Overview: News

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Aldi UK has been at the forefront of many efforts to advance sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of its product packaging

Image: Aldi

ALDI UK using AI to provide visibility to its flexible plastic packaging efforts


Aldi UK is pioneering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in its recycling of flexible plastic packaging. The supermarket offers front-of-store collection points for such packaging and then applies technology from Greenback Recycling Technologies to track and verify the flow of material using eco2Veritas system. The project is supported by the brand-backed Flexible Plastic Fund.
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Depending on composition, the colour of the final product may vary.

Image: Constanze Tillmann

Kombucha leather – packaging from the tea lab


The packaging industry is looking for creative solutions to package food both safely and sustainably. A young team of students and researchers in Istanbul is currently working on prototypes of SCOBY, a leather-like biofilm made from fermented kombucha tea.
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Long machine taking up three-storeys inside a hall

Image: Sappi

Sustainable coatings for packaging papers


Food is more and more often wrapped in paper. But this natural material is porous and has next to no barrier properties against humidity, oxygen, grease or oil. Paper producers like Sappi are now coating their packaging papers sustainably using water-based barriers which do not impact later recycling. In research, a common topic is the development of bio-based barrier coating materials.
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Aldi refill station with touch screens

Image: GoUnpackaged

The Refill Coalition aims to take reuse and refill mainstream


The UK-based Refill Coalition, led by the GoUnpackaged NGO, has worked with molder Berry Global and supply-chain firm CHEP to create a system designed to vastly reduce retailers’ need for single-use plastics packaging.
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Three EU flags

Image: unsplash/ Alexandre Lallemand

Compulsive EU regulation for sustainable packaging not far away


Harmonising the rules on packaging and packaging waste within Europe is long overdue. The draft of a Europe-wide, compulsive packaging directive by the European Commission in 2022 has already passed through the different levels of legislation and could achieve final adoption in autumn. Industry representatives are both expressing approval and criticism.
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Green box with tray with holes and glass jars

Image: Pacoon

A sturdy concept for the future of reusable containers?


Within the planned EU packaging regulation, quotas for reusable containers play an important part. However, reusable container collection systems are not yet widespread in Europe. This is in spite of the fact that preserves, jams, fruit gums, sauces or dried products could come in reusable packaging in addition to beverages. Pacoon now has developed a new reusable container system.
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Caroline Babendererde is Head of Sustainability Mid Europe at Tetra Pak

“We must make packaging more attractive as a varied professional field”


In a world forced to meet the global challenges of sustainable food systems, progressive packaging solutions are indispensable. This includes the people working on these solutions. In this interview with Caroline Babendererde, Head of Sustainability Mid Europe at Tetra Pak, we discuss how to win young talents for the industry and the role of sustainability initiatives.
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Children in front of full plates.

Image: SIG

Cartons for Good project wins SAVE FOOD competition


1.3 billion tonnes of food are lost or wasted globally every year. With their project Cartons for Good, the SIG Foundation is using the SIG know-how to reduce theses losses. With a specially developed bottling station, the team supports communities in poorer countries to preserve food locally – and was able to win in the project competition by the SAVE FOOD Initiative.
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tray sample

Image: Juha Hakulinen, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland



Researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed formable, cellulose-based webs that they say offer a sustainable alternative to plastic in rigid polypropylene in food packaging applications.
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Digitally watermarked yoghurt and kefir containers

Image: Aldi Süd Gruppe

Final testing stage for HolyGrail 2.0


Digital watermarks could play a key role in the future when it comes to packaging recyclability. They are invisible to the human eye but carry a wealth of information. The HolyGrail 2.0 initiative aims to implement the technology for large-scale sorting of post-consumer waste, with plans for a test market in France in 2024. The final stage of testing has now begun.
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