Intermarché, one of the most popular retail chains in France, demonstrates its relentless commitment to sustainability as it becomes the first in the country to use tethered SIG SwiftCap Linked closures on SIG’s carton packs. This pivotal move covers their entire private label juice portfolio of around 20 SKUs.
The fruit juice for the Paquito own brand distributed in Intermarché outlets is produced by Agromousquetaires, the agro-industrial entity of the Les Mousquetaires group.
Intermarché will also switch to a packaging material from the SIG Terra portfolio, which helps to reduce the use of fossil plastics. The SIG Terra portfolio is a set of more sustainable packaging solutions offering different structural options: without aluminum layer, with renewable materials from the forest, and/or recycled materials.
The polymers in SIG Terra packaging material support the transition to renewable polymers from the forest using a certified mass balance approach. SIG uses tall oil as a forest-based raw material for the production of the polymers. This is a by-product of the paper industry, thus avoiding the use of raw materials from agricultural crops. The polymers are certified according to the certification scheme ISCC PLUS. The ultra-thin aluminum foil used in the packaging material protects the contents from light and oxygen and is certified against ASI (Aluminium Stewardship Initiative) standards.
Intermarché, in its likeminded partnership with SIG, has achieved a first for the French juice market in helping to combat plastic waste leaking into the environment. The move to tethered caps comes well ahead of the EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive deadline of July 2024 and will also be welcomed by both consumers and regulators. The tethered caps can be easily disposed of and recycled with the rest of the carton pack.
SIG’s tethered caps do not compromise on convenience for consumers, offering an easy pouring and drinking from the pack experience, via a robust double hinge solution. They are also compatible with existing SIG filling machines and closure applicators. This means no major investment is required, demonstrating the flexibility and adaptability needed to reassure customers that SIG’s packaging and filling solutions are a secure investment for the future.
The decision to launch Paquito and MERCI! brand juices with both innovations from SIG, fits perfectly with the company’s priority on responsible action. Intermarché’s socially responsible brand called Les Éleveurs vous disent MERCI! (The Farmers say Thank You!) is all about giving back. Its products offer consumers the opportunity to support farmers with better remuneration. MERCI! is also vehemently committed to the environment, society and animal welfare. MERCI! juices will come in SIG PremiumBloc 1,000 ml carton packs and Paquito in 750 ml and 1,000 ml.
The UK’s favourite squash is launching a new packaging concept, Robinsons Ecopack – a highly concentrated squash in a plant-based carton. The Britvic brand continues to create innovative products that offer consumers more squash, with less plastic.
Launching exclusively in selected Tesco stores across the nation, the Robinsons Ecopack boasts a super concentrated liquid that contains 60 serves per 500 ml carton and is made from 89 % plant-based material. Robinsons’ new packaging innovation aims to reduce packaging waste with 85 % less plastic per serve, compared to a one litre bottle of Robinsons Double Concentrate. With a higher squash concentration compared to its single or double concentrate drinks, the carton is the equivalent of three single concentrate bottles and results in significantly less packaging per serve.
Fiona Graham, Innovation lead for Robinsons, said: “As a brand, Robinsons is continuously innovating and is committed to improving the environmental impact we have. Squash is already a sustainable product due to its concentrated format. Making Robinsons available in this new format allows consumers to feel confident in the knowledge that the pack they’ve chosen has more serves, but used less packaging per serve, and can be recycled once finished. All packaging types have their own unique benefits and challenges, and we know there is currently no one ‘silver bullet.’ That said, we believe that continuing to innovate with products such as Robinsons Ecopack will bring us one step closer to a solution and provide consumers with a range of options. The brand-new Robinsons Ecopack carton will be available via Tesco to begin with, and we are excited to learn what consumers think about the new format.”
Martin Shaw, Market Unit Manager at Elopak UK & Ireland, said: “We’re happy that Robinsons have chosen our Pure-Pak carton for their super strength squash product. Our renewable and recyclable carton packaging makes a great match with their products.”
The launch marks the latest activity for the brand, following a radical rebrand earlier this year and the launch of its new £4 million marketing campaign Get Thirsty. Robinsons Ecopack is one element of Britvic’s positive packaging strategy which seeks to reduce the need for unnecessary plastic, and make sure packaging doesn’t become waste.
Since 2017, Britvic has reduced the amount of virgin plastic it uses by more than 4,000 tonnes through packaging redesign, and it continues to increase the amount of recycled packaging and sustainably sourced materials it uses across its portfolio.
Last year, the company launched the Aqua Libra Flavour Tap – a sleek tap that reduces packaging waste by 99 %. The launch followed London Essence launching the Freshly Infused fount – offering premium tonic on dispense in 1,200 outlets across the UK and cutting packaging by 96 % when compared with traditionally packaged tonic water.
An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin can break down environment-throttling plastics that typically take centuries to degrade in just a matter of hours to days.
This discovery, published in Nature, could help solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: what to do with the billions of tons of plastic waste piling up in landfills and polluting our natural lands and water. The enzyme has the potential to supercharge recycling on a large scale that would allow major industries to reduce their environmental impact by recovering and reusing plastics at the molecular level.
“The possibilities are endless across industries to leverage this leading-edge recycling process,” said Hal Alper, professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at UT Austin. “Beyond the obvious waste management industry, this also provides corporations from every sector the opportunity to take a lead in recycling their products. Through these more sustainable enzyme approaches, we can begin to envision a true circular plastics economy.”
The project focuses on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a significant polymer found in most consumer packaging, including cookie containers, soda bottles, fruit and salad packaging, and certain fibers and textiles. It makes up 12 % of all global waste.
The enzyme was able to complete a “circular process” of breaking down the plastic into smaller parts (depolymerization) and then chemically putting it back together (repolymerization). In some cases, these plastics can be fully broken down to monomers in as little as 24 hours.
Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering and College of Natural Sciences used a machine learning model to generate novel mutations to a natural enzyme called PETase that allows bacteria to degrade PET plastics. The model predicts which mutations in these enzymes would accomplish the goal of quickly depolymerizing post-consumer waste plastic at low temperatures.
Through this process, which included studying 51 different post-consumer plastic containers, five different polyester fibers and fabrics and water bottles all made from PET, the researchers proved the effectiveness of the enzyme, which they are calling FAST-PETase (functional, active, stable and tolerant PETase).
“This work really demonstrates the power of bringing together different disciplines, from synthetic biology to chemical engineering to artificial intelligence,” said Andrew Ellington, professor in the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology whose team led the development of the machine learning model.
Recycling is the most obvious way to cut down on plastic waste. But globally, less than 10% of all plastic has been recycled. The most common method for disposing of plastic, besides throwing it in a landfill, is to burn it, which is costly, energy intensive and spews noxious gas into the air. Other alternative industrial processes include very energy-intensive processes of glycolysis, pyrolysis, and/or methanolysis.
Biological solutions take much less energy. Research on enzymes for plastic recycling has advanced during the past 15 years. However, until now, no one had been able to figure out how to make enzymes that could operate efficiently at low temperatures to make them both portable and affordable at large industrial scale. FAST-PETase can perform the process at less than 50 degrees Celsius.
Up next, the team plans to work on scaling up enzyme production to prepare for industrial and environmental application. The researchers have filed a patent application for the technology and are eying several different uses. Cleaning up landfills and greening high waste-producing industries are the most obvious. But another key potential use is environmental remediation. The team is looking at a number of ways to get the enzymes out into the field to clean up polluted sites.
“When considering environmental cleanup applications, you need an enzyme that can work in the environment at ambient temperature. This requirement is where our tech has a huge advantage in the future,” Alper said.
Alper, Ellington, associate professor of chemical engineering Nathaniel Lynd and Hongyuan Lu, a postdoctoral researcher in Alper’s lab, led the research. Raghav Shroff, a former member of Ellington’s lab and now a research scientist at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, created the 3DCNN machine learning model used to engineer the plastic-eating enzyme. Danny Diaz, a current member of Ellington’s lab, adapted the model and created a web platform, MutCompute, to make it available for wider academic use. Other team members include from chemical engineering: Natalie Czarnecki, Congzhi Zhu and Wantae Kim; and from molecular biosciences: Daniel Acosta, Brad Alexander, Hannah O. Cole and Yan Jessie Zhang. The work was funded by ExxonMobil’s research and engineering division as part of an ongoing research agreement with UT Austin.
The non-alcoholic beverage industry, represented by the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), Natural Mineral Waters Europe (NMWE) and UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, calls on the European Commission for “priority access” to its recycled plastic (PET) material, or a similar mechanism that guarantees “right of first refusal”, to be incorporated in the upcoming revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
As the beverage industry continues to invest in circularity and to put highly recyclable PET on the market, it needs to have priority access to its own recycled packaging material. This will help the beverage industry produce new packaging with food-grade recycled PET compliant with EU food safety standards, achieve its recycling targets and prevent its recycled PET being downcycled. Closing the bottle loop is required to ensure that the beverage industry meets the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) targets and contributes to building a more circular economy for beverage packaging.
Wouter Lox, Secretary General of the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), commented: ‘’Food packaging serves specific needs, but most importantly is to safeguard the food products quality, conserves the food and assures food product safety. Also every food product has its specific packaging material properties and requirements in order to assure the packaging purpose. The access to the packaging material is essential to continue providing high quality and safe foods. This requirement needs to be merged with the sector commitments to respond to the EU Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan. Therefore the access to the recycled material responding to the highest food quality standards needs to be reassured at every stage of the circularity circle.’’
Patricia Fosselard, Secretary General of Natural Mineral Waters Europe, stated: “Thanks to significant investments in collection schemes and in eco-design, PET bottles have become the most collected and recycled items around Europe. Through well-designed Deposit Return Schemes, several countries already achieve collection rates above 90%. Our members are determined to give every bottle a second life, but they can only do this if they get back the material that they place on the market so we can successfully close the loop.”
Nicholas Hodac, Director General of UNESDA, added: ‘’The entire beverage industry in Europe is fully supportive of the EU Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan and is committed to delivering full circularity for PET bottles. To get there, we need the European Commission to allow us to have priority access to our own recycled plastic material to meet our EU recycling obligations and avoid downcycling, which will break the bottle loop. It is just fair that we regain the equivalent quantity of collected and recycled material that we place on the market to move circularity forward.’’
The beverage industry is subject to several mandatory requirements under SUPD, one of which is that PET in bottles has to be food-grade to comply with EU food safety standards. In addition to introducing mandatory collection targets for PET bottles, SUPD also mandates the beverage industry to use a minimum of 25 % (by 2025) and 30 % (by 2030) of recycled content. The beverage industry’s commitment is not only to achieve these EU targets, but also to go much further by creating a closed loop for its PET bottles. Granting the beverage industry fair access to the amount of PET plastic material that it puts on the market and of which it finances the collection is key to promote effective bottle-to-bottle recycling.
More and more reuse and recycling schemes for beverage packaging are seen as efficient tools for reducing the environmental impact of packaging systems and for increasing their resource efficiency.
In this scenario, AROL REVERSE is becoming a must for all those bottlers looking for an effective response to unscrew pre-threaded plastic caps and threaded aluminium caps from glass and ref-pet bottles.
Reverse main features:
Safe unscrewing of caps with a diameter from 28 to 38 mm
Speeds up to 60,000 cph (1,000 cpm)
3 to 30 heads
No cap – no decapping feature to prevent bottle neck damage
Quick format change
Special handling parts in stainless steel for ref-pet bottles to prevent scratches to bottles and give longer life to components
Decapping heads completely in stainless steel
Available with stainless steel cap discharge piping and container
Flexible design to be adapted to the local condition of any plant
Advanced inspection systems for height variance at the infeed and cap detection at the discharge.
About AROL AROL was founded in 1978 and steadily grew as a global provider of capping solutions. It designs 100 % of its capping and caps sorting machines and it produces inside + 95 % of their parts. 700+ equipment delivered every year and 24.500+ installed all over the word in a vast variety of industries, from 1.000 to 90.000 BPH, make of AROL the largest specialist of customized solutions to any capping need. The AROL technical support is available for the whole life cycle of the machine and counts on a highly skilled team of specialists operating from each of its 10 worldwide offices. AROL is part of AROL Group, together with UNIMAC-GHERRI, specialist in filling and capping of glass, metal and plastic containers with twist-off and pre-threaded caps for dense, semi dense and pasty products; TIRELLI, focused on packaging equipment for the cosmetics industry and MACA Engineering S.r.l, specialist in designing and manufacturing machines for the production, assembly and cut of aluminium and plastic caps and closures. The solutions proposed by AROL GROUP can serve therefore the beverage, beer, food, wine, spirits, personal care, chemical, household care and cosmetics industries.
The shift from fossil-based to renewable bio-plastics requires new efficient methods. New technology developed at VTT enables the use of pectin-containing agricultural waste, such as citrus peel and sugar beet pulp, as raw material for bio-based PEF-plastics for replacing fossil-based PET. The carbon footprint of plastic bottles can be lowered by 50 % when replacing their raw material of PET with PEF polymers, which also provides a better shelf life for food.
“In the near future, you may buy orange juice in bottles that are made out of orange peel. VTT’s novel technology provides a circular approach to using food waste streams for high-performance food packaging material, and at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” shares Professor of Practice Holger Pöhler from VTT”.
PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and other polyesters are being widely used in food packaging, plastic bottles and textiles. The annual production of PET products is estimated at 30 million tonnes. Replacing fossil-based PET with plant-based PEF (polyethylene furanoate) polymers can lower the carbon footprint of the products by 50 %.
Moreover, the barrier properties of PEF plastics are better than PETs, meaning that the food products have a longer shelf life. PEF is a fully recyclable and renewable high-performance plastic. Therefore, it opens up possibilities for the industries to reduce waste and to have positive impact on the environment.
VTT’s technology has significant advantages for making bio-based PEF plastics. The technology uses a stable intermediate for the production of FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid), one of the monomers of PEF, which enables a highly efficient process. In addition, utilising pectin-containing waste streams opens up new possibilities for the circular economy of plastics.
VTT’s unique scale-up infrastructure from laboratory to pilot scale ensures that this new technology will be brought to a technology readiness level that will allow polymer manufacturers’ easy transition to full scale.
The acquisition strengthens the glass packaging offer throughout Northern Europe
Berlin Packaging, leader in the supply of glass, plastic and metal containers and closures, acquired on 6th October Vinkova B.V., important supplier of food products and drink glass packaging solutions, based in Bussum, the Netherlands. With more than 50 years of experience, Vinkova offers a huge range of tailored solutions and products to a large customer base on the Dutch market, boasting solid industry know-how and strong relations with some of Europe’s most important glass producers.
The strategic joining of Vinkova is, for Berlin Packaging, the completion of the range offered on the Dutch market, supplementing the innovative plastic and metal solutions and innovative closures already marketed on the territory since 2019.
Berlin Packaging is a global player supplying packaging solutions and services to customers of all types, across the globe, in all industrial sectors. The company is based in North America, where it has been operating since 1898, and boasts a global footprint that is expanding rapidly, with more than 130 offices and warehouses worldwide.
Vinkova is the eighth acquisition to be made in Europe since 2016. Customers and suppliers of both companies will benefit significantly from this acquisition and the combined operations of Europe’s most important packaging distributor.
Starting today, Vinkova’s customers can enjoy the exclusive design and innovation services guaranteed by Bruni Glass Innovation Center in Italy and by the One Eleven Studio in the United States of America.
Fully in line with the Berlin Packaging acquisitions strategy, the workforce and structure of Vinkova will not change in any way: all employees will remain with the company, as confirmation of the growth and development objectives in Europe.
SIG is once again leading the industry on sustainable innovation by being the first to offer beverage cartons made with recycled polymers produced from post-consumer plastic waste.
SIG customers will be able to respond to consumer demand for packaging made with recycled plastics by choosing SIG cartons made with certified circular polymers. This innovation reinforces SIG’s contribution to the circular economy by making use of low quality, mixed plastic waste that would otherwise be incinerated or sent to landfill. The mixed plastic waste that is collected is treated in a process that enhances the material and transforms it into a high-quality food grade material.
Made primarily from renewable, FSCTM-certified paper board, SIG’s beverage cartons already support the circular economy by promoting the regeneration of vital natural resources in responsibly-managed forests.
SIG is among a select group of companies – and the first in the beverage carton industry – to partner in the foundation stage of development of recycled polymers from post-consumer waste by its supplier, SABIC. This pioneering partnership highlights SIG’s commitment to a more sustainable future through new solutions that support a circular economy.
The recycled polymers offer the same high quality and have the same properties as polymers made entirely from virgin raw materials. Any contaminants are eliminated during processing, making the recycled content completely safe for food packaging.
Certified circular polymers
The recycled polymers offered by SIG will be certified to the ISCC PLUS standard to enable customers to trace recycled content throughout the value chain from post-consumer waste streams to processing and use in the production of new cartons.
SIG’s commitment to sourcing certified sustainable materials is part of its ambition to go Way Beyond Good by putting more into the environment and society than it takes out.
Creating flexible packaging from virgin grade material derived from plastic waste is now taking a step towards reality in a pilot project called ChemCyclingTM
Leading global packaging and paper group Mondi, in cooperation with chemical producer BASF and COROOS, one of the biggest European companies in the preservation of fruits, vegetables and pulses for premium A-brands and private label products, have cooperated on a state-of-the-art pilot project. Together they produced a stand-up pouch that is safe for food contact partly made with raw material which was derived from chemically recycled plastic. Until now, recycling plastic has chiefly been mechanical, limiting the scope of plastics that can be recycled and limiting the number of products that can be created with recycled material, in particular for the strict legal European regulations in place for food packaging.
Mondi believes that packaging should be sustainable by design, using paper where possible, and plastic when useful. For food protection and extending shelf life, plastic is often the best choice because of its barrier properties. These requirements make it difficult to use mechanically recycled plastic due to potential impurities and plastic flaws that can occur in the layers, limiting the applicability for food contact. “BASF is working on advancing the chemical recycling of plastic waste, because this will make it possible to process and reuse plastics that are currently difficult to recycle such as mixed plastics. This prototype packaging which is based on pyrolysis oil derived from waste plastic shows that the life cycle of consumer plastics, including multilayer packaging, could become a closed loop,” explained Christoph Gahn, who is responsible for the polyamide business at BASF.
As a leader in the flexible packaging market, Mondi partnered with BASF to produce this virgin grade material into a multi-layer laminate for food packaging for COROOS private label products and their own A-brand Servero. In the manufacturing, 100 % of the fossil feedstock was replaced by pyrolysis oil derived from mixed recycled material for one of the inner layers (oriented polyamide, OPA-12 mm). In total 12 % of the packaging weight is made of ChemCycled material. The recycled material was allocated via a certified mass balance approach. Graeme Smith – Sustainability Manager for Mondi Consumer Packaging – explained more about the pilot project: “It is important to show proof of concept when establishing breakthrough developments, and for chemical recycling it is an essential part of the roadmap to commercialising this process in the future.”
Sustainable solutions are not just a priority for Mondi, but across the entire value chain: “COROOS is partnering in this project because we care about sustainability and are looking into different options to improve our footprint, e.g. by using packaging from recycled materials, packaging materials being recyclable and/or by being re-usable” shared Elke Schroevers, the Marketing Manager of COROOS. With this development, the way is paved for plastic waste to become a new resource for flexible packaging while replacing fossil fuels.
Research from Swansea University has found how plastics commonly found in food packaging can be recycled to create new materials like wires for electricity – and could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the future.
While a small proportion of the hundreds of types of plastics can be recycled by conventional technology, researchers found that there are other things that can be done to reuse plastics after they’ve served their original purpose.
The research, published in The Journal for Carbon Research, focuses on chemical recycling which uses the constituent elements of the plastic to make new materials.
While all plastics are made of carbon, hydrogen and sometimes oxygen, the amounts and arrangements of these three elements make each plastic unique. As plastics are very pure and highly refined chemicals, they can be broken down into these elements and then bonded in different arrangements to make high value materials such as carbon nanotubes.
Dr Alvin Orbaek White, a Sêr Cymru II Fellow at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University said: “Carbon nanotubes are tiny molecules with incredible physical properties. The structure of a carbon nanotube looks a piece of chicken wire wrapped into a cylinder and when carbon is arranged like this it can conduct both heat and electricity. These two different forms of energy are each very important to control and use in the right quantities, depending on your needs.
“Nanotubes can be used to make a huge range of things, such as conductive films for touchscreen displays, flexible electronics fabrics that create energy, antennas for 5G networks while NASA has used them to prevent electric shocks on the Juno spacecraft.”
During the study, the research team tested plastics, in particular black plastics, which are commonly used as packaging for ready meals and fruit and vegetables in supermarkets, but can’t be easily recycled. They removed the carbon and then constructed nanotube molecules from the bottom up using the carbon atoms and used the nanotubes to transmit electricity to a light bulb in a small demonstrator model.
The research team plan to make high purity carbon electrical cables using waste plastic materials and to improve the nanotube material’s electrical performance and increase the output, so they are ready for large-scale deployment in the next three years.
Dr Orbaek White said: “The research is significant as carbon nanotubes can be used to solve the problem of electricity cables overheating and failing, which is responsible for about 8 % of electricity is lost in transmission and distribution globally.
“This may not seem like much, but it is low because electricity cables are short, which means that power stations have to be close to the location where electricity is used, otherwise the energy is lost in transmission.
“Many long range cables, which are made of metals, can’t operate at full capacity because they would overheat and melt. This presents a real problem for a renewable energy future using wind or solar, because the best sites are far from where people live.”
Based on the actual available figures Krones, the world’s leading manufacturer of filling and packaging technology, adjusts its earnings outlook for the fiscal year 2019. The uncertain macroeconomic developments, like the unsolved trade conflict between China and USA, as well as the discussion about the sustainability of PET-Packaging, negatively influence the customers of Krones and their willingness to invest. Nevertheless, the revenue growth of Krones in the first six month of 2019 were still satisfactory. However, the earnings before tax (EBT) for this period will be significantly below the expectations of Krones.
Increased costs and unfavorable product mix burden the profitability
The profitability of Krones is influenced by high costs, in particular the material cost ratio remains on high level. Krones expected, that the weaker economic outlook in other important industries in 2019 would have resulted in a small easing in the increasing of material costs. Also, the additional measures, which are implemented by Krones to reduce the material costs materialize with a delay. Furthermore, the product mix has an unfavorable effect on the earnings for the period January till June 2019. Especially in the second quarter 2019 the sales of products with a high own value added, like machines and lines for the plastic technology, were lower than expected. In the plastic technology Krones offers extensive products and services for the packaging and filling of beverages in plastic containers like PET-bottles. However, the current discussion about the PET-packaging solution will open opportunities for Krones for innovative solutions.
Another important reason for the actual earnings development is the sales growth of the high-margin after sales business (LCS), which were in the first 6 month of 2019 below expectations. This results from the demand of the customer of Krones for some parts of the LCS product and service offering, which were negatively influenced by the macroeconomic uncertainties. In the second half year this LCS business is expected to recover.
Krones still expects an unchanged growth target of 3 % in 2019. The EBT margin is planned around 3 % (prior target: around 6 %). For its third target, working capital to revenue, Krones expects an unchanged figure of 26 %.
The board has taken measures in order to counteract the earnings decline. This includes among others a hiring freeze and measures to reduce the material costs. The current global footprint is on track. For example, the new plant in Hungary is according to budget and time schedule. During the second quarter of 2019, Krones will increase its production in Hungary with a positive margin contribution in 2020.
By its global footprint Krones will not only use competitive cost advantages, but also take advantage of regional market opportunities. The closer Krones is to its customers, the better the company can understood customer needs and local requirements.
The strategic measures that Krones has introduced so far, like the price increase and the development of the global footprint are however not sufficient to reach the ambitious targets. Hence, the board is working in additional structural changes in order to strengthen its earning level in the long run. Focus areas are reduction of complexity, an agile reaction to market needs as well as a corporate structure, which serves the customer even better.
Krones keeps its mid term targets. Depending on the macro economic environment and development of Krones markets, the board envisages a year-on-year revenue growth of 3 to 5 % without acquisition effects, an EBT margin of 6 to 8 % and a working capital to revenue ratio of 22 to 24 %.
Krones will publish the interim report as of June 30th of 2019 by 25th of July 2019.
SABIC introduced its LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ portfolio of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) compounded resins derived from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) to support the circular economy and help reduce plastic waste. By chemically upcycling consumer-discarded PET (primarily single-use water bottles) into higher-value PBT materials with enhanced properties and suitability for more-durable applications, the company is encouraging the use of recycled resins. These products also offer a smaller cradle-to-gate environmental footprint than virgin PBT resin, as measured by Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) and Global Warming Potential (GWP).
Better Properties, Longer Life than PET
SABIC’s LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ compounds and blends are based on upcycled iQ PBT resins, a proprietary SABIC technology. This technology overcomes some of the limitations of mechanical recycling by using chemical processes to depolymerize PET bottles and other PET waste into their precursor chemicals, purify them and then use them to create new PBT resin. The technology can deliver performance and processing benefits such as good chemical resistance, colorability, high flow for faster throughput and flame retardance (FR).
LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ resin is a drop-in solution for virgin PBT and other conventional PBT materials, making it easier for manufacturers to make their products more sustainable. By displacing virgin raw material used to manufacture PBT, LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ resin has been shown through peer-reviewed life cycle assessment to reduce the energy and carbon footprint of the material by up to 61 percent and 49 percent, respectively. Further, each kilogram of LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ resin uses up to 67 post-consumer PET water bottles (0.5 liter).
The ELCRIN™ iQ portfolio offers customers multiple options, including glass- and mineral-reinforced grades and non-halogenated FR and UV-resistant formulations. Some of the LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ grades even have the potential to achieve compliance with U.S. Food & Drug Association (FDA) food contact regulations.
Potential applications for these new polymers include durable internal and aesthetic components for consumer electronics, automotive connectors, and housings for medical devices. Such applications can extend the useful life of the original, single-use PET resin, which helps keep the material out of the waste stream for a longer period.
“Consumer-discarded PET bottles lose value and performance properties through conventional mechanical recycling,” said Joshua Chiaw, Global Business Director, LNP, SABIC. “This downcycling process limits the types of applications for which rPET can be used. In contrast, SABIC’s chemical upcycling process helps improve the performance and quality of the final resin product. As a result, these PBT materials are potentially more desirable for durable applications. Overall, LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ materials can help reduce reliance on virgin resin and address industry and consumer demand for greater use of more-sustainable materials.”
“The development of LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ materials is a major step forward for SABIC and illustrates our unyielding commitment to our customers, the global plastics industry, and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which we joined as a founding member,” said Frank Kuijpers, General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, SABIC. “Our innovative process for chemical upcycling of single-use PET directly supports the AEPW’s goal of developing new technologies that help minimize waste, make recovering and recycling plastics easier, and create value from all post-use plastics.”
SABIC LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ grades are available worldwide.
 The original peer-reviewed life cycle assessment study was completed by SABIC in 2011. The results are being reviewed and updated based on current models, with expected completion and peer-review in 2019.
Loop Industries, Inc., a leading technology innovator in sustainable plastic announced that they have entered into a multi-year supply framework with the Coca-Cola system’s Cross Enterprise Procurement Group (“CEPG”) to supply 100 % recycled and sustainable LoopT PET plastic (“LoopT PET”) from Loop’s joint venture facility with Indorama Ventures Limited in the United States to authorized Coca-Cola bottlers who enter into supply agreements with Loop. Indorama Ventures is a world-class chemicals company and a global integrated leader in PET and fibers serving major customers in diversified end-use markets.
“We are very proud to become a supplier of LoopT branded PET resin to the members of the Coca-Cola system’s Cross Enterprise Procurement Group,” said Daniel Solomita, Founder and CEO of Loop Industries. “We are especially pleased to be able to assist Coca-Cola’s authorized bottlers as they work to meet their recycled content ambitions.”
“Like all responsible companies, we need to be selective in choosing our packaging materials so that we continue to eliminate waste and work to reduce the environmental impact,” said Ron Lewis, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Coca-Cola European Partners, a bottler member of CEPG. “Investments like this one with Loop Industries support our goal to ensure that at least 50% of the material we use for our PET bottles comes from recycled plastic, and will help us divert more materials from landfills and build a stronger circular plastic economy.”
This arrangement continues the rapid and exciting progress ?being made by Loop as it commercializes its breakthrough depolymerization technology which will help reduce global plastic waste and enable major global brands to meet their sustainability goals. As the demand for sustainable packaging solutions continues to grow, Loop Industries has emerged with transformational technology that allows no and low value plastics to be diverted, recovered and recycled endlessly into new, virgin-quality LoopT PET plastic.
100 % of Coca-Cola Amatil packaging to be recyclable by 2025, including bottles, cans, plastic wrap, glass and cardboard
Australian beverages manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil announced a commitment for 100 per cent of its Australian packaging to be recyclable by 2025, including all bottles, cans, plastic wrap, glass and cardboard. The company will also work towards phasing out unnecessary single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the use of recycled alternatives.
Group Managing Director Alison Watkins said the commitments were part of the National Packaging Targets announced by Federal Environment Minister, the Hon Melissa Price MP.
“As a beverages manufacturer, we’re serious about playing our part in addressing recycling,” Ms Watkins said.
“We’ve heard the community message loud and clear – that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable and we all need to work together to reduce the amount entering litter streams, the environment and the oceans.
“The National Packaging Targets aim to make a substantive improvement in packaging waste reduction, which is why we’re proud to be a founding supporter and to champion their implementation by industry.”
Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets are:
100 % of all Australia’s packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier
70 % of Australia’s plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025
30 % average recycled content will be included across all packaging by 2025
Problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging will be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives
Earlier this year the Mount Franklin 600 ml bottle was launched using 100 % recycled content, with trials under way on reaching an average 50 per cent recycled content across the Australian portfolio by 2020.
Ms Watkins said the Targets were in addition to existing commitments on plastics and packaging reduction, including the aspiration of “World Without Waste” – a Coca-Cola Company goal to collect and recycle one bottle or can for every one produced, worldwide, by 2030.
Amatil and brand partner and shareholder The Coca-Cola Company is also developing sustainable packaging goals to increase the recycled content in plastic bottles and support recycling collection in Australia. Recognising the threat of marine plastic litter, The Coca-Cola Company this week joined governments and industry leaders to sign onto the Ocean Plastics Charter. Originally adopted at the 2018 G7 Summit, the Ocean Plastics Charter calls on governments, industry and the public to rethink their relationship with plastics.
Made from sugar cane, bio-sourced plastics offer a new level of sustainability
United Caps, an international manufacturer of caps and closures, and Braskem, a leading Brazilian petrochemical company, reported they have collaborated to deliver to the market greener bio-sourced plastic caps and closures made from sugar cane as an addition to the United Caps product portfolio.
Bio ethanol, the feedstock for I’m green™ Polyethylene, the basis for United Caps greener bioplastic caps, is derived from sugarcane, a renewable alternative to traditional fossil feedstocks. Being a renewable feedstock, sugarcane captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere with every growth cycle, which occurs annually. This means that the production of I’m green™ Polyethylene contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional polyethylene, made from fossil materials.
“As a result, the carbon footprint of I’m green™ Polyethylene is negative, when considering our life cycle analysis. This means that every kilogram of I’m green™ Polyethylene used in United Caps products results in 3.09 kilograms of CO2 being sequestered from the atmosphere,” Brendan Hill, Sales Manager at Braskem Netherlands B.V., explained “Apart from the feedstock, I’m green™ Polyethylene follows the same production process as traditional fossil Polyethylene, ensuring that our Polyethylene has the same characteristics, quality and properties as the fossil equivalent,” he added “It goes without saying that I’m green™ Polyethylene fits all existing end-of-life scenarios and that our ethanol is sustainably sourced with clear chain of custody certification possible.”
United Caps is initially bringing to market two standard closures manufactured using bioplastic resin from Braskem, including:
The VICTORIA closure, a 30/25 screw closure designed for still drinks.
PROFLATSEAL, ideal for dairy products and still drinks, both pressurized and non-pressurized.
Innovative caps and closures for the food and drink industry are the core business of the Luxembourg-based family company United Caps. Its custom-designed caps and closures solutions have been one of the most sought-after solutions in the packaging industry for years. The company has experience growth in the high single digits since its 2015 rebranding, with a significant percentage of production being bespoke products that are uniquely designed to meet customer needs for exceptional appearance and ease of use, both in the filling line and for the consumer.
Researchers at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) succeeded in an interdisciplinary study to demonstrate that soil microorganisms metabolically utilised the carbon in the PBAT polymer both for energy production and also to build up microbial biomass. The researchers used the biodegradable polymer PBAT (Polybutylenadipatterephthalat) labelled with a carbon isotope. This isotope label enabled the scientists to track the polymer-derived carbon along different biodegradation pathways in soil. It showed that the carbon from PBAT was not only converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of microbial respiration but also incorporated into the biomass of microorganisms colonizing the polymer surface. The researchers are the first to successfully demonstrate where the carbon of a polymer ends up and that a plastic material is effectively biodegrading in soils.“This clarifies that nothings remains after biodegradation besides water, CO2 and biomass,“ says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics e.V.. “With this study, two concerns that are constantly being raised about biodegradable plastics have been rebutted – the doubt that microorganisms fully metabolize certified biodegradable plastics and the concern that the oil-based part of the polymer will not biodegrade completely.“
The tested PBAT polymer is a fossil-based, biodegradable polymer, which is used amongst others for the production of biodegradable, certified compostable bio-waste bags (according to EN 13432) or biodegradable in soil certified mulch films (according to EN 17033).
“The results of this study will surely enable municipalities and waste managers across EU Member States to acknowledge the benefits and the functionality of certified compostable plastic bio-waste bags for a separate collection of organic waste as well as in an agricultural context the alternative of soil biodegradable mulch films,“ von Pogrell concluded.
Following the latest news that PepsiCo has purchased SodaStream for $3.2bn, Melanie Felgate, Senior Consumer Insights Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the breaking news:
“As the carbonates industry faces ongoing challenges both in terms of health and the environment, the decision by PepsiCo to purchase Soda Stream is a bold and potentially smart move. Although long established, SodaStream has remained a relatively niche brand, but with the backing of a global soft drinks giant there is an opportunity to propel the concept mainstream.
‘‘SodaStream allows consumers to customize their own beverages to create not only flavors – but potentially sugar levels – to suit their needs, helping PepsiCo better meet consumer’s needs for products which are not only healthier but do not compromise on taste.
‘‘Furthermore as the environmental burden of plastic waste comes to the fore, the concept can also tackle this by reducing reliance on plastic bottles. This is likely to attract the 35% of consumers globally surveyed by GlobalData in Q3 2018 who claim they would buy more of specific types of products if they were “packaged without any plastic at all”.
‘‘Aside from environmental and health advantages, the move will undoubtedly enable consumers to recreate the famous Pepsi brands they are already familiar with and enjoy. This may help entice the 59% of consumers globally that are influenced by how familiar or trust-worthy a product feels when choosing non-alcoholic beverages, according to GlobalData’s Q3 2018 survey, and may help move SodaStream from a niche appliance to a mainstream fixture in homes.”
In Spring Statement the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced a call for evidence on using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste in the UK.
The review will look broadly across the whole supply chain, from production and retail to consumption and disposal.
In his speech, Philip Hammond insisted that any measures will seek to change behaviour and encourage innovation, rather than raise revenue. Any such revenue raised will be invested into developing “new greener products and processes” and to kick-start this Government is committing £20 million now from existing budgets to “businesses and universities to help stimulate new thinking and rapid solutions in this area.”
Responding to the announcement, BSDA’s Director General Gavin Partington (British Soft Drinks Association) said:
“As an industry we recognise that more can be done to reduce litter and increase recycling rates and so we welcome the launch of the innovation fund to develop new greener products and processes.
“The ambition is for all our packaging in the UK to be 100 % recyclable, that consumers recycle and that drinks containers do not end up as litter in our towns, countryside, rivers and oceans.
“We have long believed that reform of the current compliance system would create greater transparency, and lead to increased investment in UK recycling infrastructure, more so than a tax on a single material.
“We believe that by working together with governments, NGO’s and other stakeholders real progress can be achieved to make the UK the world leader in creating a truly circular economy.”
PET beverage bottles already meet the key requirements in the current debate on plastic recycling. Germany’s firmly established recycling system from manufacturing to recycling PET bottles has played a decisive role, placing the German PET market ahead of the EU plastic strategy just published. This eliminates the issue of export restrictions applicable to plastic waste via China in PET bottle disposal.
Photos of PET bottles floating around the oceans have coloured our perception of what’s actually happening in Germany regarding PET bottles according to Dr. Isabell Schmidt, consultant for Environment and Sustainability at the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen, the German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films, and responsible for the PET forum: “PET beverage bottle recycling in Germany is a perfect example of efficient recycling management.”
98 percent of disposable PET bottles are recycled
Almost ninety-nine percent of mandatory PET deposit bottles are collected for recycling in Germany according to the latest study, Aufkommen und Wiederverwertung von PET-Getränkeverpackungen in Deutschland (PET beverage packaging volume and recycling in Germany) published in 2016 by the German Society for Packaging Market Research (GVM); 93.5 % of disposable and reusable bottles collected are recycled – and up to 98 % for disposable deposit bottles. “The disposal bottle deposit in Germany has secured these high quotas,” according to Schmidt. This has proven to be a successful strategy in the fifteen years after its introduction.
Recycling takes priority with PET – 34 % of the recycled material is processed into new PET bottles according to the GVM study. Other users include the film industry (27 %), textile fibre manufacturers (23 %) and other applications such as tape and cleaning agent container production (16 %). Eighty percent is recycled within Germany, and the rest is mostly exported to destinations near Germany’s borders. PET material exports to China have seen a steady decrease, so restrictions on plastic waste exports from Germany to China only apply to a limited extent in the German PET industry.
Extensive recycling capacity already available
More to the point, separate waste collection has kept the European recycling industry growing in recent years, especially with regard to the recycling capacity available for PET. “PET is a high-demand recycled material,” says Schmidt. Further investment in developing the sorting and recycling infrastructure – a key requirement in the new EU-plastic strategy – had already been in the works by the time the German Packaging Act was passed at federal level in 2017. PET packaging from the recycling bag or bin should see even more recycling as a result.
The German PET industry has been practising cooperation along the entire value-added chain for years as now required by the EU Plastics Strategy. Founded in 2014, the RAL quality-control association for PET beverage packaging has seen manufacturers, bottlers and recyclers working together on closed recycling loops. The industry promotes processing recycled PET into new beverage bottles – “Bottle-to-bottle recycling is one of the most important topics in sustainable use of recycled PET,” according to Schmidt. The quality-control association is mainly committed to increasing the amounts of recycled materials used in new packaging.
Under the Government’s plan, there will be an extension of the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags to all retailers in England, supermarkets will be encouraged to introduce “plastic-free” aisles and taxes and charges on single-use plastic items will be considered as part of planned Government consultations.
Gavin Partington, Director General at the British Soft Drinks Association, responded to the plan:
“BSDA and its members welcome the launch of government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and its commitment to an evidence-based approach to establishing the best way to deal with plastic waste.
“The ambition is for all our packaging in the UK to be 100 % recyclable, that consumers recycle and that drinks containers do not end up as litter in our towns, countryside, rivers and oceans.
“China’s decision to ban plastic waste imports has further exposed the gaps in the UK’s recycling infrastructure and emphasised the need for a reform of the current compliance system.
“We believe that by working together with governments, NGO’s and other stakeholders real progress can be achieved to make the UK the world leader in creating a truly circular economy.”