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Frost & Sullivan’s latest analysis, Global Food and Beverage (F&B) Packaging Market, Forecast to 2030, reveals that the need to reduce material usage and develop more sustainable, durable and lighter-weight packaging solutions with lower production costs are key drivers supporting steady market development. Utilizing innovative packaging materials, advancing processing and additives through technological improvements and an uptick in eCommerce distribution will further augment market expansion. While revenue is expected to increase modestly, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.2 % from 2018 to 2030, unit shipment by weight is set to decrease in the short term due to a sustained drive for lighter-weight packaging.

“With rising concerns around plastic pollution and stringent government regulations, manufacturers are seeking alternatives to plastic packaging. This is resulting in an uptick in use of paper and aluminum-based packaging or other non-plastic materials such as biodegradable foods or resin,” said Christopher Shanahan, Global Director, Chemicals, Materials and Nutrition, Frost & Sullivan. “Paper and aluminum are both recycled at high rates and are seen as viable alternatives to plastic with biodegradable plastic films becoming more common as new degradable resin is adopted.”

To differentiate themselves in a well-established, highly consolidated, and competitive market, packaging material suppliers are focusing on specific products such as flexible materials, rigid plastics, and coatings for sachets and pouches. Minimizing packaging costs is a priority so there is strong competition among manufacturers to provide the most cost-effective solutions to customers, including eco-friendly, lightweight products.

“Although manufacturers have already reduced the thickness of bottles and other packaging, they are now looking toward further down gauging and design improvements to make packaging more cost-effective,” observed Shanahan. “For instance, designs such as droplet-shaped bottles have been shown to increase volumes without expanding the package weight.”

F&B vendors can make the most of key opportunities in the market by:

  • Exploring environment-friendly sources of plastics, such a plastic derived from corn, or natural products such as banana leaves.
  • Creating novel packaging solutions with advanced materials.
  • Utilizing the same type of packaging material across several applications to reduce production and processing costs.
  • Exploring emerging markets such as APAC, the Middle East, and Africa.
  • Reducing material and transportation costs by decreasing the thickness of packaging materials.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global Food and Beverage Packaging Market, Forecast to 2030, explores the factors and trends that have shaped the food and beverage packing landscape, the challenges that lie ahead, and the opportunities that can be tapped. The market is analyzed in terms of different packaging material segments, including flexible materials, rigid plastics, glass, metal, and other packaging materials used for containers and closures.

Together with the Paper Straw Co, BillerudKorsnäs has developed the first functional 180° U-Bend straw, made out of paper. The straw is made to be used for individual drink cartons such as juice, milk and water. The long term market potential as well as positive sustainability impact is extensive.

BillerudKorsnäs has just filed a patent of the U-Bend paper straw in cooperation with The Paper Straw Company, who will produce the straw in Manchester, England and in the US. The end-users will be consumers buying individual drink cartons filled with juice, milk or water. Made out of FibreForm, a uniquely shapable paper patented by BillerudKorsnäs, the U-Bend paper straw is durable and recyclable. The straw based on materials from sustainably sourced forests is also biodegradable, resulting in a positive impact on pollution and littering compared to plastic straws.

”The U-Bend straw is the first paper straw that is 180° bendable. It can be used together with existing drink packaging. Today many billion bendable straws are produced in a year which means that the potential for our business and our contribution to a more sustainable packaging world is, to say the least, considerable.” says Emma Hellqvist, Formable Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.

At this moment, we are ready to go into industrial trials with the goal to be able to commercialise by the end of this year. The key to success lies in the efforts of innovation, collaboration and strong partnerships – in this case with The Paper Straw Co owned by Hoffmaster Group. Aardvark® Straws is part of Hoffmaster Group and will enable the production of the U-Bend paper straw for the US-market.

“We are excited to expand our line of paper straw offerings with the patent pending U-Bend paper straw.” Says Geert Pijper, Co-Founder The Paper Straw Co.

Stora Enso and Sulapac continue to combat the global problem of plastic waste by introducing a demo of a sustainable straw at Slush 2018, a global leading startup event gathering of 20,000 tech enthusiasts. The demo, targeting industrial scale production, is designed to replace traditional plastic straws with renewable ones. The straws are based on Sulapac’s biocomposite material – made of wood and natural binders – designed to be recycled via industrial composting and biodegrade in marine environment.

“This is an important step for Stora Enso and showcases our long-term commitment to gradually replacing fossil-based materials with renewable solutions. Our collaboration with Sulapac is a great example of what we can achieve through partnership in terms of driving innovation to create sustainable solutions within the bioeconomy,” says Annica Bresky, EVP, Consumer Board division.

Stora Enso signed a joint development agreement with Sulapac in May 2018 to license its materials and technology. The development of the demo straw is a joint collaboration between Stora Enso and Sulapac – a cooperation which complements Stora Enso’s extensive biocomposite portfolio.

“Eco-awareness is a strong driver for consumer demand, and our customers want help in replacing non-renewable materials. Different biocomposite solutions, such as renewable caps and closures and straws will be add-ons and a complement to our own consumer board portfolio, bringing additional value to our customers,” says Hannu Kasurinen, SVP Head of Liquid Packaging and Carton Board.

Sulapac’s material works in existing extrusion lines and the target is to have the straws commercially available in Q2 2019.

“Today, we proudly announce that we are launching a demo for a recyclable, microplastic-free and marine biodegradable straw. This is the world’s most sustainable straw that can be produced on an industrial scale and we have jointly developed it with Stora Enso. Billions of plastic straws are produced and used every week. This straw has the potential to be a true game changer,” says Sulapac’s founder and CEO Suvi Haimi.

Organically based synthetic material with sunflower seed shells protects fossil resources

In cooperation with Golden Compound, the internationally active packaging manufacturer ALPLA is bringing a world first onto the market: a biodegradable coffee capsule that consumers can dispose of in their home compost.

Together with materials manufacturer Golden Compound, ALPLA has developed a market-ready coffee capsule that environmentally aware consumers can use with a clear conscience. The capsule is made from the material Golden Compound green. This comprises an organically based material and ground natural fibres from sunflower seed shells. The capsule and filter fleece are completely biodegradable in the garden compost within a maximum of six months, and are free from aluminium and genetically modified organisms. ALPLA provides its customers with the capsule and the garden-compostable lid.

By-product of sunflower processing

Golden Compound uses sunflower seed shells as a reinforcing material. They are a by-product of the food industry and not in competition with food production. In this way, Golden Compound green protects fossil resources and reduces the carbon footprint. Composting the capsule generates humus, and the coffee grounds contain valuable plant nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen.

Excellent characteristics

The material also has excellent characteristics, as confirmed by numerous certificates: the oxygen barrier is very much comparable with conventional plastics such as PP-EVOH-PP. The monolayer coffee capsule is thus aroma-proof without outer packaging. Furthermore, Golden Compound green is certified in line with the standards ‘OK compost HOME’ and ‘OK biodegradable SOIL’ from TÜV.

South Africa is presently experiencing one of the worst droughts in 45 years, with the lowest ever rainfall since 1904. In 2015, South Africa received only an average of 403 mm, which is merely 66 % of the annual average rainfall. This matter has to be urgently addressed, with food sources under severe strain and still household food security being a major concern. However, a clear solution would be Superabsorbent Polymers (SAPs). SAPs absorb and carry about 300 times its weight in liquid relative to their own mass.

When a SAP is cross-linked with polymerization, the product is water retaining hydrogels that act as a reservoir of collected water in soil. However, these SAPs are not biodegradable, costly and full of acrylic acid, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals. During more research in the topic, I found that natural occurring polymers exist in most citrus fruits. Orange peels contain over 64 % of polysaccharide making it a candidate for biodegradable polymer.

However, the polymer has to be cross-linked usually requiring chemicals such as Sulphur and Hydrochloric acid. I have explored an organic cross-linking method using UV light and heat. Emulsion polymerization was then conducted by using natural oil found in avocado peels and adding it to boiled orange peels. The product is then left in the sun, utilizing photo polymerization. The product should be able to retain large amounts of water and combat the effects of drought on crops by retaining soil moisture, whilst still recycling waste products of the juice manufacturing industry.

For further information please visit: https://www.googlesciencefair.com