9 great Sustainable Packaging Innovations

[Source: Linkedin by Paul Jenkins] Welcome to another packaging innovation review. This time, I’ve looked at sustainability packaging initiatives that have caught my eye from the hundreds of innovations that we track at ThePackHub every month.

Available this year, Tetra Pak is launching the world’s first carton made solely from plant-based, renewable packaging materials. The new Tetra Rex offering has been developed with sustainable plastics experts Braskem. Even the cap is bio-based being made sugar cane derived high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

AirCarbon is a carbon-negative plastic developed by Newlight Technologies and being piloted by Dell for its computer packaging sleeves. The packaging is greener and less expensive to manufacture than oil-based plastic packaging. By replacing oil with AirCarbon, packaging can use more greenhouse gas than it emits and actually displace oil and reducing the amount of carbon in the air. Dell have also played in the sustainability arena in the past with packaging made from bamboo, wheat straw and mushrooms.

The Greenery converts discarded tobacco plant stalks into packaging. The box is a development by the chain consortium Biobased Westland and is produced by Smurfit-Kappa. As tomato fibres have been used, the box can be recycled multiple times. There are also plans to extract raw materials from the plant juices for bio-plastics.

A first in the market from Hovis with the launch of a bread bag made almost entirely from renewable polyethylene (PE). Hovis worked with Amcor Flexibles to develop the sugarcane-based bag to deliver a 75% lower carbon footprint compared with the traditional bread bags on the market.

This concept from Tomorrow Machine uses bio-degradable materials that can be used for food packaging. The eco-friendly packaging “has the same short life span as the foods they contain”. Materials used include caramelized sugar that cracks open like an egg, a smooth carton that is made of agar agar jelly and a beeswax rice container.

Miracle-Gro Gro-ables have developed a new seed pod to change the way consumers garden. Gro-ables provide an ideal growing environment with the exact combination soil and seed in every compostable pod. It also takes the guesswork out of planting seeds and is the perfect platform for compostable packaging.

Pangea Organics has created the first ever 100% compostable, biodegradable and plantable packaging for its Ecocentric body/skin-care range. It is manufactured with zero waste and created from 100% post-consumer paper board. After the product has been used, the consumer soaks the box for one minute in water and plants in the ground.

HNINA have launched a vegan chocolate brand using 100% biodegradable and recyclable kraft paper produced via wind energy. This is a clever angle that is consistent with the brand’s positioning. The use of kraft materials is also an excellent way to communicate the core values of the brand.

Biocup is a new coffee cup offering from White Coffee Corporation. Unlike most other single serve coffee cup on the market, it has a compostable structure making it easy to dispose and better for the environment. The packaging is completely biodegradable when aerobically composted.

Who is Paul Jenkis?
Paul Jenkins is co-founder of UK packaging innovation consultancy ThePackHub. ThePackHub helps brand owners, retailers and packaging suppliers with a full range of packaging innovation services from concept to realisation.