Australia and NZ shine in 2020 WorldStar Packaging Special Awards

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is pleased to announce that the 2x of the Australian and New Zealand companies that were shortlisted as finalists for 2020 WorldStar Packaging Special Awards have won their categories globally. The other two ANZ finalists were awarded Silver and Bronze awards which is an incredible feat for the ANZ region.

The Gold winner of the 2020 Packaging that Saves Food Special Award is Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm & Sealed Air for Cryovac Darfresh on Tray vacuum skin technology that has been engineered to address food safety, 25% extension of shelf life over the previously used Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) format, improved on-pack communication. (Australia)

The Gold winner of the 2020 Sustainability Special Award is PACT Group for the New Zealand brand Lewis Road Creamery PCR 100% recycled PET milk bottle range. (New Zealand). The Silver winner in the same category was awarded to Woolworths Australia for replacing plastic trays with pulp based trays nationally into all stores for over 50 of their in-store bakery products. (Australia).

The Bronze winner of the 2020 WPO Presidents Award is Plantic Technologies for the Plantic RV Material that was designed for Moana seafood company to be able to supply fresh fish to the on-line meal delivery company ‘My Food Bag’. This is the first time an ANZ entry has ever won an award in this category.

Winners from across Australia and New Zealand received the highest amount of Special Awards and the third highest amount of WorldStar Packaging Awards in the world this year. This brings the ANZ total awards to 21 for the 2020 WorldStar Packaging Awards. This global recognition is a significant achievement for the Australia and New Zealand packaging industries and for the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) who have led the annual Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design (PIDA) Awards program for industry which are the exclusive feeder program for the WorldStar Packaging Awards for ANZ. The 2021 PIDA Awards program will be open for entries late 2020.

Due to the current pandemic the winners of each Special Award will receive their awards at Interpack in Duesseldorf, Germany on the 26th of February 2021

New packaging program offered by AIP

In today’s challenging packaging environment, you can’t afford to make mistakes or overlook the critical details that cost time and money. You need the knowledge – from materials properties and selection to transport packaging issues – that can help you make better decisions regarding your company’s packaging dollars.

A new course offered by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology, has course content that has been developed in consultation with packaging subject matter experts at leading global consumer packaged goods companies who face packaging challenges just like yours. Undertake the complete course and learn about all the major segments of packaging and beyond.

The AIP, in partnership with the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), are bringing the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course to Australasia as a residential course for the first time in 2020. The residential course is divided into semesters to provide maximum flexibility around your work schedule. This course is also the basis for the examination side of the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) designation; bringing you one step closer to becoming an internationally recognised CPP.

The course will be broken up into 4x two-day semesters over a 12 month period. An array of packaging topics will be covered including graphic design, market research, printing, lithography, gravure, labelling, barcoding, paperboard, folding cartons, corrugate fibreboard, box compression, supply chain and logistics, polymers, extrusion moulding, flexible packaging, thermoforming, blow moulding, injection moulding, closures, bottle design, metal cans, adhesives, containers, glass packaging, packaging machinery, filling machinery, production line equipment and more.
There are two ways of completing the course:


1. Take the entire course

Participate in the full Fundamentals of Packaging Technology residential course which will be broken up into 8x classroom days as 4x semesters over 12 months.

OR

2. Attend semesters relating to your subject-interests or knowledge gaps

Content is divided into 4x two-day Semesters with each semester focussed on specific areas of packaging. You have the choice to enrol in one semester, or as many as you wish based on your professional development needs and knowledge gaps.

The Fundamentals of Packaging Technology residential course will be broken up into 4x two-day semesters over a 12 month period.

PIDA award finalists announced

Finalists have been announced for the 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA), which has been designed to recognise companies and individuals who are making a significant difference in their field across Australia and New Zealand.

The PIDA Awards are coordinated by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and are the exclusive feeder program for the prestigious WorldStar Packaging Awards. The 2020 PIDA winners will automatically be eligible for entry into the 2021 WorldStar Packaging Awards competition.

The Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year company awards recognise organisations that have designed innovative packaging within each of these five manufacturing categories:

  1. Food
  2. Beverage
  3. Health, Beauty & Wellness
  4. Domestic & Household
  5. Labelling & Decoration

The PIDA Awards also sees finalists in a number of special awards including:

  1. Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award
  2. Accessible Packaging Design Special Award
  3. Young Packaging Professional of the Year Award

2020 Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Food Category

The Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Food Category recognises organisations that have designed innovative packaging and/or materials, within food packaging and processing including fresh, frozen or other. All entries are also judged on sustainable packaging design considerations and what packaging changes they are undertaking to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. This is a WorldStar Packaging Awards category.

Finalists are:

  • Arnott’s Cracker Chips unique split case innovation;
  • BioBag World Australia for compostable cucumber wrap;
  • Disruptive Packaging for Uniqcor for cold chain environments;
  • OF Packaging for Local Legends novelty shaped pouches;
  • Planet Protector Packaging for the Lobster Protector;
  • Platypus Print Packaging for the Youfoodz Meal Kit; and
  • Primo Foods for the Red Range Slice Pack.

2020 Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Beverage Category

The Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Beverage Category recognises organisations that have designed innovative packaging and/or materials, within packaging and processing for liquid or dry tea, coffee, water and soft drinks including wine, beer and spirits. All entries are also judged on Sustainable Packaging Design Considerations and what packaging changes they are undertaking to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. This is a WorldStar Packaging Awards category.

Finalists are:

  • Brownes Dairy for Australia’s first renewable gable top milk carton;
  • Coca-Cola Amatil for 100 per cent recyclable rPET bottles;
  • Ecolean for the Bannister Downs Dairy WA chilled pasteurised range;
  • JUST Water plant-based reusable water bottle; and
  • O-I Glass ANZ for the Millie fruit juice range.

2020 Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Health, Beauty & Wellness

The Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Health, Beauty & Wellness Category recognises organisations that have designed innovative packaging and/or materials, within cosmetics, toiletries, personal hygiene, supplements, vitamins, perfumes, hair body and oral care. This award also covers packaging of all medicines including over the counter medicines, medical equipment packaging. All entries are also judged on Sustainable Packaging Design Considerations and what packaging changes they are undertaking to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. This is a WorldStar Packaging Awards category.

Finalists are:

  • Pact Group for the New Zealand Earthwise Glow Labs brand of PCR 100 per cent rPET bottle range; and
  • Kahuku Natural refillable stainless-steel range of cleansers and liquid soaps.

2020 Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Domestic & Household

The Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Domestic & Household Category recognises organisations that have designed innovative packaging and/or materials, packaging within domestic and household items, toys, stationary, gifts, clothing, garden equipment, decorating. All entries are also judged on Sustainable Packaging Design Considerations and what packaging changes they are undertaking to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. This is a WorldStar Packaging Awards category.

Finalists are:

  • Birdstone Collective & NCI Packaging for the DuluxGroup Cabot’s Ready Bucket;
  • Birdstone Collective & Orora Cartons for the recyclable Telstra Sleeve;
  • Daisy Pool Covers &  Sealed Air, Gaprie for the P.C. Nets which are a re-usable, alternative for pallet containment
  • Outside the Box Caskets for an ecological solution to the traditional timber and MDF casket;
  • Pact Group for New Zealand’s Earthwise brand of PCR 75 per cent rHDPE household cleaning range; and
  • Sealed Air Brand Protective Packaging for the Korrvu uncompromised product protection.

2020 Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Labelling & Decoration

The Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award – Labelling & Decoration Category is designed to recognise the addition of content to a pack which creates a unique or innovative appearance, function or communication. This may include labels, sleeves, tags, coding/markings, etching, directly applied inks or by any other similar process. All entries are also judged on Sustainable Packaging Design Considerations and what packaging changes they are undertaking to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. This is a WorldStar Packaging Award Category.

Finalists are:

  • NCI Packaging & DuluxGroup for the Porter’s Paints superior crafted paint can range; and
  • UPM Raflatac & Kiwi Labels for the CUSTOM-PAK rPET Cherry Punnet with self-adhesive label, permanent adhesive that is also washable at the PET recycling plant.

2020 Accessible Packaging Design Special Award

The Accessible Packaging Design Special Award is designed to recognise packaging that is accessible, intuitive, easy-to-open and innovative. Accessible Packaging Design needs to include measuring techniques, understanding injuries caused by packaging and consumer satisfaction levels with packaging accessibility. This award is sponsored by Arthritis Australia and Arthritis New Zealand.

Finalists are:

  • Ecolean for the Bannister Downs Dairy WA chilled pasteurised range; and
  • Reckitt Benckiser for Gaviscon Dual Action Sachets.

2020 Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award

The Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award is designed to recognise companies that have developed innovative packaging or processing solutions that incorporates sustainability considerations. Elements include Social, Material, Source Reduction, Energy and Recovery. One of the winners will be awarded the custom EcodEX packaging environmental assessment valued at $10,000. Selerant will implement its acclaimed EcodEX assessment and provide the winner a reputable third-party environmental evaluation of the product package or formulation. This is a WorldStar Packaging Awards Category.

Finalists are:

  • Birdstone Collective & Orora Cartons for the recyclable Telstra Sleeve;
  • Brownes Dairy for Australia’s first renewable gable top milk carton;
  • Coca-Cola Amatil for the 100 per cent recyclable post-consumer recycled rPET bottles;
  • ecostore Ltd for New Zealand’s first 100 per cent Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) limited edition hand wash;
  • Nestlé Australia Ltd for the KITKAT Chocolatory recyclable e-commerce solution;
  • Omni Group for the PerformX 100 per cent recyclable stretch wrap;
  • ORORA Fibre Packaging for the recyclable moulded paper inserts;
  • Pact Group for New Zealand’s Earthwise brand of PCR 75 per cent rHDPE household cleaning range;
  • Planet Protector Packaging for the Lobster Protector;
  • Planet Protector Packaging for the home compostable mailer pouch;
  • Sealed Air Brand Protective Packaging for the TempGuard kerbside recyclable packaging for pre-packaged, temperature sensitive good; and
  • UPM Raflatac & Kiwi Labels for the CUSTOM-PAK rPET Cherry Punnet with self-adhesive label, permanent adhesive that is also washable at the PET recycling plant.

2020 Young Packaging Professional of the Year Award

The purpose of the Young Packaging Professional of the Year Award is to provide incentive and recognition to young professionals who are both currently working in and wish to continue their career path within the Packaging industry.

Finalists are:

  • Alison Appleby, member resource and program coordinator, APCO;
  • Christopher Moffatt AAIP, quality control coordinator and product developer, Caspak Products; and
  • Kelly Wade, scientist, Scion (New Zealand).

The 2020 Australasian PIDA winners will be formally announced virtually in April.

The AIP acknowledges the following sponsors: Platinum – APCO, Viscotec and Wellman Packaging, Silver – Auspouch, Metalprint, Mosca, Platypus Print Packaging, Verix and Westrock, Bronze – Bio-lutions, Caps and Closures, Cemac, JL Lennard, KHS, Konica Minolta, OF Packaging, Planet Protector, Sealed Air, Taghleef Industries, TetraPak, Vanden Recycling, Zipform Packaging, Esko, Supporters – Aeson Material and Ecolean.

AIP members to access sustainability in packaging webinar for free

As part of the partnership with the IoPP all AIP Members will have access to a ‘Sustainability in Packaging: Global Knowledge, Local Solutions’ webinar on the 16th of April for free.

Questions about how to address sustainability continue to arise more frequently for brands, particularly when it comes to finding the most sustainable packaging solutions. But the answers are not often clear cut or ‘one size fits all’ as they’re impacted by localised concerns such as consumer behaviour, government regulations, and retailer guidelines. Sustainability challenges are global in nature, and thereby require brands to apply global knowledge and expertise as a method of creating localised solutions.

SGK Business Development Director, Stephen ‘Marshy’ Marshman and Anthem Brand Design Director, Marcel Verhaaf will explore how packaging professionals can address sustainable packaging challenges by applying a global perspective to local solutions.

Presenters:
Stephen Marshman
Business development director
SGK

Stephen has over twenty years’ experience in branding and graphics, having begun his career with SGK in 1997. Today he works as a Business Development Director, focused on helping large organisations implement best practice processes for the development of optimised packaging and branded content. Specialising in artwork and pre-press for packaging and with a proven track record of helping clients optimise their marketing supply chains he has extensive experience of both the Consumer Packaged Goods and Life Sciences sectors. Today, as part of the wider SGK team, he is involved in a number of initiatives focused on bringing sustainable solutions to SGKs clients.

Marcel Verhaaf
Creative director
Anthem

Marcel Verhaaf holds the creative responsibility for the offices in Amsterdam and Brussels. He joined Anthem three years ago after managing his own companies for 15 years. For over 30 years he has been involved in all aspects of brand design and packaging of local and international brands from Unilever, Nestle, Heineken, Danone, Pladis, Ahold, Akzo, Douwe Egberts, Pepsico, Pernod Ricard and Friesland Campina. His creative work has been awarded many times at Pentawards, The Dieline, Red Dot and the Dutch ADCN and he is one of the most awarded packaging designers of the Netherlands. Marcel graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Ddegree in 2D and 3D design.

Due to the different time zones it would be difficult for AIP Members to attend the live webinar. All AIP Members to email info@aipack.com.au before the 10th of April to register to view the rebroadcast. The AIP will arrange your FREE access to the rebroadcast of this IoPP webinar – a USD $99 saving and special benefit of your AIP members

Accessible packaging design is the key to helping consumers

How many times have we all grabbed a knife to open a pack of food, spilt it across the kitchen because the pack was too hard to open, been unable to read the text on the pack (even with glasses on) and then vowed to never buy that brand again? Now imagine if you were part of the ageing population, hospitalised, a consumer with a disability, an arthritis sufferer or a child.

All too often, accessible packaging is not considered when designing products, which in turn leads to unnecessary frustration when opening and closing packs, reading the ingredients and opening instructions on packaging. It is important that packaging technologists consider how their packaging design could affect someone’s ability to eat, drink and the flow on of wasting food.

Research from Arthritis Australia in 2018 shows that:
• All consumers struggle with packaging, but the growing ageing population, consumers with disabilities, arthritis sufferers and children are impacted the most.
• 44 per cent of consumers struggle with packaging every day.
• 92 per cent of consumers have spilt or damaged a product when trying to open the packaging.
• When consumers experience hard-to-open packaging:
o 56 per cent look for the product but in a different type of packaging.
o 21 per cent look at buying a competitor’s product.
• 65 per cent of consumers have had to wait for someone to come and open packaging for them.
• 1-in-2 Australians have injured themselves opening packaging – including deep cuts and chipped teeth.
• 89 per cent of consumers are currently feeling frustrated or furious with packaging.
• 67,000 people in the UK visited hospitals’ casualty departments every year due to an accident involving food and drink packaging.
So, I ask you do you consider accessible design and ease of use critical design elements on your packaging? Are your packaging technologists using available resources and training to better understand the needs of this consumer market?

Step one: accessibility packaging design guidelines
If you aren’t using the Accessibility Packaging Design Guidelines developed by Arthritis Australia, in conjunction with Brad Fain from Georgia Tech Research Institute, and available in New Zealand through a partnership with Arthritis New Zealand, then you could already be losing customers whose abilities are not being considered and their needs are not being met.

Key guidelines include that packaging must be easy to open and use for those with limited functional abilities, packaging labelling must be highly legible, and packaging shall be fit-for-purpose and must be able to demonstrate accessibility.

Step two: accessible packaging design training
The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), in conjunction with Arthritis Australia and Georgia Tech Research Institute, have developed a one-day training course on accessible packaging design. The course allows attendees to become aware of the required design requirements and understanding the ease-of-use packaging design tools, which include examples from around the world. It also provides information on changing household demographics, meal preparation requirements and case studies from users.

Attendees will learn measuring techniques, injuries caused by packaging and current consumer satisfaction levels with packaging accessibility. The course offers an activities-based approach, hands-on team exercises letting participants understand the constraints on current packaging designs for people with disabilities, arthritis sufferers, children and the ageing population. This includes the testing with simulation gloves that have been developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute in the US and reading glasses from a UK researcher. Attendees will leave the course with a different approach to packaging design; an approach that includes all sectors of our community.

Step three: recognition of innovative accessible packaging design
The AIP, in conjunction with Arthritis Australia and New Zealand, has developed a new Accessible Packaging Design Award that is designed to recognise packaging that is accessible, intuitive, easy-to-open and innovative. The judges are looking for accessible packaging design, which includes measuring techniques, understanding injuries caused by packaging and consumer satisfaction levels with packaging accessibility. The inaugural award winners were announced as a part of the Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA), which are run by the AIP and are designed for Australia and New Zealand.

Finalists for 2019 were SPC Ardmona, Flavour Creations, Moana New Zealand & Sealed Air for Cryovac Grip and Tear and Campbell Arnott’s. All four finalists deserve to be recognised for incorporating accessible packaging design into their ranges and it is inspiring to see some of the innovations that they have been working on.

The 2019 Gold Award went to SPC Ardmona. They developed their SPC ProVital Easy-Open Diced Fruit in Jelly range that is designed for all consumers to open, including those with reduced fine motor skills. It has dexterity and strength, and on-pack communication is clear, crisp and legible for all. This design achieved easy-to-open certification as well as an ISR +8 Accessibility Rating (i.e. the product is universally easy to open, with 95 per cent of the population able to open the pack without tools).

The 2019 Silver Award went to Flavour Creations who developed its pre-thickened Ready-to-drink (RTD) packaged in the new dysphagia Cup and Cup Holder that were designed to specifically increase rates of hydration and decrease rates of malnutrition for residents/patients with dysphagia. Along with the reusable holder and plastic over seal, the snap fitting portion control cup has a large overhanging tab that is textured and clear ‘peel back’ wording to make it obvious to the consumer how to open the product.

A Special Commendation went to Moana New Zealand & Sealed Air for Cryovac Grip and Tear (including ‘small tab’), which was designed to foster ease of use to packaged meat, poultry, and seafood products for processing, food service and retail markets. This accessible packaging design enables convenient product access using a packaging design that is simple and intuitive for consumers to use (irrespective of their age or functional abilities). Previously, these difficult to open items required opening tools, which could easily cause injuries. The grip-and-tear feature means the packs can now be opened by a simple hand action.

Sealed Air have undertaken design innovation in the development of the grip-and-tear feature to meet both the food handling and food protection requirements for the range of products proposed for the packaging format.

Accessible packaging design that is intuitive, easy-to-open and innovative should be an integral part of your packaging and we encourage you to integrate this critical element into your future NPD processes. Imagine the difference you could make.

2020 AIP Australasian packaging conference program released

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) released their provisional program today for the biennial 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference which will cover a broad range of topics relating to the theme Packaging: Fit for the Future and include 60 speakers from nine countries across two days. The event will be held on the 1 and 2 April at the Crown Promenade in Melbourne.

The packaging industry is facing many challenges at the moment with global plastic pollution and recycling issues and transformational changes to value and supply chain models, resulting in negative government and consumer perceptions. These challenges are requiring packaging companies, manufacturers and retailers to re-think their approaches and undertake strategic changes to address the challenges of meeting global and domestic Sustainable Packaging, 2025 National Packaging Targets, transform supply chains; all the while having clear parameters for driving the 4Rs.

Now more than ever is the time to collaborate, share ideas, success stories, discuss the challenges and journeys the industry is facing openly and what we can do collectively to work towards the same targets.

Keynote speakers will include Pete Ceglinski, CEO & co-founder, Seabin Project, Martin Orzinski, director operations, Coca-Cola Amatil, Siobhan McCrory, executive general manager, marketing  and innovation, Pact Group, Jaideep Gokhale, cluster leader for sustainability, TetraPak, Nicole Ohm, senior marketing manager, Brownes Dairy, Jean Baillard, General Manager, TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand, Barry Cosier, director, sustainability, Australian Food & Grocery Council and Brooke Donnelly, chief executive officer, APCO and more.

To see the program and to book your place today to secure the early bird rate follow the link below. All of industry is invited to attend.

2020 Packaging Innovation & Design Awards – 1 April

As a part of the 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) will be announcing the winners of the 2020 Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA). The PIDA Awards are designed to recognise companies and individuals who are making a significant difference in their field in Australia and New Zealand.

The Design Innovation of the Year company awards will recognise organisations that have designed innovative packaging materials within each of these five manufacturing categories:

  1. Food
  2. Beverage
  3. Health, Beauty and Wellness
  4. Domestic and Household
  5. Labelling and Decoration

There will be three special awards available:

  1. Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award
  2. Save Food Packaging Design Special Award
  3. Accessible Packaging Design Special Award

In addition, there are three awards designed for people who have made specific contributions to the packaging industry.

These Individual Awards will include:

  1. Young Packaging Professional of the Year
  2. Industry Packaging Professional of the Year
  3. Packaging New Zealand Scholarship

To register, click here.

 

Provisional programme released for AIP Conference

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) released their provisional program today for the biennial 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference which will cover a broad range of topics relating to the theme PACKAGING: FIT FOR THE FUTURE and include 60 speakers from nine countries across two days. The event will be held on the 1 and 2 April at the Crown Promenade in Melbourne.

The packaging industry is facing many challenges at the moment with global plastic pollution and recycling issues and transformational changes to value and supply chain models, resulting in negative government and consumer perceptions. These challenges are requiring packaging companies, manufacturers and retailers to re-think their approaches and undertake strategic changes to address the challenges of meeting global and domestic Sustainable Packaging, 2025 National Packaging Targets, transform supply chains; all the while having clear parameters for driving the 4R’s.

Now more than ever is the time to collaborate, share ideas, success stories, discuss the challenges and journeys the industry is facing openly and what we can do collectively to work towards the same targets.

Keynote speakers will include Pete Ceglinski, CEO & co-founder, Seabin Project, Martin Orzinski, director operations, Coca-Cola Amatil, Siobhan McCrory, executive general manager, marketing and innovation, Pact Group, Jaideep Gokhale, cluster leader for sustainability, TetraPak, Nicole Ohm, senior marketing manager, Brownes Dairy, Jean Baillard, general manager, TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand, Barry Cosier, director, sustainability, Australian Food & Grocery Council and Brooke Donnelly, chief executive officer, APCO and more.

To see the program and to book your place today to secure the early bird rate click here. All of industry is invited to attend.

 

 

Defining compostable and biodegradable packaging

Packaging is under the spotlight, and rightly so as we progress towards achieving Australian National Packaging Targets, whereby all packaging, by 2025 should be recyclable, reusable or compostable.

So let’s have a closer look at what is meant by compostable, why it is so often confused with biodegradable and, in a packaging context, what does the consumer do with the empty package?

For compostable packaging to be utilised to its full potential, what needs to change in our waste collection steams? Now that renewable packaging is starting to gain momentum, what does bio-based add to the supply chain and why are bio-based raw materials not necessarily biodegradable?

What is compostable?
Although not many consumers have access to one, we are familiar with compost heaps. The composting process allows us to dispose of leftover foods for example to decompose and creates fertiliser for your soil. When it comes to compostable packaging however, we need to understand that backyard composts have a completely different set of physical conditions than industrial composting facilities – an important distinction.

Industrial composting can cope with a wider range of compostable products as it involves pre-processing – where materials are ground and chipped down into smaller pieces, and in addition, industrial composting provides the higher temperatures needed for more efficient break down. Home composting takes place at much lower temperatures and over an extended time frame, which can typically go up to a year, compared to a matter of weeks for industrial composting.

Compostable packaging will likely not break down in a landfill, as they lack the right conditions, especially in a modern landfill where there will be no oxygen. The only desirable waste stream for compostable packaging is an industrial compost facility.

And while not currently available in all regions of Australia, industrial composting facilities are becoming increasingly widespread with many more councils and private companies providing bins, where food scraps and garden waste can be disposed of together.

However, with a significant amount of education required to advise consumers about what can go into such bins, many council schemes do not permit packaging of any type, in case it results in a negative impact due to the wrong packaging ending up at an industrial composting facility. As the volumes of compostable packaging on the market are relatively small, the impetus to study its compatibility with council schemes is low.

What is Biodegradable?
Everything will degrade over time, but true biodegradation occurs through a biochemical process, with the aid of enzymes produced by naturally occurring microorganisms, both in the presence and absence of oxygen i.e. aerobic or anaerobic, without leaving behind any toxins, yielding only carbon dioxide, water and humus or biomass. Biodegradation is just a natural process taking its course and breaking down materials to their component parts.

Biodegradable packaging can be derived from several sources, including renewable sources – like paper or bioplastics, as well as petroleum-based plastics, which are specifically engineered, to decompose in the natural environment, which is significant at the end of life. A biodegradable plastic will be considered a contaminant in the plastics recycling stream, as on being exposed to moisture and appropriate microorganisms, the biodegradation process will commence.

So, we are clear on what is compostable and what is biodegradable, subtle but important differences when it comes to disposing of the package in the right waste stream. Now let’s not allow ‘bio-based’ to add any confusion. A package derived from a ‘bio’ source, can be designed to be compostable or biodegradable, however it is equally possible that it is not – meaning the package can be disposed of with like-packaging in a recycling stream for example.

Many different renewable ‘bio-based’ ingredients are now used as packaging inputs. Some enable compostable and biodegradable packages, whereas others produce packaging that is identical to that from fossil-based sources hence, the bio-based packaging can be recycled with like polymers. Examples are bio-polyethylene and polypropylene derived from plant based renewable feed stocks, that have properties that cannot be distinguished by the equivalent polymers derived from petrochemicals. The following summarises the two sources of plastic – fossil based and renewable, with their corresponding four attributes:

All these packaging formats are desirable – as long as the consumer has the right information and the right facilities for proper disposal. Currently whilst there are standards and guidelines from organisations such as the Australian Industrial Composting Standard (AS4736) and the Australian Organics Recycling Association, there is no universally recognised symbol for labelling consumer packaging. With the uptake of the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), this problem could be addressed down the track.

Compostable and biodegradable packaging comes into its own where it enables food waste to be captured in the organics waste sector and this is predominantly at public events where the inputs to the waste stream can be controlled. This is likely to be the area in which we see the most growth in compostable and biodegradable packaging and provided that growth mirrors the capacity of the organics collections to handle it, that’s a positive outcome on all fronts.

 

  Biodegradable Non-biodegradable
Fossil Based Some fossil-based plastics, whilst not common in packaging, are biodegradable.  Examples are polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT) and Polycaprolactone (PCL) Conventional Plastics like HDPE, PP and PET are derived from fossil sources and whilst not biodegradable, they are recyclable.
Bio-based Polylactic Acid (PLA) is an example of a Bioplastic which made from renewable sources. It is also biodegradable. Plastics like PE, PP and PET can also be derived from renewable sources and hence are known as Bioplastics. This does not mean that they are biodegradable. However, they are recyclable with conventional plastics

AIP offers the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology Residential Program

In today’s challenging packaging environment, you can’t afford to make mistakes or overlook the critical details that cost precious time and money. You need the knowledge—from materials properties and selection to transport packaging issues—that can help you make better decisions regarding your company’s packaging dollars—now.

The Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course content is developed in consultation with packaging subject matter experts at leading global consumer packaged goods companies who face packaging challenges just like yours. Undertake the complete course and learn about all the major segments of packaging—and beyond.

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), in partnership with the IoPP, are bringing the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course to Australasia as a residential course for the first time in 2020. The residential course is divided into semesters to provide maximum flexibility around your work schedule. This course is also the basis for the examination side of the Certified Packaging Professional Designation; bringing you one step closer to becoming an internationally recognised CPP.

Take the entire course
Participate in the full Fundamentals of Packaging Technology residential course which will be broken up into 8x classroom days

as 4x semesters over 12 months.

OR

Attend Semesters relating to your subject-interests or knowledge gaps
Content is divided into 4x Two-Day Semesters with each semester focussed on specific areas of packaging. You have the choice

to enrol in one semester, or as many as you wish based on your professional development needs & knowledge gaps.

The Fundamentals of Packaging Technology Residential course will be broken up into 4x Two-Day Semesters over a 12 month period. An extensive array of packaging topics will be covered including graphic design, market research, printing, lithography, gravure, labelling, barcoding, paperboard, folding cartons, corrugate fibreboard, box compression, supply chain and logistics, polymers, extrusion moulding, flexible packaging, thermoforming, blow moulding, injection moulding, closures, bottle design, metal cans, adhesives, containers, glass packaging, packaging machinery, filling machinery, production line equipment and more.

Fundamentals of Packaging Technology Residential Course
Semester One
Day One – 29 April
Day Two 30 April
Viewpoint, St Kilda, Melbourne

Fundamentals of Packaging Technology Residential Course
Semester Two
Day One – 22 July
Day Two – 23 July

Fundamentals of Packaging Technology Residential Course
Semester Three
Day One –16 September
Day Two – 17 September

Fundamentals of Packaging Technology Residential Course
Semester Four
Day One – 18 November
Day Two – 19 November

Four ANZ entries tipped for Special World Star Packaging Awards

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is pleased to announce that 4x Australian and New Zealand companies have been shortlisted as finalists for 3x of the WorldStar Packaging Special Awards, which are run by the World Packaging Organisation.

What makes this recognition even more meaningful is that no ANZ packaging innovation has ever been recognised or shortlisted in the President’s Award and two of the three finalists in the Sustainability Award are also PIDA 2019 Award winners.

ANZ finalist for the President’s Award is Plantic RV Skin Packaging Materials (PlanticTechnologies, Aust)

ANZ finalists for the Sustainability Award are Woolworths Bakery Plant Fibre Tray (Woolworths, Australia) and LewisRoad 100 per cent rPET Milk Bottle (#Pact, NZ)

ANZ finalist for Packaging that Saves Food Award is Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm and Sealed Air for Cryovac Darfresh on Tray (SealedAir, Aust)

The winners of each Special Award will be announced during the 2020 WorldStar Packaging Awards at Interpack in Duesseldorf, Germany on the 8th of May.

Winners from ANZ also received the third highest amount of WorldStar Packaging Awards in total in the world behind Japan and China. This brings the ANZ total awards to 17 for the 2020 WorldStar Packaging Awards

Deadline for PIDA Awards announced

Entries are now open for the 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards for Australia and New Zealand. The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), in conjunction with Packaging New Zealand, have designed the Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA) to recognise companies and individuals who are making a significant difference in their field in Australia and New Zealand. The PIDA Awards are the exclusive award program for all Australia and New Zealand entries into the prestigious WorldStar Packaging Awards, which are coordinated by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO).

2020 PIDA categories include:

  • Design Innovation of the Year: Food
  • Design Innovation of the Year: Beverage
  • Design Innovation of the Year: Health, Beauty & Wellness
  • Design Innovation of the Year: Domestic & Household
  • Design Innovation of the Year: Labelling & Decoration
  • Sustainable Packaging Special Award
  • Save Food Packaging Design Special Award
  • Accessible Packaging Design Special Award
  • Young Packaging Professional of the Year
  • Industry Packaging Professional of the Year
  • Packaging New Zealand Scholarship

Click here to down load entry forms.

Packaging initiatives designed to reduce food waste

The scale of food waste globally is epic. It is a huge amount of waste. It is probably one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. Not only because of the food waste itself, but the resources and the cost of that waste. Not only the food that people don’t use and consume, but all the resources wasted going into producing that food.”

Thus said Sealed Air’s sustainability director Alan Adams. He was speaking on the Food Waste Stage at the Australian Waste and Recycling Expo in a session titled The Role of Packaging in Minimising Food Waste. Emceed by FIAL’s manager of food sustainability, Sam Oakden, Adams was joined by the Australian Institute of Packaging’s (AIP) executive director, Nerida Kelton, as well as Mark Barthel, who acts as a special advisor to the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

Being a plastics packaging specialist, Adams knows that Sealed Air and other companies that use the multi-purpose product are fighting an uphill battle with regard to public perceptions of packaging. Not just plastic, but any type of packaging that is not seen as being biodegradable (at a minimum) or compostable. However, as his title suggests, he, along with the other panellists, champion sustainability.

It is no longer in anybody’s interest to have what can best be described as a laissez faire attitude towards packaging.

For some time now, industry bodies such as the AIP have been pushing for designers to produce smarter and more environmentally friendly packaging. And it’s beginning to pay off. But Adams still belts out statistics that show there is still a long way to go.

“Food that is wasted consumes up to 25 per cent of the world’s potable water,” said Adams. “That’s the environmental cost. Alongside that, the decomposing food we don’t eat generates greenhouse gases, another significant environmental challenge. Then there are the costs including the social cost.

“Every country around the world has some people with food insecurity. It’s criminal that we waste so much food.”

To encourage packaging designers to put their ideas out there, and at the behest of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO), the AIP created the Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA).

The awards, which are now in their sixth year, not only reward those designers who think outside the square, but have a more practical purpose – making sure that any ideas that contribute to sustainability and the reduction of food waste become part of the mainstream.

And it’s not just about extending shelf life – although that certainly adds to a reduction in food waste – but other criteria also need to be considered.

A more recent example is how packaging affects people with disabilities.

“If you look at the Arcadis baseline report this year, we have quite high losses in food waste in hospitals and aged care facilities,” said Kelton.

“Anybody designing packaging in Australia and New Zealand has a responsibility to consider this. What we can do to craft better and intuitive designs that can minimise food waste for people who have difficulty opening a package? It is not only the ageing population that has issues with difficult-to-open packaging; it is also people with disabilities, arthritis sufferers and even children. People can’t grip, open or close the product, which can be a huge issue.”

Having spent quite a bit of time in the UK recently, Barthel had some interesting insights into that market – some of which he wishes he could implement here. He worked in a behavioural interventions lab in the UK whereby they spoke to businesses and consumers about some of the challenges around food waste and came up with interesting ideas on how to reduce it.

“For example, with a standard size loaf of bread, we were finding that, more often than not, the last quarter of the loaf was ending up as waste,” said Barthel. “We worked with a couple of bakery companies and tested some visual cues. By the time a consumer got to the last part of the loaf, there was message on the packaging that said ‘freeze me, and toast me later’.

“It was mapping into a clear visual clue. It’s normalising behaviour – in this case freezing bread to store it properly so you don’t waste it.

“It is really a neat piece of behavioural intervention. It’s a combination of understanding behavioural science and how you communicate that science to consumers, and the language, and using visual cues that they will get.”

Adams also came up with an example of the avocado, which made up part of entry in the Save Food Packaging Design Special Award in the PIDAs. One company had packaged avocados in such a way that the shelf life was extended markedly.

“Extending the shelf life of a product should be an obvious thing to do to reduce food waste,” he said. “It gives us more time to consume the product, more time to buy it, more time to enjoy it.

“What this company did was effectively make a guacamole product that had a shelf life of 90 days. An unseen win for this, was that when adding more shelf life, they also increased the processing window of the avocado industry. This enabled the industry to create products they can sell, therefore increasing the amount of harvest it utilised,” Adams said.
A lot of food that is produced, particularly in fresh produce, doesn’t even get off the farm, according to Adams. It doesn’t get sold or a chance to be eaten. Some packaging strategies can enable solutions that can help consumers use a larger slice of harvest.

Kelton also outlined how criteria for the Save Food Packaging Design special awards are evolving, with food waste playing an important part when a product is being considered for an award.

Measures include its resealability, openability, portion control, consumer convenience, extension of shelf life and barrier, recyclability, as well as smart and intelligent packaging and more.

“One of the most discussed criteria at the moment is; how do we meet the 2025 National Packaging targets , offer small portions, and provide consumer convenience?” said Kelton.
“That is where we hope the Save Food Packaging CRC project, led by the AIP, will engage with surveys, research, PhDs etc, as part of a project to better understand how it works and come up with really smart and intuitive design ideas that we can start implementing.”

Another topic covered during the session was that of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), which all three panellists agreed, that while laborious, are important in the designing process. While LCAs are not mandatory, the amount of information that can be garnered from doing one can be invaluable to both the designer and the customer.

“When it comes to LCAs, very few companies that I come across and I work with have a defined sustainable packaging strategy,” said Adams. “And if you don’t know where you are going, LCAs can be a waste of time, or potentially give the wrong result. I think it is incumbent on all of us to figure out what our objective is for the environment.”

“Optimisation, recycled content, functionality, shelf life extension – all of these things are important when it comes to designing packaging,” said Barthel. “An LCA is a really good way of underpinning that, although in saying that, I would be happy if I never had to do another LCA study in my entire life because they are so detailed. But, they have to be.”

“For the institute, LCAs are really important for all packaging designers and packaging specialists to do,” said Kelton.

“If you are not doing LCAs at the moment, you are going to miss out. How you are going to help customers? Because if you can find what the true impacts are across your value chain, then you can communicate that.

“It’s really important to the tell the customer what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you are extending the shelf life of meat because you are using vacuum packaging, tell them.”

One thing all three agreed on – and has been a theme being pushed by the AIP especially over the past 12 months – is that processors and manufacturers have to do a better job of selling packaging to consumers. A lot of the time it is seen as the “bad boy” of the supermarket shelf space, when in fact most companies are doing their utmost to not only reduce the amount of packaging they use, but also trying to extend the life of on-the-shelf products. Barthel put it succinctly when he summed up the packaging versus food waste conundrum.

Barthel has the last word on where food waste stands in the pecking order of having an effect on greenhouse gas production in the UK, but whose numbers can be easily transposed to Australia, too.

“The latest WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Plan) estimates that the total carbon footprint of food and drink consumed in the UK is 130 million tonnes CO2 eq per year,” he said.

“This is approximately equivalent (eq) to a fifth of UK territorial emissions, or two tonnes of CO2 eq per person per year.

“Excluding emissions from wasted items, the average impact of a tonne of food and drink purchased is 3.4 tonnes CO2 eq, rising to 3.8 tonnes of CO2 eq per tonne of food alone.”

Call for speakers at 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is currently at the planning stage of the 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference that will be held at Crown Promenade on 1 & 2 April. The 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards  (PIDA) and the Women in Packaging Breakfast Forum will also be held as a part of the largest industry-led technical packaging conference in Australia and New Zealand.

Following over two decades of highly successful technical conferences, the 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference will be designed to deliver a two-day educational program that will cover a broad range of topics relating to the theme Packaging: Fit for the Future.

The packaging industry is facing many challenges at the moment with global plastic pollution and recycling issues and transformational changes to value and supply chain models, resulting in negative government and consumer perceptions. These challenges are requiring packaging companies, manufacturers and retailers to re-think their approaches and undertake strategic changes to address the challenges of meeting global and domestic Sustainable Packaging, 2025 National Packaging Targets, transform supply chains; all the while having clear parameters for driving the 4Rs.

The packaging industry globally is looking towards true circular value chains and ensuring that recyclability of packaging, recycled content, reducing packaging wherever possible, replacing problematic materials, designing with new materials, looking at how packaging can be reused and developing closed looped programs are the new normal for packaging design.

The additional challenge of ‘Halving Food Waste going to Landfill by 2030’ is also another target that Food Manufacturers need to recognise and designing Save Food Packaging is a challenge that packaging technologists and designers need to start incorporating into all product development. Packaging Design is also changing with new intuitive and innovative packaging being introduced every day. Now more than ever is the time to collaborate, share ideas and success stories, discuss the challenges and journeys the industry is facing openly and what we can do collectively to work towards the same targets.

The 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference Packaging: Fit for the Future will attract delegates from all facets of food, beverage, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and packaging industries including packaging technologists, designers and engineers, sustainability managers, marketing, sales, production, design agencies to equipment suppliers, raw material providers, users of packaging, retailers and consumers, environmental managers, procurement, quality teams, government & councils and waste & recycling companies.

If you would like to submit a paper for consideration for the 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference then email info@aipack.com.au requesting a Call for Speakers application form and list of recommended topics to suit the audience and the event.

Why the food packaging industry needs to sell itself better

Keith Chessell is a packaging evangelist. Being in the industry for the best part of 50 years, he was there at the beginning when consumers and manufacturers alike knew that packaging sustainability was going to be an issue going forward for many industries, including food and beverage. He was there when the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign was launched and knows that the image of the packaging industry isn’t what it could be.

As well as being a consultant at Sustainable Packaging Design, Chessell is also heavily involved with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) – you could say that packaging and all its issues are in his blood.

Generically, packaging doesn’t have the greatest of reputations among consumers these days. At best, it’s seen as a necessity to transport products from the factory to the retail outlet, while others at the other end of the spectrum see it as an unnecessary pollutant that chokes our waterways, oceans, parks and other recreation areas.

Being in an industry for five decades gives Chessell a unique insight into the issues, not just on what they are now, but how far the industry has come. And while he’s not about to sell packaging as a brilliant accessory to human endeavours, he said that the industry itself needs to do a better job of informing the public of its true role in the wider scheme of things.

At a recent SAI Global Food Safety conference held in Sydney, Chessell outlined some of the issues facing the packaging industry. One of the key discussions at the moment is in the area of reducing packaging. For example, Chessell compares opening up some toys to that of unpacking a piece of IKEA kit. While some may nod in agreement, a large number of companies have spent years reducing the amount of packaging in a product – not that the public would know.

“The focus from many in industry over the past 20 years has been on removing and reducing packaging where possible,” said Chessell.

“ Some companies are now at the stage where they have reduced everything they can. I can remember eight years ago saying, ‘I can’t take any more out of my packaging with my products’. If the boss wants me to save another $2 million, I’ll start having other issues, such as maintaining the integrity of the packaging.”

Chessell also pointed out that most companies now do not want to overpack a product because it is becoming economically unviable to do so. This is where it is necessary to start educating people on the why. He cites the examples of cucumbers and bananas that have plastic packaging.

“Why are some cucumber wrapped in plastic? I know the answer, but most people don’t. Why not put a sign above that cucumber saying, ‘We’re doing this because it extends the shelf life of this cucumber’. It’s the same with wrapped small bananas. People ask ‘why?’ Well, it protects the fruit, stops it from bruising and is designed to reduce food wastage and spoilage.”

However, lauding the innovations that packaging can sometimes have unintended, negative consequences. He talks about a recent entrant into the AIP’s Packaging Innovation and Design (PIDA) awards.

“One of the companies that entered this year’s awards was a fish company with a fabulous innovative pack that extended the shelf life by 15 days,” he said. “But the company chose to not communicate this significant benefit to the consumers on-pack as they did not want a perception that their fish wasn’t fresh. For this company by promoting the extension of shelf life to the customer potentially offered a negative connotation.”

And it’s when Chessell starts throwing out stats on food waste that you begin to appreciate his frustration at how packaging is undersold. Globally, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion.

According to the National Food Waste Baseline Executive Summary, Australia generates about 7.3 million tonnes of food waste annually. Of that, 1.2 million tonnes is recycled, 2.9 million tonnes is recovered, while the remaining 3.2 million tonnes is disposed of at landfills. Households contribution is 34.3 per cent and primary production 31.3 per cent, while manufacturing comes in at third with 24 per cent. With figures like that, it is no wonder Chessell is passionate about reducing food waste.

“Unfortunately, many consumers see all packaging as a negative. They don’t see any useful purpose for it and don’t understand the true role of packaging. I believe we can change that if we start to communicate better to customers about why we use certain types of packaging. They might then understand there are other benefits of packaging if we start to put more information on our packaging.”

Are there other answers? How can food and beverage companies sell the role of packaging in the food chain to the public? How do we better communicate that packaging plays a huge role long before the pack needs throwing away once the food has been extracted? There are several things, according to Chessell, and it’s all about education, education and education.

Packaging’s main role is to contain and protect goods and keep them in perfect condition until they are consumed. It also carries important information on the label that gives insights into the ingredients. Adding the Australasian Recycling Label on-pack to communicate the true recyclability of the pack is also important.

The final part of the jigsaw is the on-pack communication, that allows the manufacturer to expound the virtues and benefits their food or beverage encompasses. These criteria need to be explained loudly and often, said Chessell. Getting the public educated is one way of reducing stigmas surrounding packaging, and Chessell points out the AIP itself is taking the initiative by developing a set of Save Food packaging design criteria for reducing food waste for the industry. This criteria includes improved barrier packaging and processing; retaining nutrition; active and intelligent packaging; utilising skin (vacuum), MAP and EMAP packaging formats; portion control packaging; easy opening/resealable packaging; and controlled dispensing, which will mean all the product will be consumed as opposed to leftover product being thrown out (i.e. sauce bottles etc).

Chessell believes that the AIP has started the conversation and he wants it to continue.
“Packaging is a difficult topic these days and the important question we need to ask is, ‘What is the consumer’s view on packaging and how can we help change the perception so that they start to understand that intuitive packaging can actually help minimise and prevent food waste?”

This is something the AIP and Chessell are well on the way to doing.

The role that resealable packaging plays in minimising food waste

With Australia producing 7.3 million tonnes of food waste across the supply and consumption chain, and a Federal Government National Food Waste Strategy to halve food waste that goes to landfill by 2030, now is the time for packaging technologists to review pack designs that could minimise food waste and losses.

According to the National Food Waste Baseline, which was launched earlier this year, in 2016-17 (the base year) 2.5 million tonnes of food waste (34 per cent) was created in our homes, 2.3 million tonnes (31 per cent) in primary production and 1.8 million tonnes (25 per cent) in the manufacturing sector. Australians recycled 1.2 million tonnes of food waste, recovered 2.9 million tonnes through alternative uses for food waste and disposed of 3.2 million tonnes.

So what role does packaging play in preventing and or minimising food waste? The primary purpose of packaging is to contain, protect, preserve, promote and communicate, handle and transport and provide convenience for a product – all the while ensuring the safe delivery of food to the consumer. Without adequate packaging design features, and fit-for-purpose packaging, food can be wasted all the way through the supply chain to the consumer. By modifying packaging designs and ensuring that Save Food Packaging guidelines are followed, food waste and loss can be minimised.

READ MORE: AIP education director appointed Professor Sichuan Unveristy

As a core participant of the newly-established Fight Food Waste CRC, the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has been working on producing Save Food Packaging design criteria and communication material for the implementation into food packaging that will lead to better packaging design, material and format selection to assist retail, food service and consumers to minimise and prevent food waste.

Resealable packaging to minimise food waste
An important Save Food Packaging criteria is resealable packaging. Under the umbrella of resealable packaging there are many intuitive technologies including resealable zippers, resealable lidding films, extrudable reseal adhesives, resealable packaging, sliders, resealable zipper tapes and labels, valves and more.

Resealable packaging provides a myriad of benefits including extension of shelf life, reduction in spillages, retention of nutritional value and freshness of product, ingress of flavours, prevention of further product contamination, consumer convenience, controlled dispensing and pouring, allowance for multiple uses of the same pack and easy storage.
Through this packaging design consumers have the ability to retain the product in the original pack and not add additional plastic film, foil, bags or containers to maintain freshness and quality of the product. All of these benefits in turn ensure the prevention of unnecessary food waste and loss.

Reseal versus reclose
When selecting the best resealable technologies, it is important to ensure that the pack can in fact reseal and not simply reclose. There is a difference between intuitive resealable designs that guarantee seal integrity and a closure that could compromise the quality of the product. Choosing the wrong solution can potentially stand in the way of preventing food waste in the household and also damage consumer perceptions of your product.

Undertaking trials
Just like for any other style of packaging, trials need to be undertaken before the resealable packs are commercialised. This is to ensure that the design provides the required freshness, nutritional and food waste objectives for the product. Integrity of seals, freshness, shelf life and barrier, oxygen, contamination, leakage etc can be assessed during trials.

On-pack communication
Developers of the packaging should consider incorporating on-pack communication that explains the key benefits of the resealable option to the consumer. Extension of shelf life, freshness, quality and the ability to minimise food waste in the home are important for consumers. Food manufacturers need to actively engage the consumers in the journey and to explain the important role that packaging plays in minimising food waste,

Balancing 2025 and 2030 targets
Packaging technologists and designers also need to balance the 2025 National Packaging Targets against the 2030 National Food Waste targets when designing resealable packaging. The decision to move to resealable design must also include discussions about the recyclability of the packaging in the country in which the product is sold. Making the decision to move to packaging that minimises food waste, all the while meeting the 2025 National Packaging Targets, is the optimum solution and may require undertaking a Lifecycle Assessment to find the sweet spot.

If every food manufacturer made a commitment to incorporate Save Food Packaging guidelines into their packaging development process, then this would be a considerable step in the right direction to minimise and/or prevent food waste in Australia.

AIP heads to Perth with National Packaging Targets initiative

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is heading over to Perth on the 29th and 30th of October to run our ‘Tools to Help you Meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets: PREP & ARL training course + Cleanaway Materials Recovery Facility Site Visit’ and participate in the ‘WA food and beverage packaging forum’ being held on Wednesday the 30th of October.

Event 1. AIP Training Course | Tools to Help You Meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets: PREP & ARL – 29 October 2019

Overview of course:

  • Is your business doing enough to ensure that 100% of your packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025?
  • Have you audited your current packaging for recyclability?
  • Have you started using the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) during your design process?
  • Are you looking for a way to validate your on-pack recyclability labelling?
  • If a consumer picked up your product, would they easily understand which bin to put it in?
  • Are you shifting your packaging design to incorporate the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL)?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then this training course is for you.

Course Objectives:

This training course will enable participants to gain a better understanding of how using PREP and applying the ARL can help your business to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The course will also enable participants to have a better and more realistic view of what packaging is truly recyclable and being recycled in Australia. Understanding these tools will enable agencies and marketers to provide verifiable and consistent recyclability information to their consumers.

Limited spots available so don’t miss out! Click here to register.

Event 2. WA Food & Beverage Packaging Forum: 30 October 2019

Presented by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in partnership with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST), this forum will bring you up to speed with the latest in packaging design to impact sustainability, food safety and shelf life extension. With an expo showcasing local packaging suppliers, attendees will be given the opportunity to bring their own packaging and book in a brief 1:1 consultation session with a packaging expert. Consultation places are limited and bookings are essential.

Secure your place and attend presentations on:

  • Global Packaging Trends
  • Packaging Design & Consumer Insights
  • Sustainable Packaging, E.g. Food waste and packaging design criteria to save food; Plastic, glass and metal packaging and their impact on the environment; Understanding the full life cycle of packaging: Non-renewable resources, plant-based bioplastics, compostable and recycled alternatives; Reusable packaging and related food safety; Sustainable packaging design; Recycling in Western Australia.
  • Food Safety & Shelf Life Extension, E.g. Food safety; Shelf life and design elements; Current technologies for shelf life extension; Selecting the right label to suit the package.

AIP Members receive a discount to attend. Click here to register.

Being truthful about sustainable packaging claims

Honesty when it comes to claims on-pack is becoming more important as consumers start to question the sustainability of packaging.

With the 2025 National Packaging Targets significantly shifting the packaging design landscape in Australia, a critical element that is coming up short is truthful and accurate environmental claims on-pack, and this issue needs to be addressed.

More than ever consumers are demanding brands to be honest about their sustainability journey, including the choice of wording and logos on-pack.

Gone are the days when you could get away with simply writing “recyclable”, “biodegradable” or “compostable” on pack. The use of statements like the “Do the right thing logo”, the recycle “Mobius loop” logo or the Plastic Identification Codes (PIC 1 to 7) just further confuse the consumer. The 2025 National Packaging Targets are now the perfect opportunity to review all environmental on-pack symbols and wording.
Changing the face of on-pack logos

Next time you are in a grocery store let me encourage you to pick up six different products and have a look at all the logos and symbols being used. You will see arrows, numbers, rubbish bins, lots of abbreviations for industry groups and governing bodies, and a whole lot of information that in truth means little to a consumer.

Plastic Identification Code (PIC)
The use of the Plastic Identification Code (PIC), or the symbol of the chasing arrow with a number in the middle, that is seen on most plastic packaging identifies the type of plastic the packaging is made of. For example, PET is classified as 1, HDPE is 2, PVC is 3, LDPE is 4, Polypropylene is 5, Polystyrene is 6, while 7 is Other, or mixed plastic types. This voluntary coding system adopted in 1990 assisted the collection, recovery and management of used plastics in Australia.

However, most consumers think it means they can put the plastic pack into the recycling bin even if it isn’t a recyclable plastic.

As a packaging technologist, designer or marketer could you honestly say that you know which bin each number should be placed? Do you know for a fact whether it is actually capable of being recycled through our facilities in this country, or that of your export market? Now imagine how confusing these symbols are to a consumer.

Do The Right Thing logo
The “Litterman” guy has been around for years. You will all know – even if it is subconsciously – the symbol of the man who throws the rubbish in the bin. While he is familiar to consumers, ask yourself what does the logo really mean? Does it mean that the product is recyclable or simply that you should be responsible and make sure the product goes in a rubbish bin at the end of life?

The “Do the Right Thing” slogan and symbol was a part of a marketing campaign launched in the 70s, which was intended as a “Don’t Litter campaign”.

According to Keep Australia Beautiful, “When the ‘Do The Right Thing’ campaign was launched, 80 per cent of people recognised the catch phrase and in 2015, only 38 per cent said they knew the phrase”.

So what does the symbol mean in the world of sustainable packaging and to consumers today? Are there more important and less confusing symbols that should be on-pack to ensure that packaging is placed in the right bin at end-of-life?

Confusing claims and wording
Another challenge within the sustainable packaging journey is when brands decide to use words like “biodegradable” or “compostable” on-pack. Having packaging that is biodegradable or compostable may seem to be a good environmental initiative, but stating this on-pack is often confusing to consumers. If there are no available consumer collection or composting facilities that will accept this type of packaging in the country of sale, then this type of wording can be misleading. The AIP has spoken to many people over the past couple of years who naturally assume that if the packaging says it is ‘compostable’ or “biodegradable” that all is right in the world.

The use of the term “biodegradable” also leads consumers to believe that, no matter where disposed, biodegradable packaging will disappear to nothing within a very short period. This can lead the consumer to erroneously believe it is acceptable to litter biodegradable packaging, or that it will solve the ocean plastics issues.

In the same way the use of compostable plastics, which may “compost” (biodegrade by micro-organisms in an oxygen environment) if placed in the right composting environment, can be misleading if consumers don’t have access to facilities for the collection and composting of compostable packaging with organic waste. Incidentally, the packaging may compost, but they do not create compost, i.e. nutrient-rich soil).

Before selecting compostable packaging, a responsible brand should be identifying whether there are facilities available to their consumers to collect compostable packaging with their organic waste. If there are, then communicate this information on-pack so consumers understand the end-of-life process.

There are two other options currently available for use of compostable packaging.
The first is being able to establish closed-loop facilities for the collection of compostable materials and certified packaging.

These closed-loop systems are designed to facilitate the collection and recycling of nutrient-rich organic material, such as food scraps, along with the certified compostable packaging and return the nutrients into the soil rather than allowing them to rot away in landfill.

The second option is to identify home compostable-certified packaging and encourage consumers to dispose of it via their home composting. However, the concern with this option is that many consumers will either contaminate the recycling system with this packaging or think they are doing the right thing and put it in the rubbish bin.

The Australian Bioplastics Association (ABA) provides a voluntary system to companies or individuals wishing to have their compostable and biodegradable plastics packaging certified.

There are two certifications available: Australian Standard 4736-2006, compostable and biodegradable plastics – “Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment” – and Australian Standard AS 5810-2010 Home Composting – “Biodegradable plastics suitable for home composting”.

Recyclable symbols and logos
There are so many variants of a recyclable logo or symbol that it makes your head spin, and, once again, consumers see these types of symbols on pack and naturally presume that they mean that the packaging is going to be recycled if placed in the correct bin. The question that needs to be asked is “can this packaging truly be recycled in the country where we sell the product?” The answer needs to determine the logos you use on-pack moving forward. Brands need to be re-designing their on-pack communication with honesty, clarity and clear and easy-to-understand explanations.

So where to from here?
In April 2018, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) launched a nationwide labelling scheme that will help consumers better understand how to recycle products effectively. The scheme will also assist brand owners to design packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life. In conjunction with partners Planet Ark and PREP Design, this scheme aims to increase recycling and recovery rates and contribute to cleaner recycling streams.

The APCO Packaging Recycling Label Program is a nationwide labelling program that provides designers and brand owners with the tools to inform responsible packaging design and helps consumers to understand how to correctly dispose of packaging. The two elements of the program are the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP) and the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).

Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP)
PREP provides a way for brand owners, manufacturers and designers to assess whether an item of packaging could be classified as “recyclable” through kerbside collection in Australian and New Zealand. PREP produces a report for each project that is evaluated. A project will list the recyclability classification for each “separable component” plus the user may nominate a scenario where the separable components are joined at the time of disposal (e.g. bottle and cap). Combining technical recyclability and collection coverage, PREP provides the evidence base for applying the Australasian Recycling Label on-pack.

Australasian Recycling Label (ARL)
The Australasia Recycling Label (ARL) is an evidence-based, standardised labelling system that provides clear and consistent on-pack recycling information to inform consumers of the correct disposal method. The ARL is designed to be used in conjunction with PREP, which informs the user of the correct on-pack ARL artwork for each “separable component” of packaging. It is a simple and effective method to improve consumer recycling behaviours.

AIP Training
The AIP has also developed a number of training courses that will assist the sustainable packaging journey, including Tools to Help you Meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets: PREP and ARL, Introduction to Sustainable Packaging Design, Lifecycle Assessment Tools for Sustainable Packaging Design and The Future of bioplastics and compostable packaging.

With the development of the 2025 National Packaging Targets, now is the time to stop and review all of your on-pack information to ensure that you are communicating effectively and honestly to consumers about your sustainable packaging.

AIP training course heads to NSW

The AIP Use of Lifecycle Assessment Tools for Sustainable Packaging Design training course is aimed at providing an introduction and learning framework for packaging industry professionals to apply lifecycle thinking to their working contexts. This includes an understanding of the reasons why lifecycle thinking is critical, as well as how the method may be used for packaging design projects they manage.

The course will be structured to cover the following:

  • Understanding the current shifts and challenges in Sustainability
  • What is Lifecycle Assessment?
  • Why is Lifecycle Assessment an important tool in Sustainable Packaging Design?
  • How do you quantify eco-efficiency?
  • Lifecycle Thinking within Sustainable Packaging design
  • Introduction to life cycle assessment (LCA) and Its benefits
  • Case Study Examples and Interactive hands-on LCA tool usage
  • Seizing the strategic opportunity in Sustainability
  • Better understanding of how to use LCA tools for competitive advantage and to establish strong relationships across your Supply Chain partners

The objectives of the course are to provide participants an understanding of:

  • The role LCA plays in both Sustainable Packaging Design and development.
  • Why Sustainable Packaging really matters.
  • Four step procedure of lifecycle assessment.
  • Tools and knowledge to apply LCA in practical contexts.

Who should attend?
Brand Owners, packaging manufacturers and suppliers, business owners, managers, marketers, engineers, packaging technologists, sustainability professionals, packaging designers, agencies and sales staff.

Course presenter
Dr Simon Lockrey
Coordinator – Design Action Program + ID Engineering Courses
Senior Lecturer/ Research Fellow – School of Design
School of Design, College of Design and Social Context
RMIT University, Australia

Lockrey is a leading sustainability and design innovation academic, having been based at RMIT since 2009. The domains in which he has managed sustainability research include life cycle assessment (LCA), co-design, design innovation, marketing, resource efficiency and food waste. Simon has worked with global and nationally significant companies, including CHEP, Visy, Nestlé, Dyson, Grocon and Breville. Relevant government and NGO projects have also ensued, with Sustainability Victoria, Environmental Protection Agency, Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australia Post, Australian Antarctic Division, Uniting AgeWell, and Meat and Livestock Australia.

 

Redesigning packaging with reduce, reuse, recycle in mind

As a consumer, you might have heard about the “Waste Hierarchy” and the 5Rs. From a consumer perspective they are:
• Refuse – do not purchase unwanted items.
• Reduce – eliminate single-use packaging wherever possible. This means declining plastic coffee cups, shopping bags, straws and buying products that are sustainable.
• Reuse products more than once. Purchase reusable water bottles, keep-a-cups, and recyclable shopping bags
• Recycle – ensure that you place your products in the recycling bins and purchase products that are recyclable. Look for products that are using the new Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to better understand the true recyclability of the materials.
• Repurpose – purchase products that are made from recycled materials – consciously purchase bags, shoes, furniture, jewellery that you know is made from recycled content.

Mindsets have shifted over the last few years, and globally consumers are actively driving brands and their packaging departments to supplement sustainable packaging design to incorporate the 5Rs and to redesign with environmental impacts in mind.

Packaging technologists are being asked to reconsider the outcomes of their packaging design all the way across the supply chain from manufacturing to recycling, and also consider a closed-loop and more circular approach. Packaging design can no longer be linear.

When discussing the waste hierarchy from a packaging design perspective, reduce, reuse and recycle are the three most important areas for long-term changes as they are the preventative measures with the highest level of impact.

Achievable steps for packaging technologists can include redesigning the shape and size of a product, reducing thickness and weight of materials, shifting to recyclable materials, and developing a closed-loop system for products. However, any adaptations to the packaging design, structure and form must not compromise the ultimate purpose of packaging, which is maintain the ability to protect, preserve, contain, communicate and transport a product to the consumer. First and foremost, packaging must remain fit-for-purpose before any structural changes are made to a pack. The AIP encourages all packaging teams to undertake a lifecycle assessment where possible before any pack is altered. A redesign feature of packaging that consumers are embracing is reuse whereby a customer can refill their products using the same packaging. It is important to note that reusable containers have less impact on the environment than one that is single use. Packaging technologists need to re-imagine their packaging for continued use and the ability to have multiple uses for the consumer.

Consumers are also driving the focus to what is really happening with packaging and the end of life. Packaging technologists are now being asked to stop and review their packaging and find out whether it is actually being recycled or landfilled in the country it is sold in. The availability of the APCO PREP tool enables this decision making. In addition, if the material is capable of being recycled in the country in which it is sold, then consumer waste and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced across the lifespan of the product.

This in turn achieves the 2025 National Packaging Targets that all brands are working towards.

If the material is unable to be recycled, then look at the possibility of moving to a recycled content, and even the use of renewable resource raw materials. Once again, the AIP urges consumers to undertake a full lifecycle assessment if possible, before moving to recycled content to determine if this is in fact the best decision for a product.

A recent example of the reuse, refill and recycle concept that has considered the product all the way through the supply chain is Cif ecorefill. Unilever announced on its global website the launch of Cif ecorefill, the new at-home technology that allows consumers to refill and reuse their Cif spray bottles for life. Cif has worked to create a no-mess solution, becoming the first household cleaning brand to do so with this pioneering twist and click refill design. Made with 75 per cent less plastic, Cif ecorefill attaches to the current Cif Power & Shine bottles. Through its technology, it seamlessly releases the super-concentrated product into the bottle, which is filled with water at home. The ecorefills are 100 per cent recyclable once the plastic sleeves are removed and, by the end of 2020, the ambition is for all Cif ecorefills and spray bottles to be made from 100 per cent recycled plastic. Going smaller is certainly better – the ecorefills are lightweight and save on storage space. Diluting the product at home means 97 per cent less water is being transported,
fewer trucks on the road and less greenhouse gas emissions.

Every day, more companies are announcing refillable packaging solutions including cosmetics and beauty, toiletries such as shampoo and soaps, cleaning products and beverages. The journey to sustainable packaging has only just begun and it is exciting to see what innovative designs packaging technologists are working on that address reduce, reuse, refill and recycle.

AIP sets date for New Future of Flexible Packaging half-day training course

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) have announced that they have introduced a NEW Future of Flexible Packaging Half-Day Training Course to the educational portfolio with the 28th of August being the first course date scheduled.

Overview of Course
One of the fastest growing segments of the packaging industry, flexible packaging combines the best qualities of plastic, film, paper and aluminium foil to deliver a broad range of protective properties while employing a minimum of material. Typically taking the shape of a bag, pouch, liner, or overwrap, flexible packaging is defined as any package or any part of a package whose shape can be readily changed.

Leading the way in packaging innovation, flexible packaging adds value and marketability to food and non-food products alike. From ensuring food safety and extending shelf life, to providing even heating, barrier protection, ease of use, resealability and superb printability, the industry continues to advance at an unprecedented rate.

The life cycle attributes of flexible packaging demonstrate many sustainable advantages. Innovation and technology have enabled flexible packaging manufacturers to use fewer natural resources in the creation of their packaging, and improvements in production processes have reduced water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and volatile organic compounds.

The Future of Flexible Packaging half-day training course will cover the basic fundamentals of flexible packaging, its benefits, how you chose the specific structures to match the product, its performance, marketing challenges and how the packaging is manufactured.

With the latest challenges facing us regarding sustainability in packaging the course will discuss the options, pros and cons of Compostability vs Recyclability and other alternative materials now available. As an add on, the course will be looking at the future plans for flexible packaging and available recycling options to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

Course Objectives:
The objectives of the course are to provide participants an understanding of:

  • A good broad understanding of the benefits of Flexible packaging.
  • The process of manufacturing.
  • Where the future lies with flexible films and the changes ahead.
  • Snapshot of some of the latest packaging trends and what are the driving forces.
  • Understanding the challenges facing us with the sustainable packaging race toward 2025.

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

Packaging Technologists and Designers, Product developers, marketing personal, technical and production staff using packaging, sales and marketing reps who want a crash course on all things ‘Flexible’.

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