% rPET. The switch to 100% rPET in the Netherlands will eliminate the use of more than 10,000 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic, amounting to a 21% reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles per year compared to the rPET level before the transition, when the portfolio in the Netherlands already consisted of more than 50% recycled PET. Additionally, during the first half of 2021, Coca-Cola in Norway will transition to 100% rPET for all plastic bottles that it produces locally. This transition will remove around 4,300 tonnes of new virgin oil-based plastic a year, and will deliver a 28% reduction in the carbon footprint of its plastic bottles per year compared with the rPET level before the switch when the portfolio in Norway was approximately 25% rPET. Both Coca-Cola in the Netherlands and Coca-Cola in Norway will be the first companies in their respective countries to move their entire portfolio of locally produced plastic bottles to 100% rPET. This move supports Coca-Cola’s ambition in Western Europe to accelerate towards the use of 100% rPET and the elimination of new virgin oil-based PET in all of its bottles within the next decade.

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