Packaging Innovations & Empack

The future of branded packaging and technology

25 & 26 May 2022 | Hall 1 NEC Birmingham

Industry news

Here you can find a handpicked selection of the big stories and latest updates for professionals involved in all things related to packaging covering issues around sustainability, design, innovations, technology and product launches.

Natural Branding - laser marking technology

Discover how laser technology is adapting pigmentation to create markings on fruit and veg.

How robotics and automation can support maintenance management

Ranging from reducing a technicians workload to ensuring employee safety, discover where robotics stand in the warehouse.

New collaborative solution for processing recycling

A group of companies have developed a solution for processing recycled material into thin-walled containers.

Amazon are pioneering reducing packaging waste with AI machine learning

Discover the technology Amazon are using in order to tackle increasing packaging waste

Indsutry giants send powerful signal ahead of UN Environment Assembly

70 industry giants have put forward a statement concerning a legally binding treaty on plastic pollution.

Tackling the current supply chain crisis

With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, surging prices for energy and raw materials, and Forces Majeures destabilising the global supply chain, Packaging Europe spoke to Bernard Lombard from Cepi and Ron Marsh from the Polymers for Europe Alliance to find out how the packaging industry is faring.

Building a more resilient packaging supply chain

A recent report from research consultancy firm PreScouter looks at weaknesses in current supply chain models that were exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and shows how emerging technologies can bolster the resilience and efficiency of supply chains. 

Traceability in a globalised supply chain

In an increasingly complex global supply chain, how can technologies such as blockchain and RFID support security, safety and sustainability from producer to end consumer? Packaging Europe sat down with PragmatIC Seimconductor and SATO representatives to explore this.

ORBIS introduces its PlastiCorr

PlastiCorr is a replacement for single-use fibre corrugated boxes that retains the same protective properties while offering a reduced environmental impact.

Nulogy & OMP partner to serve multi-enterprise connected supply chains

The new partnership is aimed at giving both companies a fresh catalyst to provide FMCG brands a smooth, cohesive way forward in their digital transformation.

Gist trains HGV drivers in time for Christmas as UK tackles driver shortage

Gist’s in-house HGV driver academy launched last month, and its graduates are already driving across its network, transporting chilled products for its customers.

Retailers having supply chain issues, leading to battle for materials

While holiday shoppers panic about not being able to get their hands on gifts, retailers have bigger worries — how to wrap those items and get them to their destinations.

Hitting the targets when it comes to colour management

Michal Lodej of Whitmar Publications discusses controlling inks, substrates, anilox rollers & doctor blades, plates and back material, line screen and temperature and humidity & pH levels in order to enable consistent colour mangement.

The latest Smithers report details the global print industry has returned to growth

The $760.6 billion global print industry has returned to growth in 2021 and is forecast to reach $834.3 billion in 2026 due to anticipated demand in packaging & labels and in Asian growth economies. 

Theurer speed up C3 with a Performance Pack, making it up to 54% faster.

The company created two test scenarios for the update; maximum speed (unloaded system), which saw a 39% increase in performance and heavy workload, which saw a 54% increase.

Customisable closure liner technology launched by Amcor

Developed in partnership with MGJ, the technology uses CYNK colour printing technology to enable brands to customise closure liners for enhanced engagement with consumers.

HP wins industry awards for PageWide C500 top feeder enhancement

The enhanced sheet-feeding system for the PageWide is said to enable accelerated growth in the digital corrugated market through higher productivity and lower costs.

This month has seen Avery Dennison launch three white papers made from 100% recycled fibers.

The wood-free papers are especially suited for wine, spirits, craft beer, premium food and beverage, and cosmettcs. 

Pod-based cleaning system, by Jaws, introduced for a refillable spray cleaner

Cleaning products company Jaws reveals a new concentrated cleaning solution in a patented, refillable and child-resistant cartridge-based system!

Recyclable microwave rice pouches launched by Mars Food

Mars Food has introduced a recyclable microwave rice pouch, made from mono-polypropylene.

UK Government told that compostable packaging will boost food waste recycling

2023 will see separate household food waste collections across England with Ministers to encourage compostable packaging to aid the process.

Asda announces a ban across its stores nationwide

Supermarket giant Asda will no longer supply customers with plastic fruit and vegetable bags, in its effort to tackle plastic pollution.

Pfizer vaccines suspended in Hong Kong due to packaging defects

The city was informed of defective bottle lids by Chinese distributor Fosun.

New technology will allow the recycling of all plastics!

Sir David Attenborough has appeared in a video campaign alongside other naturalists for a new plastic recycling technology in the U.K.

Discarded pineapple leaves given new life

A new sustainable packaging design uses discarded pineapple leaves and also allows the consumer to plant the packet after use instead of binning it!

Healthcare packaging turns to NFC technology for innovation

A partnership between Avery Dennison Smartrac, PragmatIC Semiconductor and Schreiner MediPharm has harnessed the power of near-field communication technology in smart packaging for healthcare.

IRN-BRU goes 100% recycled for its shrink-wrap

IRN-BRU maker AG Barr has announced that all its soft drink multipacks will be wrapped in 100% recycled shrink wrap by the end of 2021.

Coca-Cola breaks from cohesive pack design for Zero Sugar product

Coca-Cola has unveiled a new design to highlight the Zero Sugar version.

With cardboard in short supply, the packaging industry looks at innovative alternatives

The surge in online shopping coupled with Brexit has caused a shortage of cardboard material.

EU drinks packaging industry sets bold ambitions

UNESDA, the body that represents the European Soft Drinks Industry, pledges that EU beverage packaging will be fully circular by 2030.

50 years of Faca Packaging!

With a 50th anniversary and the new addition of mould number 3000, this year has even more to celebrate for Faca Packaging.

Tetra Pak calls for collaboration to tackle food packaging sustainability challenges

Tetra Pak has introduced a new collaborative innovation model with leading paperboard producers, a move aimed at tackling the food packaging industry’s sustainability challenges.

French packaging and perfumery students reinvent fragrance testing

The 4th edition of the “How will we perfume ourselves tomorrow?” competition organized by Easyfairs Oriex, organizer of the PCD trade fair, in partnership with ESEPAC (European School of Packaging) and ESP (École Supérieure du Parfum) was held on December 15.

2020 saw a record number of aluminium collected for recycling

According to preliminary figures released by the Environment Agency earlier this week (11 January), the volume of aluminium packaging collected for recycling in the UK reached its highest ever level in 2020.

Natures Way Foods looks to new machinery to help cope with increased demand

Prepared salads supplier Natures Way Foods has invested significantly in packaging machinery to keep pace with soaring demand from its retail customers.

Estee Lauder annouces their new sustainability goals for Travel Retail

With sustainability of increasing concern for travelers, The Estée Lauder Companies’ (ELC) has announced a sweeping set of sustainability goals specific to the company’s Travel Retail unit—one of its largest with over 1 billion consumers a year. The new goals cover emissions, waste and energy as key priorities. 

Nestle Smarties become the first confectionery brand to have recyclable paper packaging

The move will see all Smarties products switched to packaging made from coated paper, paper labels or cartonboard

European Recycling Markets Reel from Coronavirus

Changes in consumer behavior, the reduced cost of virgin materials, logistics disruptions and other trends driven by COVID-19 may have a lasting effect on the European recycling industry.

Covid-19: Easyfairs makes its exhibition venues in Belgium, Sweden and The Netherlands available to the authorities

Easyfairs has decided to play an active role in the fight against the coronavirus Covid-19 by making its venues available to local and national authorities.

Unilever pledges early payment support for supply chain through coronavirus pandemic

FMCG giant Unilever has announced a wide-ranging set of measures to support global and national efforts to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Mondelēz joins MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

The company also participates in the New Plastics Economy Initiative and the UK’s Plastics Pact. 

European organisation for packaging has stated it is essential for the fight against COVID-19

The members of EUROPEN are doing their utmost to maintain the necessary supply of food and hygiene products as well as medicines to citizens throughout Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus worries cause delay for Scottish DRS

The Scottish Government has delayed the introduction of its deposit return scheme (DRS) until 1 July 2022 amid concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Budget 2020 announces that Plastic Tax will come into force

Chancellor Rishi Sunak used the Budget to announce that the tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content will come into force in April 2022.

KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell expand sustainable packaging commitments

In order to expand sustainable packaging, Yum! Brands has announced they will intensify action on plastic waste.

Nestlé, Unilever, Suez and more sign European Plastics Pact

The European Plastic Pact, which aims to stop sole dependence on virgin plastics, has been signed by some of the key players across the packaging supply chain.

Straight Forward Design generates 'big' excitement with new Skittles campaign

The new skittles product ‘Skittles Giants’ has just been launched by Mars Wrigley across the UK, with their brand and packaging identity created by Straight Forward Design.

Lucozade Riebna Suntory trials vending machine format for seaweed-based edible packaging

A joint innovation project between LRS and sustainable packaging firm Notpla, has resulted in the creation of a vending machine containing 30ml seaweed-based products made with edible packaging.

98% of MPs believe compostable packaging can help solve plastic crisis, poll finds

According to new findings, majority of MPs believe the UK’s plastic problems can be resolved through the use of compostable packaging alternatives.

Aldi are to remove plastic lids from own-label products

In order to reduce single-use plastics, Aldi will be stocking all own-label products without the plastic lids they were previously packaged with.

Environmentalists scrutinize UK’s proposed ban on plastic waste exports

A new UK law is set to ban polluting plastic waste export to developing countries in a bid to ensure their protection against remaining the dumping grounds of unsolicited waste.

“2050 isn’t soon enough”: Sainsbury’s sets aside £1 billion to achieve Net Zero by 2040

Sainsbury’s has committed to investing £1 billion (US$1.3 billion) in becoming a Net Zero business across its operations by 2040.

Lavazza launches a biodegradable and recyclable cup for vending machines

Lavazza Professional has revealed a new recyclable and biodegradable product, named the KLIX Eco Cup which is manufactured using paper sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Davos 2020: Coca-Cola exec says consumers still want plastic bottles

The soft drinks giant pegs recycling plastic bottles as a decisive move toward addressing environmental concerns

Hubbub investment to recycle 4 million coffee cups a year in London

Thanks to a £300,000 investment made by Hubbub, London will gain new coffee cup recycling facilities in five locations, aiming to recycle 4 million cups a year.

Nestlé invests £1.5 billion in food-grade recycled plastics in huge circular economy boost

Nestlé has announced an investment of up to 2 billion Swiss francs (US$2.08 billion) to pioneer the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.

China to ban single-use plastics: Government scheme to gradually phase out plastics by 2025

The move hopes to reduce the country’s massive amounts of waste and follows 2008’s ban on free plastic bags.

Plastics-removal trend could open packaging’s Pandora’s box, anonymized Green Alliance interviews reveal

The think tank indicates that throwaway culture is the real public enemy number one and that government must intervene more effectively.

Evergreen Packaging provides renewable board for Oatly's ice cream packaging

Swedish food brand Oatly has partnered with plant-based packaging solutions provider Evergreen Packaging to adapt the latter’s renewable ice cream board for its non-dairy frozen dessert.

The Co-op announces commitment to 100% recyclable packaging

The Co-op has announced it will only use 100% own-brand recyclable packaging by summer 2020.

Packaging tax debated at Westminster forum

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) will oppose taxing packaging and argues that the move could lead to more waste.

UK businesses rising to plastic sustainability challenges, WRAP report indicates

Government-backed sustainability organization WRAP has revealed that UK businesses are making significant progress in reducing virgin plastic use and improving plastic recycling levels.

Yes or no? OPRL simplifies UK consumer recycling with binary labeling system

The UK’s leading recycling label authority The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) is set to launch a binary labeling system (“Recycle” or “Don’t Recycle”) this month that is designed to simplify and improve consumer recycling.

Packing a paper punch: Mondelēz New Zealand trial tests Cadbury Energy bar in recyclable wrapper

Mondelēz International has launched its Cadbury Energy bar in 100 percent recyclable and sustainably sourced paper packaging that was trialed and tested exclusively in New Zealand.

Google is the latest brand to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiative

Google will increase its efforts to develop and scale up new technologies that tackle plastics waste and pollution, after joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.

Supermarkets increased plastic output to '903,000 tonnes of plastic packaging' last year

Seven of the top 10 UK supermarkets increased their plastic output in 2018, despite pledges and strategies to cut back

Coca-Cola, Nestlé and PepsiCo named world’s worst plastic polluters - again

Break Free From Plastic report calls for more focus on plastic reduction and reusable packaging. 

Berlin Packaging acquires Novio Packaging Group

With the acquisition of Novio Packaging, Berlin Packaging has strengthened its plastics offering in Europe. 

Berry Global partners with SABIC for circular polymer production

US-based plastic packaging producer Berry Global has partnered with global chemical company SABIC for the circular polymer production and use.

Heineken ditches plastic rings and shrink wrap from multipacks

Heineken is ditching single-use plastic rings and shrink wrap from millions of multipack cans and replacing them with eco-friendly cardboard.

Unilever reveals new pack design for its 'wild' AXE range

PB Creative has designed the identity and packaging for male grooming brand Axe’s new Wild range, which goes on sale in Europe.

Packaging firms join forces to tackle industry skills shortage

Two leading UK packaging manufacturers have joined forces in a bid to address the skills shortage within the industry.

No more Best Before: UK WRAP reports progress on fresh food waste, calls for more effective labelling

UK government-backed circular economy and resource efficiency charity WRAP has issued new guidance encouraging retailers to sell more fresh produce loose and without Best Before dates.

“One billion pieces of plastic”: Tesco targets UK-wide closed loop packaging surge

As a part of its “4Rs” strategy to tackle the use of plastics in its business, UK supermarket giant Tesco has announced its ambition remove one billion pieces of plastic from products for sale in stores nationwide by the end of 2020.

Gerber and TerraCycle partner to launch recycling programmme

Customers of Nestle-owned baby food brand Gerber can now recycle the packaging through the brand’s partnership with TerraCycle. 

John Lewis scraps plastics bags and bubble wrap

In a new sustainable trial, John Lewis has stopped selling the 5p plastic bag in its Oxford store and has also replaced bubble wrap with a sustainable alternative. 

Asda urges customers to bring refillable containers into stores

Following in the footsteps of Waitrose who ran a similar trial earlier this year, Asda is encouraging customers to bring refillable containers with them in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

Johnie Walker unveils new limited edition bottle

Johnnie Walker has given a preview of its Blue Label Rare Side of Scotland, award-winning Glasgow-based textile design studio.

Consumer demand for sustainable packaging could become next 'battleground' for premium alcohol brands

Sustainable packaging is likely to become a ‘battleground’ for premium alcohol brands, according to GlobalData analysts.

Henkel produces 100 percent chemically recycled detergent bottles as ChemCycling project gathers pace

In collaboration with packaging manufacturer Alpla, Henkel has produced bottles using 100 percent chemically recycled plastic for the first time.

Why were they even square? Pizza Hut trials circular plant-based pizza boxes

Pizza lovers have long accepted the fact that round pizza pies are served in square boxes. Fast food giant Pizza Hut is challenging this tradition with its limited-time launch of circular pizza boxes at one of its locations in Phoenix, US.

Dove to slash virgin plastic with alternative materials, recycled plastic and refill technology

Beauty industry heavyweight Dove has unveiled new initiatives and impact figures aiming to reduce the use of virgin plastic by more than 20,500 metric tons per year. 

UK recycling rate dip likely after EU definition change

According to one of the UK’s recycling experts, It is likely that the country’s recycling rate will fall next year once the EU’s latest definition of recycling is implemented.

Waitrose to remove plastic packaging from multi-buy cans

As part of plans to reduce plastic waste and single-use plastics from its shelves the UK supermarket has begun a trial to plastic wrapping from multi-buy cans.

Rising costs of recycled materials could spell set back for war on plastic waste

Europe’s manufacturers face $250m-a-year increase in costs as rising demand drives up price

Scotland bans plastic cotton buds in fight against 'global climate emergency'

‘This ban builds on work already underway to address Scotland’s throwaway culture,’ says Scotland’s environment secretary

Italian government debates measures to reduce cost of packaging-free food

In moves to tackle environmental concerns, shoppers in Italy could benefit from discounts on food sold loose compared to those in packaging.

Tennet's lager announce £14 million plans to end plastic packaging

The Glasgow-based lager brand will end the use of plastic rings and wrapping on its multi-packs as part of its £14Meco-friendly strategy.

RB and TerraCycle have announced their new recycle programme for plastic packaging​

Health and hygiene company RB have joined with recycling company TerraCycle to create a plastics recycling programme, made to eliminate waste and support a sustainable future.

Absolut have launched a limited-edition bottle to raise awareness of recycling​

Absolut has raised a glass to recycling by launching a new limited
edition design made from 41% recycled glass, in a bid not to ignore
their responsibilities towards minimising packaging waste.

absolut recycled bottle

Sketchers USA have reported a decrease of 85% of plastic in their new packaging​

As part of their global strategy for sustainable packaging, Sketchers USA have committed to heavily reducing plastic packaging in their footwear boxes.

Asda have unveiled newly-packaged, plastic-free herb range

Leading retailer, Asda, will save 46.5 tonnes of plastic annually, by completely removing plastic from their herbs, by replacing it with a new sustainable paper sleeve.

First Mile and Vegware team up to boost compostable packaging recycling

Recycling specialist First Mile has joined forces with Vegware to create a new collection service for compostable packaging, available to both businesses and individuals.

BPF have launched new tool 'PackScore'to help brands design sustainable packaging

The British Plastics Federation have developed a design tool that allows brands, retailers and designers to determine whether packaging is easily recycled.

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