Huhtamaki welcomes the development of an EU contingency plan to support Europe’s food system in times of crisis and calls for the essential role of food packaging to be fully incorporated into the plan. The EU food supply and food security contingency plan builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and is an important component of the European Green Deal and the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy. The availability of food, access to food, stability and utilization of food are key components of food security. Food packaging plays a key role in delivering these. It is critical to the effective functioning of modern food systems, which rely on packaging to store and transport food, while keeping safe from spoilage and disease.
REI Co-op released its 2020 financials and annual impact report, highlighting strong financial performance and its values-based approach to leading through a global crisis—and beyond. Despite unforeseen challenges in 2020, the co-op made bold investments in the future of its business: selling its headquarters buildings to imagine an entirely new future of office work, taking the co-op carbon neutral, investing in retail pay, making a commitment to racial equity that will impact every area of the company, and rolling out innovative new offerings like virtual outfitting and Curbside Pickup within a matter of weeks. “We entered 2020 with incredible momentum, after more than a decade of record growth. Then, the entire world came to a halt. We regrounded ourselves in our values, making choices that at times came at great cost to our business. But we took the long view and continued to put our people first, quickly pivoting to find new ways of serving our customers and community,” said REI President and CEO Eric Artz. “That approach turned out to be the right thing for our people and for our business, and allowed us to enter 2021 not just in a position of financial strength, but proud of who we were when the times were least certain.” The co-op reported no profits in 2020 but ended the year in a strong cash position and debt-free, after investing millions in its impact work: combatting the climate crisis, fighting for racial equity and supporting its network of nonprofit partners. Now REI is launching the next chapter of that work, inviting its broader co-op community to take action.
Last month, FSC International announced that the effective dates have been delayed to September 1, 2021 for the revised Chain of Custody standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V3-1 Chain of Custody Certification) and revised Chain of Custody Evaluations standard (FSC-STD-20-011 V4-2 Chain of Custody Evaluations). The transition period has also been delayed and extended to December 31, 2022. These changes were made in consideration of the disruptions to onsite audits and auditing schedules caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to allow more time for FSC International to prepare materials for Certification Bodies and Certificate Holders to support a smooth transition.
Amcor has leveraged its global R&D resources to help Nestlé put enviro-conscious consumers first, by making Smarties the first confectionery brand to move to recyclable paper packaging in Australia. The new packaging is made from sustainably sourced thermoformable paper and is dynamic enough to be printed on with either flexographic or gravure technology and finished with a heat or cold-seal adhesive. Working closely with Nestlé, Amcor has developed this next generation packaging solution which performs when it comes to sustainability and consumer convenience, while also maintaining the highest levels of product protection.
With the growing trend of “skinimalism” and the evolution of more lightweight, water-like foundations with sheer and natural finishes, Aptar Beauty + Home has developed an outstanding dispensing solution for ultra-fluid formulas: Star Drop, a unique hybrid packaging with a patented smart valve technology delivering a highly accurate dose at each use. According to this year’s Pinterest Business report, “skinimalism” is a major beauty trend. It revolves around using less products in our daily routine (for skincare and makeup) and emphasizes simplicity to embrace slow and natural beauty. “Natural everyday makeup” jumped by 180% as the most searched terms on the platform as well as “natural glowing skin” increasing fourfold in the search words. For “skinimalism” one needs a precision dropper – that’s where Aptar Beauty + Home innovates with this new solution. Product flow is critical and often it is hard to control properly, and the pipette let’s the formula run and smudge during or after use. This is why Aptar Beauty + Home has developed a clean and practical solution to improve the overall user experience for consumers.
Recycling facilities in North Carolina and Texas will use Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)’s aluminum beverage can capture grants to install equipment that will result in 540 tons, more than 36 million aluminum beverage cans, per year being captured that were previously missorted. These recycling facilities are the initial recipients of a grant program made possible with the generous support of can manufacturers Ardagh Group and Crown Holdings. The Recycling Partnership helped select the grantees and will provide technical assistance to ensure successful implementation. The grant program builds off the CMI research released last year that found it is critical to capture all used beverage cans (UBC) flowing through material recovery facilities (MRF), which play the critical role in the U.S. recycling system of sorting recyclables. This research concluded that most MRFs in the United States would not be able to operate without the revenue from UBCs considering they are consistently the most valuable beverage package material in the recycling stream.
Smurfit Kappa’s innovative three litre Bag-in-Box packaging design has received Amazon’s “Frustration-Free Packaging” (FFP) certification. This is a world first for a generic packaging design, applicable for a wide range of products. The company unveiled this unique Amazon FFP pre-certification to thousands of customers at its recent invite-only virtual Better Planet Packaging event. Businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace can now use this ready to go, pre-certified Bag-in-Box design avoiding the need to go through costly and time-consuming testing at a specialised ISTA certified laboratory to gain FFP certification.
Liberty Diversified International (LDI) has acquired the assets of Miller Container Company, a Quad Cities-based manufacturer of corrugated cartons and displays. Miller Container will continue to operate under its well-established brand name at its Rock Island headquarters and warehouse as well as its sheet plant in Clinton, Illinois. Mike Vonderhaar, who has served as owner and president, will remain with the company and join LDI’s packaging management team. Miller Container employees will be offered continued employment. LDI’s profile as a major player in the corrugated packaging industry, with facilities in Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, California and Mexico, continues to expand with this acquisition in the Quad Cities area.
Bruce Hogan has been named the new Vice President and General Manager of ND Paper’s Old Town Division. A pulp and paper industry veteran, Hogan brings 33 years of experience with internationally recognized companies including International Paper, Mohawk Fine Papers, Essity and Appvion. “Bruce brings a breadth of knowledge that will be instrumental in helping us usher in a new era of growth and excellence at our historic Old Town Mill,” said ND Paper CEO Ken Liu. “Because beyond operations, Bruce will also be critical in helping us execute the continued capital transformation program for the Division.”
Sappi Europe announces a price increase for all its woodfree coated and woodfree uncoated paper grades by 7 – 10 % effective 1. June 2021 for all markets in Europe. This is in addition to the previously announced and implemented increases. Sharply rising input costs in raw materials and freight rates due to global logistic constraints make the increase unavoidable and will likely be followed by subsequent increases as the trend continues.