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Salt Shaker Redesign Results in Maximum Recyclability

A new shaker for JOZO table salt is made entirely from recyclable PP, including the in-mold label, which detaches from the container during recycling for a higher-quality recyclate.

JOZO’s new salt shaker container is made entirely of polypropylene, including the in-mold label. During recycling, the label detaches from the container, resulting in a high-purity PP recyclate.
JOZO’s new salt shaker container is made entirely of polypropylene, including the in-mold label. During recycling, the label detaches from the container, resulting in a high-purity PP recyclate.

Just as CPGs in the U.S. are reevaluating their packaging in light of EPR policies that will require more sustainable packaging, European CPGs are also facing more stringent requirements through the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. Under PPWD, brand packaging must be 100% recyclable or reusable by 2030. To future-proof its packaging, European table salt producer JOZO has evolved its packaging from a multi-material canister to a polypropylene shaker with a PP in-mold label that allows for maximum recyclability.

Since 1929, JOZO has been producing table salt, “with a pinch of love,” sourcing the product primarily from underground caverns in the Netherlands and Denmark, where the salt was created millions of years ago by the evaporation of ancient seas. Its two manufacturing facilities are also located in these European countries.

No stranger to firsts, in the 1950s, JOZO pioneered the salt-shaker dispenser package in the Netherlands, moving away from the traditional paperboard carton. Until recently, its shaker was made of a mix of materials, with a paperboard and aluminum body, a polyethylene bottom, and a PE and polystyrene cap.

   Watch this related video, “Tips for Recyclable Package Design”

In 2020, JOZO reached out to SFA Packaging to completely redesign its shaker package to comply with PPWD regulations. JOZO’s requirements for the package were that it be 100% recyclable, feature high print quality, and include an optimized closure that would enhance consumer ease of use. Says Alexander Heinsdijk MBA, business development and marketing manager for SFA, the challenge SFA faced was developing a package that was both sustainable and highly attractive. “Switching to a mono-material package was the obvious way to go,” he says.

With recyclability in mind, SFA made the new shaker entirely from PP, including the body and cap. The label was also made from PP—an in-mold label that fused with the shaker during the injection-molding process. The first iteration was a standard PP IML that, while recyclable, stayed with the package during recycling, resulting in grey, non-food-grade rPP. The next generation of JOZO’s packaging, debuting this year, goes a step beyond with a PP IML that separates from the container during recycling, resulting in high-purity, white rPP.

The label is MCC Verstraete’s NextCycle IML. According to Nico Van de Walle, product and circular economy manager Global IML at MCC, “In the mechanical recycling process, during the grinding stage, the NextCycle IML technology is designed to detach from the container. After the washing and the drying, the light PP label flakes are removed by the air elutriation phase, resulting in clean container flakes that can be recycled and reprocessed into rPP. Through this process, white container flakes result in white rPP. In turn, the higher-yield and high-purity rPP paves the way for a circular economy for PP.”

The NextCycle IML label allows for a circular solution for recycled polypropylene.The NextCycle IML label allows for a circular solution for recycled polypropylene.Creating a cleaner, whiter recyclate was important to JOZO in order to receive a high score for recyclability. According to de Walle, in the past, RecyClass—the cross-industry initiative that advances plastic packaging circularity in Europe—categorized white packaging in the same class as colored packaging, in which case IML received the maximum recyclability score. However, due to a recent change, white packaging is now subjected to the same guidelines as transparent packaging. Following an assessment by third-party certification body CIRCPACK by Veolia, JOZO’s new container received a “B” classification from RecyClass, meaning the quality of the recyclate is good enough to be used in closed-loop or cascade open-loop applications.

Another change to the new packaging is the dispensing cap. Says Heinsdijk, “One of the functional requirements was to optimize the tamper-evident function, which allows consumers, at the time of purchase, to see at a glance if the product has already been opened. JOZO wanted to make this feature more user friendly. We were also given the task of providing the end user with multiple options for dispensing fine salt.”

The end result is a multifunctional dispensing cap that incorporates a dual-valve system with integrated TE functionality that allows consumers to dispense the desired amount of salt. This is made possible by one opening with five larger holes and one opening with nine smaller ones.

   Read this related article on a new recyclable, mono-material PP pack for Swedish supermarket ICA’s own brand of Hushållsost cheese.

And finally was the shelf impact of the product. “Thanks to excellent printing quality, IML effortlessly ticks the appearance requirements box,” says Heinsdijk. “The offset printing technology at MCC Verstraete allowed for a combination of several appealing, vibrant pieces of art with a limited number [six] of colors. The result is a stunning salt shaker that deserves to be on the kitchen counter rather than in the pantry.”

JOZO offers its Salt Fine and Iodized Salt Fine in 300-g, 100% PP shakers in markets that include Benelux, Scandinavian countries, and the Middle East. Shares JOZO Product Portfolio and Sustainability Manager Florence Ruellan du Créhu, since its launch in Q1-24, the new package has received a positive response from consumers. PW

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