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Reinvent the Beverage Industry with Flexible Retail Packaging

Increased concerns about the environmental impact of plastic bottles have hit a nerve with both customers and retail stores across the globe.

Supermarkets are banning the sale of plastic water bottles in their stores, instead providing refilling stations that require shoppers to bring in their own reusable beverage containers. This decision has been met with its fair share of backlash from bottled water manufacturers — but the reality is, more companies and consumers are taking action to reduce litter and make the world a sustainable place by choosing eco-friendly solutions for both food and beverages.  

An interesting alternative to plastic bottles has sprung up as companies like Noah’s Spring Water are exploring the use of aluminum cans for H2O. These cans can be recycled and feature a resealable cap – similar to the plastic water bottles consumers are used to – but keep the liquid safe from UV light damage. Some insist beverage packaging in aluminum cans will become the next big trend for water, especially as various regions are banning water bottles specifically.

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While this packaging option is admirable, aluminum cans still have their fare share of disadvantages. Cans are bulky and heavy to transport, which means more fuel is used to deliver the water to stores. Although cans are able to be crushed, they still take up significant space in landfills when not recycled properly. It’s true that aluminum can be recycled over and over again, but the structural quality of the beverage container will wear down over time.

Today, we’re seeing other types of beverage companies switching to aluminum as an alternative to glass or plastic bottles – namely, craft breweries. The first aluminum can used for beer dates back to 1935, and there were plenty of naysayers who didn’t understand why companies would switch away from the bottles people were used to.

Concern about the aluminum can’s metallic structure affecting the taste of beverages, as well as the interior wax coating melting into the beer, drove suppliers to rethink and restructure the packaging. There was a time when canning was very expensive, but the costs have been lowered in recent years, resulting in a number of microbreweries choosing this beverage packaging option over traditional bottles.

Now, we wonder: Which company will further revolutionize beverage packaging by making stand up pouches for liquid mainstream?

We’ve weighed the pros and cons of plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and we know there’s a new player in town sure to shake up the way water and other drinks are presented to customers.

Flexible retail packaging is the most cost-efficient solution for beverage packaging — it weights less than bulky bottles and cans and is easier to transport. Stores can fit more of these products on the shelves because of their unique pliable shape, which means customers can also fit more beverages in their fridge or cooler.

Spouted pouches of this nature also feature a resealable cap like the bottles customers are used to, and they are 100 percent recyclable. Their small, flexible structure doesn’t take up nearly as much space in landfills as bottles or cans, and they are made from several durable layers of food-grade, FDA-approved film. This type of packaging keeps liquids safe from light and oxygen, giving them a longer shelf life and a significantly less chance of puncture or breakage than bottles or jugs.

We’re already seeing brands like Parrot Bay, Gatorade and Petrov Vodka getting on board with this new type of packaging, and it is poised to hit the mainstream in the very near future. Will your brand make the switch and deliver customers the very best beverage packaging option? You have the opportunity to revolutionize how liquids are packaged in the future and help push big businesses to become more environmentally friendly by switching to flexible retail packaging.

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Topics: Liquid and Spouted Packaging

Brittany Nader

Written by Brittany Nader

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.

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