In Europe, glass containers are trendy all along
A new survey showed that the vast majority (88 percent) of European consumers prefer glass containers to the other packaging materials, namely due to a healthy lifestyle. A total of 84 percent of the Europeans would like to have particular products available in glass and a half of the Czechs (more than the average for the whole Europe) are willing to pay extra for a glass container. The TNS global market research company interviewed 9,500 consumers across 19 countries in Europe.
Cups are not only for drinks
In regard of their specific usage (food, drinks), the cups are made of materials which must meet all requirements for food packaging. White woodfree machine- glazed cup paperboard of 250 gsm is most often used for the paper cup fabrication. For cup bottom making, pasted paperboard of 500 gsm can be used for example. Caps can be waxed, lined with PE film, etc. The direct printing as well as labeling are possible. Polypropylene and polystyrene are the most common materials for plastic cup production, in addition the PET cups can be seen. Apart from these traditional materials, the cups made of biodegradable plastics have emerged with increasing frequency.
Plastic bottles even within the premium segment
PET ranges among the most popular plastics in packaging production, not only within the beverage segment. It is used both in combination with other materials and on its own. Due to its excellent properties (strength, clarity and barrier properties above all), it proves useful within the food, beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. PET is used also for multi-layer stand-up pouches (Doypack). In the field of beverage packaging, PET associates chiefly with soft drinks. However, it is no longer rare to buy beer – traditionally sold in glass bottles – in a PET bottle. Transparency can only be guaranteed by two materials: glass or plastics. We can even meet PET bottles of milk or wine. Carbonated drinks – requiring higher barrier because of the CO2 content – have the choice of several methods of PET barrier properties enhancement.
Stretch hood – the fifth dimension of beverage palletizing
New features of consumer and group packaging are apparent in our everyday life. However, transport packaging is undergoing changes, too. Widespread application of stretch hood films provides the main impetus today. Despite ther very short history, they managed to gain great popularity at the market and are gradually expanding even to those industry segments that initially did not seem to be a target.
Legislation on plastics for food packaging
A good packaging must protect food from heat, chill, drying out, moisture, impacts, dirt, and harmful substances. When intending to apply plastics for contact with food, we must respect the regulation no. 1935/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council of October 27, 2004. According to this regulation, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, www. efsa.europe.eu), based in Parma, Italy, was established. This body is responsible for the entire agenda and harmonization of both European and national regulations on food safety. The EU regulation no. 2023/2006 determinates the „good manufacturing practice“ for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. The Act no. 258/2000 Coll. and a set of provisions of the Czech Ministry of Health no. 38/2001 Coll., no. 186/2003 Coll., no. 207/2006 Coll., and no. 551/2006 Coll. are in effect for products intended to come into contact with food.
Convenience foods into appropriate trays
There are many ways to pack the ready- -to-eat food. Assuming a shorter service life, trays belong to the most popular forms of packaging. Plastic trays are the most common variants, but we buy also trays made of molded pulp or aluminium. In addition, plastic trays themselves are made of various materials – PE, PP, PS, PET, PVC, etc. The polypropylene (PP) trays prevail. They are generally suitable for temperatures up to 110 °C. Some PP grades are suitable for deep-freezing or higher temperatures on the contrary. Bioplastics also prove to be an alternative to PP.
Disputable claims on packagings
Nutrition and health claims on food packaging have the rules of their own. In the effort to guarantee consumer protection, the EU have adopted the regulation no. 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council, which regulates the usage of such claims. They must be authorized by the European Commision and included in a list of permitted claims before they can be used. The Commission may order a revision of their wording or specify conditions for their use. The European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) issued a complaint to the European Ombudsman on July 29, 2010. It states that the batch-wise approach (i.e. approving claims by packets) may result in the necessity to change the packs of some products constantly. The EFSA has announced consultations to assist the industry in processing applications for approval.
Organic food labeling in the EU
Within the Month of Organic Food, the 6th edition of the annual campaign promoting eco-agriculture and its products was held in the Czech Republic this year. Though packaging stands a little aside in this branch at the moment, paradoxically, it maintains one important role after all: the packs carry labels, thus pointing out to the fact that the food has been certified as „organic“. We will be coming across a new European logo more frequently in the near future. The changes of legislation on organic food labeling in the EU are effective of July 1, 2010.
PACKAGING AND DESIGN
Stop fearing to think differently
Beverage containers design is famous for creativity. Many claim that daring and unique solutions are the privilege of luxury items and top brands which can afford investments in their development. Indeed, we often find original and very interesting packs in the premium segment, sometimes even in the concept stage only. However, this does not necessarily mean that packaging for common everyday products must be en
tirely witless. It is appreciable that some ideas have been implemented and are being marketed successfully today.
Innovative technologies at the service of design
Today, the effect of packaging design on product sales results is constantly more evident. Even domestic producers put the look of their products in designers’ hands more frequently nowadays. Such trends also drive the development of new technologies, providing designers with a broader range of possibilities. In relation to the biggest plastics industry event of this fall, the K 2010 trade fair in Düsseldorf, the Sidel company presented innovative beverage and liquid food bottles.
The legend has grown up to a modern brand
A traditional Czech toy of the 1970s – the IGRÁČEK figure – has appeared in the shops again. On the occasion of reintroduction of the renewed toy at the market, we talked with Miroslav Kotík, owner of the Efko-Karton company, and designer Miloš Hába not only about a new look of the figure, but about a new design of its multi-purpose pack above all.
The Young package 2011
New themes were announced for the 16th international competition Young package at the beginning of November. The competition is divided into two categories and everyone under 30 may enter, whether students or young designers or gifted individuals from outside the branch. The first category entitled „Product Package“ is closely related to the industrial practice and its theme „National Product“ may be adopted for one product or a group of products. In the second category „Book as a Package for Words“, the competitors will shape a book cover/ jacket. It is a more playful theme emphasizing the graphic aspect. Entries deadline: March 15, 2011.
A good POP and where to place it
The field of POP, i.e. sales promotion tools like floor or presentation displays, is closely associated with consumer packaging of FMCG above all; they actually even merge in some cases – – a large bulk packaging can be unfolded to form a POP, for example. An annual conference of the Czech branch of the POPAI international association, held in Prague at the end of November, addressed this topic among others.
Packaging films from Krnov
The ALEDETO packaging company, Krnov, only imported foils from abroad initially, as there were no skilled manufacturers at the Czech market. The foil range gradually boosted with other materials and the firm also started to cut-size and laminate films, especially for manual packaging and automated packaging lines as well as for the label production. A new production hall was presented to the professional audience in October.
Label punching machines come not only from abroad
How to get labels of various shapes from a sheet or a roll of pre-printed paper or plastics? There are two best- -known solutions: the classic die-cutting for large runs and cutting-plotters for small runs. However, there is one more solution, most productive and suitable mainly for wet-glue labels: label punching machines. These are sized usually for paper and plastics. Basic sorting parametres are the size of labels punched, max. punching pressure, min. and max. paper weight and thickness and the scope of processed materials, embracing also leather or aluminium foils. In the CR, a small Moravian firm Bova plus, Olomučany, manufactures punching machines of a quality equal to top producers Busch and Lombardi but for roughly one-third their prices. The Strati company exports them.
Strong impulses of the K 2010 fair
The city of Düsseldorf, Germany, became the central point of the plastics industry for eight days at the end of October, with the 18th annual trade fair taking place there from October 27 to November 3. The experts agreed that this year’s fair has provided strong impulses for further industry development. Generally, the innovations towards the energy efficiency enhancement and increased productivity were apparent. As for the injection molding, multi-cavity molds emerge with production cycles below 2 sec. Take-out robots for demanding parts are the commonplace. A Windmöller & Hölscher line with the capacity of 1,000 kg of tissue films per hour set up a new world record for film blow molding. For the purposes of PP recycling, Borealis offered two high sturdy PP grades, improving recyclate properties. In packaging applications, so-called biopolymers elbow their way. Three-day sessions addressed packaging applications of bioplastics. The European Bioplastics association stated that 70 companies presented bioplastics innovations at K 2010.
CONGRESSES, CONFERENCES, AND WORKSHOPS
The 4th Czech and Slovak Packaging Congress
The 4th Czech and Slovak Packaging Congress took place in the Artemis hotel in Prague on Thursday November 18. Emerging personalities, coming not only from the industry practice, gave speeches beside the expert theorists. Current topic: issues of beverage packaging. After the Congress ended, the Packaging of the Year Awards 2010 were presented at a gala evening.