packaging innovations

A booming industry exploding with innovation seen at Packaging Innovations NEC

The packaging evolution that is taking place everywhere we look is driving innovation to explosive levels. In fact, visitors to Packaging Innovations & Empack, Featuring Contract Pack & Fulfilment, this year saw outstanding innovations at the Birmingham NEC that will surely become part of everyday lives around the world, either behind the scenes or on our shelves.

The Innovations Gallery at the February showcase provided the perfect platform for manufacturers to shout about the great work they’re doing and gave the industry a chance to celebrate its abundance of innovations. From responding to ever-changing production and consumer demands to reducing the global impact of packaging materials and waste, the industry has its work cut out. Still, it continues to demonstrate that it can rise to the challenge.

The full list of inspiring Innovation Gallery entrants can be seen here, such as the EcoIns (Eco Insulator) by Paragon and Cocoa Paper Cups from Ecopack. The shortlisted Top Ten Innovations reflect current trends in the market, from sustainable choices like plastic reduction and recyclability to automated efficiency and convenience.

Innovations Gallery judge Paul Jenkins, from the PackHub, said: “I was thrilled with the quality and quantity of entries we received for the Innovation Gallery. It’s clear that there is a real drive to meet consumer needs and to solve long-standing challenges in the industry.” He added, “One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s entries was the focus on sustainability. It’s clear that packaging companies are taking their environmental impact seriously and are working hard to develop innovative solutions.”

SUPA Products’ 500ml paper bottle for its eco-mate range stood out for the judges and was crowned the winner. Here’s what SUPA Products said about their innovation; “Eco-mate cleaning liquids are the world’s first 100% plastic-free, paper bottle products, designed using only natural materials that biodegrade back to nature”. In addition to innovating a sustainable product, SUPA said, “We have committed 20% of our profits to ocean and beach clean-up charities to help in the fight against single-use plastics causing marine litter”. The award-winning bottles were closely followed by:

VisiPak, clear packaging, permaseal tubes and closures. High-impact packaging for clear point-of-sale displays by Sinclair & Rush Ltd.

D:PLOY, the industry’s first automated platform for building, running, monitoring, and deploying collaborative applications by OnRobot A/S.

Eagle Reinforced Wrap with integrated lateral reinforcement bands throughout to considerably increase durability and strength even if punctured, from Excelerate Ltd.

EX-30-S MONOBLOC is a semi-automatic EX-30-S filling and capping monobloc with a compact and modular design that gives the user flexibility and greater productivity even in smaller production areas by Excel Packaging Machinery.

Autofill bag-in-box liner requires no manual manipulation during the filling process, which results in improved efficiencies and a lower risk of incorrect filling by TPS Rental Systems Ltd.

Rippatape® Halo, a patent-pending, paper-based tear tape that provides a sustainable solution for frustration-free and easy-opening of paper and board packaging and eliminates the need for plastic, by Filtrona Tapes.

100% Recyclable Valve for Dispensing Closures made from a specially developed material that is fully recyclable within polyolefin waste streams. The closure provides a sustainable alternative to traditional silicone valves without compromising functionality by Weener Plastics.          

IMPAC-T, a recyclable rPET composite pack, which the manufacturer states enables UK food industries to switch from traditional polypropylene to more circular packaging. In addition, IMPAC-T offers an independently verified 46% carbon footprint reduction thanks to a world-first process technology. Produced by PFF Packaging  

X-CYCLE PP Fast Forward is a premium, fully-recyclable polypropylene laminate solution for coffee packaging, offering excellent machine performance and product protection. Made by A. Hatzopoulos S.A.   

Looking ahead to the next event, Paul Jenkins said: “I can’t wait to see what the entrants at London Packaging Week have in store. Based on the quality of entries for Packaging Innovations & Empack, we should be in for a treat”

London Packaging Week takes place on the 21st & 22nd September 2023, at ExCel London, and Packaging Innovations & Empack, Featuring Contract Pack & Fulfilment returns to the Birmingham NEC on 21 & 22 February 2024. Don’t miss your chance to book your stand, it promises to be another innovative and informative networking opportunity to showcase your products and generate new leads.

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