Coca-Cola in Europe Signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration

The Coca-Cola Company and its two leading European bottling partners – Coca-Cola European Partners and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company – have jointly signed the European Commission’s Circular Plastics Alliance declaration, underlining their commitment to using more recycled packaging across Europe.

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Recyclable Film That Can Replace Metallic Coatings in Food Packaging

Metallic coatings in food packaging are often difficult to recycle, but UK researches have developed a new transparent film that could replace some metallic layers.

Reported in peer-
reviewed journal Nature Communications, the new films can be produced using a cheap, environmentally friendly process and provide a similar level of food protection to the metallic layers, while also being full recyclable.

Multi-material composites which include metallic layers offer an essential barrier for food preservation, and is an industry standard approach to achieving necessary gas barrier performance. But these layers are difficult to separate and recycle.

University of Oxford Professor Dermot O’Hare and colleagues have created synthesised thin films made from nanosheets of layered double hydroxides – a fully inorganic material – which are developed in a process that only needs water and amino acids.

They are similarly impermeable to oxygen and water vapour as regular metallic coatings, while being transparent and mechanically robust. The films are also synthentic, meaning its composition is fully controllable.

Researchers are still ensuring the development of the films can be as cost effective as aluminium vapourisations. The new films have met several safety standards for contact with food but further testing is being undertaken before they can be used in packaging.


Published on and written by Doris Prodanovic

Recyclable and replaceable: film that can replace metallic coatings in food packaging developed

Bosch Found Buyer For Packaging Unit

German engineering group Robert Bosch GmbH is in advanced talks to sell its packaging-technology division to global buyout firm CVC Capital Partners in a deal that could value the business at up to €850 million ($959.3 million), including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.


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Germany’s Bosch Nears Deal to Sell Packaging Unit to CVC Capital Partners


Why Reusable Food Packaging Has a Promising Future

Consumers are looking for both convenience and sustainability, and companies are responding with containers, bottles and bags designed for many uses.

Packaging is one of the largest causes of waste in the United States. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 29.7% of total waste could be attributed to containers and packaging in 2015, which weighed in at 77.9 million tons.

While some may point the finger at plastics, Tim Debus, president and CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association, told Food Dive that “the real root evil of the pollution is not material based. It’s disposability.”

Since the introduction of plastics into the CPG space, explained Debus, manufacturers have opted for more and more single-use packaging for its ability to reduce shipping costs.

Single-use plastic packaging is also an option that promotes convenience, something that consumers have progressively wanted more of over the decades.

All of this, however, comes at the expense of sustainability.

Demand for conveniently packaged options continues today, but consumers have increasing sustainability concerns. As a result, retailers and manufacturers have spent years searching for alternatives that reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfills.

From minimizing the amount of glass used in each bottle to switching to compostable bioplastic, packaging innovations are nothing new. What is new is the desire to combine sustainability with reusability.

“When you give the average person the choice between the most convenient option and the most sustainable options, more often than not, the more convenient option wins.”Toni Rossi, Vice president of global business development, Loop

Loop is an online delivery service where customers select their products and pay for the order (including a fully-refundable deposit on the reusable jars) and wait for it to be delivered in a reusable tote. Shipping is free after seven items are ordered. When the product is used up, customers replace the jars in the tote and wait for UPS to pick up their used containers and deliver their replacement order.

In searching for an innovative method to provide consumers with sustainable yet convenient packaging options, companies including Tyme Fast Food and TerraCycle’s Loop program, as well as retailers including PCC Community Markets have reimagined packaging as something reusable rather than disposable.

Reusable containers benefit the planet and companies’ bottom lines. The World Economic Forum reports plastic packaging waste represents an annual loss to the global economy of $80 billion to $120 billion.

Reusable options not only help alleviate that cost burden, but consumers are also willing to pay more to help solve the sustainability problem.

A new consumer culture?

A report from Packaged Facts shows households headed by adults younger than 25 are 29% more likely to consume microwaveable dinners and 26% more apt to eat frozen breakfast entrees or sandwiches.

Millennials, according to a report by UBS Investment Bank, are expected to drive food delivery sales up from $35 billion in 2018 to $365 billion worldwide in 2030.

Consumers’ preference for convenience has generated tons of trash as pre-packaged and delivery options become the norm. At the same time, these consumers don’t want to create waste.

To solve this dilemma, companies including Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever and The Body Shop have signed onto initiatives that make reusable packaging convenient.

“When you give the average person the choice between the most convenient option and the most sustainable options, more often than not, the more convenient option wins,” Loop’s vice president of global business development Toni Rossi told Food Dive.

Rather than combat human nature and work to convince consumers that a little sacrifice now will pay off in the long run, Loop plays into the consumer search for an “easy” button, Rossi said.

“It’s a model of reusability, but it acts like single use. We’re not asking the consumer to do anything different than they would today,” he said.


This article was published on and written by Jessi Devenyns

Why reusable food packaging has a promising future

Mondi Develops New Recyclable PP Film for Food Packaging

Mondi, an Austria-based paper and packaging solutions provider, has unveiled a recyclable polypropylene (PP) film to pack fresh and processed foods.

The recyclable packaging material is suitable for the thermoforming of flexible films for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum packaging.

According to Mondi, the new, coextruded packaging material features a web at the top and bottom as well as an internal barrier layer.

Both webs have been certified by The Aachen, Germany-based Institut cyclos-HTP, the Institute for Recyclability and Product. The organisation independently certified that the webs have the highest qualification ‘Class AAA’ in recyclability.

In addition to increasing the shelf life of products, including meat and cheese, the new packaging material will help to reduce the product’s carbon footprint by 23% compared to existing conventional structures.

Mondi Consumer Packaging EcoSolutions project manager Thomas Kahl said: “Mondi’s view is that packaging should always be fit-for-purpose, paper where possible, plastic when useful, and sustainable by design.

“The challenge with this project was to maintain the functionality that is key to such applications, including excellent oxygen and moisture barriers, and high puncture resistance, while also enhancing the package’s recyclability. The latter factor was vital as Mondi continues to support the principles of a circular economy.”

The latest development of thermoformable food packaging meets the requirements of the ‘New Plastic Economy’ global initiative, which is striving toward a more sustainable economy.

In March, Mondi announced four new commitments to tackle plastic waste as part of the launch of first New Plastics Economy Global Commitment report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.


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Mondi develops new recyclable PP film for food packaging

Solero Removes Plastic Wrapper From Lollies to Cut Single-Use Plastic

Solero ice lollies will be sold without wrappers during a trial aimed at helping cut down on single-use plastic. Multipacks of Solero organic peach ice lollies will be sold in a recyclable cardboard box with compartments, eliminating the need for individual plastic wrappers.

The new box is made from a specially designed polyethylene-coated cardboard. It is similar to single-use coffee cups, but with a lower plastic content at five per cent it has been approved to be widely recycled in the UK.

The lollies will be sold through online supermarket Ocado to gauge customer response.

Noel Clarke, from Unilever, said: ‘As we head towards summer, we’ve listened to our customers and are working hard to rethink plastic packaging for our ice cream ranges.

‘If successful and the feedback from customers is positive, this innovative pack could reduce the amount of plastic we use in the future to package our ice creams.”

Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at Wrap, which manages the UK Plastics Pact to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025, said: ‘We’re really impressed with the level of innovation and creativity that Unilever, a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact, has shown in developing this new pack. It will be welcomed by shoppers who we know want to be able to recycle the packaging they bring home from supermarkets. We look forward to seeing the results of the trial.’

Earlier this year Unilever launched its #GetPlasticWise campaign aiming to make all of its plastic packaging fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and to using more recycled plastic content in its packaging.

The new Solero packaging will be on sale from June 17.


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Solero to trial wrapper-less lollies in bid to cut single-use plastic

Hellmann’s Commits to 100% Recyclable Plastic Food Packaging

Mayo brand company plans to spread the use of recycled plastic packaging to more than 200 million bottles and jars by 2020 with a goal of 100% recyclable, 100% PCR-content packaging.

Major food and beverage brands continue an industry-wide movement into sustainable packaging usually with specific targets and within overarching corporate-wide sustainability goals. One of the latest is Hellmann’s, a Unilever brand based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, that announced in April that by 2020, all mayonnaise and mayonnaise dressing plastic PET containers sold in U.S. retail stores would be made from recycled plastic materials as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to advance sustainable packaging.

The recycled plastic packaging is rolling out now, beginning with Hellmann’s mayonnaise and mayonnaise Dressing squeeze bottles, to be followed by Hellmann’s jars by the end of 2019. More than 200 million Hellmann’s bottles and jars will be impacted, and the new containers will feature How2Recycle label and artwork that highlights the brand’s commitment to using recycled plastic.

“Switching to recycled plastic has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of bottles sent to landfills and lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” says Benjamin Crook, senior director, dressings & condiments, Unilever. “At Hellmann’s we strive for sustainability in all that we do, including helping customers make a responsible choice while still enjoying the products they love.”

This is the first step for Hellmann’s to move its portfolio of products toward fully recyclable bottles and jars that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials. The brand’s commitment is one way the brand is delivering on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the company’s blueprint for sustainable growth. Specifically, Hellmann’s efforts will support the company’s goal of ensuring 100% of plastic packaging will be designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The entire lineup of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and mayonnaise dressing jar and squeeze containers are made with recycled plastic: 15oz, 24oz, 30oz, 36oz, 48 oz and 64 oz. for jars; and 5.5oz, 11.5oz, 20oz, 25oz for squeezable plastic dispensers, Crook informs Packaging Digest.

Bottles, jars and caps

In addition to PET bottles, the company plans to use recycled content in its polypropylene caps.

“We are actively researching ways to ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is recyclable and made from 100% recycled materials,” Crook explains. “As we work towards our goal, we are also developing technologies that improve the recyclability of our packaging. We have committed resources and people to get the job done as we do our part to meet Unilever’s goal of ensuring 100% plastic packaging will be designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.”

As with some moves toward more sustainable resources for primary packaging, there are tradeoffs.

“As a result of the recycling process, our new packaging will have a slightly darker tint compared to the previous packaging, but it performs exactly the same as our standard packaging,” Crook discloses. “We’re excited that consumers can make a responsible choice while still enjoying the products they love.”

Notably, the retail pricing of the products will remain unaffected by the packaging changes.

The company has lined up vendor sources for the packaging that it declines to identify. “We work with a variety of partners to ensure we have enough high-quality recycled materials to meet demand,” Crook offers. “The recycled materials we use in our packaging are safe and cleared for food-contact use by the FDA.”

Crook will neither affirm or deny the company’s interest in bioplastics, saying “we are actively researching new plastic packaging innovations as we work towards ensuring 100% of plastic packaging is recyclable and made with 100% recycled materials.”

New label and Loop involvement

The new containers will also feature the How2Recycle label that clearly and graphically simplifies summarizes on-package recycling instructions for consumers (for more information, see How2Recycle label is growing—here’s who, why and how, published February 2019).

“Our Hellmann’s mayonnaise and mayonnaise Dressing jars and bottles will have new bottle wrapper artwork highlighting our commitment to using recycled plastic,” Crook explains. “These containers will state: ‘Bottle [or jar] made with 100% recycled plastic, because it’s the right thing to do.’ The front of all packsLoop reusable packaging shopping platform launches in the U.S. will also display one of the following messages: ‘100% recycled bottle’ or ‘100% recycled jar.’

Unilever is also developing reusable packaging innovations in an effort to reduce single-use plastics as part of TerraCycle’s Loop platform (for more information, see Loop reusable packaging shopping platform launches in the U.S., published June 2019). Premium skincare brand REN Clean Skincare, Hellmann’s, Love Beauty and Planet, Love Home and Planet and Seventh Generation will trial new reusable packaging made from aluminium and glass, according to the company.

“At Hellmann’s, we’re excited to be one of nine Unilever brands participating in the Loop program,” says Crook. “Loop is a win-win for consumers and businesses, and of course, for the planet. We are thrilled to be involved and to continue to encourage others to join the movement. We look forward to working with our partners to develop reusable packaging for the everyday products consumers love.”

The company will be measuring the recyclable plastic packaging program’s progress in the months ahead.

“Switching to recycled plastic has a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of bottles sent to landfills and lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” Crook says. “We look forward to tracking the impact of our recycled plastic packaging especially as we look to implement even more changes to improve the recyclability of our packaging.”

hellmann recycled food packaging
hellmann recycled food packaging


  • Unilever is a Dutch company and a world leader in the food industry.
  • Unilever should have been a leader in sustainability: they’re Dutch … they’re first movers, take fast decisions, learn from their mistakes, go to the essential but they go for the cheapest option.
  • Sustainability doesn’t always go cheap. Resulting in the fact that Unilever are the backbenchers when it comes to sustainability.


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Hellmann’s commits to 100% recyclable plastic food packaging


Stora Enso will Convert the Oulu paper mill into a Packaging Board mill

Stora Enso has decided to invest approximately EUR 350 million to convert the Oulu paper mill in Finland into packaging production. The investment includes converting paper machine 7 into high-quality virgin-fibre-based kraftliner production, and the closure of paper machine 6 and sheeting plant. Production on the converted machine is estimated to start by the end of 2020.

“The conversion of Oulu Mill will enable Stora Enso to further improve its position in the growing packaging business and take a major step forward in its transformation. We have proven competence in running large conversion projects successfully, as we have already converted one paper machine at Varkaus Mill to produce kraftliner,” says Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström.

The typical end uses for kraftliner are in packaging segments that require high strength, quality and purity, such as food, fruit and vegetables as well as heavy duty packaging. Production will target global export markets.

“Economic growth, sustainability and food safety are key market drivers in the packaging business. This conversion will allow us to provide customers with an innovative kraftliner product with high-performance qualities in terms of strength, printability and food safety,” says Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen, EVP, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division.

To transform Stora Enso further from declining and low EBITDA business to growing higher profitability business, the Group will invest approximately EUR 350 million in the conversion during 2019–2022. This will increase the Group’s earlier estimated capital expenditure for 2019 from EUR 540–590 million to EUR 610–660 million.

The market dynamics of woodfree coated paper have deteriorated further, and therefore Stora Enso must accelerate its transformation by increasing capital expenditure from the earlier estimate.

Following the conversion, Oulu Mill’s EBITDA margin is expected to improve by 15–20 percentage points, once the kraftliner machine is running at full capacity approximately four years after start-up.

At full capacity, the investment is expected to meet the Packaging Solutions division’s profitability target, operational return on operating capital (ROOC) of 20%.

The investment will include a new world-class line for virgin-fibre based kraftliner (both brown and white-top) with an annual capacity of 450 000 tonnes, the modification of the pulp mill and drying machine for unbleached brown pulp, as well as investments to enhance the mill’s environmental performance.

The project will start with ground work in the summer of 2019, and about 200 contractors will work at the Oulu Mill site during the project.

The converted Oulu Mill will directly employ approximately 180 people. Wood consumption at the mill will increase by 0.5 million m3 to 2.4 million m3 annually. Wood will be purchased mainly from private forest owners in Northern Finland.

As an outcome of the co-determination process started on 25 March 2019, 365 people will be permanently laid off. The initial estimate on the maximum number of employee reductions was 400 people.

The redundancies will mainly take place by the end of year 2020, when Oulu Mill will cease to produce woodfree coated papers. Stora Enso will provide support to the people who will not continue working at the Oulu Mill after the conversion.

At maximum 20% of the redundancies can be managed through pension arrangements.

“We will be working closely together with other Stora Enso locations, the city of Oulu and other stakeholders to support in re-employment for those employees who will not have a position in the new organisation. Our support will include outplacement services as well as individual and group trainings for re-employment. We will also offer financial support for employees starting up their own companies,” says Kati ter Horst, EVP, Stora Enso’s Paper division.

Stora Enso will book a cost of EUR 31 million as an item affecting comparability (IAC) relating to layoffs, restructuring expenses, asset write-downs and impairment reversals, of which EUR 7 million will be recognised in the second quarter of 2019 and EUR 24 million in the following five quarters.

The restructuring related costs will have a cash impact of approximately EUR 19 million when paper production at the mill ends.

Oulu Mill’s current capacity is 1 080 000 tonnes of woodfree coated papers annually. Typical end-uses for woodfree coated papers are e.g. high-quality advertising and magazines.

Paper production is expected to continue until the end of September 2020.


Stora Enso will convert the Oulu paper mill into a packaging board mill