Recycling Initiatives Continue to Dominate Sustainable Packaging Innovations

COVID 19 has caused significant disruption to the packaging industry across the world. However, sustainability remains an important area of opportunity for anyone involved in bringing new packaging to market.

Consumer behaviors have been changed in recent months. Some of those new habits may remain post pandemic such as the increase in e-commerce shopping or continued awareness of hygiene at the retail point of sale . These changes are coupled with a temporary slow down in initiatives coming through the packaging innovation funnel. However, with life getting back to the so-called ‘new normal’, sustainability will continue to be of paramount importance for those wanting to make a difference in market.

Amazon introduces delivery boxes that can be reused for pet and children's play.

One area that has continued to be of big focus is recycling. Whether that is improving the recyclability of packaging or introducing more recycled content, the quantity of initiatives shows no signs of slowing down. Toothpaste tubes are sold in their millions every day but the vast majority cannot be recycled. German consumer goods leader Henkel may just have an answer. Their complete Oral Care tube portfolio will be fully recyclable by early next year and will contribute to the brand owner’s goal to achieve 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. The transition will be incorporated by Spanish toothpaste brand Licor del Polo and will incorporate proprietary Greenleaf tube technology from the supplier of the world’s largest range of beauty and personal care packaging Albéa.

Henkel Licor De Polo

Another recent recycling initiative sees UK retailer Asda pushing forward with their commitment to reduce own-brand plastic in their packaging by another 15% by next year. The Walmart owned supermarket has announced that it has become the first retailer in the UK to introduce a 100% recyclable own-label crisp (potato chips) tube. The change will cut 98.2 tonnes of non-recyclable packaging from Asda’s supply chain, the equivalent of 2.34 million tubes of crisps each year. The tubes are usually made from a combination of foil, metal and cardboard materials making them non-recyclable. 

New recycling initiatives are added to our Innovation Zone packaging database daily. ThePackHub will be discussing several recycling innovations as part of our Sustainable Packaging Trends webinar on Thursday 6th August. Here is the link to register for free. We will detail 20 new sustainable initiatives in the hour long session, which also includes a talk from John Williams from Aquapak.

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