Packaging Trends in 2018: What You Need to Know

With a new year, comes new trends, styles and consumer demands. According to Mintel’s recent report, there are several trends we can expect to see making their mark in the global packaging industry this year.

Packaging as a means to reduce global food and product waste

In 2018, there will be a new focus on packaging innovations that will extend food freshness, ensure safe delivery and preserve ingredient fortification. It’s predicted that today’s consumers will eventually become more educated about packaging’s potential to reduce global food and product waste, as they continue to see the benefits of a longer food life. Not only that, but consumers will be able to see the role packaging plays in helping to provide those in underdeveloped parts of the world the products they need. 

Repackaging  

Online shopping is becoming increasingly more popular, and packaging will begin to play a larger role in the e-commerce experience. When designing packaging to be viewed online, brands will need to consider how their packaging can provide an experience for consumers that matches and reflects an in-store experience.

Safe Packaging Disposal

Brands will have to rethink how they present the safe disposal of packaging to consumers in 2018, as consumers become better educated on the various types of packaging available. This will also come into play when they shop. Brands will need to make a renewed effort toward the circular economy to keep material packaging in use, as well as raise consumer awareness about how to keep plastic out of the sea.

Read the full article here, via Mintel

Zero Waste(land): Hanover Plant

As a company that finds great value in taking care of the environment, Ring Container Technologies is committed to its sustainability and trash reduction efforts. One facility that has made exceptional strides in this area over the past five years is our Hanover, Pennsylvania plant. Last year, 96 percent of the Hanover plant’s waste was recycled, and it has no plans of stopping there anytime soon.

“The Hanover Facility has a responsibility and obligation to ensure future generations get to see the beauty of our planet and all it has to offer,” – Joseph Bican, Hanover Plant Manager.

By definition, waste is a resource that is not safely recycled back into the environment or the marketplace. Zero waste is the elimination of byproducts from the production of finished goods, which are bound for a landfill. Each plant at Ring uses a continuous improvement approach when implementing a system or program to align with its zero-waste strategy. This allows facilities to save money, progress faster and improve material flows. Additional benefits include eliminating pollution, increasing reparability and extending product life.

The Hanover plant began making a concerted effort toward zero waste in May 2012. Since then, its strategy has been to reduce energy, waste and water consumption throughout the manufacturing and distribution process, resulting in a much more efficient, cost-effective operation. Additionally, this process conserves natural resources, which is vital to these facilities and the communities in which they operate.

The Hanover plant encourages its employees and suppliers to recycle and implement other waste-reduction strategies. For example, it will sometimes raffle off or give away old supplies and equipment to employees instead of simply throwing them in the trash. This could be anything from shelves and cabinets to computers and power tools. Additionally, it arranges for a company to pick up used machine oil that needs to be cleaned, and reuses old printer papers when possible.

A few years ago, the Hanover plant removed paper towels from all restrooms and replaced them with Dyson hand dryers. Over the years, it has also reduced its dumpster size and the number of times it gets emptied. However, trash collection efficiencies are something the plant has to constantly reevaluate as it continues to grow, both in number of employees and in production. 

While the Hanover facility is committed to reducing waste to zero by informing and educating workforce and monitoring carbon footprints, that doesn’t mean achieving zero waste is an easy process. The biggest barrier is communicating the importance of these efforts to the entire facility, especially when new employees come on board.

Denise Conrad oversees all of the Hanover plant’s zero waste, as well as its sanitation efforts, which allows her to stay informed on what’s being recycled and what isn’t.

Ensuring zero waste isn’t limited to what takes place at the Hanover facility, but what comes into the plant as well. Conrad recalls one of the plant’s vendors which had packaging that wasn’t easily recyclable. After contacting them and explaining the situation, the vendor agreed to make adjustments to the packaging so that it would be easier for the plant to recycle. Since then, Conrad has made similar suggestions to other vendors, which have turned into improving and, in some cases, initiating zero waste efforts at those companies.

As for the future, the plant hopes to maintain the work it’s doing to reduce waste to zero. This means stressing the importance of recycling, both at the facility and at home, as well as ensuring that the importance of zero waste is expressly communicated plant-wide and especially to new employees. 

Increasing the Amount of Recycled-Content in Packaging

As consumer demand for recycled plastics increases, sustainable packaging leaders look to post-consumer resin (PCR) as one of the best tools in the industry to help create a circular economy. This means companies are racing to increase recycled content in packaging.

There are already a few early adopters who have embraced PCR, such as PepsiCo and Aveda. Read on to learn about those companies and others, which aim to stimulate end markets faster.

PepsiCo

In 2015, PepsiCo increased the use of recycled PET by 4 percent to 139 million pounds. Not only that, but PepsiCo’s brands are led by Naked Juice, a company that eliminates the use of virgin PET feedstock in its bottles, helping to save 25% of the energy that’s used in normal manufacturing processes.

Aveda

85% of Aveda’s skin care and hair styling products use PET bottles or jars that are made of PCR. This personal-care products manufacturer, uses 100% PCR HDPE in packaging its new shampoo and lotion products. Thanks to Aveda’s commitment to the environment and its use of post-consumer resin, these packaging changes reduce the need of virgin resin by 600 tons every year.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation uses PCR when and where possible, as it aims to manufacture all packaging from recycled and bio-based materials by 2020. Made from 80 percent recycled HDPE, Seventh Generation launched in 2016 its innovative 100-oz laundry detergent bottle, created with 17% bio-based PE and three percent colorant.

PakTech

PCR can also be implemented into transport packaging, like reusable crates or incidental packaging components. PakTech’s 96% PCR handle for beer cans has already been adopted by many craft breweries.

Applying PCR in packaging portfolios

By 2020, with consumers increasing demand for recycled packaging, Target aims to create three new end markets for recycled materials. Not only that, but the company also focuses its efforts on replacing conventional polyester with recycled plastic in home products, accessories and owned-brand apparel.

This article was adapted from Packaging Digest

 

Identifying Your Role in Environmental Responsibility

Here at Ring Container Technologies, we’re committed to making this world a better place. Whether that’s by conserving resources and reducing our environmental footprint, or contributing volunteer support to charitable and community organizations, one of our many goals is to create a greener and more environmentally-conscious world for future generations. This is no small feat, and it all begins right here and now.

Doing Your Part in the Community

In 2015, we decided to focus our efforts on making a change in our community, and that led to our love for the Wolf River, which flows next to some of our employees’ very own homes. We partnered with Wolf River Conservancy (WRC), which helps to protect hundreds of additional wetlands in the Wolf River corridor. WRC holds the same eco-friendly values we do – to protect and enhance our environment.

We also highly encourage our employees to recycle at our various plants. We understand what an important role in the environment that we not only play as individuals, but also as a company. We focus on recycling plastic and glass, as well as maintaining zero production floor waste, and are committed to being fiscally, socially and environmentally responsible every step of the way.

You, too, can look for ways to get involved in the community where you live. There are plenty of trash pick-up days in every city that you can take part in.

Looking to make an impact somehow? Here are a few ideas:

·      Adopt a highway, river or park: This is a great way to be active and get out in your community, and it allows you to play a part in keeping your neighborhood clean.

·      Eco-friendly initiatives: Join local groups in the community that have environmentally-friendly initiatives like composting leftover food, recycling or planting trees.

·      Educate others: Your voice is more important now than ever. Talk to your children and young people about recycling, which will help create environmental awareness in other generations.

Discuss the Environment at Home

Speaking of creating awareness in younger generations… Talking openly about the importance of taking care of our Earth is one of the most important things we can do to create a greener future.

Kids learn best by example, and one of the small ways to make the biggest impact on them is to recycle in your own home. Show them photos of landfills and oceans filled with plastic waste. Let them know that our planet is constantly changing, and that by recycling, they are doing their part to take care of it. Teach them that we can recycle paper, plastic and aluminum cans in large quantities. Show them products that have been made from recycled items. The habits that you help them form now will stay with them forever.

We hope you’ll do your part, just as we strive to do ours every day. Remember to think before you buy, and think before you throw away. You were put on this Earth for a reason – now let’s take good care of it!

How consumers' desire to live a healthy lifestyle affects packaging 

Most people would probably admit that they try to live a healthy lifestyle. As our lives become busier, however, that lifestyle becomes harder to obtain. Let’s face it, meals that are quick to whip up (or pick up) aren’t always the best for us. Nowadays, consumers want food that is accessible and healthy, and something they can incorporate into their busy lifestyles.

In addition to accessibility, smaller portion sizes and packaging designs are requests made by the health-conscious consumer. They want packaging that not only stores their food, but also has a longer shelf life. Packaging companies are looking to adapt to this increase in consumer demand by testing out new technology. For example, high-pressure processing helps deliver fresh food to the consumer that not only lasts longer, but is also safer to consume.

Additionally, there is an increase in demand for sustainable and flexible packaging primarily in regions like Asia Pacific and Western Europe, due to the rise of affordability, recyclability and growth in packaged foods. Because of this, energy-efficient machines, which are better equipped to handle this type of packaging, are needed.

This article was adapted from Packaging Strategies.

 

 

 

Ring Container Technologies completes innovation project with Conagra Brands

Ring Container Technologies is proud to announce its collaboration with Conagra Brands on an aerosol-to-plastic conversion for PAM Cooking Spray, which is now available on store shelves. While the new PAM Non-Aerosol Spray bottles will not completely replace the company’s aerosol cans, it does provide another packaging option for its consumers.