A growing number of product companies are looking to shore up their ecological credentials in response to rising consumer expectations. The Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) design approach offers a novel way for companies to integrate sustainability into their business practices.
Although originally made for industrial design and manufacturing, the C2C approach has expanded into consumer goods that include food and beverages, personal care products, cleaning products, apparel and office products. However, Organic Monitor research finds the adoption rate is very low. This is surprising considering many such companies have sustainability built into their corporate ethos.
With consumers increasingly demanding more, the C2C approach enables companies to create positive impacts rather than minimizing negative ones. It also allows product companies to expand their sustainability horizons, covering a number of environmental and social facets.
Although consumer product companies are expanding their sustainability practices, most are undertaking initiatives in isolation like ethical sourcing and eco-design packaging. The C2C design encourages companies to take a holistic view, covering many aspects from raw material sourcing, production processes, packaging to the materials left at the end of the product’s lifecycle. Adoption rates of the C2C eco-label remains low, however it has the potential to break companies from their ‘natural’ moulds and become truly sustainable.
Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, co-founder of the Cradle-To-Cradle Design approach, will be giving a keynote at the Sustainable Foods Summit, taking place in Amsterdam on 23-24th June 2011. His paper will look at how food and ingredient companies can create positive impacts by the C2C design approach. More details on its website.
Orbit Closure Makes Jars Easier To Open
Convenience continues to be a key factor in consumer purchasing decisions, making packaging that is easy to open and facilitates preparation and consumption essential to brand success. It’s no secret that a large segment of the population find glass jars challenging to open. Some time ago I wrote about this problem in my article “The Irritation of the Glass Jar Screw Cap” and the Brazilian solution, called ‘Abre-Fácil’.
And now in its booth Crown Closures Europe shows a new revolutionary closure that will make jars easy to open for everyone. Food processors can now improve the openability of glass jars with the new Orbit Closure. The innovative technology is making its debut in the market on jars of Duerr’s range of jams and marmalades.
The Orbit Closure consists of two parts: a central, floating panel that is vacuum sealed to the jar and an outer ring that acts as the opening and re-closing device. Its design significantly reduces the torque required to remove the closure, making it twice as easy to open as compared to standard twist-off closures and enhancing convenience for consumers of all ages.
There is more in the booth of Crown Food Europe, as it shows its version of the improved rigid and flexible easy-open ends, similar to the OptiLift Pull-Off Lid from the Ardagh Group, which I described on my first day. Neither one requires a can opener, and offer a practical, efficient option to enhance convenience. Crown’s Easylift easy-open ends feature significantly improved finger access under the tab, making it easier for consumers to open canned food products like vegetables, soup and pet food, while the PeelSeam opening system is a great option for single-serve portions and fully compatible with Crown’s full range of cans.
Counterfeiting in Germany
In Germany one of every 20 medications is tainted, and counterfeit medications are rapidly increasing. Artur Theis GmbH & Co. KG, Wuppertal/Germany, being a specialist for counterfeit-proof folding cartons, mainly serves customers from the pharmaceutical industry, offering 30 different safety features in printing and finishing.
In Germany, Artur Theis, a subsidiary of the Edelmann Group, is regarded as the specialist for folding cartons that cannot be copied. The conditions in its Wuppertal plant, which has been converted into a counterfeiting security facility, are the same as those in a banknote printing company.
And so, the folding carton of Sinupret sinusitis pills from pharmaceuticals producer Bionorica includes a three-dimensional, optically variable embossed mark, which can be seen in relief when the carton is tilted.
The story is simple and the result complex. Since the herbal medication was so often copied, Bionorica engaged the Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient, which specializes in printing bank notes, to design a tangible security feature for Sinupret.
Artur Theis developed the production process for the new packaging. The mark is printed and embossed by Braun Pharmadruck, also an Edelmann subsidiary. By the end of 2011, Bionorica intends to emboss the packaging for all of its products with the new seal.
A security offensive by producers of pharmaceuticals would also increase demand for high-quality packaging materials producers. Consequently it is unlikely that pharmaceutical counterfeiters will be attracted by medications that have been provided with a security mark, a code and top quality packaging.
Sidel’s Solutions for Beverages
At Interpack, French company Sidel presents various packaging solutions that help its customers achieve variety in designs while fulfilling all additional market demands.
The latest bottling design choices include the Daily dose packaging, offering a maximum level of flexibility and creativity. Furthermore Modulomold adds to the concept of flexibility by allowing different bottle designs to be produced in a single mould using removable mould inserts with quick and easy changeovers.
DailyDose – A flexible multipack
DailyDose is a flexible multipack solution offering one design for different products. It is ideal for on-the-go consumption as the small bottles fit into the smallest of handbags and for families and consumers who wish to consume small amounts of fruit doses or yoghurt drinks on a regular basis. Six bottles are sleeved individually and linked with one unique label in a handy set.
For packaging companies, they enable flexible and cost-effective production as one label, or, alternatively, one sleeve is used for a pack of six bottles.
Modulomold – A single mould, several bottle shapes
Beverage brands generally manage a wide portfolio of products. To respond to productivity needs as well as the greater customisation of packages, Sidel presents its new Modulomold technology, with which several bottles of the same size (up to 0.7 litre) can be produced in a single mould using removable mould inserts, which ensure quick and simple changeovers.
It’s a simple and intuitive solution for format changeovers, aimed at ensuring better production flexibility. The bottles have two shared parts, the labelling area and the base, and either one or two areas, the shoulder and/or the body, can be customised using the inserts. It takes less than 30 seconds to change a set of inserts, from opening the first mould to opening the second.
Designed in accordance with the smed method (single minute exchange of die), this technology facilitates ultra-quick changeover without tools, and it reduces the risk of error during installation in the mould, thanks to a foolproof system.
The complete solution includes a trolley that is specially adapted to insert changeover operations. The mould and its Modulomold inserts mark another step forward for productivity and flexibility as well as savings for the industrial production of PET packaging.
Petainer Beer Kegs
The Petainer Keg is an environmentally-friendly, economical, alternative to metal kegs for draught beverages. The lightweight beverage container manufactured in recyclable PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is designed for one-way use. The keg is available with one-way, low cost fittings which allow it to be connected to existing tapping systems for draught beer.
Petainer Kegs, unlike other plastic variants and metal kegs, can be supplied either complete and ready for filling or as ‘preforms’ that can be blown near the point of use. This second option provides further environmental and economic benefits. The kegs are available in 15, 20, 30 and 40 litre sizes – all with Micro Matic compatible fittings.
Fully and easily recyclable, meeting all the essential requirements covered by EU regulations, they are suitable for both mechanical and ‘energy from waste’ recycling.
Using Petainer Kegs does not just offer substantial benefits to breweries and fillers – there are real benefits to end users as well. One of the biggest benefits is the reduced storage space needed by the PET kegs. Securely storing empty metal kegs to prevent them from being stolen before they are collected is a problem in many outlets. Petainer Kegs, once de-pressurised, can be easily crushed once they are empty and then put into the recycling bin with other recyclable plastics containers.
Environmental friendly burial
You might not like to talk about it, but factually it is a packaging. Some years ago the “Peace Box” designed in Switzerland caused a stir, as it was an ecological one-piece folding coffin which consisted of 60% chlorine-free, recycled waste paper and only 40% new pulp.
Back then it was said that many countries in Europe and also in South America had already realised the environmental benefits of the Peace Box and were using it in high numbers. The Box was the first ecological paperboard coffin of which was said that it reached the stage of mass production and global usage.
Coffins of “simple” packaging material are controversial. While some consider such plain and simple eco coffins to be disrespectful, others clearly focus more on the benefits for our environment.
Although the idea is not new but serious by all means, the reason for this new introduction is the markedly increased number of cremations and concurrently growing environmental concerns in our society.
The coffin is printed in colours that suggest an unusual advertising gimmick at first. The product, however, is completely serious. These new coffins made of paperboard initially designed for cremations boast a number of advantages over conventional wooden coffins. They are made of “Fibratec”, a cellulose-based material that renders the destruction of high-quality timber superfluous. Furthermore, CO2 emissions released by the cremation process can be cut by up to 75% compared to conventional coffins. Likewise, the costs associated are substantially lower.
The new model, called “Flamea Kremierungssarg” (Coffin for Cremation) is introduced to the market by Nips Ordnungsysteme. The paperboard coffin consists of a fibre composite made of 100% cellulose and has a dead weight of as little as 8.7 kilograms. It is slightly over two metres long, approx. 60 cm wide and 50 cm high. With a load bearing capacity of up to 140 kg, it is said to leave less combustion residues reducing the amount of extraneous ashes in the urn.
Ok, that were the first four days, still three to go. Tomorrow, Monday, my summary of that day will hopefully include the news about the Tetra Pak paperboard bottle. For all people who have been looking for the part 3 of the Soup on-the-go article series, just wait till after the Interpack. I will post it Thursday or Friday next.