Consumers today are getting increasingly environment-aware and consciously explore the shelves for brands that provide them with sustainable packaging alternatives. Packaging is an important concern for consumers, particularly those who are interested in converting to eco-friendly and innovative packaging solutions. Reduction in the carbon footprints as well as amount of packaging material and use of eco-friendly raw materials constitute new consumer preferences. A leading packaging organisation organises annual distinguished international award in packaging- WorldStar, that illustrates the continual advancement of the state of packaging art and creates a living standard of international packaging excellence. Some of the award winning packaging that use plastics have been listed.
Two Tetra Pak products, each designed specifically to reduce environmental impact, have won prestigious WorldStar packaging Awards. Tetra Top with Separable Top and Tetra Prisma Aseptic 1000 with plant-based plastic received specific recognition for their commitment to the environment, for providing consumers with a balance between functionality and sustainability.
The Tetra Prisma Aseptic carton package has a unique 8-sided shape, is easy to grip, and offers high quality printing to graphically portray the brand's story. It is the perfect package for differentiating products such as fruit juices, iced teas, high-protein products, energy drinks, water, meal replacements and milk beverages that are flavored or enriched. Its design offers a great grip and robustness, perfect for on-the-go products, and it allows a reach of products into distant markets without refrigeration or preservatives. This is a first in the packaging industry where the conventional polyethylene layers are substituted by low-density polyethylene from a renewable source: sugar cane. As a result, the package uses up to 78% of renewable materials, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the absorption of CO2 during plant growth. Convenient volumes from 125 ml to 1000 ml with a variety of openings. The award winning DreamCap™ is the latest innovation in closure technology. Designed to suit facial geometry & provide optimal control of beverage flow, this is a resealable closure that is perfect for the consumer on the go. TetraPrisma Aseptic is made from paper, a renewable source & is available with FSC™ (Forest Stewardship Council) certified packaging material, ensuring that the wood fibre is sourced from responsibly managed forests. The availability of bio-based caps made from a non food substance derivative of sugar cane further increases the renewability of our package. Consumers can easily separate the plastic top from the sleeve with a simple thumb press, thanks to the pre-cut perforation on the outer layer of the cardboard. This is achieved without affecting the functionality of the Tetra Top package. The innovation is a response to consumers’ increasing demand for better solutions to facilitate recycling, especially where waste management infrastructure calls for it. This is a package that combines the convenience of a bottle with the contemporary look and feel of a carton package. It is suitable for chilled products and ambient still drinks – at home and on-the-go. The option of Separable Top is made available for customers at no additional cost. The package has a cap made with biobased HDPE.
Amcor Rigid Plastics, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rigid plastic packaging for food, beverage, spirits, personal/home care and healthcare industries captured a beverage award for the development of the industry’s lightest heat-set polyethylene terephthalate (PET) container, designed exclusively for a leading beverage supplier. The highly innovative 500ml bottle sets a new benchmark for heat-set PET containers, enabling manufacturers to achieve aseptic filling packaging weights without the prohibitive investment, while offering a more eco-friendly option. Amcor’s Latin America design team worked in partnership with the beverage maker to develop the new container which gives regional consumers a lighter, more functional sports bottle. The new product has been initially launched in Central America with future plans calling for distribution throughout the entire Latin America region. The company has developed a game-changing package that is highly functional, provides long-term production savings, and delivers major sustainability benefits. The new 500 ml container is claimed to be the most eco-friendly PET bottle in the market. Compared to a standard 500 ml heat-set PET container weighing about 34 grams, the new bottle is just 22 grams, or approximately 30% lighter. The material reduction increases the bottle’s recyclability and reduces the energy needed for its production, dramatically decreasing the package’s environmental footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions are cut by 26%, energy use is reduced by 23%, and water consumption is decreased by 24%. The new container also results in a 26% reduction in the amount of waste that could potentially end up in a landfill.
Hot-fill manufacturers who desire to use lightweight containers won't need to make a capital investment in aseptic filling lines in order to maintain competitive pricing. Achieving the lightweight properties which could withstand intense vacuum absorption was a big challenge. Amcor applied its VAB technology to the base and ERGO technology to the body. The VAB base is a light weighted diaphragm-like structure that aids in the cooling process by helping to absorb vacuum. The structure of the bottle had to be designed to provide both function and aesthetics when absorbing the vacuum. The company faced its biggest challenge with the light weight of the package. The new hot-fill package also offers Latin American consumers a more functional sports bottle. Previous containers have typically been more robust and rigid, making them harder to squeeze. The new bottle is ergonomically superior, since its grip has been properly engineered and designed for the consumer’s overall experience. The Amcor design offers a sleek ergonomic form with oppositional hand grips that flex under pressure. This feature, in combination with grooved finger-holds and a sports cap closure, creates a highly functional squeeze bottle that utilizes the flexibility made available by lightweighting for rapid rehydration. The new hot-fill bottle is designed to run on existing filling lines with minimal changeover. In addition to 500ml bottles, the new design will be adapted to other package sizes including 350ml, 600ml, and 1L containers.
Along with the ultra-lightweight container, Amcor and Bericap developed the industry’s lightest 33 mm tamper-evident finish/closure for hot fill, weighing in at just 3.7 grams. Amcor believes the unique finish will become a new standard for hot-fill bottles due to the 7.9 gram reduction in weight compared to the standard 38mm ALCOA. This new finish led to the creation of a Bericap closure with a built-in seal that eliminates rubber liners or induction seal foils, thus reducing overall materials use. The Bericap closure is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) instead of polypropylene (PP) like the previous caps. HDPE is more widely accepted than PP in recycle streams and the absence of any other barrier materials such as ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or paper/foil increases recyclability.
The Coca-Cola Co. unveiled a new plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based materials, but the company has yet to reveal plans for commercial production of the package. The PET bottle, an extension of Coke’s PlantBottle™ technology, is made from natural sugars derived from sugarcane plants as well as “waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process” that are converted into ingredients used for PET containers. It is an upgrade to the current PlantBottle™, which uses up to 30% plant-based materials per bottle, and accounts for 30% of the Coke’s packaging volume in North America and 7% globally. Coke describes the bottle, used for a variety of its soda, water and tea brands, as a key to its vision to develop a more responsible plant-based alternative to packaging traditionally made from fossil fuels and other non-renewable materials.” The company aims to convert all new PET plastic bottles, to PlantBottle packaging by 2020.
This packaging pushes the boundaries on sustainable innovation by using groundbreaking technology to create a fully recyclable plastic bottle made from renewable plant materials. Converting natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET plastic bottles, the packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its scarce resources.