Bread4PLA: from bakery wastes to biodegradable packages

image_thumb[1]The project Bread4PLA, coordinated by AIMPLAS the Plastics Technology Centre (Valencia, Spain), has been awarded with one of the two Green Awards in the category of Environment that the European Commission has given as one of the best LIFE projects of the last 25 years
BREAD4PLA is a European project funded by the European Union LIFE+ programme whose objective is the treatment and recovery of wastes from bakery at pilot plant scale to result in new packages to be image_thumb[3]used in the same sector. Thanks to the fermentation of crusts and wastes from sliced bread and biscuits, polylactic acid (PLA) was obtained to elaborate film for new packages. This material contributes also to reduce the dependence on raw materials of fossil origin and is biodegradable, compostable and suitable to make bags and trays.
The development had the collaboration of companies such as Panrico and Grupo Siro and is especially effective to avoid the rancidity of products like cookies, where a shelf life of up to twelve months has been achieved. Besides, it has allowed to offer a high added-value application to wastes that, hitherto, were used mostly as animal feed.
In the project, other researchers have taken part from the Cereals Technology Centre (CETECE) (Spain), the Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik Pstdam-Bornim ATB (Germany) and the Biocomposites Centre of the Bangor University (UK).

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FEVE celebrates its 40th anniversary

FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation has elected a new executive team for the 2017-2019 term of office. FEVE celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, representing today 60 corporate members belonging to approximately 20 independent corporate groups with 160 glass packaging manufacturing plants  across 23 European countries.
Johan Gorter, CEO of Ardagh, has been elected as President of FEVE, sided by Jean-Pierre Floris, Chairman and CEO of Verallia Group, as Vice-President.

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Today, the container glass industry is a pioneer of the EU circular economy. In the last fifteen years, bottle-to-bottle glass recycling has increased by 139% throughout Europe. Some 1.5 million bottle banks are available across the region and an average of 74% of Europe’s glass is collected for recycling, marking the success of separate collection for glass introduced in Europe in the 1970s.
The industry is also an important contributor to the European economy. Every year over €600 million are invested in energy efficiency, decarbonization and upgrades over the 160 manufacturing plants across Europe, contributing to maintain a total of 125,000 direct and indirect jobs. Investments in innovation help to modernise production processes and to produce glass bottles that are 30% lighter than 20 years ago, while still maintaining their product preservation qualities, recyclability, and innovative design.

Corrugated inkjet leads digital printed packaging

Digital print for packaging is worth $13.2 billion in 2017, and will climb to $23.2 billion in 2022, according to the latest research from Smithers Pira, The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2022 .
The demand for inkjet and electrophotography print in packaging will see an 11.2% annual increase in value across the forecast period (2017-2022) and annual 15.4%growth in volume output (A4 sheets equivalent) – up from 163 billion A4 sheets (equivalent) in 2017 to 334 billion in 2022. This reflects the arrival of new higher throughput equipment.
Penetration for digital print technology is not uniform – the labels sector is the early adopter and mature in some regions. Consequently future expansion will rest heavily on less-developed packaging formats principally, including corrugated board, folding cartons and flexible plastics.
In 2017, the mainstream corrugated sector has a real appetite for high-volume inkjet liner and postprint systems, to provide new functions and gain plant efficiencies. Implementation is being led by some of the largest companies in the corrugated sector – as well as by more agile independents – leading to the arrival of new dedicated equipment that will enable volume production at a much more economical price. 
For more information on this report, please contact Julie Bostock.

Plastic sorting technology based on chemical markers

Invited by Petcore Europe and the European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) to a Workshop held in Brussels on 15 March, more than 80 experts from the PET value chain, brand owners and researchers gained an insight into Polymark, a European project that has developed a new technology enabling the identification and sorting of polymers, focusing on PET as a start, in the high-value plastics waste stream.
We believe that sensor-based sorting technologies hold a key to enabling circular economy for plastics, providing high-grade sorting and boosting recycling quality and yield. Aside from the technical progress made during the Polymark project, we have seen how the entire value chain has embraced marker-based sorting as a crucial next step in improving plastics recycling“, explained consortium partner An Vossen from EPRO in the introduction video of the Polymark project.

Peter Reinig, Group Leader Photonic Sensing from the Fraunhofer IPMS, presented the work undertaken by former HERI on the development of the chemical marker. Within Polymark a chemical food contact approved marker was identified which is used for coating on a bottle or on a label. After identification and sorting, this coated marker can be subsequently removed by existing recycling plant washing.
The focus of the second technical presentation, also presented by Reinig, was on the development of a spectral identification technology that detects the marker and decodes the information in order to separate the post-consumer plastic packaging. This Polymark detection principle for sorting is based on UV-excitation and VIS-fluorescence. It is capable of sorting food-grade PET bottles at 3 m/s conveyor belt speed with spatial resolution of 10 mm.

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Finally, Hans Eder, Head of R&D at Sesotec, explained the development and functionality of the Polymark industrial scale sorting system. Its marker detection setup is built from two basic units: a high energy UV light unit for excitation of the marker and a highly sensitive camera to detect the weak fluorescence signals emitted from the marker. This Polymark sorting machine is able to achieve an output purity of 98% on the major input fraction.
After the presentations, participants – physically present in the workshop or having joined via webinar – raised a number of questions and comments. Regarding the question if this project will be further developed commercially and also potentially translate into EU policy, Casper van den Dungen, Vice-President of the Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE), stated that the Polymark project is providing a first platform for the industry to communicate on tracer technologies. The recyclers are now encouraging Europe to harmonise and standardise the use of such innovative sorting solutions. It is important to keep in mind that there are still a number of barriers, and further discussions are needed amongst all interested stakeholders. “However, Polymark marks a starting point and gives a certainty that such innovation is possible“, he concluded.
All training presentations as well as further information are publically available on the Polymark website www.polymark.org.

MEETINGPACK 2017 in VALENCIA

image_thumb[1]The international meeting MeetingPack 2017 will be held on 30 and 31 May in Valencia (Spain). It is organized by AINIA CENTRO TECNOLÓGICO and AIMPLAS and it will bring together more than 300 experts in food plastic packaging from different countries. 

The event brings together the whole food packaging value chain. Big food multinationals, packaging, materials and packaging equipment manufacturers, as well as representatives of the distribution sector and other agents, such as public managers that plan the management and control policies in Europe, experts in food legislation and technologists will attend the event. Some of the companies that have already confirmed the attendance are UBE, Dow Chemical, Repsol, M&G and Danone.

image_thumb[3]This edition focuses on the topic «Convenience: Driving Barrier Packaging Innovation», where the big global technologic challenges in this field will be discussed, challenges like barrier materials, new manufacturing and packaging systems, sealable and reclosable materials, additive manufacturing, industry 4.0, sustainable packages and recycling, active packages and advances in quality test and control. To see the programm of MWEETINGPACK 2017, click HERE.

Packages, in particular with barrier material, play a current and future demand-driven key role of the convenience requirement of European consumers and the challenge of overcoming the food waste or the need of increasing the shelf life of products and the food safety.

Furthermore, it coincides with the event Made From Plastic 2017, which had more than 100 exhibitors and 3,500 visitors in its last editions.

Industry claims for… a clear Eurppean industrial policy

More than 90 industry associations in Brussels signed a joint declaration urging European institutions to take measures to promote industry and create more jobs.The text is the following:

"Europe is the cradle of the manufacturing industry and has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. The industry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, in supply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. It also indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors.

The European manufacturing industry has tremendous capacity for research and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a global reputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift and determined support of the European institutions and the Member States to create more jobs and growth in Europe.

The time has come to raise the alarm about the considerable challenges that we are all facing. Between 2000 and 2014, the share of manufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8% to 15.3%, while 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between 2008 and 2014. Meanwhile, countries around the world are putting industry at the very top of their political agendas. The “Make in India” strategy aims to ensure India is “the next manufacturing destination” and “Made in China 2025” seeks to turn China into the “leading manufacturing power”. The recent US shift towards “America First” will inevitablyhave a strong impact on their industrial policy.

At the beginning of his mandate, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker identified the reindustrialisation of Europe as one of his top priorities and confirmed the objective of increasing the share of industry in the European GDP to 20% by 2020. As we approach the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is vital for the European Commission to act and help the EU remain a competitive global industrial power playing in a fairer world market.

Therefore we, the European manufacturing industry, representing a diverse range of sectors, call on the European Commission to:

– Reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;

– Adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and

– Commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.


Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrial strategy via the European Council Conclusions calling to strengthen and modernise the EU’s industrial base (15 December 2016) and the Parliament Resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy (5 October 2016).

We, the Signatories of this Joint Declaration, are ready to step up our cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement this ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe."

To see the the official text and the signatories of this Joint Declaration, click HERE.

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Glass industry reduces emissions and increases recycling

The European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) carried out a new European glass packaging Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to benchmark industry performance against previous data published in 2009.
Compared to the previous LCA study, data prove major progress has been made by the container glass industry in terms of recycled content, saving of virgin raw materials, energy consumption and emissions reduction.
The study provides a very detailed and representative picture of the European industry average performance.  It is not based on a cherry-picking of best-performing cases. It covers 84% or 17.5 Mtons of the Year 2012 European sold volume of packed container glass (72% in the previous study based on Year 2007 data) and 219 furnaces across Europe (205 in 2007). All glass production technologies and bottle colours have been assessed. The study was peer reviewed by a panel of LCA experts, including the chairman of the ISO TC207/SC5 Life Cycle Assessment. The full inventory of inputs and outputs for the production of an average glass bottle is available.
LCA methodology helps to measure some key environmental indicators. The FEVE LCA for container glass (i.e. bottles and jars) analyses each step that goes from extraction of raw materials, to making, delivering, and disposing of the container glass.  Overall, the FEVE LCA demonstrates how closed-loop recycling has a high positive impact on the sustainability of glass packaging. The LCA helps the glass industry to understand its current environmental footprint and this will act as a benchmark for future improvements.

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The methodological report and Life Cycle Inventory are available for download on FEVE’s website under privileged access. To register for downloading, clich HERE.