Menasha Packaging Introduces Revolutionary Blister Card

Menasha Packaging’s new X Card, a revolutionary carded blister packaging, is helping customers speed up production, use less energy and reduce costs.

Unlike most current heat seal trapped blister packs, X Card eliminates the heat and dwell time by using a patent-pending cohesive application system that simply requires pressure to seal. The result is a highly efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to heat seal.

“X Card is a labor-saving solution that will streamline operations and dramatically increase throughput,” says Jerry Hessel, executive vice president of business development for Menasha Packaging. “We’ve seen production speeds double for some customers, while greatly reducing their total system costs of packaging.”

X Card also has many benefits for companies seeking sustainable packaging solutions, including:

  • Reduced energy consumption due to quicker production and no heat use
  • Corrugated materials that are at least 65% recycled
  • Greater recyclability since blisters emerge free from paper and glue residue
  • Converting done under one roof
  • SFI certification for all paper products to ensure consistency

Carded blister packaging is often used in club stores and to group products together, such as cosmetics or special promotional items. The X Card blister system helps protect these products during transportation and display. The high-quality materials used to create X Card also enhance packaging graphics and provide a large billboard space help communicate product features and benefits.

“Menasha’s X Card blister system provides consumer packaged good companies the right combination to sell more product on shelf,” says Dennis Bonn, vice president of marketing for Menasha Packaging. “We will be able to service different customer segments with X Card and offer a more competitive blister card system to our current customers.”

X Card can be produced using a variety of substrates, from economy to upscale. It’s minimum size requirement is 10” x 7.5”, but the size can be customized. Typical club pack blister card sizes are 11” x 9” and 13” x 15”.

Menasha’s promotion of X Card stems from a license and supply agreement with Excel Retail Solutions, LLC.

About Menasha Packaging
Menasha Packaging Company, LLC, based in Neenah, Wisconsin, is a subsidiary of Menasha Corporation, and it has more than 2,300 employees at locations nationwide. Menasha Packaging is a leading provider of graphic consumer packaging, merchandising solutions, corrugated packaging, food packaging, shipping containers and material handling solutions, and is home of the Retail Integration Group. With design, sales service centers, corrugated and paperboard plants located throughout the United States, the company’s mission is to help its customers protect, move and promote their products better than anyone else.

About Menasha Corporation
Menasha Corporation is a leading corrugated and plastic packaging manufacturer and supply chain solutions provider specializing in retail merchandising packaging and displays, plastic reusable containers and pallets, protective packaging interiors, and packaging supply chain and fulfillment services. Menasha Corporation’s products and services are used by major food, beverage, consumer products, healthcare, pharmaceutical, industrial and automotive companies. Established in 1849, Menasha Corporation is one of America’s oldest privately held, family-owned manufacturing companies. Headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, the company employs approximately 4,000 employees in over 75 facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

About Excel Retail Solutions
Excel Displays & Packaging is a full-service corrugated designer and manufacturer located in the Chicago area. For nearly 25 years, Excel has designed and produced Point-of-Purchase (POP) displays, in-store signage, graphic retail packaging and industrial packaging. Innovation drives Excel, whether it’s patent-pending retail solutions, like the X Card, or proprietary board-grades, including Steel Stack or “S-Flute.” With its Sales & Design Center in Bentonville, Arkansas, Excel is positioned to provide winning and timely display solutions for nationwide distribution.

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Sustainability in Packaging 2014 event set for March






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 8/27/2013 10:13:47 AM





 

 

 

Sustainable Packaging 2014 logo

 

Smithers Pira, in association with Packaging Digest and Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, will be returning to Orlando, FL, in March 2014 for the 8th annual Sustainability in Packaging conference and exhibition. This year’s event will take place March 5-7, 2014, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. More than 300 leaders in the sustainability and packaging supply chains are expected to come together to discuss the opportunities, challenges and solutions that will lead to packaging innovations that improve sustainability and the bottom line.

 

Planned sessions at Sustainability in Packaging include key sustainability and innovation trends around flexible packaging for better end of life scenarios; success stories and developments in fiber packaging; sustainable packaging sourcing security; and developments in extended producer responsibility. This year’s program will include a number of new topics including marine debris case studies and policy; sustainability in frozen and the cold chain; and an investor’s forum (Shark Tank) to find the next great idea in sustainable packaging.

 

“Sustainability in Packaging 2014 is on track to deliver our most comprehensive discussion ever, with more real life case studies than ever before,” says Barbara Fowler, conference director at Smithers Pira. “Our advisory board – including Alan Blake, Consultant – Packaging & Sustainability, Alan Blake Consulting and Executive Director, PAC Next; Laura Rowell, Director, Sustainable Packaging, Sonoco Packaging; Lisa Pierce, Executive Editor, Packaging Digest; Saskia van Gendt, Captain Planet, Method; Jeff Loth, Senior Manager, Packaging Engineering, Microsoft and Betsy Dorn, Director, USA Consulting, Reclay StewardEdge – have been hard at work recruiting brand owners, converters and packaging innovators to share their latest triumphs and challenges with an eye to creating truly sustainable and profitable packaging.”

 

“Because of the expertise of each board member, we are able to develop an agenda that tackles hot topics from a variety of perspectives,” said Pierce. “Not only is there something for everyone on the program, but it’s the right ‘something.’ This conference looks at a holistic view of how packaging sustainability impacts business and presents specific solutions, year after year.”

 

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available. America’s best known consumer brands, materials suppliers and packaging converters and manufacturers will be in attendance to focus on the ongoing sustainability challenge and the latest packaging innovations. Contact Heather Adams at 207-781-9632 about crafting a custom-designed sponsorship or exhibition package.

For more information about Sustainability in Packaging 2014 or to attend, visit www.sustainability-in-packaging.com.

 

About Smithers Pira
Smithers Pira is the worldwide authority on packaging, paper and print industry supply chains. Established in 1930, the company provides strategic and technical consulting, testing, intelligence and events to help clients gain market insights, identify opportunities, evaluate product performance and manage compliance. For more information, visit www.smitherspira.com.

 

 







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MEGA AIRLESS AND GREEN PACKAGING SOLUTIONS: DISPENSING THAT HELPS CUSTOMERS, CONSUMERS AND THE PLANET

 Mega Airless’ German-engineered, airless, neutral and fully recyclable packaging solutions are being selected by both the growing ranks of multinationals and entrepreneurial, regional brand owners that adhere to strict corporate sustainability goals – and offer advanced formulations that require the highest levels of protection.

Companies such as The Body Shop, MediPharma, Alverde, Carroten, Wellments and Le Petit Olivier have recently launched Mega Airless-powered products with new generation ingredients added to the bulk.  Such innovative firms simultaneously seek to reinforce their eco-friendly positioning, an attribute that appeals to a growing consumer segment.

Mega Airless, the world’s largest all-airless package solutions provider, offers the neutral, all-plastic dispensing solutions that can protect and preserve such new-breed formulations and meet the requirements of the world’s most stringent certification bodies.  In fact, the company has achieved an Ecocert conformity attestation for all its dispenser models: Micros, Mezzos, Minis, Midis, Macro Slims, Macro Compacts and Macro Ovals.  Ecocert is an inspection and certification body for sustainable development.  

In addition to being Ecocert conformity-attested dispensers, as well as meeting the requirements of NaTru, Oeko-Test and other certification bodies, the Mega Airless dispenser range earned a recycling certificate from COTREP, a leading governing body that recognizes and identifies the finest in innovative, sustainable packaging.

According to Mega Airless’ Eric Desmaris, Business Development Director, “This is important news for those firms that base their core brand premise on a foundation of sustainability.  Our approach to sustainability is simply this: green packaging should not be special or optional packaging. 

“Rather, we company believes that green packaging should be the norm, rather than the exception,” Desmaris said.  “Our credo is to ‘bake sustainability into the cake’ from product development and design, through the manufacturing process, and via enhanced supply chain efficiencies.”

In terms of product design, Mega Airless strives to use the least possible resources, especially raw materials.  Material mix is avoided and the polyolefin family is preferred.  Optimal fill volume is delivered to the consumer.  Components are developed in a way that optimizes the ease of manufacture.  Further, Mega Airless reduces the number of component parts, for performance and precision.  Very viscous creams and gels are dispensed with up to 98 percent complete evacuation, for no waste of the bulk. 

All-plastic materials are used, FDA/EP approved, for complete and easy recycling.  Post-consumer, recycled resins are used.  And Mega Airless dispensers are designed without elastomers or silicon-based materials.  Of course, the company’s manufacturing tradition is to utilize only lean and environmentally friendly production. 

Every Mega Airless dispenser is vacuum-tested inline – no transportation waste — and delivers precision dosing, quick-priming, superior evacuation and 360-degree operation – with no drips, clogs, drying or product contamination.  In addition, Mega Airless’ mix-and-match product family reduces the size of the parts catalogue. 

Mega Airless has 25 years of airless experience and 30 patents, for unsurpassed value and performance.

ABOUT MEGA AIRLESS DISPENSING SOLUTIONS

The company’s neutral, all-plastic airless dispensers are designed to protect today’s advanced formulations and natural products for facial and skin care and are engineered for full recyclability in conformation with EcoCert, NaTru, Oko-Test and other international labels – increasingly important in countries throughout the world.

All Mega Airless dispensers are equipped with the company’s exclusive airless pump that offers unsurpassed neutrality, precise and consistent dosage, optimal product recovery and convenient 360-degree operation.  They are designed to handle a wide range of viscosities, including the most demanding new formulations used in today’s creams, gels, lotions and pastes.

The 100 percent plastic airless dispensers are made in one location (mould manufacturing, injection moulding, assembly, decoration), which eliminates complex supply chains and reduces the CO2 impact. In addition, continuous Mega Airless investment in state-of-the-art equipment delivers economic and environmental efficiencies.

 

 

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

 

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All-natural soda now in sleek 12-oz can






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Posted by Kari Embree, Senior Digital Content Editor — Packaging Digest, 7/24/2013 11:03:43 AM





 

 

DRY Soda sleek can

 

As consumers continue to demand real ingredients in their beverages and seek out all-natural and lower sugar soda options, DRY Soda is making its unique sodas more accessible to customers by offering it in Rexam 12-oz. SLEEK cans. DRY Soda also introduces two new flavors this summer: Apple DRY and Ginger DRY.

DRY Soda’s launch of sleek cans and introduction of new flavors means that DRY customers can enjoy DRY in more places—on the go, poolside, cocktails, lunches and entertaining at home. In addition to the Apple and Ginger, DRY will also offer three current flavors in cans: Vanilla Bean, Blood Orange, and Cucumber DRY. 

Originally introduced in 12-oz. glass bottles, DRY Soda has chosen to expand into the Rexam SLEEK can because of its durability and portability. DRY Soda also supports the use of aluminum cans as they are the most sustainable packaging choice in the world, and are recycled at more than double the rate of any other beverage package. 

In 2005, well before low sugar products were part of the national conversation, DRY Soda CEO and Founder Sharelle Klaus saw the need for a less sweet, all-natural soda and created the first soda line with significantly less sugar and made with just four ingredients. DRY, the better for you soda, contains one-quarter to one-third of the sugar and calories of traditional sodas, and is only 45-70 calories per 12-oz. bottle/can.

“I developed DRY because I believe in offering a better low sugar soda option to consumers seeking healthier alternatives to traditional sodas and am thrilled that DRY cans will allow people to enjoy it anywhere, anytime and offer our customers the convenience of DRY on the go,” says DRY Soda CEO Sharelle Klaus. “DRY really stands out in the Rexam SLEEK cans and provides DRY Soda retailers more opportunities to offer DRY to their customers.”

 

Rich Grimley, president and CEO, Rexam BCNA, says the SLEEK can is the perfect choice to broaden consumer reach for DRY. “The SLEEK can provides a differentiation on retail shelves that helps build brands,” he said.

 

“Besides the appeal of the package with colorful graphics that enable brands to attract attention on retail shelves, beverage cans offer superior recycling, filling, distribution and display economics that just make good business sense.”

DRY Soda cans are available now throughout the U.S. in traditional and specialty retail stores, restaurants, cafes and online. The cans will be sold individually at retailers for $1.29.

 

Source: DRY Soda

 

 

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Packaging Insights: What’s the Key to Profitable Innovation?

DuPont invited David Luttenberger – CPP, vice president/packaging strategist for CEB Iconoculture, a leading consumer insights and research firm, to share insights while in town serving as lead juror and facilitator for the 25th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.   

Q.           Your company is well known for delivering packaging-specific knowledge in context with consumer insights– what’s the hottest insight?

A.            The packaging industry – brand owners, retailers, designers, converters, everyone – is learning to capitalize on ways that packaging can be used to build a one-on-one consumer relationship.  Whether it is through design, messaging or mobile technology, the best concepts are using this consumer touchpoint in a way that engages consumers in a one-on-one relationship that the consumer cares about, not just as a means of sending out a brand message.

Q             How would you characterize the value of packaging and how should the industry be talking about that? 

A.            It’s not exactly front-page news that consumers rarely see the value in packaging.  We can be our own worst enemy and that’s partly because we don’t use words that resonate with consumers.  ‘Source reduction’ to the consumer, for example, means less packaging, less product, same price. What is “carbon neutral” or “sustainable packaging” to a middle class, cost-conscious consumer?  Our industry needs to simplify and think like a consumer.  Then and only then will consumers see the value packaging brings.

Q.           We’ve seen packaging take on challenges like convenience, bringing us nutritious options that match busy lifestyles.   What’s the next big issue that packaging can help solve?

A.            There remains so much more potential for packaging to help solve the world food challenge.  We are doing a lot to protect food and reduce food waste, and the next wave of solutions will evolve from looking hyper-locally at issues. How you deliver food and water or keep medicines safe will be very different in, say, densely populated regions like India, versus remote areas in sub-Sahara Africa.  Their issues are different; their solutions will be different – the common denominator could lie within the distribution network, with a unique packaging structure, or it could lie in simply rethinking how an existing package is designed or converted..  

Q             Kraft Foods CEO Tony Vernon recently talked openly with Forbes about reinvigorating innovation in ‘How Kraft Got Its Innovation Groove Back’   

Q             What’s the most common sign that innovation is being starved?

A            In today’s tight economy, you can’t just look at your research and development budget and say: “we’re not investing enough.”  It’s more than a function of investment.  You have to look at your innovation pipeline and ask – what’s the impetus for innovation?  Is it a great idea?  Or is it a great idea that meets a known need.  Today, there is a risk in investing in “great ideas” that don’t address a “need.” I would argue that today, we don’t have that luxury.

Q             What is the most powerful strategy to keep innovation alive?

A             Innovate around known needs. Whether it’s a consumer need, or a distribution pinch point – innovation must stem from and address a need.  One way to understand “need” is to evaluate the gap between “importance” and “satisfaction” from the user’s point of view.  If something is important to the consumer, yet they are unsatisfied – chase innovation there.  Ignore the opposite – if it is not important and the need is met, leave it alone,

Q             Where do you see the most innovative ideas emerging from?

A             From insights that stem from the consumer experience – that’s the proverbial North Star for innovation.  Whether it is designing packaging for a product designed for aging boomers, or for tweeners, or to ensure medicines are safely delivered in remote areas of the world, innovation emerges when you walk a mile in the consumers’ shoes.

Q             In honor of the 25th year of DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, we are asking readers to select which of the past winner breakthroughs made the biggest impact on their lives.  When you look at the past breakthroughs what is your favorite and why?

A.            Recycled content.  Whether it is PET bottles or paperboard, using recycled content cuts across all packaging innovation and is a powerful opportunity to engage with consumers.  Our industry can build on the existing infrastructure to take back and re-use packaging materials.  We know there is a need – we know that satisfaction in meeting that need varies – so it is an area ripe for continued innovation.

Click here to view the breakthrough groups and vote on the one that most impacted your life.

_________________

As vice president of CEB Iconoculture’s Global Packaging Advisory Service, David has access to a combination of packaging-centric consumer research and ongoing advisory support from a specialized team of experts to offer up a comprehensive view of packaging trends, innovations and market opportunities. 

The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation are the industry’s longest-running, global, independently judged celebration of innovation and collaboration throughout the value chain.  Their sponsor, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, manufactures an extensive mix of adhesive, barrier, peelable lidding and sealant resins and provides a globally networked development team to work with customers on packaging programs that help protect the product, environment, improve shelf appeal, convenience and reduce cost in the food, cosmetics, medical products and other consumer goods and industrial packaging industries.

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McCormick sets new packaging weight reduction goals






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Posted by Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 7/16/2013 11:16:37 AM





McCormick logoMcCormick & Co. Inc., a global leader in flavor, has released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) review, “Sharing Our Passion for Flavor.” The review builds on the company’s tradition of social responsibility by outlining key focus areas, examining current global initiatives, measuring performance and setting goals for the future. 

 

As highlighted in the review, the company exceeded its 2010 reduction targets for solid waste and electricity consumption a year ahead of schedule, resulting in a savings of enough plastic bottles to stretch the length of 14,000 football fields.

 

To continue to improve on its environmental performance, McCormick has now set new goals for further reductions by 2018, including:
• 25 percent reduction in bottle packaging weight using sustainable methods
• 50 percent reduction in solid waste

“Our CSR vision is to grow our business globally while driving positive change to the environment, within our communities and for our employees,” says Alan Wilson, chairman, president and CEO. “This CSR review highlights the linkage between our philanthropic work, protection of the environment and our business success.”

 

McCormick has already saved more than 300 tons of plastic annually by using sustainable packaging on four of the company’s plastic bottle types. The length of these saved bottles equals that of 14,000 football fields. These savings build upon the company’s success at its net-zero energy facility in Belcamp, MD, and its aggressive operational goals focused on energy efficiency, packaging, waste and water reduction at nearly 50 locations in 24 countries.

 

To help provide hunger relief for children and families in Madagascar’s vanilla growing region, the company has partnered with Help Madagascar. This nonprofit organization helps keep farmers’ children in school by rewarding class attendance with rice donations to their families. Supporting global communities like Madagascar through partnerships is critical to McCormick’s supply chain because it improves the day-to-day lives of suppliers and helps ensure a stable and reliable source of supply for high quality raw materials. To further these efforts, McCormick will commit to a 50 percent increase in funding to similar programs in farming communities in regions of the world where the company sources its products.

 

As a leader in global flavor, McCormick has committed to a 20 percent increase in funding to educate consumers globally on the role of flavor in healthy eating. By demonstrating how flavor can help inspire healthy choices, McCormick will show how to make it enjoyable and sustainable for people to eat more of the right foods and less of the foods to avoid (salt, sugar and fat). Additionally, McCormick will bring its “Eating Well” employee nutrition and wellness program to all global locations by 2018.

 

To read and download McCormick’s entire 2013 CSR Review, visit www.mccormickcorporation.com.

 

Source: McCormick & Co. Inc.

 

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McCormick Releases 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Review, Expanding its CSR Strategy and Setting 2018 Goals

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC), a global leader in flavor, today released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) review, “Sharing Our Passion for Flavor.” The review builds on the company’s tradition of social responsibility by outlining key focus areas, examining current global initiatives, measuring performance and setting goals for the future.

“Our CSR vision is to grow our business globally while driving positive change to the environment, within our communities and for our employees,” said Alan Wilson, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This CSR review highlights the linkage between our philanthropic work, protection of the environment and our business success.”

McCormick has already saved more than 300 tons of plastic annually by using sustainable packaging on four of the company’s plastic bottle types. The length of these saved bottles equals that of 14,000 football fields. These savings build upon the company’s success at its net-zero energy facility in Belcamp, Md., and its aggressive operational goals focused on energy efficiency, packaging, waste and water reduction at nearly 50 locations in 24 countries.

To help provide hunger relief for children and families in Madagascar’s vanilla growing region, the company has partnered with Help Madagascar. This nonprofit organization helps keep farmers’ children in school by rewarding class attendance with rice donations to their families. Supporting global communities like Madagascar through partnerships is critical to McCormick’s supply chain because it improves the day-to-day lives of suppliers and helps ensure a stable and reliable source of supply for high quality raw materials. To further these efforts, McCormick will commit to a 50% increase in funding to similar programs in farming communities in regions of the world where the company sources its products.

As a leader in global flavor, McCormick has committed to a 20% increase in funding to educate consumers globally on the role of flavor in healthy eating. By demonstrating how flavor can help inspire healthy choices, McCormick will show how to make it enjoyable and sustainable for people to eat more of the right foods and less of the foods to avoid (salt, sugar and fat). Additionally, McCormick will bring its “Eating Well” employee nutrition and wellness program to all global locations by 2018.

About McCormick
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor. With $4 billion in annual sales, the company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses.

Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavored by McCormick. McCormick Brings Passion to Flavor.

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

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Packaging is the gateway to a deeper conversation about sustainability






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Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 7/15/2013 9:58:11 AM





Jim HannaJim HannaHow do you use packaging to communicate your sustainable strategy to customers? Come and find out.

 

On July 17, 2013, Jim Hanna, director, environmental impact, Starbucks Coffee Co., will speak at the Packaging Digest Global Food & Beverage Packaging Summit conference in Chicago. His topic: “How we build successful sustainable packaging.”

 

Here, he gives us a preview of some key points in his presentation. For more information about the conference and/or to register, visit www.fbpackaging.com.

 

Q: What is the Starbucks approach to sustainable design in packaging?

Hanna: Our approach is to focus on the entire life cycle of the packaging from raw material sourcing all the way to end of life and to where we can use the life cycle approach assessment to determine the true sustainability of packaging. A lot of folks focus on materials or on end of life specifically. As a company that is focusing pretty heavily on climate change as one of our primary environmental drivers, the climate footprint of our packaging is one of the essential pieces that we take a hard look at.

 

Q: Why is this holistic approach so successful?


Hanna:
It’s successful because it’s credible. Unfortunately, there’s still lot of green washing in sustainable packaging out there. Our approach is agnostic to type of material. It looks really at where the true inputs are going into manufacturing and packaging. How do we design packaging in the best way to not only reduce all the environmental impacts of it but make it appropriate for existing end-of-life management infrastructures out there? 

We’re not a company that has a zero-waste goal because zero-waste goals are often the distraction from reality. We will always create some waste. We’re not a company that focuses on landfill diversion as the only definition of sustainable packaging because, again, landfill diversion doesn’t necessarily equate to environmental efficacy or environmental mitigation. We try to take a credible, long term approach and not get trapped into a lot of the fads and trends we see out there today, which play a role at raising awareness of the issues of packaging’s footprint—but often don’t tell the complete story by locking on to one specific metric of a package’s sustainability. 

Also, we’ve always taken a collaborative approach to defining sustainable packaging because, if we’re going to be successful as an industry, we have to be working together as an industry to create the necessary scale and break down some of the largest barriers to issues like waste management and harmonization of materials. We’ve done number of initiatives over the years that have brought stakeholders into the room from up and down the entire value chain to create a sense of thinking like an integrated system toward a common purpose.

 

Q: Why do you think it’s beneficial to engage the community in your sustainability efforts?


Hanna:
When we define our community, it’s the 60 million people that walk through our doors as customers every week, it’s the places where we operate our stores and the impact that we have on those towns, as well as the place that we hold within those communities as a contributor to their livelihoods. It’s also the nearly 200,000 partners that put on the green apron as employees of Starbucks every day.

Finally, we see our community as the stakeholders who have influence in our company and are keen on how our company operates because of the size and the ubiquity of our brand and the reach it has on a global scale. Whatever their area of focus, these stakeholders have a key interest in the betterment of our world and they are looking to corporate leaders to solve these tough global issues. 

If we’re not engaged with those folks, then we’re not relevant with them. Obviously, from a customer base, that impacts sales. But from a community base, it impacts the place that we hold within those neighborhoods, and our ability to operate successfully within them. It’s beneficial for every company to be directly engaged with their communities—however they define them—because it’s critical to their success.

 

Q: How do your customers influence your sustainable packaging initiatives? 


Hanna:
That’s an interesting question because often I think that we, as companies, aren’t necessarily aligned with what our customers expect from us around sustainable packaging. 

Here’s a good example: We were the first large company in the world to take the use of food-contact post-consumer fiber to scale. With our supply chain partners, we went through the challenges of getting FDA approval (to the FDA, “approval” is defined as a “no objection”) for food-contact post-consumer fiber. It took us a number of years to make that happen and, although we’re still one of the only companies out there using post-consumer fiber at scale for food contact in our hot paper cups, we haven’t necessarily seen a significant resonance within a customer base around that leadership model. 

You don’t see customers out there asking “Why are you only 10 percent PCF Starbucks? You really should increase that to 20, 30, 40, 50 percent” or whatever the number is. 

Consumers, especially in the U.S. and Canada, define sustainable packaging by focusing on end of life. That’s caused us to focus a lot of effort and resources into creating solutions for our packaging because we know that’s what resonates most with our customers. Yes, we work to mitigate the footprint of our packaging from cradle to grave. But we need to realize that our customers, and most consumers, are locked in on end-of-life as their definition of sustainable packaging today.

We need to create solutions for our customers so we can have broader conversations about the true sustainability of packaging and about the sustainability of our businesses. 

Here’s another example: Around 75 percent of our environmental footprint comes from the operation of our stores. Three years ago, we made a commitment to reduce that operating footprint and set out to build every company-owned store in the world to be LEED-certified. If you’re familiar with the challenges of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system, that’s a really big deal. That being said, if you ask any customer what is Starbucks’ greatest environmental footprint, most of them will assume it’s our cups. 

I always jokingly say, I would much rather customers come into our stores and say ‘I choose to shop at Starbucks because you guys have this super-efficient HVAC system, because as a conscious consumer, I get that this is where the rubber hits the road when we talk about Starbucks’ environmental impact and good for you guys for addressing it!’ 

I know to even attempt to get to that point, what we’re going to have to do is solve for the most pressing and prominent issue in their eyes-which is our packaging. It’s essential that we at Starbucks, and that we as an industry that’s using single-serve packaging, solve these end-of-life issues for our customers regardless of the contribution they make to our total footprint, so that we can shift the conversation to more pressing environmental issues.

If you look at the global problems we face around environmental degradation, climate change, water scarcity and other pressing issues, citizens and consumers have to be focused on what really matters if they are to play an impactful role in shifting the direction of current negative environmental trends. It’s our job as businesses to help them understand where the real impacts lie and how the choices they make every day as consumers have a huge impact on the environment. 

If we as a business sector are just placating their current perception of environmental impact—which we often do, unfortunately—we’re not going to be able to cross that hurdle to really focus on solving the true and massive environmental issues we face. Yes, we cannot downplay the importance of solid waste management, including the impact that recycling and diversion have on climate change. But the conversation can’t end here.

 

Q: How can packaging help show a brand’s commitment to environmental responsibility? How can your packaging communicate all of what you just said? 


Hanna:
Packaging is that tangible, touchable, seeable thing that is our first and primary touch point with our customers. Packaging must tell the right story to begin the conversation around sustainability. 

Packaging is the starting point and is the gateway to great conversations. It’s essential that we get that part right because that puts our customers and consumers on the path of either trusting the brands they’re using or not trusting them. If we can build that level of trust, if we’re doing the right thing around packaging, then that gives us the ability to engage in deeper conversation around our total environmental footprint and how our customers can play a role in driving that impact down by “voting” with their dollar. 

Addressing end-of-life specifically, and how we should think about brands’ “responsibility,” it’s no longer acceptable for the business community to simply accept a lack of recycling infrastructure in the communities where they operate or assume that we have no influence in driving development of that infrastructure to move our single serve packaging out of the landfill pipeline. We know the necessary pieces in solving the infrastructure puzzle, including market development, material optimization, creating material scale for recyclers to invest in their capacities, along with local policies that catalyze the factors and drive consumer behaviors. But, frankly, we don’t tap into the power we have as a business community to proactively impact local environmental policy.

 

Sure, we are great at playing defense and activating our trade associations to (rightly) oppose material bans or Draconian fees on packaging. But we’ve never been effective at sitting down with local lawmakers ahead of time to hash out good policy that drives infrastructure development and acceptance of our products into recycling streams, leaving us vulnerable to bans, fees, extended producer responsibility (EPR) and other last-resort policies to divert our products from landfills. We need to take a second look at our engagement strategies as an industry.

For example, I can’t tell you how many cities I’ve gone to that, when I walk in their doors, they weren’t accepting Starbucks cups into the recycling system at either the commercial or residential level. By educating and helping policy makers understand that our business goals actually aligned with the city’s/county’s environmental goals, and by aligning all of the players within the local recycling “system” we’ve been able to break through those barriers in a number of cities and get our cups accepted. What we can’t do is sit on the sideline and just throw up our hands and say “The infrastructure or the markets don’t exist”—because it’s our job to make sure that, if they don’t exist, we do everything we can to drive those markets. 

That was a longwinded answer to how packaging can demonstrate brands’ environmental leadership, but that’s really one of our commitments here at Starbucks: To lead the initiative to ensure that our packaging, and our industry’s packaging, is able to reduce its environmental footprint in every way from cradle, to use, to end of life.

 

Q: How does Starbucks balance the need for packaging that’s eco-responsible with packaging that fulfills the consumer’s desire for convenience? 


Hanna:
We try to take a holistic approach to our packaging in a way that, rather than focusing on the packaging, it focuses on the needs. Starbucks’ need is to deliver the best cup of coffee we can to our customers in a way that creates brand connection and elevates the experience for our customers every day beyond what our competitors can do. 

We’ve taken the approach of focusing on our packaging goals from a broader perspective of how to deliver this great cup of coffee to our customers in a way that reduces our environmental footprint while enhancing (or at least maintaining) their experience. 

We have a three-pronged approach at Starbucks. 

Number one is—and this may not sound too exciting to the folks in the single-serve packaging industry—we’re trying to get our customers to use fewer of our paper and plastic cups. We have a program to incentivize people to bring their own reusable cups into our stores. When they do that, we’ll wash it for them and prepare their beverage in those cups, whether it’s a tumbler or a travel mug and we’ll give the customers a discount for their efforts. We have a target at Starbucks that, by 2015, 5 percent of all of our transactions occur with customers who bring in their own reusable mugs.

Unfortunately, we’ve hovered around 2 percent since the inception of the incentive program. The numbers dance around that a bit, but that’s been where we’ve been locked in for years. What we discovered is that the discount we offer is great, but it’s only a driver for a limited number of consumers. Most consumers are bringing in their own mugs because they simply enjoy the beverage that way or they have their own sense of environmental consciousness and this is how they’re doing their part every day to reduce their environmental footprint, regardless of whether or not they get a discount. 

It’s also a convenience issue, as carrying around a big bulky mug that may or may not be clean or may have been sitting in your car for a week, often negatively impact people’s ability or choice to bring in their own reusable mugs. 

In January 2013, we introduced a new concept. It’s a $1 reusable mug that’s made out of 100 percent polypropylene, the lid and the cup. The cool thing is the convenience factor is solved and the cost factor is solved because it’s only a buck, instead of our standard price between $10 and $18 for our mugs. It looks and feels like our existing paper cup, maintaining the brand attachment and Starbucks experience. For folks who were previously comfortable with our single-serve cups, this gives them an option for a reusable cup. And, because it’s only a buck, if you forget it at home or in your car or office, you can buy another one. After the introduction of the $1 reusable cup, we saw a significant bump in the purchase of reusables overall. But, more importantly, we also saw a marked increase in the number of people bringing their mugs back into the store to be reused.

Number two is encouraging our store managers to learn which customers typically enjoy their beverages in the stores and serve them in ceramic mugs, again, to reduce the use of single-serve packaging. You’d be surprised at how many customers don’t even know that we offer ceramic mugs in our stores. 

Number 3 is, for customers who choose to use single-serve cups, how do we do that in a way that provides that great Starbucks experience they’ve come to expect, delivers their beverage safely and conveniently every time, and has the lowest environmental footprint. 

That’s where we can really look at materials innovations, such as the post-consumer fiber we already use, innovation in coatings on the paper to impact recyclability and industry-wide material standardization to create scale for recyclers. Finally, when I talk about our 2015 goal of declaring our cups recyclable, what I’m talking about is access to recycling. The industry often defines recyclability or compostability based on the materials of our packaging, when we should be defining it based on access that our customers have to recycling or composting services. This isn’t Jim Hanna making up his own definitions. It’s the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide that defines recyclability in that way and that’s the definition we use for our target.

For Starbucks, we define recyclability as follows: When our customer chooses to dispose of their cups—whether it’s in our stores, in their homes, in their offices or in a public space, if they don’t have access to recycling at that point, then the cups aren’t recyclable. They’re going to go into a landfill. That’s what we’re focusing on—building those infrastructures for recycling and end of life so that, hopefully, by 2015 we can actually cross the Federal Trade Commission’s 60 percent access threshold and declare victory.

 

Q: How do your packaging designs used in the foodservice environment at the point of consumption differ from some of those used in your retail products and why?


Hanna:
They don’t—and that’s a good thing. We take a holistic approach to packaging design whether it’s for retail stores or in our foodservice operations. 

We also look at our transport packaging, the movement of packaging from our distribution centers into our stores or the packaging that comes directly into the stores. We have significant focus on our supply chain to be able to help them minimize over packaging—which has been a pet peeve of our store partners (employees). Nothing galls them more than to get a small delivery in a big box. We know that cubing efficiency and standardization of packaging sizes is essential for efficient transportation, but we know there’s a significant footprint associated with transportation that can be significantly reduced if done right. 

We’ve been making significant progress in balancing efficient transportation with minimization of packaging, while balancing the need to maintain integrity of the items being transported. This includes introduction of durable, reusable transport packaging across our distribution network. While we’ve made huge progress, other retailers out there live and breathe this stuff, especially the ones that own their entire distribution systems, and have had significantly more leadership in this area that we can learn from.

We want to be game changers in the industry. But we’re also willing to follow game changers in areas where they either have more influence, more exposure to the issue or a greater ability to be those game changers. That’s one exciting culture of our company: We put a stake in the ground where we think we can change the world. We also know that there are many other companies who can do the same thing and we’re glad to follow them.

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East Afripack

Rwanda is a luxuriant country located in Central-East Africa with a population of about nine million and is characterized by one of the highest economic growth rates in the Sub-Saharan region: a yearly 7-8%. Last June 3-4 this alert country ready for high-quality development hosted in its capital Kigali the first international conference titled “Sustainable Packaging for Competitiveness and Development on SME’s in EAC Region”. 

Ipack-Ima SpA, a leading event organizer specializing in B2B shows for processing, packaging, material handling and converting, organized this important initiative with the support of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency (ICE) and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and in partnership with: East African Community, UNIDO and Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development.

The event, presided by Prof. Claudio Peri, Professor Emeritus of the University of Milan, presented a speech agenda that raised the interest of a large, attentive public. Both the organizers and partners had a double objective:

- emphasize the importance of packaging as a strategic leverage for technological upgrade and increased competitiveness of local SMEs; in this connection, a dedicated paper will be presented at the CAMI conference, which this week (June 10-14, 2013) will gather the Ministers of Industrialization from across the continent in Nairobi;

- promote East Afripack 2014, the first exhibition showcasing the global state of the art of processing, packaging and converting technology scheduled for September 9-12 in Nairobi.

The issue of technology and competitiveness of the local entrepreneurial tissue is of great current interest in East Africa. On June 1st the newly elected President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta declared: “With respect to value addition, we want to see more cooperatives venture not only into value addition, but also packaging, branding and marketing of highly quality products…”.

The Kigali conference is just one more step in the path leading up to East Afripack 2014, which also includes roadshows and presentations across the region to the end of uniting and building awareness among the local business community on the issues connected to processing and packaging technology and promote the 2014 event. 

In this connection, in order to better understand the innovation drivers and needs of the local industry, Ipack-Ima SpA has commissioned UNIDO to perform a market research involving the most significant industries (both food and non-food) across the entire East Africa region: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda. The most significant evidence emerging from the study shows that:

- 63% of interviewees intend to plan technology investment in the next three years to expand their manufacturing activities;

- 78 % plan to update their processing and packaging machinery in the next three years;

- 70% believe that a better packaging technology improves their products’ image and branding.

In 2000 The Economist dedicated the cover to the African continent with a headline that read “The hopeless Continent”; after 11 years, The Economist changed the title to “Africa Rising”.

According to estimates by UNIDO, in the last decade six out of 10 emerging economies enjoying the highest growth rates have been located in Africa. In 2012 IMF estimated Africa’s economic growth at nearly 6%, the same as Asia’s. Emerging industries include: finance, distribution; agro-food; transport and telecommunications. Both data and forecasts bode very well for East Afripack 2014.

EAST AFRIPACK is powered by Ipack-Ima Spa in partnership with UNIDO, EAC, Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development of the Government of Kenya 

UNIDO, The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is the specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating all activities of the United Nations system in the field of sustainable industrial development in the developing countries and in countries with economies in transition.  UNIDO promotes industrial development and cooperation on global, regional, and national as well as on sectoral levels, within the framework of its three thematic priorities of poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity-building, and environment and energy.

EAC, The East African Community, headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, is an intergovernmental organization comprising the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda (Partner States) that is determined to strengthen economic, social, cultural, political, technological, and other ties for the accelerated, balanced, and sustainable development of its Partner States.

Ipack-Ima  Spa, is an Italian joint stock company headquartered in Milan, Italy, whose mission is to promote the development of processing and packaging technologies, organizing exhibitions and events for the related industries. Its biggest asset is the historical exhibition IPACK-IMA, which has become a reference for all field operators.

Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development of the Government of Kenya Vision of the Ministry of Industrialization is to be a leader in catalyzing a diversified, globally competitive and sustainable industrial sector in Kenya. Its mission is to facilitate an expanding, innovative industrial sector globally competitive by creating an enabling environment.

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