First fully recyclable shampoo bottle made with beach plastic points to new plastics economy

P&G partners with TerraCycle and Europe’s waste management leader to ensure a reliable source of post-consumer recycled plastic—collected from beaches around the world—for bottles of Head & Shoulders shampoo.


A recent report released by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the U.K. found that most plastic packaging is used only once; 95% of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80 to $120 billion annually, is lost to the economy after a short first use. And of the more than 300 million tons of new, virgin plastic produced globally per year, it is estimated that up to 129 million tons (43%) of the plastic used is disposed of in landfills, incurring an avoidable degree of structural loss.

Smart companies see it as good business to harness those resources and roll out sustainability initiatives by making a commitment to putting out products made from non-virgin raw material, creating circular systems that can be nurtured and expanded for growth.

For example, Procter & Gamble just announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos that it has teamed up with us at TerraCycle and Suez, the largest waste management company in Europe, to source, develop and put out the first fully recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25% beach plastic for the world’s #1 shampoo brand, Head & Shoulders. The first 150,000 bottles will be available in France this summer, making it the world’s largest production run of recyclable shampoo bottles made with beach plastic.

Working directly with hundreds of NGOs and other beach cleanup organizations, TerraCycle sources the shipments of rigid plastics collected through beach cleanup efforts, capturing these materials for recycling for the first time, at no cost to participants. After logistics (collection and shipment) and processing (separation and material pelletization) of these mixed plastics, they can be used as recycled raw material.

This project focuses on the goal of incorporating more post-consumer recycled content (as P&G has for more than 25 years, last year using 34,000 metric tons) across other P&G brands; P&G Hair Care is projected to see half a billion bottles per year include 25% PCR by the end of 2018.

P&G, using the program created by TerraCycle and Suez as a sourcing method, not only creates a market for recycled plastics, but a sustainable supply chain designed to feed back into itself. In the design of a “New Plastics Economy,” which challenges institutions to move away from the existing linear, take-make-dispose economy, theoretically, these plastics can then be recycled again to be used over and over.

The volume of the world’s plastic packaging that gets recycled is in direct correlation to the scale of the recycled plastics market. Since producing new, virgin plastic is currently less costly than purchasing recycled materials on back-end channels, putting forth the resources to divert plastics from landfills and create a market for them is not always top of mind.

But as innovations in plastic packaging technologies continue to advance, it is beneficial that material flow solutions for a more effective plastics system develop at a comparable pace. Building momentum towards a more circular economy is up to manufacturers and brands creating and expanding the market for recycled plastics by purchasing recycled materials to make their products, selling them to consumers and making the product easily recyclable.


Author Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle, has won more than 50 awards for entrepreneurship, writes blogs for Treehugger and The New York Times, published a book called “Make Garbage Great” in July 2015 and is the star of the television show “Human Resources” on Pivot TV, now in its third season.



Learn what it takes to innovate in the sustainable packaging space at WestPack 2017 (Feb. 7-9; Anaheim, CA). Register today!


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Automatic splicer cuts downtime and packaging film waste with better register sensor

A new register sensor on the SP1 automatic film splicer helps minimize packaging material waste by matching registration marks on film webs to eliminate the need to re-register the film after a splice.

From Butler Automatic, the SP1 automatic film splicer allows packaging lines to keep running by providing automatic, in-registration butt splices between rolls of packaging film, whether that be for a flexible package or for film labels, including shrink-sleeve labels.

This means no time is wasted for re-registering the rollstock after a splice because the film is already in register. The new register sensor also is better than the previous sensor at distinguishing between similar colors to more accurately find the register mark. This is helpful for when package graphics are printed close to or against the register mark.

And with new control software, users simply enter an offset value on the touchscreen control panel to easily position the splice and it is done automatically. Previously, operators had to physically move the sensor in the in-web direction when adjusting between products of different length or pitch.

New Butler SP1 systems offer this new register sensor as an option. But it can also be retrofit on any older SP1 splicer with a factory-installed Bi-Directional Registered Splice Option and a touchscreen user interface. Check with the Butler service and parts department to see if your older system is compatible for retrofit.

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A sticky but helpful situation for fragile medical devices

One stop on our Packaging Innovation Tour at MD&M Minneapolis 2016 was Gel-Pak, a company offering a biocompatible gel that can be coated onto the bottom of boxes, trays, slides, and films to secure medical components in place during transport, processing, and storage. 

The “gel” is a proprietary highly crosslinked elastomer that has strong cohesive strength, so it does not generate particles unless damaged by the user (with sharp tweezers, etc.), reports Jennifer Dossee Nunes, Director of Marketing. “When devices are placed on the gel, they are held securely in place until they are removed using tweezers or automated pick and place equipment,” she says.

When asked about weight limits and applicable materials of the products that can be held, Nunes says that “there is no simple answer. Our Gel works with most materials, and the weight limit is a function of the type of Gel-Pak carrier used, the Gel retention level, and the how it is used.  Once we understand the customer’s application, we provide the best samples for them to evaluate.”

And when asked whether the gel could be placed in a thermoformed tray to hold a medical device, Nunes says it is possible. “The easiest way is to laminate a sheet of WF-A film into the carrier,” she says. 

She also believes that the gel could be sterilized as part of a package that undergoes terminal sterilization, but she advises that samples should be tested and validated.

Gel-Pak makes two grades of gel material; a standard grade and a highly purified version (Process B) recommended for highly sensitive devices. The Vacuum Release (VR) product line is built using Process B Gel, and Process B is also available as a special option for the Gel-Box, Gel-Tray, Gel-Slide, and Gel-Film products.

Gel-Pak’s products have been used to hold items such as medical coils, platinum marker bands, medical staples, medical electronics, etc., she says. 

Above: Gel-Pak holding medical staples

For more details, visit–gel-technology.

Gel-Pak’s parent company Delphon will be exhibiting at Booth #1528 at the upcoming MD&M West in Anaheim February 7-9.

Click here for a list of the Innovation Tours at the show.

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3 ways to reach your next level of packaging success

Packaging helps build brands. That’s why it’s so important to get it right, as Matt Dingee well knows from his many experiences—and successes—at Campbell Soup. Now his consultancy business leverages packaging development and engineering skills for clients’ fast-moving consumer goods.

Based in Lansing, MI (home of Michigan State University’s School of Packaging), the new OnPoint 2020 LLC was co-founded by Dingee, who serves as president and chief operating officer (COO), and CEO Dennis Calamusa. Calamusa and his Sarasota, FL-based company Alliedflex Technologies are well known authorities in flexible packaging and packaging machinery. And Dingee, an MSU School of Packaging alumni, is no stranger to packaging achievements. He earned a 2013 DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation for initiating and commercializing a new-to-market reclose feature while working at Campbell Soup Co. as a packaging engineer. Dingee has also recently authored multiple articles that identify how to leverage the mindsets of the Millennial, Gen X, Boomer and Silent generations in packaging departments.

Matt Dingee, co-founder, president/COO, OnPoint 2020


Dingee takes a few moments to talk with Packaging Digest about the new company and how its services can help you.


Your consultancy helps brands “develop iconic packaging, craft ecommerce strategies and create innovative manufacturing solutions.” Why focus on these three areas?

Dingee: These three areas represent the highest opportunity areas to make a difference in our client’s business. After asking about some of their greatest challenges, it became clear that by leveraging packaging in these three areas, we can help them reach the next level of success.


Why should brands develop “iconic” packaging?

Dingee: First, I define iconic packaging as packaging that readily embodies the brand identity—be it design, material, size or use.

For starters, let’s assume a brand has a valuable purpose and identity, then the packaging will be a primary communication tool to represent that identity and purpose. The faster it does that job, the more iconic it is—think Coke bottle, where brand identity was evaluated for recognition in a smashed glass bottle.

If a brand owner doesn’t strive to embed the character of its brand in iconic packaging, then it risks being commoditized and overlooked, or it risks missing opportunities (the Fear of Missing Out or FOMO dilemma).


What are the challenges in developing iconic packaging and how do you overcome them?

Dingee: A big challenge is commitment to extend your brand through to packaging. If packaging is just a wrapper or Cost of Goods (COG), then it cages up the creative force to innovate. Why would Altoids have a metal hinged container and a paper tucked around mints? Because the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. wants to have Altoids carry a certain position—it’s not an extra cost, but an investment to establish the brand ethos throughout the packaging experience.


Few packaging consultants promote services centered around ecommerce packaging strategies, despite the growth in this channel. What advice do you plan to give clients regarding ecommerce packaging? Can you share a couple ideas?

Dingee: I promote and advise a training program for ecommerce packaging—like a boxer training for a championship bout. Due to its explosive growth, ecommerce has great expectations that showing up in the ring will get results—and the reality is that like any champion boxer, the title is earned through dogged hours in the gym and a dedicated fitness program. In the same way, a brand’s packaging must be trained and fit to size, shape, experience and configuration to win online. Each brand, like a boxer, will customize a training program to maximize abilities and shore up gaps. The big one is to determine the best dimensional weight class that your brand should be at!


Your third area of focus is to create innovative manufacturing solutions. Can you give us an example of an innovative manufacturing solution? What benefit(s) will your clients enjoy by implementing your ideas?

Dingee: In today’s consumer goods industry, the explosion of co-manufacturing cannot be overstated. From multi-national consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) to start ups, all are using this network to move to market faster. This inherently invites complexity of supply, packaging and capability to innovate. And this is where OnPoint 2020—with a generationally diverse and deep pool of experts—offers a powerful combination of manufacturing partners, equipment solutions and packaging material innovation to deliver the brand vision to market.

For example, a brand has selected a new format that appeals to their consumers—we help create a recommended partner that has or could have the equipment to supply this concept to market. Or perhaps develop a packaging material that can be produced within an existing manufacturing partner’s capability.


Why the company name OnPoint 2020? What does it mean?

Dingee: OnPoint2020 represents a mash up of two central ways we want to work for our clients:

1. OnPoint: meaning relevance, timeliness and insight for a given moment or context.

2. 2020: forward-looking vision and foresight.

Putting them together, we offer high-value insights that propel brands into future growth.



Learn what it takes to innovate in the packaging space at WestPack 2017 (Feb. 7-9; Anaheim, CA). Register today!


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Custom waste solutions offset food and beverage disposables at conferences

Think about the last time you attended a professional conference or trade show. Were meals provided, or was it mostly coffee and light snacks? Were breaks catered by the host hotel or conference venue, or an outside company that transported pre-prepared foods? Were coffee and other refreshments served in ceramic mugs and plastic or glass tumblers, or paper and foam cups? Did meals come with actual reusable silverware and plates, or disposable forks and knives?

Walking yourself through the answers to these questions may bring to mind the numerous times difficult-to-recycle food and beverage disposables are thrown in the garbage bin at conferences. By and large, used tabletop disposables and food packaging containers are not accepted by municipal recycling facilities due to their size, mixed material and contamination from contact with organic matter (aka leftover food). Also difficult to recycle are articles of the convenience packaging and single-serving food configurations that are ubiquitous with on-the-go environments like conferences or all-day meetings.

Account for the hypothetical three cups for water or coffee a person might throw in the trash per day (assuming they don’t hold onto the same disposable cup). Add to that plastic cutlery, empty chip bags and other examples of difficult-to-recycle food packaging, then multiply that by the number of days in each conference, by the conservative number of at least 100 people attending, times the over 300,000 annual conferences in the U.S. that occur each year, and the reduced cost of labor and logistics associated with disposables is eclipsed by a large volume of avoidable waste that these events generate.

Conference organizers can take responsibility for the unique volume of disposables created by these organized meetings by supplementing the largely insufficient waste management systems of host venues with custom solutions. For example, the upcoming Sustainable Foods Summit in San Francisco kicks off Jan. 18-20 with seminar sessions and interactive workshops dedicated to food production and supply chain sustainability and the impacts of food and packaging waste.

By working with TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box division, the organizers at the Sustainable Foods Summit will outfit Parc 55 San Francisco with recycling boxes for shipping and transport materials on the backend, and front-facing boxes for single-serving food and chip bags and plastic Solo cups on the show floor. Displaying them prominently alongside garbage receptacles and where refreshments are distributed, SFS walks the walk of its mission in a practical sense, allowing conference attendees, speakers  and personnel to do their part in the capture of these disposable, yet valuable, material resources.

Another conference that recently demonstrated a commitment to achieving zero waste in a big way is Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN). For the third annual gathering of the Students for Zero Waste Conference, conference organizers actually requested that attendees “bring-your-own everything” (mugs, plates, silverware and napkins), and about half of the 400 attendees did, sporting everything from mason jars to camping gear to use for their lunch and snacks. A tub of reusable silverware from Goodwill took care of the rest of the attendees, and a washing station for people to clean their utensils between meals was also provided. By the end of the event, only two pounds of trash were headed for the landfill.

Zeroing in on the unique logistical and waste management needs of conferences and large meetings acknowledges that every problem we have with waste comes down to two things: economics and planning. By taking the initiative to create custom solutions for these distinctive situations, conference and meeting organizers can work sustainability into the event format and add zero waste values to their programming.


Author Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle, has won more than 50 awards for entrepreneurship, writes blogs for Treehugger and The New York Times, published a book called “Make Garbage Great” in July 2015 and is the star of the television show “Human Resources” on Pivot TV, now in its third season.



See a host of new ideas in sustainable packaging at WestPack 2017 (Feb. 7-9; Anaheim, CA). Register today!

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Nondestructive testers can yield rapid return on investment, says PTI

Nondestructive package testing offers engineers and quality control professionals a means to reduce waste and to increase the frequency of their package inspection, with much higher accuracy, reports Michelle Wolf, marketing communications manager for PTI – Packaging Technologies & Inspection. “Non-destructive, quantitative inspection technologies for pharmaceutical and medical device packaging is the direction the industry is headed versus using primitive test methods that are subjective to the operator and not repeatable,” she tells PMP News. “Test methods that are repeatable, reliable, and provide quantitative test result data are the preferred solutions for package integrity testing for a number of reasons.” 

PTI will be showcasing its new VeriPac FLEX system for food, pharma, and medical applications at the upcoming WestPack exhibition February 7-9 at Booth #5485. Specifically it will be demonstrating the VeriPac 310 with integrated flex chamber, which is a small-footprint, non-destructive quantitative test method for dry filled flexible packaging, says Wolf. 

Designed for pouches and other flexible package formats, the VeriPac FLEX Systems can be used to conduct vacuum decay leak testing according to ASTM method F2338. The system yields a “pass” or “fail” result as well as quantitative data that correlates to a leak rate, the company reports. The systems are available with several different configurations for both the leak test instrument and the test chamber for packages ranging from small sachets and stick packs up to very large bulk size pouches and bags.

“The VeriPac series can test a wide range of packaging formats ranging from vials, ampoules, blisters, and flexible packaging,” Wolf explains. “The type of test chamber used (integrated, small drawer, large drawer, mega flex, rigid, custom) depends on the packaging specifications and test sensitivity requirements.”

Also offered for flexible packaging is the Mega Flex chamber, which is a large format test chamber for larger size packages. In addition, PTI offers the ability to custom design a test chamber for special applications. 

When asked by PMP News whether operators could use multiple test chambers on one testing system, Wolf explains that “with the VeriPac IFC integrated flex chamber, since it’s a single footprint system, switching to another chamber would not be recommended. However, it is possible with the VeriPac standalone systems. If a customer has to test a flexible package and a rigid container, they can purchase the VeriPac tester with the two different test chambers for each package format and switch between the two.  The software offers the ability to store recipes and test criteria, so it’s easy for the operator to change from one product to another.”

PTI reports that users could see a rapid return on investment when comparing vacuum decay leak testing technology with destructive methods such as the water bath or blue dye leak tests. “Upgrading your test method to a non-destructive technology provides significant cost savings because you are no longer destroying product, many of which can be very costly, to perform package quality testing,” says Wolf. “Especially for medical, pharmaceutical, and nutritional products, utilizing a reliable non-destructive quantitative test method results in very fast ROI, not to mention the improved quality and process control.” 

Vacuum decay technology, in addition to being an ASTM test method (ASTM F2338, Standard Test Method for Nondestructive Detection of Leaks in Packages by Vacuum Decay Method), is also listed in the USP <1207>. “Most recently the USP Chapter <1207> was rewritten, graduating it from a soft guide on container closure integrity to a more detailed document to establish best practices for container closure integrity and package integrity testing. The USP Chapter <1207> presents relevant methodologies that can be deployed for container closure integrity testing (CCIT), giving industry experts and the FDA a menu of technologies that have a proven track record of providing reliable non-subjective test results. Technological advances have improved test method reliability, sensitivity, and testing capabilities not available before.”

Wolf says that “PTI offers a full line of technologies for many applications and works closely with clients to ensure we match the right solution with their testing needs. It’s not one-size fits all and we carefully evaluate each application, also offering full service test method development and feasibility studies to prove the technology/solution.”

For more details, please visit PTI at Booth #5485 at WestPack. 

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About DNP

With 140 years of history and knowledge, DNP is the thermal transfer ribbon manufacturer of choice for quality products and industry-leading support and resources.

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Some of the longest trays now produced by custom thermoformer

Brentwood Industries Inc. is now thermoforming 72-in.-long medical packaging trays thanks to a new custom-designed ULTRA thermoformer from SencorpWhite. Brentwood has been known for producing long trays, having built its own machine in the late 1970s for thermoforming catheter trays. Its new system is now the largest form and trim press ever built, SencorpWhite reports, and its platens can produce parts up to 72-in long x 34-in. wide, with a 7-in. stroke.

The two companies will be exhibiting at the upcoming MD&M West show February 7-9 in Anaheim.

Bob Mozian, Vice President of Sencorp Sales, tells PMP News that SencorpWhite is seeing demand for larger and custom-sized packaging from its customers and end-users. Such packages can present challenges. “The project came about in response to a conversation between SencorpWhite and our client Brentwood about the needs of their customers and challenges they were facing in forming a solution,” he says. “There are many design challenges in thermoforming longer packages: the design of the press, maintaining the flatness of the platens, stiffness, rigidity, along such a long forming area, control of the cut, and parts handling, to name a few.”

The ULTRA thermoformer is a standard offering from SencorpWhite, but Mozian says that “in this case the machine was completely customized for Brentwood beyond any standard or optional features one could normally find in the market. Each component and sub-assembly of this machine had to be customized to take into account the larger size: A custom unwind stand to pay out the material, a longer sheet guide to account for such a long index, custom press and toggle design to maintain rigidity, a custom hoist anchored to the base to account for the increased size and weight of the tooling, and specialized parts handling assemblies. Each assembly was re-designed from the ground up to account for the larger size.”

SencorpWhite reports that the custom-designed ULTRA also features:

  • A closed-loop, seven-zone inline infrared sheet-temperature-sensing system that constantly monitors sheet temperature to ensure accurate, efficient, and repeatable production parts.
  • Servo-driven presses that provide precise movements with increased speed.
  • Forming parameters that are fully controlled through the built-in HMI with high-low warnings as an advanced quality measure.
  • A robotic pick-and place-system that allows the machine to automatically remove, stack, and pack product, minimizing cycle time and maximizing throughput.

The new ULTRA thermoformer is currently operating in a cleanroom environment at Brentwood, Mozian says.

“The capabilities of our new ULTRA have enabled us to pursue new opportunities and provide our customers with the most cost-competitive solutions in the medical packaging industry,” said Andrew Haus, Medical Product Line Manager at Brentwood, in a news statement issued by SencorpWhite.

“We are very excited to work with forward-thinking companies like Brentwood, who understand it’s a strategic imperative to modernize packaging technologies,” added Mozian in the statement. “Our recent acquisition by Connell Limited Partnership has given us a renewed focus on R&D to make projects like this possible.”

Brentwood will be exhibiting in Booth #1948 at MD&M West. The company produces custom thermoformed and injection molded solutions for medical device packaging, components, and housings for imaging and diagnostic equipment. The company maintains an ISO Class 7 cleanroom and is certified to both ISO 9001 and 14001 quality standards. For details, visit

SencorpWhite, a Connell Limited Partnership portfolio company, will be exhibiting in Booth #1943 at MD&M West. The company provides Sencorp brand thermoformers, CeraPak and CeraTek brand packaging technologies, and White brand automated storage and retrieval systems and inventory management software. Visit

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