Caroline Babendererde is Head of Sustainability Mid Europe at Tetra Pak

“We must make packaging more attractive as a varied professional field”


In a world forced to meet the global challenges of sustainable food systems, progressive packaging solutions are indispensable. This includes the people working on these solutions. In this interview with Caroline Babendererde, Head of Sustainability Mid Europe at Tetra Pak, we discuss how to win young talents for the industry and the role of sustainability initiatives.
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Caroline Babendererde is Head of Sustainability Mid Europe at Tetra Pak

“We must make packaging more attractive as a varied professional field”


In a world forced to meet the global challenges of sustainable food systems, progressive packaging solutions are indispensable. This includes the people working on these solutions. In this interview with Caroline Babendererde, Head of Sustainability Mid Europe at Tetra Pak, we discuss how to win young talents for the industry and the role of sustainability initiatives.
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Image: Sensoneo

Romania launches the world’s largest deposit system for beverages


Right now, Romania has one of the lowest recycling rates for packaging in all of Europe. This is currently set to change. Recently, the country in south-eastern Europe introduced a deposit return system for single-use packaging for beverages – with almost 80,000 collection points it is to become the world’s largest so-called Deposit Return System (DRS).
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Three women hold picture frames in their hands

Image: Pro Carton

Urgent need for young talent


There is an urgent need for young, skilled workers everywhere, and the packaging industry is no exception. Next-generation workers often pursue unconventional approaches with bold new ideas, regardless of whether they have studied packaging technology or design at European universities or completed an industry apprenticeship.
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Bottle of wine with label and nutritional values on a smartphone

Image: Marzek Etiketten+Packaging

E-labels for wine conform to new EU requirements


The EU Nutrition Declaration now also requires labels on bottles of wine. However, labels usually do not provide enough space for the list of ingredients and nutritional values. One solution are printed QR codes leading directly to a relevant website hosting all information that is required by law. One supplier of labels is offering a simple solution for this.
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View over Cairo

Image: unsplash/Jack Krier

The Resilient Rise of the Egyptian Packaging Sector in Challenging Times


As an established sector, the Egyptian printing and packaging sector is faced with similar challenges to many industries in the local economy. However, the growing local consumer base, competitive business atmosphere, and solid international cooperation relations are strong indicators of a thriving sector capable of further development and innovation.
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White and green plastic bags


Egypt’s Innovative Solutions: Turning Plastic Waste into Recycling Opportunities


The packaging industry is heavily reliant on plastics. However, as the focus shifts to more sustainable packaging options, global industry stakeholders and policymakers are searching for ways to investigate how plastic packaging waste can be used to explore sustainable industry practices and market opportunities, some of which might be real gamechangers.
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Glass of beer and paper bottle

Image: Carlsberg

Inside Paboco’s Quest for the Ideal Paper Bottle


Tim Silbermann, Paboco’s new 33-year-old CEO, is on a mission to help the Alpla-owned company develop a 100 percent bio-based, fully recyclable bottle. It currently is supplying customers such as Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, Coca-Cola Co., Carlsberg, and Absolut Vodka and continues to strive for a viable all-paper bottle.
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Three unprinted tea bags with clip-on cards

Image: EN Tea

Compostable biopolymer PBS replacing fossil plastics


Bioplastics can replace conventional fossil plastics in many applications while being processed in the same way. One important type of bioplastic is PBS. The biopolymer is plant-based, biodegradable and recyclable. A Japanese tea manufacturer is now using PBS in the packaging for its tea bags.
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Glowing glass bottles in production

Image: Vetropack

Less material and more green energy: The glass industry is becoming more sustainable


Glass is the ideal packaging material for beverages and foods. It is odourless and neutral in taste and does not react with the filled goods. However, its production is very energy intensive and the industry is working hard to become climate-neutral.
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FreeWater offers these 474 ml aluminum bottles as one option

Image: FreeWater



A Texas startup aims to disrupt the food and beverage industry by turning the marketing of such products on its head. Austin-based FreeWater sells advertising on paper cartons and aluminum bottles of drinking water and then gives away those containers for free, while donation a portion of its proceeds to charity.
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RFID label on a red plastic package

Bild: Checkpoint Systems

Keeping an eye on reusable containers


Since the beginning of 2023, reusable containers are mandatory in restaurants. For the proprietors, it is often not easy to keep track of stock levels and the necessary order quantities for resupply. This is where RFID systems can be useful, as they help to record each single container quickly and without contact. McDonald’s France is already using this technology for its reusable packaging.
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Light-coloured bottle with water drops

The novel cellulose fibres are produced from a mix of curran, bamboo and bagasse. (Image: RyPax)

New bottle design – 100 percent fibre-based


The interest in fibre bottles is large, as they are lightweight, robust and made from renewable resources. The material does not always have to be wood from fir and deciduous trees, left-over material from food production is also suitable. For example sugar beet chips, which are a waste product of sugar production.
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Workers at BASF

Image: BASF

What are the environmental impacts of alternative raw materials?


In mass balancing, chemically recycled or bio-based raw materials are input at the very beginning of plastics production and then computationally assigned to the end products. Using the example of flexible mozzarella packaging, a study investigated whether and how this procedure influences the life-cycle assessment of packaging produced from these raw materials.
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Two plastic bottles with transparent label

Image: Dow

How labels are becoming more recyclable


A world without labels? Inconceivable. Their endless variety of materials, shapes and functions help labels attract attention. But it should also be possible to separate them from their packaging again at the end of the packaging’s life in the interests of a circular economy. Recyclable solutions are on the way.
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Oval labels printed with shiny bright metallic colours

Image: Actega

Sustainable print finishing


Embossing, colour effects and particularly metallic sheens catch the eyes at points of sale. Finishing labels and folded boxes with conventional embossing foil, however, creates lots of film waste. But now an alternative, which allows metallic pigments to be applied selectively and cost-effectively and which consequently eliminates the need for plastic film, has arrived.
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Takeaway drink with paper lid

Image: The Paper Lid Company

Paper lids for less single-use plastic


When the time comes for a hot or cold drink while out and about, many people opt for takeaway beverages in disposable cups. These often come with a plastic lid, resulting in a significant volume of waste. One Finnish start-up is instead using recyclable paperboard lids and has entered into a partnership with Walki.
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Screen drum with light packaging

Image: Interzero

HDPE bottles made from waste light packaging


A new and patented recycling process from recycling service provider Interzero allows HDPE plastics from post-consumer flows to be processed in such a way that during processing the properties of the recycled materials compare favourably with those of virgin plastics.
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Rolls of tin on a meadow with flowers

Image: thyssenkrupp Rasselstein

Tin packaging becomes more climate-friendly


They are regarded as best for recycling: Tin cans, tubes and bottles. But they don’t score well in terms of their carbon footprint because it is not yet possible to produce steel without using coal as the source of energy. Industry is, however, working on more sustainable solutions and has launched the first carbon-reduced steel for packaging.
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A tattooed hand holds a plastic water bottle.

Image: Jonathan Cooper/unsplash

How useful are PET bottles?


People need water. And it has to be brought to them somehow. That’s where packaging, e.g. PET bottles, is important – particularly in areas where the groundwater is polluted. A study commissioned by Lidl, the German discount supermarket, revealed that it’s quite possible for plastic bottles to be sustainable in the right conditions.
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The SoVi app’s user interface being displayed on several mobile-phone screens.

Image: SonicView

Designing barrier-free packaging


No packaging, no product protection. But how can the visually impaired be sure about what they’re putting in their shopping baskets? A German designer has come up with a clever solution to this problem.
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Three women in front of laptops.

The students worked on the research project in six teams. (Image: BAU)

SAVE FOOD research project: New food packaging from leftover food


Food production generates a lot of residual material, which is usually not put to use but disposed of. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for alternatives to plastic packaging. Biodegradable and compostable packaging can be a sustainable solution, especially if it is made of leftovers from food production.
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Cold shipping with paperfloc eco systems

The carbon neutral paperfloc eco systems keep temperature sensitive products cold and can be disposed of completely with the waste paper. (Image: easy2cool GmbH)

Green shipping package for temperature sensitive products


When food, cosmetics or pharmaceutical products have to be shipped, they sometimes need constant cooling. Often, the solution is polystyrene. The Munich company easy2cool has developed a sustainable alternative. The paperfloc systems are fully recyclable.
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Product photograph of three PET water bottles with stretch sleeve

CCL Label was able to reduce the thickness of their stretch sleeves to 30 micrometres. (Image: CCL Label)

Thinner sleeves for more sustainability


Everyone is talking about sustainability. The way to an improved carbon footprint is to decrease the use of unnecessary material. Austrian company CCL Label, for example, were recently able to decrease the thickness of their stretch sleeves for PET bottles by one third.
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A blue rubbish bin with a white recycling symbol

The use of recyclates begins with the correct separation of waste. (Image: Sigmund/unsplash)

Use of recyclates in packaging


If there is one thing the industry agrees on, it is that more recycled raw materials must be used. In the case of plastics, this means recyclates. They are in greater demand than ever, but the supply is still relatively small. What do packaging manufacturers have to pay attention to when using them, and what has to change so that more recyclates can be used?
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Paper cups for to-go beverages such as coffee.

When it comes to their daily coffee, many people choose the to-go option and quickly dispose of the cups afterwards. Stora Enso and Huhtamaki now want to recycle these cups. (Image: Stora Enso)

A coalition for more and better cup recycling


For 2030, the EU recycling target for paper and cardboard packaging is 85 %. However, the valuable raw materials in paper cups are often lost after only a short period of use. With The Cup Collective, Stora Enso and Huhtamaki are launching an initiative to collect and recycle paper cups.
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A person explores the touchcap bottle closure with an index finger.

Tactile nubs form on the surface of the cap as soon as the contents of the bottle are no longer fit for consumption.

A closure fighting food waste


Too much food is still being thrown away around the world, even though it may still have a shelf life. Together with United Caps, a London start-up has now developed a bottle cap that provides information about the edibility of the contents beyond the best-before date.
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The washing and racking system from KHS

The Innokeg AF-C Transversal can wash and rack returnable and one-way kegs on just one system. (Image: KHS Group)

500 kegs per hour on one conveyor belt


In the early days, a keg tap was simply driven into the wooden keg with a hammer, but today modern returnable kegs are connected to tap systems. However, after use, they need to be washed and then refilled, or racked. KHS, a Dortmund-based machine manufacturer, has now developed a system that can wash and rack different types of kegs using a single conveyor belt.
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Bundles of empty beverage cartons

Used beverage cartons on the way to the recycling plant. Photo: FKN

Benelux to recycle beverage cartons


Beverage cartons are not waste, they consist of valuable raw materials that can be recycled. Stora Enso and Tetra Pak want to build a complete recycling system for the composite cartons in Belgium and are currently assessing the project’s feasibility.
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Super Combi complete line for PET bottles from Sidel

With the new complete line, PET bottles in various different sizes can be filled and packaged even more quickly. (Image: Sidel)

Go with the flow! With the fastest complete water filling line in the Middle East


Quality and efficiency are key production requirements for water supplier Mai Dubai. The company turned to Sidel for a new bottling system. Now, 86,000 bottles per hour are being filled by Super Combi, the fastest complete line in the Middle East region.
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Close-up of the recycling symbol for polypropylene.

Many companies are switching their packaging to mono-materials like polypropylene. But what are their advantages and disadvantages? (Picture: Shutterstock/ CalypsoArt)

Mono-material, a ray of hope


The industry is in pursuit of the circular economy. That is why, in the packaging industry, companies are increasingly switching to mono-materials. But what exactly does that term mean, and why are these packaging materials becoming ever more popular?
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Greiner Packaging and LyonellBasell’s CirculenRevive as a circular coffee capsule for Nestlé

Image: Greiner Packaging

PCR Coffee Capsules Stay in the Recycling Loop


For their morning coffee, many consumers choose coffee capsules that then end up in the bin. This is not particularly sustainable, since the capsules consist of new plastics. Greiner Packaging and LyonellBasell have developed a circular solution made of post-consumer recyclates for Nescafé.
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Coca-Cola bottle with new cap

Image: Coca-Cola Germany

Coca-Cola keeps its cap on


Coca-Cola Germany has given its single-use PET bottles new caps. In November 2021, the company introduced caps that are tethered to a safety ring on the necks of their bottles. In doing so, Coca-Cola is implementing a EU directive on plastic products way ahead of time.
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AdeZ beverage bottle on the table.

Photo: Coca-Cola Deutschland

The Coca-Cola paper bottle


Coca-Cola is not the first company to place a paper bottle for beverages on the European market. The beer manufacturer Carlsberg had brought out a paper bottle, the Green Fibre Bottle, before the Coca-Cola bottle.
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Two Almdudler bottles on the conveyor belt in the packaging plant

Foto: ©Almdudler / Lipiarski

Gender-inclusive language in packaging


Almdudler’s limited edition packaging, which uses gender-inclusive language with stars to include the female gender and others on their bottle (Almdudler means “alp yodeller”, and the female form is “Almdudlerin” – the limited edition packaging now includes both nouns and an asterisk) is one example that demonstrates that the role that diversity plays in packaging is equally as important...
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Pallet of beer cans in warehouse with man

Foto: Wade Austin Ellis, Unsplash

More beer is being consumed at home


The beer industry is suffering due to a drop in beer consumption in bars, restaurants and clubs due to the corona virus. However, beer sales recorded an uptick in retail and in the beverage markets in the first six months of 2020, which even led to bottlenecks in beer can production in parts.
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Coloured beverage cans

Foto: Christin Hume, unsplash

Customised beer bottles


85 years ago, beverage cans were invented in the USA and filled with Krueger Cream Ale. Today, the popular beverage packaging contains a wide range of contents, first and foremost beers, energy and soft drinks.
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Coloured beverage cans

Photo: Melanie Streich

Beverage cans: more popular than ever


85 years ago, beverage cans were invented in the USA and filled with Krueger Cream Ale. Today, the popular beverage packaging contains a wide range of contents, first and foremost beers, energy and soft drinks.
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 Many Coca-Cola bottles in shelf

Photo by Evonne Yuwen Teoh //Unsplash

Coca-Cola bottles made out of rPET


Sweden will soon see the launch of the first Coca-Cola bottles made out of 100% rPET. Other brands produced by the group will also use this fully recycled plastic. The beverage giant has even replaced its sweeping, red-and-white lettering to motivate consumers to recycle the bottles.
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Glass objects from Cornelius Réer’s glass workshop

© SAMESAME, Katrin Lautenbach

Upcycling glass bottles


When used glass bottles are disposed of correctly in designated glass containers, 100% of the material can be recycled and thus reused – as intended as well as for other purposes. And more and more companies are deciding to upcycle, giving original products and packaging an upgrade – and new meaning.
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Whiskey bottle with mobile phone and hummingbird

© CCL Connected Packaging

Smart packaging – the packaging solution of the future


The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are also transforming the packaging industry: Intelligent packaging allows users to track delivery routes and can indicate the freshness of foods. At the same time, modern technologies offer countless marketing opportunities to increase customer loyalty.
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Bike by Vélosophy

© Vélosophy Cycles AB

Upcycling Nespresso coffee capsules


Turning waste products into new and useful products is known as upcycling. There are numerous examples: furniture made out of Euro-pallets, toys for children made out of cardboard and bicycles made out of used deodorant cans. Now, Nespresso is showing the world what old coffee capsules can do.
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Drinking bottle with scent pods, right: Installing the scent pod

© air up

Sustainable packaging for healthy drink


Consumers have increasingly high expectations when it comes to the sustainability of beverage packaging, and this also extends to their content – healthy drinks are no longer something just for athletes. As a result, the global offer of innovative solutions for environmentally friendly beverage bottles and cans has increased, as has the offer of full-flavoured, low-sugar drinks.
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