Amcor IC 05.06.24

Amcor has opened its European Innovation Center in Belgium, which will design packaging in partnership with brands and retailers from across the region in an effort to make packaging more sustainable.

Amcor has expanded its packaging innovation hubs around the world. In addition to existing centres in the US, South America and Asia Pacific, the company has now opened its Amcor Innovation Center Europe (AICE) in Ghent, Belgium.  

The AICE will pioneer new material technologies aimed towards sustainability while focusing on designs that increase ease-of-use for consumers. In its Innovation Center Europe, Amcor supports brands from concept to shelf using its ‘Catalyst’ approach. 

The co-development methodology hopes to create packaging solutions that take into account a brand’s market, consumer needs, sustainability and recyclability requirements, and customers’ existing production lines. 

To support this process, the AICE facilitates a range of activities. This includes The Material Science Center, which creates packaging materials intended to reduce packaging’s carbon footprint; for instance, by introducing recycle-ready mono-material solutions that can match the performance of common mixed-material solutions, or switching to biobased and recycled polymer alternatives. The centre also supports developments in high-barrier paper packaging and vapour-deposited nanocoating. 

The Customer Engagement Center supports collaborative sessions and has an on-site retail simulation area where packaging appeal and usability can be tested, as well as kitchen, living room and bathroom settings where consumers and marketers alike can interact with packaging. The on-site prototyping lab can create different packaging solutions for test participants to try. 

The E-Commerce Lab tests and certifies packaging according to ISTA 6 standards, to validate packaging for shipment through Amazon and other ecommerce distribution chains. The upcoming Packaging and Recycling Test Center will house small-scale packing lines which mimic brands’ own packing lines for in-house machine trials, with recycling equipment that Amcor states will allow it to evaluate packaging for ease of recyclability in the real world. 

Amcor has pledged to develop all its packaging to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025, and to significantly increase its use of recycled materials. In line with this sustainability commitment, the Amcor Innovation Center Europe is housed in a building that is designed and built according to BREEAM sustainability certification standards. 

Amcor Capsules recently announced plans to launch its plastic foil made of aluminium and paper, ESSENTIELLE, in partnership with champagne producer Moët & Chandon. The companies hope to achieve a lower carbon footprint and increased recyclability compared to conventional solutions. 

Last month, SIG and MassChallenge Switzerland announced a strategic collaboration intended to boost the development of new technologies and sustainability-minded innovations in the material science industry. MassChallenge Switzerland provides creative entrepreneurs with mentorship and access to its partnership network, and SIG hopes to access the start-up companies behind innovation and value creation in the industry – helping to identify and support trends as they emerge to support future development.

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