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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Closed-loop recycling for Coca-Cola


As The Coca-Cola Co. continues to advance its efforts as a global leader in sustainability, it is taking an unusual step by asking U.S. retailers to give back the shelves that hold Coca-Cola products.

Coca-Cola is developing a range of 100% recyclable merchandise display racks for use in grocery and convenience stores in the U.S. The first "Give It Back" racks are free-standing units made of easily recyclable corrugated cardboard and designed to communicate sustainability to shoppers.

The Give It Back racks are Coca-cola's first step toward a comprehensive, closed-loop retail equipment program where Coca-Cola creates recyclable in-store merchandise racks and then recovers, reuses and/or recycles the displays-an industry first.

Initially being tested in select markets, the new standalone racks are expected to become widely available in late 2011. When fully implemented across Coca-Cola's U.S. operations, this innovative, closed-loop approach to display racks is expected to be both the first and the largest closed-loop merchandise display rack recovery program in the U.S. consumer packaged goods industry.

The corrugate rack's design communicates sustainability to the consumer by using an alluring overall form not found in most other displays. Material finishes emphasize the recyclability of the racks. Most importantly, implementing the closed-loop process and using recyclable materials will improve the chances that Coca-Cola's displays will not go to a landfill. Currently, Coca-Cola is diverting, on average, more than 90 percent of its waste at its primary U.S. manufacturing facilities.

The Coca-Cola Co. has a 2020 goal to reach industry leadership in environmental stewardship in the areas of packaging and related ancillary components like retail merchandise display racks. According to research by the Hartman Group, more than 70% of shoppers consider sustainability when making a purchase.

Source: The Coca-Cola Co. and Packaging Digest

Mushroom Material


Earlier this month in our blog From Chicken Feathers to Packaging (http://bit.ly/haQkYH) we reported on a major breakthrough in sustainable packaging where waste chicken feathers have been used to create a biodegradable plastic, following on from that development, researchers have now developed packaging from mushrooms.

Computer giant Dell has announced it will be the first technology company to ship a product in an organic, mushroom-based packaging material that has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the US EPA, and the USDA.

The biotechnology design uses agricultural waste, like cotton seed, wood fiber and buckwheat hulls, placed in a mould and inoculated with mushroom spores, so it becomes the root structure of the shroom and grows into the shape of the mould.

Dell's procurement director Oliver Campbell explains "It's just as rigid and protective to your desirable gadget as the old materials. We've tested the mushroom cushioning extensively in the lab to ensure it meets our same high standards to safely protect our products during shipment and it passed like a champ".

The technology company has set itself some tough targets for sustainability aiming by the end of 2012 it wants to shed 20 million pounds of packaging material from its shipments, and make 75 percent of packaging components recyclable on the curb.

Source: Eco Business and Wired Magazine

Thin Plastic Fantastic

The British Retail Consortium has announced that supermarkets which collect plastic bags for recycling will now accept clean plastic film packaging in their carrier bag banks which can be found in more than 4,500 supermarkets around the UK.  All relevant packaging will carry a new version of the on-pack label to encourage customers to dispose of it in this way.

Thin plastic is used for 43% of all plastic household packaging and wrapping , and amounts to 645,000 tonnes every year.  Thin plastic film is fully recyclable but until now most people have had no means of recycling it. Retailers recognise in-store collection of thin plastics is an additional way in which they can contribute to the UK's recycling efforts.

Head of environment at the British Retail Consortium and director of On-Pack Recycling Label Ltd, Bob Gordon, said: "This announcement shows retailers are prepared to go above and beyond what is expected of them to support customers' environmental efforts. We know many consumers want to do their bit for the planet and this move will be a big help."

The supermarkets supporting the scheme are: Asda, The Co-operative Group, WM Morrison, J Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose.

Source: www.retail-week.com

Reduce, Re-vamp, Re-use


High on the agenda of almost every business is to incorporate green business practices, especially if one of those practices involves packaging.

This has led to an evolution in packaging designs. Packaging is now required to not only look visually appealing and suited for purpose but they must also either reduce the volume of packaging material, are able to be re-used and/or can be recycled.

http://rezalutions.com showcased an evolutionary packaging design that ticks all the boxes! Not only is the Lee branded packaging eco-friendly but the clever designers have offered a fun element to the packaging which can be re-used time and time again! Genius!

Coca-Cola Raising the Bar on Recycled Packaging


As one of the world's biggest packaging users, Coca-Cola has set itself a target to include 25 per cent of recycled material in all its packaging. Coca-cola has agreed a ten-year £200 million deal to turn its old bottles into new with Britain's biggest plastics recycling firm. The Coca-Cola contract will mean 140,000 tons of British plastic waste a year will be processed which is equivalent to 300,000 bottles an hour.


British firm Eco Plastics, whilst fulfilling their contract with Coca-Cola, is also helping the Government to achieve its target of reducing plastics sent to landfill sites and stopping the wasteful process of sending thousands of tons to be recycled in China.


As Coca Cola aim to include 25% recycled plastic in all of its packaging this is a figure that Duo are already achieving for many of our customers. Our in house Closed Loop Recycling system returns waste polythene back into its raw pellet form. The recycled pellets are then used to manufacture new polythene packaging products.


If you would like to explore the potential of using recycled packaging for your business please contact Duo.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1367982/Coca-Cola-forges-recycling-tie-Eco-Plastics-year-200m-deal.html#ixzz1Ijo0DLlO

From Chicken Feathers to Packaging


Researchers have turned chicken feathers into a biodegradable plastic that could be used for a new sustatinable packaging material.

Scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported major advancements in using the billions of waste chicken feathers to manufacture renewable, biodegradable plastics.

Dr Yiqi Yang, an authority on biomaterials and bio fibers, explained chicken feathers are an inexpensive and abundant source that make for a strong, durable plastics as they are made mainly of keratin, a tough protein also found in hair, hoofs, horns and wool.

To achieve a product suitable for packaging, Professor Yang's team processed chicken feathers and added a chemical known as methyl acrylate to turn them into a plastic, from which they made thin films. The end goal is to use agricultural waste and other renewable resources to make bio plastics that have an additional advantage of being biodegradable once discarded into the environment.

Great in roads to a new biodegradable and renewable plastic have been achieved. However, the research is still on-going to establish industrial feasibility.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12904777 and http://www.packagingdigest.com/article/517636-Chicken_featherscould_be_source_for_bioplastics.php

How do you express your devotion?



Dawn Tan doesn't just like food, she loves it and using art wants to show the world just how much.

Using her love for food as inspiration Dawn Tan has created wearable food sculptures made out of the packaging of her favourite nibbles. The light-hearted and quirky images range from Tetley teabags, marshmallows and crisps.

With quite a few polythene packaging enthusiasts in the mix, this may have just sparked a few interesting ideas…….


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