Archive for June, 2009

L’Oreal joins group to sponsor bioplastic research

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Environmental Issues, Innovation, Materials on June 30th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

By Katie Bird, 30-Jun-2009  Cosmetics

Related topics: Packaging & Design, Packaging

L’Oreal has joined a number of industrial partners to sponsor research into bioplastics to develop new materials suitable for consumer goods packaging.

To read more on this subject just click the link –

Microsoft cuts weight of Windows packs by nearly 40%

Posted in Environmental Issues, Innovation, Materials on June 30th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 1 Comment

Interesting article issued by Josh Brooks,, 30 June 2009

Technology giant Microsoft has joined the lightweighting movement and cut packaging weight for its latest launch, Windows 7, by almost two-fifths.

To read more just click the link

Tetra Pak launches senior-friendly carton

Posted in Innovation on June 29th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 12 Comments

Tetra Pak has launched Tetra Brik Edge, a new carton with an angled top that has been designed to make pouring more easy for elderly people and children.

The carton manufacturer has angled the top of the Tetra Brik Edge so it doesn’t have to be lifted as high as a typical pack to be poured.


The clamshell in a nutshell

Posted in Opinion, Uncategorized on June 29th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 3 Comments
June 26th, 2009
Written by Sterling Anthony, Contributor –

The history of this package offers lessons for all packagers. That the clamshell is the object of praise and scorn reflects opportunities fulfilled and missed. In a relatively short time span, it has become commonplace in a variety of industries, among them electronics, toys, hardware, and health & beauty. Whether on a shelf, on a counter, or hung from a rod, its tough, clear plastic affords viewing of its contents, while protecting same from easy pilferage–features prized by consumer packaged goods companies and by retailers. A third stakeholder, the consumer, has been less enamored of the package, due almost entirely to problems with opening it.

Design firms and package suppliers have devised alternatives to the clamshell. Such is to be expected and is the nature of competition. Beyond that, some packagers, in addition to a major Internet retailer, have projects to reduce or eliminate their usage of clamshells. Those efforts, in addition to those expended by the clamshell supplier industry to improve its product, would benefit from a retrospective, because a function of packaging—in addition to protection and communication—is convenience. The fact that one of the clamshell’s primary elements—opening—was given short shrift deserves analysis.

US packaging covered in false green claims, Congress told

Posted in Environmental Issues on June 26th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 4 Comments

The US is awash with ‘green’ labels and logos with empty claims, an environmental marketing agency executive has told the US Congress.

Vice president of TerraChoice Scot Case put his argument on green labels to the SubCommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection earlier this month.

read more »

BASF cuts polystyrene output with plant closure

Posted in Business News, Materials on June 26th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 7 Comments

Josh Brooks,, 26 June 2009

BASF is to cut its polystyrene production by 15% with the closure of a plant in Germany as it continues to seek a buyer for its EUR 3bn styrenics business.

The world’s biggest chemicals company is to permanently shut a plant at its Ludwigshafen complex, reducing its total output by 80,000 tonnes/year to 540,000 tonnes/year.

read more »

Packaging Industry views on the recently published Defra Packaging Strategy

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 2 Comments

Please find below a collation of views from various Packaging Industry on the recently published Defra Packaging Strategy

Related articles:

Hilary Benn unveils long-awaited Packaging Strategy June 2009

If you want to read the full version of the DEFRA report, you can download it here:

Defra Packaging Strategy – full version

You can read the Design Cognition opinion on the strategy here:

Design Cognition Opinion on Packaging Strategy

Packaging Strategy: Defra’s document – Design Cognition opinion

Posted in Environmental Issues, Government, Legal, Opinion, Recycling, Retailers, Uncategorized on June 25th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments

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Firstly, I must say that it’s great news that we’ve finally got a strategy being developed for packaging in a low carbon economy – it’s a huge step forward.

The report suggests a move away “from weight-based to carbon-based (packaging waste) targets” taking in to account “whole life cycle impacts.” which is a bold move – but how will this be implemented and managed in a consistent manner?

There is mention of “Treating packaging waste as a valuable resource”. Yes, we should encourage:
“• more recycling by householders; with schemes that collect all the main packaging materials” (but let’s get UK wide consistency and make it easier for consumers to differentiate & sort!). As Dick Searle points out (see Packaging News below), “recyclability is not the problem – 85% of packaging is recyclable, while just 35% of packaging is actually recycled.”
“• local authorities and businesses treating waste packaging as a resource, leading to more recycling by businesses” (Yes, most businesses will respond to cash incentives for recycling schemes but we should not lose sight of other ways of processing waste and think of latent energy recovery/capture.  Efforts should be given to an all encompassing sustainability policy/programme – i don’t see any mention of that anywhere! – or have I missed something?)

As a footnote, I’d like to say that anything that enables consumers to appreciate the benefits of packaging and stop seeing it only as ‘waste’, is a good thing. I also think that we are in dire need of a government strategy on ‘Food Waste’ = otherwise we are missing a ‘big trick’ here. Around 30% of all food purchased is thrown away. If it wasn’t packaged (to extend its shelf life) that figure would probably be over 50%.

So we will continue to work on innovation for our sustainability projects, reducing and minimising wherever we can, as consumers demand, but we must not lose sight of the need for choice and convenience.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments below….

Related articles:

Hilary Benn unveils long-awaited Packaging Strategy June 2009

If you want to read the full version of the DEFRA report, you can download it here:

Defra Packaging Strategy – full version

If you’d like to read the opinions of other packaging industry ‘experts’ you can find them here:

 Packaging News – article on Defra Strategy – Various Industry Views

Hilary Benn unveils long-awaited Packaging Strategy

Posted in Business News, Environmental Issues, Government, Opinion, Recycling on June 25th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 3 Comments

The following article provides an overview of Hilary Benn’s Packaging Strategy. We will follow-up with our own comments and views on this strategy in a separate blog-post – look out for it!  Chris

Jill Park,, 09 June 2009

The banning of aluminium and glass from landfill is under review by the government as part of its long-awaited Packaging Strategy, revealed today.

Environment minister Hilary Benn announced the government’s new packaging strategy, ‘Making the most of packaging’, this morning at the Futuresource conference at Excel in London.

The strategy outlines the government’s plan to improve the design and manufacture of packaging over the next decade and covers recycling strategy, packaging reduction and reusability.

read more »

Healthcare Atwitter Over Social Networking

Posted in Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Marketing, Opinion, Social Media, Technology on June 25th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 7 Comments

Social media is seen as banal, boring and irrelevant by a number of people, many of them old and ’set in their ways’. But it is changing the way people interact, gain information & purchase products. The latter is being driven by the retail sector, looking for innovative new marketing techniques and ways to differentiate their products on shelf. The Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industries, with their ‘pedestrian’ approach and generally longer leadtimes lag behind as usual. Although not packaging related, I find the following article thought-provoking and an insight into opportunities for the healthcare sector (generaly) to embrace new technologies and methods of interaction with it’s ‘customers’ and provide some benefits, added value and an improved user experience which should also pave the way for huge opportunities in Pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices – particularyly in the areas of non-compliance (patients forgetting to take their medications). Here’s hoping…..and I hope you find it as thought-provoking!

Special thanks go out to Dan Dunlop – ‘Healthcare Marketer’ who first brought my attention to this article via LinkedIn (see link at end of this article).


Healthcare Atwitter Over Social Networking
By Elizabeth S. Roop May 18, 2009
Radiology Today
Vol. 10 No. 10 P. 12

Some forward-looking healthcare organizations are working to include sites such as Facebook and Twitter into their marketing plans.

From YouTube and Facebook to Twitter, the University of Maryland Medical System has established a presence within the social networking world that helps the nine-hospital system connect to hundreds of potential new patients each day.

As many as 700 people per day watch the system’s 117 YouTube videos, which range from a four-minute promotional spot to interviews with medical experts, patient success stories, surgical Webcasts, and overviews of programs and services. Several of those videos also populate the system’s Facebook page, along with news, audio podcasts, commentary, and patient questions posted on the wall to which the system responds as appropriate.

The social networking system Twitter helps the medical system promote its latest educational offerings and other noteworthy activities in short messages called Tweets to its more than 540 followers and refer them to one of the other social networking sites for more detailed information.

read more »