All articles by Hannah Cole

  • Black and White headshot of a white queer person with olive, freckled skin. Short dark fade, curly on top. Light eyes peer into the distance, as she rests her chin on her hand

    How can the packaging industry engage with disability-led design?


    Several consumer goods companies – including high-profile Unilever and Procter & Gamble brands – have unveiled what they refer to as inclusive or accessible packaging designs in the last few years. These companies often assert that they worked with disabled people during the development of the packaging, ...

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    Are plastics out-performing alternatives when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions?


    In a recent report, McKinsey found that plastics offer lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than alternatives in 13 out of 14 cases, including for grocery bags, beverage containers, pet food packaging, and fresh meat packaging. However, a shift towards a lower-carbon economy in the lead-up to 2050 could narrow the gap in emissions between plastics and alternatives like aluminium, highlighting the importance of contextual factors in determining material performance. 

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    Innovation for consumer protection


    A changing landscape of consumption means that packaging security solutions are increasingly required to work harder – and be smarter – to protect consumers. We spoke with Dr Tobias Jochum from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and Terrence O’Neill from Covectra about how engaging consumers in their own protection via packaging may be key to addressing the challenges associated with e-commerce and counterfeiting. 

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    Where are the barriers and opportunities for scaling reuse systems?


    Hubbub has released a report that draws on interviews with key industry players and a poll of consumers to understand attitudes toward reusable packaging and pathways to scaling reuse solutions. Convenience and cost, education and research, and technology and design are key considerations that the organisation says must be accounted for when it comes to establishing reusable packaging systems at scale.

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    RecyClass publishes guidance on designing plastic packaging for recyclability


    RecyClass has released a Design Book with the goal of providing a practical guide that clarifies the definition of recyclability and highlights key considerations for designing both rigid and flexible packaging for recycling with maximum output quality as the priority. 

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    Combining accessibility and aesthetics with packaging typefaces


    Brand design agency Lewis Moberly recently worked with Tropic Skincare to develop a new script typeface for packaging intended to be accessible to dyslexic and neurodiverse consumers. Emily Fox, creative director at Lewis Moberly, talks us through the development of Susie’s Script and how to balance accessibility with brand aesthetics.

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    Does comparing single-use and reusable packaging provide more questions than answers?


    According to FEFCO, single-use corrugated cardboard demonstrates a lower environmental impact than reusable plastic packaging solutions – but variable performances across sustainability categories ultimately provide uncertain conclusions. Can comparing materials – and, in some cases, pitting reuse against recycling – actually provide actionable solutions when it comes to facilitating a circular economy for packaging?

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    European recyclers report low availability of sorted plastic waste


    According to Plastics Recyclers Europe, the availability of sorted plastic waste is currently low enough to be negatively impacting the operations of plastic recyclers across Europe, with the organisation warning that this presents a barrier to meeting the EU’s recycling targets.

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    New report suggests supply chain resilience under more strain than ever as commodity prices and inflation soar


    Achilles has placed supply chain resilience in its most at-risk category for the second quarter of 2022, citing ongoing logistical disruptions, supply shortages, and commodity price pressures as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The organisation adds that there could be no end in sight for these challenges as the war in Ukraine appears set to continue. 

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    New research from Digimarc points to consumer demand for digital traceability solutions


    New research from Digimarc Corporation has found that being able to verify the authenticity of a product is important to over 70% of consumers, with almost two-thirds saying that transparency into how and where a product is made is a key part of their purchasing decision. The research points to opportunities for brands to use traceability solutions like QR codes to build consumer confidence.

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    What do rising commodity prices linked with the war in Ukraine mean for glass, metal, and plastic packaging?


    According to Moody’s, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having ripple effects on commodity prices and global supply chains that could put pressure on the profit margins of European non-paper packaging manufacturers this year. The plastic packaging sector is likely to face the most volatility as companies contend with time lags in passing on cost increases and exposure to escalating oil prices. 

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    Cepi challenges ‘contradictory’ EU position on the paper industry’s decarbonisation and bioeconomy targets


    While Cepi says that the ENVI Committee’s recent votes on the ‘Fit for 55’ package offer some positive provisions in principle, it warns that paradoxical legal positions regarding carbon capture and biomass could undermine the pulp and paper industry’s decarbonisation initiatives and bioeconomy development.

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    Preliminary sales of green steel point to industry interest in decarbonisation solutions


    H2 Green Steel has announced that it has already signed supply agreements for over 1.5 million tonnes of its green steel, which will be produced from 2025 onwards at its fully integrated, digitalised, and automated plant in Sweden that will reportedly run on renewable energy. What does this mean for the European steel industry?

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    Plastics Recyclers Europe reports a 13% increase in installed plastics recycling capacity


    According to data from Plastics Recyclers Europe, the total installed plastics recycling capacity in Europe increased by 13% in 2020. The organisation suggests plastic recycling activities could triple by 2030 with the right legislative support, enhanced collection and recycling, and advancements in recycling technologies. 

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    How will Coca-Cola meet its pledge to make 25% of its beverage packaging refillable or returnable?


    Following the Coca-Cola Company’s pledge earlier this year to make at least 25% of its beverage packaging refillable or returnable by 2030 we explore how and where the company plans to implement these solutions, and what challenges might impact the drive to meet these targets.

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    How can Deposit Return Schemes achieve success from the start?


    Since its launch in January 2022, Slovakia’s DRS has facilitated the return of 100 million plastic bottles and metal cans by Slovakia’s population of over 5 million people in its first five months of operation. What is the process behind a successful start to DRS?

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    Is a 'priority access' policy needed to close the loop on beverage packaging in Europe?


    Representatives from the European non-alcoholic beverage industry have renewed calls for the EU to implement a policy framework that would give “right of first refusal” on food-grade recycled materials to beverage producers. In a new position paper, the organisations say that such a mandate, along with collection and a harmonised definition of high-quality recycling, is necessary to ensure the industry can meet its circularity commitments.

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    What role are reusables playing in making period care more sustainable?


    Alec Mills, co-founder of DAME, sets out the company’s mission to bring sustainable period care solutions into the mainstream with self-sanitising reusable applicators, reusable pads, and a convenient subscription service for tampons. 

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    CEFLEX: Demand must be the driving force in a circular economy for flexibles


    According to CEFLEX, a truly circular economy must be demand-driven. Following the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s call for a EUR 2 billion investment to increase recycling capacity fourfold by 2025, CEFLEX has worked backwards along the supply chain to clarify the scale of recycling, sorting, infrastructure, and collection needed to ensure demand for recycled materials as they re-enter the economy.

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    The Ukrainian dual system stand-up pouch that offers two products in one pack


    Duopack is a flexible packaging solution for stand-up pouches that features a partition dividing the products into two distinct parts, allowing them to be dispensed individually or at the same time depending on the application. The Ukrainian start-up’s founder, Oleksandr Grytsenko, expands on Duopack’s convenient and creative format, as well as his ‘Buy Ukrainian’ campaign to bring together the packaging industry in support of Ukraine after Russia’s invasion.