Posts Tagged ‘carbon’

Pack To The Future 3 – ready for ‘take off’

Posted in Academia, Design, Environmental Issues, Events, Innovation, Materials, Recycling, Technology, Training, Uncategorized on February 9th, 2013 by Chris Penfold – 13 Comments
Pack To The Future 3 Flyer

Pack To The Future 3 Flyer

As many of you may know, as well as running Design Cognition, I am Chairman of the East Midlands Packaging Society (based in Nottingham UK) and in that role, my main focus again this year is to entice more of you, our valued members, to take part in events and also to encourage ‘new blood’ into the industry.

By popular demand we are pleased to announce the THIRD  in our very successful PACK TO THE FUTURE  series of collaborations between academia and industry to explore insights into the changing global landscape impacted by issues such as Global Warming and water & oil depletion that will affect consumer demand and some of the exciting emerging technologies that will enable us to adapt & thrive.

We are pleased to be working with Loughborough University Design School on this occasion and as previously have a fantastic line-up of leading edge thinkers & ‘doers’ with which to ‘whet your appetites’. This time topics will include:

Explaining the Future – Peak Oil, Peak Water & Climate Change

Printed electronics in packaging

LumeJet – photonic imaging technology

Please make sure that you book early to this FREE event to avoid disappointment, as both previous events have been heavily oversubscribed!!!!

All are welcome, members and non-members, but pre-registration is essential – OR  drop me an email if you have any questions: chris@designcognition.com

We’ve also got other fantastic events lined-up later in the year, in which you could participate in a number of different ways and at a number of different levels – it’s up to you how far you want to get involved.

Much of it will be FREE and could directly benefit you personally and your business.

You may want to participate yourself, or you know someone else that could be interested. Either way, I’m looking for partners and I’d love to hear from you. The aim of the whole exercise is to help raise the profile of packaging but also to facilitate the integration of academia and industry for everyone’s benefit. So this is applicable to:

Students – who may want to learn & enhance career options

Universities – looking for business avenues/partnerships to help commercialise their ideas

Product development companies, packaging suppliers & design agencies – wanting to keep up with latest technology & also identify high calibre students for job placements & opportunities

Come along and listen to some exciting & leading-edge talks from the university & from the packaging design industry. Network with industry & academic experts – with various table-top demonstrations, discuss your design projects in an informal atmosphere and get practical mentoring help & advice.

Some of the previous highlighted topics have included:

Smartphone technology & how it can enhance the consumer experience

Using packaging technology to tackle counterfeiting

University research into brand design

Display technology for packing applications

Design of packaging for reuse / recycling

You can find out more about this and other East Midlands Packaging Society events on our ‘ning’ site:

East Midlands Packaging Society website

and also on our LinkedIn Group & Facebook Pages:

EMPS LinkedIn Group

EMPS Facebook page

So whether in academia or business – You decide how you want to get involved, which could be as a speaker, sponsor, exhibitor, trainer or as a participant – how could it best benefit yourself? I really do think that ‘everyone’s a winner’ with this. More details to follow in future blogs.

If you’ve got any other ideas yourself, let me know.

Chris Penfold

Chairman – East Midlands Packaging Society

chris@designcognition.com

00 44 115 846 1914

The making of Plastiki – turning plastic packaging waste into resource

Posted in Design, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Events, Innovation, Materials, Recycling, Technology, Uncategorized on August 13th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments

Here’s how ‘Eco Warrior’ and ‘Gaia Capitalist’ David de Rothschild made his catamaran ‘Plastiki’ out of recycled PET bottle packaging -- turning waste into resource and into an (almost) completely recyclable boat, that he then sailed from San Francisco to Sydney.

You can read the related article I wrote earlier today here: Sailing through the Plastiki soup in search of Paradise

Chris Penfold

Fizz Pop Bang! – Wine bottle Corks – the counter argument

Posted in Design, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Marketing, Materials, Opinion, Recycling on July 23rd, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment
Traditional wine bottle cork packaging

Traditional wine bottle cork packaging

There’s nothing quite like the ‘pop’ of a cork exploding from a wine bottle when it’s opened is there? For me, although screw thread or rubber closures do the job, they don’t quite have the same emotional appeal. Well, for those of you who have a similar opinion (94% of wine drinkers according to a survey of 1500), you will be pleased to hear that there is research available to backup the sustainable credentials of cork and its continued use in wine bottles.

According to the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) there are 3 misconceptions regarding cork stoppers, that are highlighted in a recent Packaging News article:

1. Trees are NOT cut down in the production of cork – they are harvested in a sustainable manner. In fact harvesting, if managed properly, actually guarantees a trees survival.

2. Screw caps are NOT the most environmentally friendly closure, as cork is 100% natural and renewable and apparently uses 10 times less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than plastic stoppers and 24 times less than screw caps.

3. Corked wine is (allegedly) is NO MORE of an issue with natural cork than tainitng is with other closure systems (although this has been very carefully worded by APCOR).

You can read the full article on the Packaging News website.

You could also check out the campaign website www.ilovenaturalcork.co.uk

Chris Penfold

Medical packaging & devices go greener

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Materials, Recycling, cost-optimisation on July 15th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 2 Comments
Medical device packaging

Medical device packaging

Traditionally medical products, devices and their related packaging has been ’sidelined’ in much of the debate around the environment, where the major focus has been on retail products. However, it is estimated (Mulligan) that medical packaging contributes between 30% to 50% (or more) of the medical waste stream. There is a lot of work going on in the background, within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, and further afield globally, as healthcare practitioners are put under increasing pressure to ‘go green’, become more ’sustainable’ and reduce their ‘carbon footprint’.  These initiatives go right to the core of their infrastructure, looking at everything from operating theatre furniture and equipment, through to medical devices and all related packaging.

However, there are wider ramifications, as it apparent that these sustainability initiatives will also enable huge cost benefits, improved regulatory compliance, and enhanced corporate social responsibility (CSR) when done correctly. So no pressure then ;-) !

On the face of it, this looks like a huge and daunting task, but with the aid of modern modelling techniques, such as those used by Walmart and by Marks & Spencer (M&S) in their ‘Plan A’, data and issues can be quite easily ‘chunked-down’ into manageable bite-size segments. This can help prioritisation and enable ‘quick wins’ on the highest ‘value creating’ initiatives.

It is important that suppliers and medical device manufacturers think about these sweeping changes and, if not already doing so, start to design and develop medical devices & healthcare packaging to meet these more stringent requirements. Next-generation packaging must be: 1) easy to manufacture; 2) meet stringent regulatory requirements; 3) meet the needs of distributors, healthcare institutions, and medical practitioners; and 4) minimize impact on the environment.

Mulligan talks in greater detail about all of this in an interesting article ‘Using a Life Cycle Analysis approach in medical packaging‘ recently published on the Healthcare Packaging website. Have a read and let us know what you think!

Chris Penfold

DAY 6 – Packaging Tip No6 – Environment & sustainability

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Opinion, Recycling, Top 10 Tips, Uncategorized on March 11th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments
Packaging Top Ten Tips

Packaging Top Ten Tips

In order to help you develop your packaging more productively, we have generated a series of  FREE short 1-2 minute videos detailing our Tip Ten Tips for getting it right. We will be posting 1 x video per day on this blog site over a 10 day period – so keep a look out for them – they could save you a £££$$$ fortune in the long run!

DAY 6 – Tip No6: These days the environment is top of everybody’s mind. But, did you know, there is lots of legislation to which you must comply? Also, as new materials continually come on to the market it’s difficult to keep up with it all…find out more in the video…

Enjoy your packaging. Cheers Chris

Today’s Video:

Packaging Tip No6 – Environment & sustainability – by Chris Penfold – Design Cognition

Look out tomorrow for Tip No 7 – Physical protection?…..

A packaging solution to the Great Pacific Garbage soup?

Posted in Environmental Issues, Innovation, Materials, Opinion, Recycling, Technology, Uncategorized on March 8th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 16 Comments
Pacific rubbish soup

Pacific rubbish soup

As many people know, there is a huge and ever-increasing mountain of rubbish growing in the middle of the Pacific, like a giant festering ’soup’, much of which consists of plastic packaging waste. This has had a massive knock-on affect in the  form of polluted beaches on islands throughout the South Pacific, such as the popular Kamilo beach in Hawaii.

A British company believe that they have a packaging remedy. Symphony Environmental has created a substance that can be added to plastic materials to speed up the degradation time from several decades to just a few months.

Apparently “The special additive, called d2w, is put into plastic products when they are being manufactured. It works by weakening the carbon bonds, lowering the material’s molecular weight and eventually causing a loss of strength. The plastic can be given a set lifespan, depending on what purpose it is ultimately intended for.”

The aim is to get bread bags for instance to degrade in a matter of weeks and other items, designed for a longer shelf-life to degrade over many months.

This sounds great in theory and clearly a lot of research has taken place since this company was set up in 1995. We are in favour of any initiatives that help reduce/manage packaging waste. However, there are a number of issues that need to be clarified and addressed (if they haven’t been already).

What happens when one freezes items such as bread, to extend shelf-life? Will the degradation process be retarded or halted? Many items, such as toiletry products are used way beyond their stated shelf life. Does that mean that these items could degrade in the cupboard whilst still in-use?

It is also interesting to note that there seems to be “stern opposition from rivals” as the “plastics industry is split into two camps”: There are those that back ‘oxy-biodegradable’ (like dw2) that breaks-down simply with contact with air and those that back ‘bio-degradable’, which require more specific conditions such as burial in the ground and elevated temperature, to work.

I’m not so sure that there is such a defined “split” within the industry and can see the merits and issues of both of these approaches and, in our  opinion, both should continue to be developed. In terms of ‘Oxy-biodegradable’, as I’ve already mentioned above, degradation before end of shelf-life/use is an issue and what happens if a product is, for instance, left in direct sunlight – will this alter the degradation time frame? As far as ‘Bio-degradable’ goes – it is my understanding that unless specific elevated temperatures are reached,  degradation will not commence. So, for it to work properly, industrial bio-degradation facilities are required  – these materials will not degrade properly in a normal household composting bin.

Michael Stephen of Symphony also talks about bio-producers  having convinced British farmers that “crop-based plastics are best” but that “this is wrong…because when they are recycled they give off methane”. On top of this there area a number of concerns with these products around the use of scarce food resources to make packaging.

All of these materials could also present a potential issue of contaminating ‘normal’ recycling waste if not clearly identified & managed properly and I’m not sure that this issue is being addressed. Chris Penfold

What do you think? Let us know.

Taken from an article written by Ben Marlow which appeared in the UK Sunday Times on 7th March 2010. You can read the full article at the Times Online here: Great Pacific Garbage Patch article

Plant-based polypropylene packaging. Is spinach next?

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Environmental Issues, Innovation, Materials, Opinion, Product News, Technology, Tweets on February 8th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments

 

popeye spinach packaging polymers

popeye spinach packaging polymers?

‘Vegetarian’ polymers seem to be on the increase with yet another innovative initiative that, this time, uses natural cress plant waste, which is combined with a variety of different polypropylene grades to produce a range of packaging materials to suit different types of products with a variety of finishes. Allegedly they are produced using significantly lower CO² emissions than ‘conventional’ plastics.

The material called ‘Agriplast’ has been developed by German bio manufacturing company Biowert, which sources the cress-based waste from farms in the immediate area around Brensbach, in southern Germany, where the factory is based.

This sounds like a really innovative initiative and the the project is a collaboration between German company AHA Kunstofftechnik and French-based packaging manufacturer Cosmeco, who have combined resources to develop this material for use, initially, in cosmetics packaging.

Rumour has it that use of spinach for this type of polymer project could be a next-step development, something that could potentially really increase material tensile properties and produce a product as strong as iron – but this has yet to be verified and Mr P.Peye was unavailable for comment ;-) LOL

The full ‘Agriplast’ natural cress article, 8th Feb 2010, can be read here at www.cosmeticsdesign.com

Thanks to @MarktheSpaMan for bringing our attention to this article via Twitter

Only 25% shoppers are ‘aware of renewable packaging materials’

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Marketing, Materials, Opinion, Recycling, Retailers on January 26th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments

Why am I not surprised that only a quarter of consumers are aware of renewable materials in packaging and even fewer have heard of FSC, research from the carton producers association ACE has found. I wouldn’t say that the benefits have been particularly well marketed to the industry, let alone consumers.

Research carried out among 1,001 shoppers for the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK found that just 26% of consumers had heard of renewable materials being used in packaging, while 16% knew of the FSC chain of custody logo.

Although I’m aware that mixed material cartons are now collected at some supermarkets (in the UK), it seems to be ‘patchy’ to say the least. The Tetra pak website provides some useful information, but I for one am not convinced that widespread and adequate infrastructure is in place to process these once collected, what impact processing has on the environment and what real usage there is for the recovered materials afterwards. Tetra Pak state that materials can be “used in furniture, to generate energy or even separated out into pure aluminium and paraffin.” But I wonder how much of that actually happens?

Cartons may well state that “purchasing this FSC certified carton from Tetra Pak supports responsible forest management worldwide”, but there are no statements about the other materials that need to be separated.

So come on FSC, if you’d like to provide us with the relevant information so that we can all make an informed judgement as to the pros & cons, we (in the industry) can help you spread your message.

Chris Penfold

Here you can read the rest of the article: ‘Three shoppers in four ‘unaware of renewable packaging materials’: study‘ Dated 25th January 2009, Via Packaging News website.

Bamboo to replace corrugated packaging @ Dell

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Innovation, Materials, Opinion on December 14th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment

Following on from an article we ran earlier in the year on a bicycle made from bamboo, this demonstrates another interesting use of bamboo, which is evidently a strong, sustainable and cost-effective solution. As long as good ‘Forest Stewardship’ is demonstrated to avoid local bamboo depletion, this has the ‘thumbs-up’ from us!  Chris

Via Simeon Goldstein, packagingnews.co.uk, 18 November 2009 Computer giant Dell has selected packaging made from bamboo as an alternative to the paper pulp, corrugated and expanded plastic packs to ship its laptops. The China-sourced bamboo is being used for the cushions that cradle the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and 10v netbooks inside an outer box made from 25% post-consumer material.

You can read the full article in Packaging News here: http://bit.ly/47LpsP

Global experts meet this week to develop environmental standards

Posted in Associations, Business News, Environmental Issues, Government, Recycling, Tweets on December 10th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments

Stockholm, Sweden — Experts from 15 countries are meeting this week to begin developing standards to cover environmental issues related to packaging such as reuse, recycling and composting.

recyclingAbout 70 delegates from China, Japan, Korea, the United States and 11 European countries are meeting in Sweden for the first gathering for the SC4 Packaging and Environment committee.

Published on Greenbiz.com 12th Dec 2009 and brought to our attention by our Twitter friend @packagindiva – thanks JoAnn! It would be good to get some consistency in this area. Well overdue. What to you think? Chris

The full article can be read here: http://bit.ly/4UB8ZK