10月28 What Is the Future of Beverage Packaging?
According to a recent report by Mintel, packaging will play a vital role in reducing global food and product waste. Packaging has long been considered a waste to be discarded, but as people become aware of the environmental damage caused by unrecycled packaging and the large amount of carbon emissions from packaging during processing, the global attitude towards packaging is now It is changing rapidly. The shift to a circular economy, where producers recycle packaging efficiently from consumers, is creating momentum. By packaging consumers to pay attention and learn more about the best date of consumption and shelf life, it helps to change consumer spending habits and habits. The materials used to make packaging are also changing, and consumers are increasingly inclined to buy products that use natural, sustainable, and often organic materials.
The beverage industry plays a key role in the fight against waste emissions. For example, a global beverage manufacturer believes that more than half of its carbon emissions come from packaging, so the manufacturer has launched several initiatives to minimize the environmental impact of carbon emissions. First, it attempts to reduce the use of packaging materials by making the packaging lighter and thinner. Second, it uses recycled and renewable materials wherever possible – for example, some PET bottles are made from plant material 30% of the bottle. Finally, it encourages consumers to recycle packaging after eating the product.
To improve environmental sustainability, another large beverage manufacturer built a PET blow molding line in one of its production plants using a blow molding preform production process. The line eliminates the entire process of pre-bottle transportation, storage and disinfection, reducing annual traffic by more than 600,000 miles, reducing environmental impact.
In addition, a recent study by Professor Lorna Harries of the University of Exeter in the UK showed that bisphenol A (BPA, a compound commonly found in plastics) can alter the expression of estrogen-responsive genes and the regulation of hormones. This suggests that the health of both men and women may be adversely affected by exposure to this chemical. Therefore, green packaging is a good way to solve multiple problems in a single way. Environmentally friendly beverage bottles not only make production more sustainable and environmentally friendly, but also reduce the risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer.
In recent years, plastics have been a very controversial issue, especially when people realize that the amount of waste plastics entering the world’s oceans has reached dangerous critical points. Therefore, a variety of environmentally friendly plastics have been developed and are divided into three different categories.
Bioplastics are made from natural materials such as corn starch. The energy required to make bioplastic bottles is only one-third that of PET bottles. Interestingly, the sensory experience of some bioplastics is almost identical to that of petroleum-based products, and although it is not visually distinguishable, the plastic does not leave harmful substances.
Biodegradable plastics are traditional plastics made from petrochemicals, but they decompose faster. Although this plastic decomposes faster than traditional petrochemicals, it will leave some harmful substances and is not 100% environmentally friendly.
Recycled plastic, as its name suggests, is made from recycled plastic. Recycling old plastic itself is a good thing, however, it also has some challenges. For example, the recycling of recycled plastic bottles into plastic bottles is often limited by the amount of plastics that can result in loss of plastic properties. Instead, they are more likely to be converted into other products that require low-grade plastics, such as public “wooden benches” or playground equipment.
Environmentally friendly beverage packaging codes and logos face two major challenges. First, the walls of environmentally friendly PET bottles are much thinner than conventional PET bottles. There is no problem when using a small character (CIJ) printer, because the printer only adds a new layer of material – ink. However, the way laser coding technology works must change. Since laser coding is performed by removing a layer of material, the probability of bottle burn-through is greatly increased. To solve this problem and avoid deep engraving, Videojet invented a new laser tube with a wavelength of 9.3 microns instead of the traditional 10.6 microns. In addition, Videojet has invented a special non-crossing font that prevents the laser from ablation twice at the same location. Take the numbers 8 and X as an example. Instead of going through the center twice, the laser skips the existing line. Second, the era of making bottles with sustainable wood fiber or pulp is coming. Once such bottles enter the circulation, it will almost certainly bring new identification challenges to CIJ printers and laser coders. The ink may penetrate into the fibers of the material, producing substandard codes, and the laser coder is likely to burn through the fibers easily. To solve this problem, manufacturers using new bottles must work closely with coding and marking experts to achieve the best marking solution through testing.
The so-called “green” products’ demand for natural materials can be extended to inks that are used to create the necessary codes and logos (eg, lot number, lot and shelf life, etc.) for compliance. Butanone (MEK) is a solvent that is frequently used in ink because it can carry dyes and resins. Butanone has many advantages, including short drying times and the ability to carry resin, which is not a harmful air pollutant or ozone depleting chemical. However, some applications prefer inks that are not containing methyl ethyl ketone, such as the food and beverage industry.
It is important to provide a wide range of ink and solvent options for customers who need materials that do not contain specific chemicals. It is also important to use inks that do not contain butanone without affecting the quality of the code. Renewed efforts to develop new inks and solvents to meet stringent quality guidelines within the customer and the company.
The key is to work closely with professional coding and labeling suppliers to extensively test packaging materials under laboratory conditions to provide a qualified marking solution. This is especially important for new products, as configuring the code and logo in the first place will ultimately save time and minimize the risk of waste on the production line.