Saica Flex has developed the pouch using PCR (post-consumer recycled) PE resin produced by Saica Natur, the waste management and environmental services division of the group
The project represents a major step towards a circular economy of plastic packaging in line with the EU strategy
Saica Flex, a division of Saica Group, has developed and placed in the market a detergent tablet pouch using recycled material. The pouch is produced using recycled Polyethylene (PE) and represents the first project where virgin resin has been successfully replaced by recycled resin in up to 45% of the total weight of the pack, making an important step towards the circular economy of plastic packaging.
“This project shows our commitment towards achieving a truly circular economy, especially for plastic packaging, in line with the strategy set by the EU Commission. Today, the options to produce new high quality value-added packaging from recycled materials are still quite limited, and that’s why this project represents a major step forward”, said Miguel Yetano, Marketing Director, Saica Flex. “In order to move successfully towards an effective circular economy, a firm commitment to innovation and cooperation between all stakeholders in the supply chain is essential. Saica Flex’s new Greenheart packaging line represents our commitment to a sustainable production and consumption model”.
Greenheart, the new packaging line from Saica Flex, allows the replacement of virgin PE with recycled PE in a wide range of non-food applications. In this particular project, the recycled content was successfully introduced to up to 45% of the total pack, obtaining pouches with similar characteristics to those produced with virgin materials and with optimum results both in the packaging conversion and in the form-fill-seal process.
The recycled material is been provided by Saica Natur Cycle Plus, which produces a high quality recycled low density polyethylene resin (rLDPE) that can be used in the production of new primary packaging. Natur Cycle Plus resin is certified by EuCertPlast as 100% post-consumer recycled content.
Asian food brand Kelly Loves launches in supermarkets across the UK and Europe, with a brand and packaging identity that marries authenticity and accessibility by London studio Without.
Kelly Loves has been created by well-known Korean food entrepreneur Kelly Choi, founder of Kelly Deli and Sushi Daily, in a bid to bring wholesome Asian food to Western supermarket shelves and tap into the booming ‘grab-and go’ sector.
Research shows that authenticity is the key ingredient for consumers buying and eating Asian food in this part of the world. And Without’s work demonstrates how the true flavours and design ideals of the East can be communicated in an authentic yet approachable way to non-Asian markets.
East meets West
Kelly Choi, says: “We source the highest-quality ingredients, and what we produce is 100% authentic. It was very important that our new off-the-shelf range was brought to market in a way that would be attractive to the modern Western palate, while staying true to its roots. We’d seen Without’s considerable body of work in the food and beverage sector and felt they were the perfect fit for us.”
Currently, consumers interested in pan-Asian food are often faced with specialist Eastern brands that, while authentic, can be unfamiliar and intimidating, or dumbed-down Western versions that rely on clichés and lack credibility. Without has created a category-changing language that exists between the two worlds, allowing Western shoppers easy access to real Eastern flavours.
To achieve this, the Without design team looked to the traditional line drawings and cartoon styles of the East to create a fresh, authentic design language and tone of voice, with Kelly at the heart of the brand story.
From mother to daughter
Roly Grant, Creative Director, Without, says: “Kelly Choi has such integrity and passion, and we wanted to get that across. We decided upon the ‘Kelly Loves’ name as it is completely adaptable and celebrates the fact that founder Kelly is a chef, mum and provider who wants to look after her customers.
“During the collaboration process, Kelly frequently mentioned that she would only sell what she was happy to feed her young daughter, so this became a central tenet of our approach. We developed Asian-inspired line drawings of a mother and daughter interacting to bring the brand to life and provide cohesion across the range. The two characters allow us to demonstrate different product attributes – light, healthy, balanced, for example – in an engaging, friendly way.”
So a cute drawing of a little girl being lifted into the air on a seaweed-snack ‘balloon’ points to the lightness of the product, for example. Likewise, when we see her walking along a chopstick ‘beam’, we understand that the product is perfectly balanced. These images, when combined with on-pack drawings of the products or windows that reveal them, leave consumers in no doubt as to what they are buying.
A universal yet ownable identity
Kelly Choi says: “Without’s approach is completely consumer-centric; they’ve created a universal yet original brand identity and language that will appeal to everyone, from true foodies to those experimenting with Eastern flavours for the first time. Without pushed boundaries and made me think about my brand positioning, giving me the confidence to put my name to the range.”
Eric Fleurance, Business Development Director, Kelly Loves, adds: “The Without team have created a fresh identity and ownable position for the Kelly Loves brand in the Asian food category. Our partners have been wholly positive and can’t wait to start selling the product range.”
OPRL, the not-for-profit On-Pack Recycling Label Ltd company, has hailed the UK Plastics Pact new guidance on the recyclability of rigid plastic packaging as a further vital step driving sustainable packaging and making it easy for consumers to recycle.
The launch of the comprehensive guidelines, setting out which polymers can no longer be considered recyclable and which are the best-in-class polymer choices for different types of rigid plastic packaging, means everyone placing packaging on the UK market has a common basis for design decisions. As highlighted in last week’s announcement on OPRL’s Labelling Rules Review, these guidelines will be one of the evidence bases underpinning OPRL’s 2019 revisions. In January 2017 the labelling not-for-profit signalled its 2019 rules would take account of sortation processes at MRFs and likelihood of reprocessing into recyclate.
Commenting on the release of the Pact’s guidance, Jane Bevis, OPRL chair, said: “The public find plastics confusing and, with widespread concerns over irresponsible disposal and environmental pollution by plastic packaging, are increasingly condemning all plastic packaging as intolerable. But plastic packaging has a key role in protecting our environment too – well-chosen polymers used in well-designed packaging are vital to reducing food waste and the resulting methane and other greenhouse gas emissions. So, this hugely welcome guidance from the Plastics Pact is crucial in promoting a paradigm shift in packaging design, both food and non-food.”
“As well as incorporating this evidence base into our Labelling Rules, we will adopt its findings as key parameters in our PREP tool, the only ISO 14021-compliant multi-material assessment tool on the UK market enabling recyclability claims to be made on a common basis. By shifting design choices into a narrower range of recyclable polymers we not only reduce confusion for consumers, but ease sortation at MRFs and reprocessors, and create the markets for recyclate once consumers have done their bit within the circular economy. That’s Win, win, win!”
The Pact’s guidance also gives clear advice on the need for OPRL labelling and the preferred OPRL Calls to Action to be selected to enhance recycling capture and quality. These include added tips for the consumer such as ‘Cap On’, ‘Rinse’ and ‘Flatten’ and were introduced in January 2017 in response to WRAP’s research into barriers to recycling. OPRL is a founding member and delivery partner of the Plastics Pact.
Software is the ‘hidden power’ behind maximising the performance of your snacks or confectionery weighing system, explains IAN ATKINSON of Ishida Europe…
For the snacks and confectionery industry, the ground-breaking principle behind multihead weighing technology – combining smaller individual weights to achieve the closest to the target weight – was a game-changer in its ability to deliver higher packing speeds, pinpoint accuracy and greater pack consistency. And while this principle remains unchanged to this day, over the years weigher manufacturers have developed numerous design and technical enhancements to improve the performance and capabilities of their machines. And one of the most important factors in these improvements is the software used to control them.
Nevertheless, the actual software can vary considerably between models. Therefore, although the physical appearance of multihead weighers is quite similar, it is what goes on behind the design that is critical.
Enhancements in software have been a key factor in the ability of multihead weighers to optimise the transfer of product, helping to maximise efficiencies and productivity and avoid unnecessary stoppages or the system becoming compromised. The most advanced software is able to monitor not only product already on the weigher, but also what is being fed into it. This allows the software to adjust movements to regulate product flow and ensure a consistent amount of product delivery to all hoppers.
USE YOUR HEAD
The availability of remote monitoring software for data capture and reporting ensures weighers continue to operate to maximum efficiencies
Weigh head optimisation is used to ensure that product does not stay in a hopper for too long, important for chilled and frozen items. On certain occasions the multihead may recognise that it is not appropriate to select the most accurate weight combination because of other factors – it could be that too much product has found its way into a single hopper and this therefore needs to be cleared to enable the weigher to resume operating at maximum efficiency. The best software is able to monitor the entire feeding and weighing process to make decisions that are not just best for the immediate situation but also take into account maintaining the highest overall weighing efficiency.
Today’s multihead weighers can handle a much wider variety of products and at higher speeds than early models. These advances have partly been achieved through design and technical adjustments, such as the use of special contact surface materials for sticky products, reduced angles for fragile items and the introduction of more responsive hoppers and improved loadcells with shorter settling times. However, for the enhancements to be truly effective depends on the adoption of the appropriate software.
For example, the development of more responsive hoppers and improved loadcells required an upgrade to the software to control these operations. In the early days of multihead weighing, a reduction of giveaway to 0.1g was achievable; now this can be as low as 0.01g. And aside from additional cost savings and efficiencies, one of the most important benefits of the improvements in Standard Deviation is that it can further improve pack consistency whilst minimising product giveaway and thus food waste – an important part of brand image, especially for multi-ingredient products and multipacks.
The best software is able to monitor the entire feeding and weighing process
Another significant development of multihead software is how it has moved on from merely controlling the weighing process to also including data capture, monitoring and reporting. This is an important benefit as snacks and confectionery packing lines have become increasingly integrated, with equipment linked together to provide a faster and more efficient operation. The challenge in achieving successful integration is that the process of linking machines together can very often lead to a drop in efficiency levels. The best multihead software plays a crucial role in both maximising the performance of the weigher and the performance of the entire line. This also demonstrates how software supports the latest Industry 4.0 concept, the ‘smart factory’ where the manufacturing process becomes fully digitised in order to increase productivity. As part of this, the availability of remote monitoring software provides a virtual engineering service where weighers can be continually remotely checked by the equipment supplier.
At the same time, ease of set-up and operation are vital factors in an efficient operation, so the best examples of advanced software still provide a simple to understand and operate user-interface.
Software can regulate product flow and ensure consistent product delivery
Multihead weighing was a step-change in snacks and confectionery packaging and it continues to have a major influence on production lines. For the most sophisticated weighers, software has driven the continuing development of the technology and remains critical to the performance of any new model. Companies seeking to invest in multihead weighing should take the time to explore the capabilities of any new weigher from this perspective and with manufacturers who have the experience and the expertise to keep pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved.
With Brexit uncertainty all around and future connection with the Continent up in-the-air, we speak to IAN JAMIE at Staeger Clear Packaging about RPET at home…
Why has RPET from Europe always been so important to the UK?
For so long our main source of recycled PET (RPET) was manufactured by Continental companies. Their quality was superb and we were comfortable with their food contact credentials as dictated by Marks and Spencer and the European legislation. The recycling industries on the Continent, in my humble opinion, have been in advance of ours for quite some time and as a result the standard of their recyclate was extremely good which led to the manufacture of first class box grade RPET (our industry does seem to be catching up now though!).
How do you see the UK progressing outside of Europe?
I have felt for a while, that a source of box grade RPET closer to home was absolutely necessary (made from British plastic waste); not only to protect our lines of supply in the event of a disorderly Brexit, but to also encourage our recycling industry to produce better quality recyclate and more of it. If we could play a small part in helping to increase the percentage of plastic waste recycled in the UK rather than overseas (over 60% of plastic waste is currently exported) then a valuable objective will have been achieved.
What’s the way forward?
Staeger have invested in machinery to allow us to use British RPET, made from British waste. In addition, a lot of knowhow was invested in a British supplier to allow them to reach the required quality. Staeger were the first company in the world to extrude PET, prompted by the Swiss government, who had banned PVC for packaging in 1986. Staeger were also instrumental in developing box grade RPET. Now, no longer involved with extruding, they have still retained a lot of expertise in house. These hard-fought skills were made available to the British Supplier to help them move from a Thermoforming grade RPET to Boxgrade RPET.
And has this proved a success?
We are currently running our new machine on a double day shift!
Coinciding with a year of continuous health and well-being focus and with rates of diabetes and high blood pressure still rising in the UK, Lo-Col, the cheese that is proven to reduce cholesterol, will unveil a new look this summer; reminding consumers that it is the only cheese available which actively reduces cholesterol.
Following an extensive development process, involving customer consultation the new re-brand is being unveiled this week across nationwide retailers Waitrose, Sainsburys and Booths; and is the first re-design since launch in 2010.
The updated fresh packaging features a bright green coloured background symbolising nature, health and well-being. The addition of green plant leaves sitting in the midst of the brand name, represents the naturally high levels of plant sterols found within Lo-Col. The red heart cut-out design on the pack conveys the low cholesterol benefits and help lowering the risk of diabetes, and the slogan ‘Heartily Healthy’ reinforces the products health benefits and a real care for consumers who have raised or abnormal levels of cholesterol.
Dr Stephen May, bio-chemist and Lo-Col director, said: “We wanted to ensure our new design was representative of what our customers were looking for, the healthiest cheese on the block. From launch over 16 years ago we have been applauded for innovation,offering the nation with high cholesterol a way of still enjoying cheese, and even winning the Queens Award for Industry, presented by Her Majesty The Queen. The design evolution is the next stage of our journey.
We are the only offering in the cheese category that promises to help reduce cholesterol and aid diabetes issues, and our refreshed brand strategy has consumers at the heart. Our delicious cholesterol reducing cheese has 75% less saturated fat than full fat cheddar, and the fresh re-designed packaging hopefully conveys these positive benefits and how those who are watching their cholesterol can still enjoy fine tasting cheese.”
The launch of the new packaging will be supported by a new website, instore promotions* and an upweighted consumer, business and influencer communication campaign targeting the over healthy 50+ audience.
The award-winning recipe, made from skimmed milk and specially refined maize oil which is naturally high in plant sterols and polyunsaturated fats, both of which are known to reduce cholesterol. The cheese is manufactured at the world renown Wensleydale Creameries in North Yorkshire and is distributed nationwide and now globally by award-wining Bradbury’s Cheese, with over 130 years in the industry.
Packaging Innovations 2019 returns to Olympia for its 10th edition on 11 & 12 September
Packaging Innovations 2019 returns to Olympia for its 10th edition on 11 & 12 September, hosted alongside Luxury Packaging London. As the capital’s most exclusive packaging event it will bring the industry together in a festival of cutting-edge, branded and bespoke packaging, when it welcomes over 180 industry specialists to what is set to be its biggest show to date.
For those looking for eco-conscious packaging solutions, Seufert will present its new PET Blue Ocean material, designed to reduce unused packaging waste and conserve the world’s oceans. The new design has been created as an alternative to standard PET and utilises up to 100% recycled content in the central layer of the polyester material. The virgin PETG outer layer provides an optimal barrier for food contact making it suitable for use throughout the food sector and the wider packaging industry.
Similarly, Staeger Clear Packaging will showcase its transparent packaging made from recyclable PET. The material used is made from a minimum of 60% post-consumer waste and is suitable for direct food contact. Supplied in flat sheets, the material is then converted into bespoke designs for a wide range of markets including food, confectionary, personal care, houseplants and flowers, and general gifting. The company will also discuss its ability to reduce lead-times after investing in new machinery to allow the procurement of the material from the UK rather than the EU.
Organoid UK will showcase its natural surface packaging, which is bonded with bio-based resins, for the first time at a packaging exhibition. The biodegradable design retains the organic texture and scent of the 100% natural material and highlights the potential of agrarian products in the industry.
Shredhouse will display its range of shredded void fills, including cellophane made from wood pulp. All of its papers are biodegradable, fully recyclable and sustainably sourced, offering an eco-friendly option in a wide range of colours and finishes.
For those looking for the latest in labelling designs, Tinware Direct will be launching a new service at the show which will allow customers to create bespoke labels in an array of design options available in limited runs. The company will also display two new designs; the rose gold heart and rose gold seamless tins, to offer an attractive alternative to the existing gold and silver variants.
Applic’Etains will showcase its personalised adhesive pewter labels. Available in sheets for manual administration or rolls for automatic application, labels can be customised using a range of shapes and colours to suit individual needs and can be applied to a host of products from spirit bottles to candles.
For the beauty sector, Sampling Innovations will present its range of cosmetic solutions, including Self Sampling®. The unique machine has been developed to dispense a single fragrance or makeup sample at the press of a button, specifically designed for the retail market.
Premi Spa will display its eco-friendly collection of packaging for the beauty industry made from Green PET. The plastic used is derived from sugarcane, rather than petroleum, a renewable resource which benefits from lower carbon emissions compared to traditional PE plastic. As well as being sustainably sourced, the collection offers a refillable solution for the cosmetics industry to further reduce the impact packaging can have on the environment.
Also on show, previously specialising in producing bespoke embossed tins for the confectionary industry, Allan & Co will launch its new design service for the wider packaging market.
James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director of Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, concludes: “We are very proud to have established Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London as the premier packaging event in the capital and are thrilled to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the show this year.
“We are delighted to welcome back so many exhibitors from last year’s show after 78% rebooked their stands, and we are also excited to host a series of new suppliers, all with innovative and exciting packaging solutions to share. The launches taking place at the show offer visitors the unrivalled opportunity to visit the future of packaging by experiencing the most cutting-edge products on the market. I for one can’t wait to walk the aisles and see it all first-hand when the show opens.”
Pen manufacturer Uni-ball is has announced it is reducing the use of single use plastic in its product packaging.
The new plastic-free packaging launches with stationery retailer Ryman in July 2019, marking a change from plastic blister cards to 100% cardboard, plastic-free packaging.
As well as being plastic-free the new packs are completely biodegradable and recyclable.
The pack’s board is climate-neutral; made from 100% PEFC certified (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) – the world’s largest forest certification system for sustainable forest management. The new packaging’s inks are vegetable rather than mineral-based, the latter often being derived from fossil fuels. The packs use a non-toxic, water-based blister varnish that does not affect composting or cause environmental damage, plus its gloss UV Varnish uses energy efficient UV light to finish.
With a consistent, high-quality litho print finish, the print process has been designed with eco-concerns at its heart. The print pre-press uses chemical free Kodak computer-to-plate technology. Packaging is printed using the Komori Press, which boasts one of the shortest press set-up available anywhere; this significantly cuts paper and water waste while vastly reducing the use of press consumables. Plus, its direct dampening system, where the dampening solution is applied directly to plate, enables non-alcohol printing using the minimum amount of water. What’s more the company has used the same UK-based printer to produce the new packaging – requiring minimal set-up and reducing air-miles.
MICK CLARK, managing director at contract packing company WePack looks at transporting products and the benefits of hiring a contract packing company…
For companies that transport packaged products, it’s essential that the items arrive safely at their destination. But without the necessary equipment or expertise to package products and ship them in bulk, doing this in-house can be time-consuming and costly. To solve this problem, many businesses hire the services of a contract packer. These firms allow companies to outsource their order fulfilment, reducing the need for expensive in-house machinery, staff and training.
But how do you begin choosing a company, and are they really the most economical option?
CHOOSE A PACKING COMPANY
Even after following the proper procedures there is still a chance products could be damaged in transit
When deciding which contract packing service to use, establish a reasonable travel distance as it may be necessary to visit the packing facility and check that the company is completing the job to the correct specifications and standards. You need to stay within a 100-mile radius to keep your costs to a minimum.
Although distance makes little difference to the price when shipping pallets within the UK, costs can rise dramatically when transporting items to overseas packing facilities. If you shipped something to be packed from here to Italy, for instance, you would be adding three or four times the price per pallet to get it there in a seven-day period.
Even though a trusted contract packing service can ensure the safe transportation and arrival of packaged goods at the shipping point, there is still the matter of getting the product to the packing facility in the first place.
To avoid unforeseen issues while the product is in transit, some contract packers will collect the items themselves or offer advice on how to transfer the products securely. Most good contract packers out there will guide the client on how to make sure items are palletised and aren’t vulnerable to damage, says Mick.
ORDER FULFILMENT SERVICES
When transporting goods, many contract packing firms will insure the products under their own policy
Once the product has been packed, there is a certain waiting period before the stock can be delivered to its final destination. Yet transporting the products back and forth not only causes costs to rise but increases the risk of items suffering damage through mishandled deliveries. However, contract packing firms offering an order fulfilment service usually have the capacity to store products in a secure on-site facility, saving the time, effort and money needed to haul stock back and forth between facilities. A lot of clients are looking for a company that can handle the job in totality. Having the ability to store products in the packing facility will reduce the need to transport the items back to the client’s location, before having to ship them off again. This can waste time and money.
Depending on the type of product and how fragile it is, certain measures can be put in place to ensure the packaging materials arrive in perfect condition. These include:
Applying corner posts
Double-wrapping heavy products
Adding card dividers in boxes holding glass bottles
An ideal contract packer will guide clients on the correct packaging material to use to protect items during transportation and, if suitable, make suggestions on how to reduce the size and weight of the packaging. For that extra level of customer service, some firms will even advise on how to use as much of the delivery vehicle’s space as possible, in order to be as efficient as possible.
Quality checking is an important function of the contract packer. This helps to identify potential risks avoid mistakes that, if they were to arise, could lengthen the packing process and increase the delivery costs.
GETTING FROM A TO B
Quality checking is an important function of the contract packer
Even after following the proper procedures there is still a chance products could be damaged in transit. Consequently, it’s vital the goods are covered under insurance. Without it, businesses might lose out on compensation, which could result in significant losses of customers and money. When transporting goods, many contract packing firms will insure the products under their own policy. This protects the company and all the goods it is transporting against accidental loss or damage.
At WePack we have our own vehicles for local delivery, and we work closely with haulers for worldwide delivery services. It’s our specialism to find suitable carriers to ship pallets, especially if the goods are liquid, fragile, highly flammable or toxic.
Shipping products in bulk can be a daunting process for companies that lack the necessary knowledge or equipment. This is why it’s important to hire professionals to carry out the job, to ensure the correct safety measures are followed and to save business time and money.
The 2018 data confirms the longstanding trend of increased production in packaging, hygiene and speciality paper sectors, while graphic paper continues to decline, following the demand reduction.
For the first time since 1990s, the sector opened 9 new mills and created 2000 more jobs with a total increased turnover of +3%.
CO2 emissions from operations are steadily going down while the production of paper and board remained stable which illustrates the significant industry investments in decarbonisation technologies and increased energy efficiency.
Exports of paper and board products are growing, especially to North America, with 20.6 million tonnes in total, +1.1% compared to 2017 and imports are going up by 3.3%. Europe remains a net exporter and the number one exporting area in the world.
CEPI’s says its commitment to the circular economy remains stronger than ever, with paper for recycling utilisation on the rise, i.e. the volumes recycled in European mills for reprocessing, keeping the fibres longer in the loop.
However, the 2018 recycling rate, i.e. proportion of the paper and board consumption that has been recycled, is slightly down from 72.4% to 71.6%, due to trade flows, namely a significant export erosion of paper for recycling (-6.1%).
“Our 2018 Key Statistic report demonstrates once again that our industry is fast-transforming, creating jobs and believing in its capacity to grow in Europe putting into practice a true circular bioeconomy model ” said Jori Ringman, CEPI Director General.