• Tupperware Creates One-of-a-Kind Reusable Packaging for Restaurant Brand International's Tim Hortons as Part of Its Partnership with Loop


     Tupperware last year announced a partnership with TerraCycle's zero-waste platform Loop, which works with leading brands to create zero-waste, durable and returnable packaging. Tupperware designed and produced a one-of-a-kind reusable packaging container option for Tim Hortons – one of Loop's brand partners.

    The reusable container was created by Tupperware to package Tim Hortons food menu items as part of a pilot program at select locations across Burlington, Ontario. The reusable containers will be available as part of the Loop program on-site at participating Tim Hortons restaurant locations starting today.

    Aimed at reducing packaging waste through a circular recycling system, Tupperware is able to bring its decades of knowledge in product design and reusability to contribute to the circular recycling model. Tupperware, a 75-year old company, has deep experience and knowledge in engineered resin and sustainable plastics technology.

    "We are excited to bring Loop's brand partners, like Tim Hortons, the opportunity to access and leverage our rich heritage in reusability to help bring more consumers into the fold on what it means to reduce their single-use footprint," said Hector Lezama, President of Commercial Business Expansion at Tupperware. "This partnership aligns to our purpose to nurture a better future every day by bringing to life sustainable options in the quick service industry. We look forward to seeing how this pilot program performs."

    The test pilot with Tim Hortons is Tupperware's first foray into the market as a part of its partnership with TerraCycle's Loop, and will advance Tupperware's No Time to Waste® initiative to significantly reduce single-use plastic and food waste. Additional reusable package options created by Tupperware will be available to more of Loop's brand partners in 2022.

  • Starbucks and McDonald’s double down on helping to solve the foodservice packaging waste problem


    Starbucks and McDonald’s are upping their investment in the ongoing effort to reduce the amount of foodservice packaging ending up in the nation’s landfills and waterways.

    The two foodservice giants have invested an additional $10 million in the NextGen Consortium, a project managed by circular economy-focused investment firm Closed Loop Partners. 

    Wendy’s, meanwhile — a supporting partner of the NextGen Consortium — on Wednesday announced its move in early 2022 to clear, plastic cups that are more recyclable, starting with large cups in locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, and then all cups in those regions by 2023. The clear cups will replace the plastic-lined paper cups used currently that are difficult to recycle and end up in landfills.

    Founded in 2018, the NextGen Consortium was first launched to develop a more sustainable disposable cup, but the project has grown to include a push toward broader solutions for the pervasive packaging pollution problem.

    That push included the pilot of a reusable container system in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2019-2020. From that, the consortium published an open-source report with learnings on developing reusable packaging systems.

    Now the consortium has gone on to work with papermills, recyclers and municipalities on improving recycling systems across the country.

    Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, said the foodservice industry must double down on efforts to solve the mounting waste problem, which is a climate change issue on a number of fronts.

    “The circular economy is intertwined with climate because extraction is greenhouse gas generating and carbon intense. In addition, throwing this waste into landfills emits greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change,” said Daly.

    The goal is to look at the foodservice packaging ecosystem holistically to identify the best solutions.

    For restaurant operators, the effort comes at a time when the policy landscape for waste diversion is rapidly evolving region by region. And with a global shipping crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, many across the restaurant industry are struggling to find any type of to-go packaging, much less sustainable options.

    All the more reason to develop more resilient circular models in which materials are reused and recycled, said Daly. And there will not likely be one quick fix.

    “We have found it essential to support a spectrum of solutions that are both in early and established stages of growth so we can be agile,” she said. “The policy landscape is changing so quickly both in the U.S and globally, it increases the urgency of testing an entire system of solutions.”

    The Starbucks/McDonald’s investment indicates recognition of that urgent need, she said. But key to that is the industry-wide collaboration the consortium represents. Other partners include JDE Peet’s and Yum Brands Inc., for example.

    With the additional funding, the NextGen Consortium will continue to expand efforts to strengthen the sustainable packaging ecosystem, Daly said. 

    This will include more customer research and testing of reusable packaging systems, exploring the use of other packaging materials, and accelerating the development of more sustainable packaging options and the infrastructure needed to recover and recycle those materials.

    For example, Daly said the consortium is looking at the use of polypropylene, or PP, a more-rigid plastic for which there is a market as a recycled material. There is demand, but not enough volume collected to process for that demand, said Daly. So the consortium is working with recycling groups to develop grants to improve PP recycling. 

    For Starbucks and McDonald’s, the investment coincides with internal sustainability goals.

    Starbucks, for example, has pledged to reduce waste sent to landfills by 50% by 2030, said Michael Kobori, the Seattle-based chain’s chief sustainability officer.  The coffeehouse chain has been a forerunner in testing and implementing the use of reusable cups to replace single-use disposable

    “There has never been a more critical time for industry collaboration to shift away from single-use packaging, promote reusability and champion recyclability,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled to continue our work with the NextGen Consortium to drive sustainable solutions for our planet.”

    McDonald’s, likewise, has committed to sourcing 100% of guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources, and to recycle guest packaging in all restaurants by 2025.

    The chain is also moving away from virgin fossil-fuel plastics in its Happy Meal Toys and has pledged to eliminate potential toxic chemicals from its packaging by 2025.

    And Wendy’s move to more recyclable cups is also an example of steps taken to divert waste from landfills. The chain estimates the cup switch will divert 10 million pounds of waste over the first two years as the brand works toward use of more recyclable plastic across its cup set.

    Daly praised the move.

    “All of the innovations the brand partners are advancing are important parts of a larger collective ecosystem effort to identify the best solutions,” she said.

  • WWP Beauty launches turnkey waterless collection with plant-based packaging


     The Zero+ Packaging Line was developed with the mission of offering solutions that align with WWP Beauty’s "6R’s of Sustainability." This plant-based packaging line is based on “responsibly and locally sourced” material from farm waste which does not interrupt the food chain supply.

    "Now more than ever, we are seeing beauty consumers increasingly adopt streamlined beauty routines based on multifunctional products - born from the desire to buy more sustainably, while also simply saving time and money," said Musa Dias, CMO of WWP Beauty. "The Zero+ Collection was developed based on the concept that less is truly more, and that creating zero waste is in turn creating positive value for both the end-user and the environment."

    This collection demonstrates the company’s unwavering commitment to reducing its global carbon footprint, supporting a circular economy throughout the cosmetics industry and working towards creating a more sustainable, clean and inclusive future, said WWP Beauty.

  • ‘World first’ change for Aussie Cadbury bars


    Australian made Cadbury Dairy Milk Blocks will be among the first food products in the world to be available and wrapped in recycled soft plastic packaging, the confectionary brand has announced.

    Announcing the news today, Cadbury’s owner US firm Mondelez International said it had sourced the equivalent of 30 per cent of the plastic needed to wrap the brand’s famous blocks from recycled sources.

    “Not only is this a world first for Cadbury, but Cadbury in Australia will be among the first anywhere in the world to buy recycled content soft plastic packaging,” Mondelez International president for Australia, New Zealand and Japan, Darren O’Brien, said in a statement.

    “While we’ve accessed the very latest technology from overseas to source this recycled material, we know that demand for circular packaging will continue to grow and we’d love to see recycling technology built in Australia to meet local demand.”

    The volume of recycled plastic being used for the new packaging is enough for 50 million family blocks – which, laid end-to-end – would equate to distance from the Cadbury factory in Hobart, Tasmania to Mumbai in India.

    While soft plastic packaging has long been considered a single use material, accessing the latest recycling technology means fans of the chocolate (aka, all of us) can look forward to playing a role in the circular economy.

    “Today’s announcement is another step towards establishing a truly circular economy, one where all plastics are fully recycled which is good news for our environment and our economy, as well as for all Australians who want to eat Cadbury chocolate sustainably,” Assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management, Trevor Evans welcomed the move.

    “This announcement gives the sector further confidence that their investments in domestic advanced recycling facilities can solve sustainability challenges and grow jobs in an exciting emerging industry.”

    The recycled content plastic material will be used for the Cadbury Dairy Milk family blocks range first, made at the brand’s Hobart factory.

    Mondelez International said it was “just the first step” to use recycled soft plastics as a circular material, with the company determined to increase the amount of recycled material in its packaging.

    The first blocks made with the recycled soft plastic in their packaging will hit supermarket shelves in September 2022.

  • Colgate-Palmolive launches the first-ever recyclable toothpaste tubes in India; aims to achieve 100% recyclability across its oral care portfolio

    • Colgate-Palmolive's recyclable toothpaste tubes to hit the shelves this month.
    • The brand also commits to a 100% recyclable oral care portfolio in India in the coming years.

    Launching the initiative in partnership with EPL Limited (Formerly known as Essel Propack Limited), Colgate is manufacturing recyclable tubes for its Colgate Active Salt and Colgate Vedshakti toothpaste portfolio. Colgate Active Salt, combines salt with calcium and minerals to make teeth strong and gums healthy. Whereas the premium Ayurvedic toothpaste Colgate Vedshakti offers the goodness of a unique blend of powerful Ayurvedic ingredients. These toothpaste tubes launched nationally with recyclable packaging will contain the identifiable Recyclable logo to help its customers differentiate between the packaging effectively.

    The new tube is soft, squeezable, and recyclable without compromising on key product attributes like taste, which consumers love and have enjoyed for decades. Colgate’s recyclable tubes are a stepping stone in its journey to achieve 100% recyclability across its oral care portfolio in India.

    The brand has been a pioneer in bringing world-class sustainable innovations to not only improve oral care but also reduce the burden on our environment. Colgate-Palmolive India has been manufacturing recyclable cartons and boxes across its portfolio for over a decade and is taking its next step into recyclable packaging. This new initiative is a part of the company’s continued effort in its sustainability journey.

    Colgate-Palmolive was the first in the world to introduce a recyclable toothpaste tube and is sharing its technology with the industry to support a shift to a greener and much-needed circular economy.

    With the launch of recyclable tubes this year, Colgate-Palmolive intends to create a recyclable alternative to reuse the billions of toothpaste tubes that end up in landfills every year. These tubes can be used by the economy for recycling into various other packaging materials and bottles for further use, thus reducing the need for virgin plastic to be added to the environment.

  • Body Shop Canada Launches Refill Program with Aluminum Bottles


    The Body Shop Canada has launched a national refill program to help take action against the global plastic crisis.

    Participating locations in Canada will offer shoppers a refillable aluminum bottle for a selection of the brand's best-selling shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, and hand washes.

    This is the company's first step in a 5-year plan to roll out refill stations in the majority of their stores across the globe.

    The Body Shop's founder Dame Anita Roddick opened her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, and developed a refill service out of necessity. She refilled her customers' bottles because she could not afford new ones—and grew up with the mentality to reuse, refill and recycle whenever possible.

    Now, 45 years later, The Body Shop is bringing back refills—aiming to make sustainable packaging easy, convenient, and accessible. Hilary Lloyd, vice president of marketing, says, "Our customers have been eagerly awaiting for refills to return to The Body Shop," Lloyd continues, "We're thrilled to be embracing a circular economy approach and provide this sustainable alternative."

    By switching to refills, every customer can prevent approximately 32 plastic bottles from going to landfills—and, collectively, The Body Shop and its customers could eliminate the use of over 25 tons of plastic each year.

    Beginning in April 2021, The Body Shop launched refill stations across 400 stores globally, and plans an additional 400 stores in 2022.

  • H.B. Fuller and Covestro Join Forces to Make Adhesives More Sustainable


    "We are driven by the very present need to reduce COemissions and look after the world around us, and so too are our customers”, says Iñaki Sigler, H.B. Fuller's Global Product Manager for Woodworking and Composites. "This inspires us to continually explore new avenues to reduce our products' environmental footprint and encourage our supply chain to do the same. Together with our partner, Covestro, we see this new, strategic product development as an investment in all our futures and a commitment to a more sustainable world."

    Bio-based feedstock partly replaces fossil raw materials via the mass balance approach

    The new ingredient used in H.B. Fuller's adhesive is a bio-attributed raw material created via a mass balance approach and will replace a proportion of previous fossil raw materials. Renewable raw materials are used as feedstock at the very beginning of the value chain and processed together with fossil-based ingredients in the same production units. The characteristic of the renewable feedstock process is then attributed to the end-product.

    “We are excited to supply H.B. Fuller as our first customer for adhesive applications with a mass-balanced product,” says Dr. Thorsten Dreier, Head of Coatings and Adhesives at Covestro. "With the increased use of such alternative raw materials, we want to become less dependent on petrochemical feedstocks and contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Alternative raw materials are part of a comprehensive program to work with our partners to drive the transition to a Circular Economy and ultimately become fully circular ourselves.”

    The usage of an equivalent amount of the alternative feedstock is guaranteed by Covestro through a third party verified certification method. By gradually converting its production to alternative raw materials and working with reliable partners, who in turn collaborate with many certified suppliers, Covestro aims to replace fossil materials and make its value chains more sustainable. As mentioned, the correct raw material balance, the allocation method, and the raw material sourcing – according to defined sustainability standards – is ensured via an independent third-party certification.

    A no-compromise approach

    H.B. Fuller is able to use the new drop-in solution immediately in its existing manufacturing processes without any technical conversion. No adjustments are required at its customers’ facilities either. Product quality is in no way inferior to conventional counterparts, but the lower attributed CO2 footprint makes products more sustainable. In fact, the company has made sure that its customers' own products and processes will not be compromised in any way. The 'reformulation' of the reactive hot melt adhesive has no impact on its performance, nor on their customers' own manufacturing and can be treated in exactly the same way as the product it replaces.

    The new solution represents an evolution of previous sustainable product development and will likely extend into other products and areas of production. Iñaki Sigler concludes, “We believe that any way CO2 emissions can be reduced should be embraced, no matter how small, because many small steps can add up to a strong economy of scale and a giant leap forward for the adhesives industry.”

    Both companies believe that the strategic agreement and the innovative process they are now launching together can play a major role in driving the circular economy forward, reducing carbon emissions and replacing the extraction of finite resources with partly renewable raw materials.

  • Sun & Swell Ditched Plastic for Compostable Packaging


    The company delivers organic, whole food to California and the surrounding region. As they grew and developed, the team became concerned that their use of single-use plastic packaging was also unintentionally contributing to global plastic waste.

    Food and food packaging materials make up almost half of all municipal solid waste, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).To avoid contributing to these statistics, Sun & Swell set out to find a better packaging alternative.

    At first, Kate Flynn, co-founder and CEO of Sun & Swell, ran into many challenges with the new compostable packaging. The packaging often showed more signs of handling than its plastic counterparts on store shelves. Sun & Swell realized that they were trying to force the packaging into the traditional distribution model.

    “Our bigger goals were to make an impact in the world of helping transition the industry away from plastic. So instead of forcing this into a model that’s not ready for it … [we questioned] how can we take what we have and be fluid with our business model and make it work,” Flynn tells Food Tank.

    Sun & Swell transitioned away from a traditional wholesale model to an e-commerce direct-to-consumer business. Flynn says that this model allows the company to use the compostable packaging to its full potential and shorten the distribution chain. It also helps them sell their products at a lower price, reduce their carbon footprint, and provide a direct line of communication with customers. Through their in-house compost expert, they try to answer customers’ questions about home composting.

    Aware that not every household can access industrial or municipal composting, Sun & Swell also offers consumers other options. “We have a send-back program so people can send back their compostable bags to us. And we work with a local partner who will then compost the bags so we have an option for people to return it to us,” Flynn tells Food Tank.

    Flynn wants to see more companies transition out of plastic packaging, but understands the barriers they often face. Many companies are hesitant to increase prices or worried about the appearance of compostable packing on grocery store shelves. To help alleviate some of these concerns, she thinks it is important for the food industry to work together and to educate customers on what compostable packaging looks like.

    While Flynn believes the transition to sustainable packaging still has a ways to go, Sun & Swell is not the only food company tackling single-use plastics. Vivo Life packages their protein powders and supplements in home-compostable bags, and Impact Snacks uses cellulose-based, biodegradable wrappers for their superfood bars. No Evil Foods packages their plant-based meats in unbleached kraft cartons that are both home-compostable and recyclable. And Don Maslow Coffee was one of the first coffee companies to sell their beans in fully compostable coffee bags, complete with airtight valves and zippers.

    Flynn is excited for what the future of compostable packaging technology holds. But until then, she hopes that the entire industry’s standards on what packaging should deliver will shift, and businesses will prioritize plastic-free packaging and work to accommodate it.

    “I think the best thing that businesses can do is try to switch to more sustainable practices, and especially when it comes to packaging, is to just be open-minded,” Flynn explains. “There’s a lot of businesses that can figure out a way to think and work creatively to find a way that works for the business to make that impact.”

  • LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics chooses Eastman Cristal™ Renew to begin elimination of virgin plastic


    Parfums Christian Dior is the first of LVMH's major historic Houses to introduce Eastman Cristal Renew copolyester, with 30% certified recycled content,* for its Dior Addict Lip Maximizer packaging that hits shelves this summer. Eastman and LVMH will continue to work together on sustainable packaging solutions across LVMH's family of distinguished brands, with additional adoption expected over the next several months.

    "Our collaboration with Eastman marks a critical milestone towards progressively eliminating fossil-fuel-based plastics from our packaging. With our recently published LIFE 360 program, we made the decision that our packaging will contain zero plastic from virgin fossil resources in the years ahead," said Hélène Valade, LVMH environmental development director.

    "Eastman's innovative molecular recycling technologies are playing a crucial role in helping LVMH achieve our sustainability targets," said Valade. "We are at the very beginning of our journey to meet our targets. With our first deadline in 2023, we need solutions that are available now and at a global scale, ensuring our customers experience these benefits immediately."

    Introduced in late 2020, Eastman's portfolio of sustainable resins for cosmetic packaging builds on its long history of innovation and knowledge of the cosmetics industry.

    Eastman's groundbreaking Advanced Circular Recycling technologies produce resins from mixed waste plastic rather than fossil-based feedstocks. These innovative molecular recycling technologies divert waste plastic from landfills, give waste plastic new life, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to traditional production.

    With Eastman's technologies, brands can meet their ambitious targets for recycled content right now and maintain the premier aesthetics and function that luxury consumers expect.

    "LVMH is staking out a leadership position among luxury brand houses by taking bold action to achieve environmental excellence," said Scott Ballard, vice president and general manager, specialty plastics, Eastman. "We are proud to be working with LVMH and to provide the technology and products that will help them deliver on their circular economy goals."

  • Innovative, part-grass packaging

    The trend toward more conscious dietary choices, including organically grown food, shows no signs of letting up in Germany. That was reason enough for Bauer, a private dairy operation, to release its new Bauer organic yogurt in four delicious varieties: fruity cherry, sun-ripened strawberry, delicate mango and vanilla, and aromatic pear. The products all consist of fresh natural yogurt topped with a layer of fruit and are, of course, made with ingredients sourced from certified organic producers.

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