News & Updates

Recyclable Trays Bring Sustainability to Retail

Article-Recyclable Trays Bring Sustainability to Retail

Clearly Clean’s patented PET food trays give retailers and their customers a recyclable new alternative to polystyrene foam packaging.

Retailers continue turning to sustainable options for private-label packaged foods that meet consumer preferences and address the growing amount of government regulations.

Clearly Clean Products is poised to take a bite out of traditional expanded polystyrene (EPS) food trays with two new recyclable overwrapped food tray options: the first is for grocery retailers and wholesalers of poultry, meat, produce, seafood, and deli; the other is a compartmented tray for meatballs and the other patty-style configurations.

Made of crystal-clear PET, the patented trays are thermoformed using a thinner gauge sheet than Cearly Clean’s food processor-grade trays.

“Consumers appreciate the clear tray that allows them to view the actual product they are buying from all sides,” comments Jimmy Herring, CEO, who adds that compared to EPS, the trays meet or exceed all shelf-life requirements.

Although Clearly Clean believes clear is the best choice for recyclability, the company also offers the trays in transparent colors, too.

The trays can be recycled anywhere that accepts other PET packaging, which is often curbside. The trays are labeled with a #1 PET recycling symbol to help encourage responsible disposal.

Herring contends that the trays are more than just a compelling ecological solution, they offer an intrinsic bonus of being cost-effective too. Grocers typically receive their foam food trays in bundles and Clearly Clean’s grocery program supports trays packed in quantities similar to foam trays for easy use at the store level.

“Grocery retailers and wholesalers are increasingly looking for eco-friendly packaging, but how the trays have historically been packaged and their cost have been a hindrance to adoption,” Herring says. “Clearly Clean’s solution addresses both; the trays are shipped in boxes and quantities with which they are readily familiar and can be produced in a thinner gauge to reduce costs.” 

PET tray’s patented rolled edges are functionally, aesthetically beneficial.

The trays feature Clearly Clean’s patented rolled edge, mitigating tears in overwrap film and providing a “three times stronger” resistance to “bow tying”, which can occur because of weak sidewalls. This maintains the tray’s structural integrity and on-shelf appearance despite the thinner gauge.

The trays do not require an equipment change, withstand high-speed processors without a loss in structural strength, and can be reworked if there is a film or styling issue. In short, these trays are made for holding moist products without losing their shape or protective features, while their the rolled edge curtails leakage, delivering all the benefits of EPS minus the negative environmental impact.

The new grocery trays are available with or without soaker pads and come in 21 sizes, ranging from a 2S small tray to a large 15D. The meatball tray has 12 pockets while the patty tray offers two cells; they can be customized in size, thickness, shape, and color.

Clearly Clean’s rolled-edge trays are available in processor grade and supermarket grade, the latter of which is a thinner gauge. “The processor-grade trays are thicker to be able to endure shipping and high-speed equipment,” Herring says. “They are also packaged differently for easy use by the processors.”

The tray’s reception was instantly positive.

“We have seen strong interest in our grocery solution with multiple clients already on board,” Herring says. “Historically, we have primarily sold to food processors, but as consumer pressure increases and government bans and corporate sustainability goals begin to take effect, retailers and wholesalers are increasingly looking for more eco-friendly options.”


News & Updates

Kraft Heinz Aims to Cut Virgin Plastics by 20%

Kraft Heinz’s move to recycled content is expected to eliminate approximately 100 million pounds of virgin plastics from its packaging globally by 2030.

Kraft Heinz has an ambitious new global packaging sustainability goal. By 2030, the company aims to reduce the use of virgin plastic in its packaging by 20%, vs. a 2021 baseline — the equivalent of about 100 million pounds of virgin plastic.

The company is targeting all petrochemical-feedstock-derived plastic that has not been used previously. This builds on its intention to replace 15% of its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) rigid packaging in the United States with post-consumer recycled (PCR) content by 2025.

Previously, Kraft Heinz had announced a goal of making 100% of its packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging by 2025. It is also aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with emissions halved by 2030.

“As we aim to meet our virgin-plastic commitment, we’re looking for new packaging solutions across our entire global portfolio where we can make the biggest impact,” Linda Roman, associate director of packaging environmental social governance (ESG) and technology at Kraft Heinz, tells us.

“When deciding what packages to focus on, we first see if there’s an opportunity to remove any unneeded plastic, then we look for opportunities where we can reduce plastic weight, add recycled content, or replace plastics with other types of materials, while ensuring we do not compromise the product quality and [do] meet consumer expectations,” she adds.

To boost the percentage of recycled content in its packaging, Kraft Heinz is leveraging its existing work with the US, Canada, and UK Plastic Pacts.

Replacing virgin plastic in packaging with recycled content.

The Kraft Real Mayo and Miracle Whip brands will transition from virgin PET to 100% recycled PET jars and squeeze bottles in the US starting in 2024; the goal is to eliminate about 14 million pounds of virgin PET.

Additionally, Kraft Heinz has transitioned from virgin PET to 30% recycled PET for most Heinz bottles in Brazil, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

For Heinz baked beans in the UK, the company created recyclable Heinz Beanz Snap Pots. Made from soft plastics, the pots are food-safe and contain 39% recycled plastic collected from consumers at Tesco stores.

Kraft Heinz is clearly rethinking its plastic packaging across product categories. “As we pursue our packaging goals, we’re transforming packaging across our entire portfolio, from Kraft Real Mayo and Miracle Whip in the US to Heinz in the UK,” Roman says.


“There’s no one size-fits-all across our vast portfolio, so we’re evaluating solutions through iterative development to find the best option while considering the packaging appearance, functionality, cost, how it can run on our manufacturing lines, and the environmental impact.”

A role for paper fiber-based packaging.

Shake ‘n Bake provides an illustration of Kraft Heinz’s success to date in reducing its dependence on plastics. In 2022, the company removed the plastic shaker bag (which appears to be made of polyethylene) from packaging for the entire Shake ‘n Bake product portfolio, eliminating 900,000 pounds of plastic waste annually.

Fiber-based materials are emerging as viable replacements for some plastics in Kraft Heinz’s packaging. In the UK, Heinz replaced plastic shrink wrap with paperboard multipack sleeves. The switch eliminated more than 1 million pounds of plastic in 2022.

In Canada in 2023, the company’s Nabob coffee brand replaced its nonrecyclable plastic coffee bags with recyclable canisters made of 80% paper fiber from renewable resources. Kraft Heinz estimates the switch will eliminate about 2.5 million plastic bags annually.

In addition, the company partnered with Pulpex in 2022 to create a paper-based, recyclable bottle for Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The bottle, a first in the sauce category, is made from 100% sustainably sourced wood pulp; a prototype is currently in test.


News & Updates

The Future of Cartonboard Is In Good Hands

Pro Carton Announces the Public Award Finalists for the Student Awards

Pro Carton, the European association of carton and cartonboard manufacturers, has today announced that voting for the Public Award category in this year’s Pro Carton Young Designers Award and Pro Carton Student Video Award is now open.  

24 carton packaging concepts, designed by students studying at universities across Europe, have been shortlisted for this year’s Pro Carton Young Designers Award – sponsored by one of Turkey’s leading packaging designers, Duran Dogan, and leading cartonboard producer in Turkey, Kartonsan. Additionally, eight engaging and highly creative videos have been shortlisted for the Pro Carton Student Video Award.

Together, over 850 entries were received from institutions from across Europe and judged by esteemed judging panels. Satkar Gidda, former Sales and Marketing Director of SiebertHead; Sanjeev Das, Unilever’s Global Packaging Director in the Foods and Ice Cream business; Alican Duran, Managing Director of Duran Dogan and Chairman of KASAD; and Kemal Ozkirim, Marketing Manager of Kartonsan, formed the jury for the Pro Carton Young Designers Award.

The shortlist for the Pro Carton Student Video Award was selected by Simon Bolton, who sits on the boards of esteemed Scandinavian agencies EVERLAND, Kontrapunkt, and Kapero; Bady Minck, and award-winning film director and producer; and Winfried Muehling, Head of Marketing and Communications at Pro Carton.

Industry professionals, academics and the general public are now invited to cast their votes for their favourite projects to recognise this talented next generation of designers and filmmakers.

An evening of celebration in September

The Public Award winners will be revealed at the Awards gala in Seville, Spain on 21 September 2023, together with the winners of other award categories and the prestigious European Carton Excellence Award. The event promises to be an unforgettable evening. It will bring together industry leaders, professionals, and visionaries to celebrate the outstanding achievements and groundbreaking advancements in sustainable packaging design.

Winfried Muehling, Head of Marketing & Communications at Pro Carton and member of the jury, said:

“The quality of the entries into both the Pro Carton Young Designers Award and Pro Carton Student Video Award demonstrates that the future of our industry is in good hands. The judges for the former award – who represent the entire cartonboard value chain – found it extremely difficult to select a shortlist. Indeed, a number of designers created novel and functional packs that could go on to be used commercially. And the videos we received showed great skills of storytelling, using creative techniques to promote Pro Carton’s key messages about cartonboard.”

Voting is open until midnight on 15 August 2023. For more information and to place your vote(s) in this year’s awards visit the Pro Carton Young Designers Award Public Award and Pro Carton Student Video Award Public Award.

For more information on the benefits of carton and cartonboard, visit

or join the discussion on social media:

Follow Pro Carton on Twitter:

Like the Pro Carton Facebook page:

Join the discussion on LinkedIn:

Visit the Pro Carton Pinterest board:


News & Updates

The worldwide paper bottle industry will be worth US$53.31 million by the end of 2033

The global paper bottles market stands at US$ 29.21 million in 2023. The market is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 6.2% and reach a valuation of US$ 53.31 million by the end of 2033.

Rapidly increasing sales of paper bottles are attributed to their degradability and eco-friendly nature and the rising demand to replace plastic bottles. The bolstering demand for beverages along with the growing requirement for their optimum storage is estimated to boost sales of paper bottles.

  • Demand for paper packaging bottles is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 5.5% and reach a market value of US$ 34.1 million by the end of 2033.
  • The United States market is forecasted to expand at a CAGR of 5.3% and reach US$ 15.62 million by the end of the assessment period.
  • Sales of paper bottles in South Korea are projected to rise at a CAGR of 4.8% and account for a revenue of US$ 1.81 million by 2033-end.

Demand for Sustainable Products Triggering Sales of Paper Bottles

Sustainability has been a prominent bedrock for the increasing demand for paper bottles. Numerous government bodies are framing holistic and sustainable models in their respective countries, which is expected to fuel demand for paper bottles while being used as a replacement for plastic bottles.

Developed regions, including North America, Europe, etc., are contributing to the significant increase in the demand for paper bottles. These regions are experiencing a remarkable rise in the adoption of sustainable products and therefore reflect a similar trend in the adoption of paper bottles. Government regulations for the reduced use of plastic are anticipated to broaden opportunities for paper bottle suppliers.

Collaborations between End-use Industries and Manufacturers

Some paper bottle companies, spirit manufacturers, and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) are entering into partnerships and collaborations. Various market giants, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Carlsberg, L’Oreal, and various others are entering into collaborations with popular manufacturers of paper bottles. These collaborations are predicted to result in higher production and supply of numerous paper bottles.

High Adoption of Sustainable Products Benefiting Manufacturers of Paper Bottles

The Japanese market is predicted to register a CAGR of 5.1% and reach a valuation of US$ 2.50 million by the end of 2033. A lot of suppliers from different end-use industries are making a fast move away from plastic and shifting toward plastic packaging solutions, which is expected to open up lucrative opportunities for prominent players in the target market.

Segmentation of Paper Bottles Industry Research

By Type :

Paper Water Bottles

Paper Packaging Bottles

By Compostability :

Fully Compostable

Partially Compostable

By Volume :

Less than 1 Liter

1 to 2 Liters

More than 2 Liters


News & Updates

Efficient processes, recyclable decorations, a reduced carbon footprint

KURZ presents sustainable innovations at the 2023 IAA Summit

The IAA Summit 2023, from September 5 to 8, part of IAA MOBILITY 2023, is the leading international B2B platform for the automotive industry. Manufacturers, suppliers, and technology companies will be presenting pioneering technologies, concepts, and solutions for the mobility of future generations at Messe München. The challenges and opportunities of a sustainable future are becoming increasingly important. From drive technology to interior decoration, and from reducing harmful CO2 emissions to creating a circular economy – the entire automotive industry is in a state of upheaval.

Under the motto ‘Be a green Leader,’ LEONHARD KURZ is actively shaping this change and playing a pioneering role in the field of surface finishing. “Efficient processes, durable decorations, and a demonstrably reduced carbon footprint are crucial topics for the entire industry. Together with designers, engineers, strong partners, and our subsidiaries, we are constantly working on optimal solutions along the entire process chain,” explains Rainer Süssmann, Executive Senior Vice President of the Business Area Plastic Decoration at LEONHARD KURZ. Many of these solutions can be experienced up close at the IAA Summit 2023 in hall A2 at stand C32.

Stunning designs and sustainable brand statements

Several sustainable highlights will be presented at the KURZ stand, including a futuristic-looking rear panel, which uses light signals to communicate with other road users and makes an unparalleled brand statement. The spectacular Rear End Cover is created in a single process step, in which all the necessary sensors can also be integrated at the same time. Production using the 2K IMD process reduces CO2 emissions by combining several process steps into one single step. In addition, the component as a whole can be recycled. This also goes for the front grille panel presented by KURZ with a customizable and high-quality metallized surface that is 5G and radar capable. Here, production and decoration processes are also combined in a single highly efficient work step. This not only saves costs and time, but can also save up to 95 percent CO2 compared to conventional processes such as electroplating.

From EV charging stations to hygiene protection

Using an innovative wallbox that can be made from post-industrial recycled materials, KURZ impressively demonstrates that manufacturers don’t have to make any compromises in design and finishing compared to new material. Thanks to the flexible manufacturing process, the EV charging station can be adapted to any need, is fully recyclable, and can be made from up to 100 percent recycled material.

What does a recyclable decoration that is thinner than a human hair look like? KURZ provides the answer with artistically finished wheel rim inserts, which are predestined for electric vehicles, in particular due to their aerodynamic properties. In the spirit of sustainability, KURZ uses an advanced decoration process in which both the use of materials and energy consumption have been reduced compared to conventional technologies.

For surfaces that are touched frequently, KURZ offers long-term invisible hygiene protection with BIOFENSE® ANTIVIRAL, which can be combined with any design and almost any plastic surface. The antibacterial and antiviral coating is absolutely harmless to health and free of heavy metals. Surfaces can be decorated in just one step and equipped with BIOFENSE® ANTIVIRAL. This also saves energy and significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

Visionary Design: New sustainable materials

At the IAA Summit 2023, KURZ will be showcasing extraordinary experiments with new recycled materials that not only impress with their incomparable feel and look, but also accommodate smart functions such as backlighting and Shy Tech. Using these cutting-edge materials saves natural resources, is CO2 efficient, and offers even more possibilities than nature itself. As part of the Spacewood Experiment project, for example, unique creations emerged that are made entirely from recycled materials and are themselves also fully recyclable. The Naturals project is very similar. Developed in conjunction with KURZ subsidiary BURG DESIGN, the designs draw inspiration from natural materials such as grass and wood and are more flexible to use than real materials. The ‘Naturals’ sample exhibits also consist entirely of recycled materials.

Sustainability advantages with KURZ

Decorations from KURZ are currently made with 30 percent renewable raw materials, and this proportion is constantly increasing. Thanks to the well-founded expertise of the thin-film specialist in the development and implementation of environmentally friendly decorations, customers can significantly optimize their CO2 balance. This is made possible, among other things, by efficient production processes such as in-mold decoration and EU-compliant metallization with indium instead of electroplating, which reduces the carbon footprint by up to 95 percent.

KURZ’s durable and high-grade finishings are already 100 percent recyclable today and therefore do not affect the recyclability of components. KURZ also delivers cost-effective, reliable machines. “With twelve production sites in Europe, Asia, and the USA, as well as a strong network of subsidiaries and partner companies, we accompany our customers’ projects from the initial idea to the finished solution and advise them competently throughout the entire process,” adds Rainer Süssmann. “Our goal is a circular economy. That is why we are constantly working on the further development of our own standards, on constantly improving the recyclability of our products, and on producing even more resource-efficiently than before.”

KURZ mainly uses renewable energies and works with recycled materials that can be refined to the same high standard as new material. Thanks to the commissioning of its own recycling plant, the thin-film specialist is the first and only manufacturer able to convert used PET carrier material from production in the graphics industry into a valuable raw material.

During the recycling process, the transfer carrier residues are converted into recycled PET, or rPET for short. The recovered material can be used to produce new PET carriers. In addition, rPET boasts a wide range of applications in the injection molding process, which is to be further expanded in the future.

Thanks to RECOSYS® 2.0, CO2 savings of up to 40 percent are already being achieved today. Scope 3 emissions can also be cut by up to 90 percent, based on 1 kg of transfer product. The system thus offers a significant competitive advantage that also benefits the environment.

Interested parties can find more information about KURZ’s trade fair presentation and sustainable solutions on the IAA Summit website.

News & Updates

University of Sheffield and partners set to assess feasibility of reusable packaging at scale

The University of Sheffield and its European partners in the BUDDIE-PACK project are conducting a study to examine the potential of large-scale reusable packaging systems as a replacement for single-use plastics and a combatant against plastic waste.

Households with experience using reusable packaging in supermarkets, e-commerce channels, takeaway deliveries, or public dining – including refill-at-home products, supermarket refill zones, reusable takeaway cups and containers, and direct-to-doorstep delivery and collection reuse schemes – are encouraged to take part in the project.

Their input is expected to reveal the current convenience and accessibility of reusable packaging and indicate what infrastructure would be necessary to support reusable systems, as well as required shift in consumer behaviour for reusables to make meaningful progress.

In turn, this information is hoped to contribute towards the designing of future reusable packaging systems and highlight opportunities to roll them out effectively.

Qualifying participants will be interviewed and, amongst other activities, accompanied on a shopping trip; they will also be awarded a £50 shopping voucher for their time.

“We’re all familiar with the negative environmental impact of single use plastic from documentaries such as Blue Planet,” said Dr Kristina Diprose, a research associate at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography. “But how easy is it to choose alternatives that prevent plastic waste from ending up in landfill and oceans?

“We are looking for households to take part in our study who will be helping to influence the design of the reusable packaging systems of the future.”

“It can feel like disposable packaging is everywhere. For example, the average British worker generates 276 items of packaging waste each year just from buying lunch on the go.

“But reusable packaging is becoming more available. We want to talk to people who’ve given it a go, to understand more about the barriers and enablers of reuse.

“Most people don’t currently go out of their way to do something different, so we need to design reusable packaging systems that complement the way they currently shop and eat out.”

A related project is being undertaken by Planet Reuse and the New European Reuse Alliance, whose rEUse campaign aims to respond to the EU Commission’s mandatory reuse targets by putting balanced reusable packaging systems into place across various sectors.

Similarly, McDonald’s Corporation will report on the benefits and drawbacks of a transition into reusable packaging, including its impact on single-use solutions and the environment. In response, As You Sow has withdrawn its shareholder proposal with the company.


News & Updates

Pernod Ricard unveils new line of self-mixing cocktail bottles

Pernod Ricard and Vessl have revealed an innovative new bottle that mixes cocktails with a simple twist of a cap.

Using a new technology, twisting the cap creates an instant batch of cocktails in the moment. Unlike other ready-to-serve cocktails, The Glenlivet Twist & Mix cap keeps its signature Single Malt Scotch Whisky separate from the natural cocktail flavorings until the consumer is ready to drink it.

The collection is debuting with the Old Fashioned and New Manhattan, bringing the two most popular whisky cocktails served in restaurants to consumers’ homes.

he cocktails will be ready-to-serve with three steps: twist the cap, watch it mix, and pour over ice. The Glenlivet hopes that this process will help consumers to avoid the hassle of leftover ingredients, complex recipes and bar equipment.

Johan Radojewski, Vice President Marketing for Scotch, Irish & Prestige Whisk(e)y at Pernod Ricard USA, says: “With this new innovative product, we are inspiring people to enjoy single malt scotch whisky on more occasions and providing a solution to meet consumer demand for high quality, freshly mixed cocktails that are easy to serve and enjoy with friends and family.”

The innovative twist cap in The Glenlivet Twist & Mix uses Vessl’s patented closure and delivery technology while being housed in packaging designed by JDO.

“We are impressed how The Glenlivet has adopted the Vessl technology to create high quality, freshly mixed ultra-premium craft cocktails at home with no mess and no effort,” said Walter D. Apodaca, Jr., Founder and CEO, Vessl, Inc. “This is exactly the kind of forward-thinking use of our technology that we envisioned, and tastes even better than we imagined.”


News & Updates

Can flexible packaging go circular worldwide?

What are organisations in developing countries across the world doing to promote sustainable end-of-life solutions for flexible packaging? The team from CEFLEX tells us more about three innovative projects in this area.

One such example is the ASASE Foundation ‘Closing the Loop’ project in Accra, Ghana, where over 350 jobs – both formal and informal – are currently supported in two communities. Plastic waste is separately collected by the informal sector and sold to the recycling facility, crushed, washed and pelletized to be sold for reuse in products such as various film structures, household items or building materials.

Since its start in January 2021, the organizers of the Closing the Loop claim to have diverted around 2700 tons of plastic waste from various streams, including from their collection centres, schools where they run educational programmes on plastic waste sorting, as well as monthly clean-ups conducted along Accra’s coastline. The replication of this model in two new communities of Accra by the end of 2023 is reportedly in progress.

In Khopoli, Maharashtra, India, a site developed as part of the Huhtamaki Foundation’s #CloseTheLoop initiative apparently recycles about 1600 kilograms of post-consumer used flexible plastic waste per day; in a bid to tackle post-consumer waste and deliver a valuable secondary resource material.

The project processes post-consumer waste to create resin with the aim of producing refined compounds that can be used for household products for consumers in India.

The Central Pollution Board of India (2012) estimates that India generates close to 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste a day and a little over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected. A more circular approach, bridging the gap in recycling and reuse of waste material in new products could help increase GDP by 5-10%, according to Mahindra & Mahindra.

Project STOP works hand-in-hand with regional governments to create effective circular waste management systems in high-need areas in Indonesia. The initiative supports cities through a system-enabler approach by providing waste management infrastructure, technical expertise and behavioural change campaigns.

Rather than building traditional linear systems, where waste is collected and simply disposed at landfill, Project STOP also aims to create circular systems, where waste – including flexible packaging – is recycled into new products and the resulting economic value lowers the financial burden of the waste system on the city.

By September 2022 Project STOP claims to have served a population of 278,000, most of them with access to a formal waste management system for the first time. It has created 318 new full-time jobs and has collected 35,000t of waste, of which 4,000t are plastics. This aims to support Indonesia’s national government commitments to reduce plastic pollution while reportedly boosting sustainable financing models through governmental and private sector systems, and helping to cultivate a coordinated governance model with clear responsibilities and accountabilities.