Circular Economy. no-plastics revisited: Supermarket chain tries again

Photo: Iceland

no-plastics revisited:

Supermarket chain tries again

Thomas Reiner | 19.09.2019

Recently, UK supermarket chain Iceland had to end an attempt to sell fruit and vegetables without plastic packaging. The reason: a sharp decline in sales. Now the company is trying again.

In spring 2019, Iceland launched two pilot projects on sustainability and plastics prevention in selected UK supermarkets.
• For instance, bananas were no longer wrapped in foil but rather with a paper band.
• In addition, 35 fruit and vegetable products were offered unpacked.
• Another 27 presented themselves in new, sustainable packaging such as compostable bags, paper bags and cellulosic nets.

Iceland reverted back after only three months. Obviously, consumers did not accept the new alternatives. Sales of the previous goods had fallen by 20 percent.

Nevertheless, the company is sticking to its conviction. In July, a new attempt was made to offer bananas “plastic-free” – with a test run in 20 supermarkets. Also a new attempt with unpacked fruits and vegetables should start later this year.

According to the company, it is looking closely at discounters in Germany, who are showing how it can be done.

It is therefore remarkable how Iceland is sticking to its sustainability convictions and trying again, despite a sharp fall in sales following the move of going plastics-free with some of its products. True sustainability starts in the DNA of a company, growing from the inside out.
That is in line with our mission at B+P, striving to assist companies in becoming truly sustainable and ultimately fit for the circular economy, especially regarding their processes and communications, as well as their packaging. Sustainability is our passion. We would love to build on your ideas. We are looking forward to hearing from you.


It’s time to put a freeze on plastics

Video-Interview with Managing Director Richard Walker

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Digital Transformation. On-pack AR on eco-refill packaging from Unilever

 Source: Unilever – Cif

On-pack AR on eco-refill packaging from Unilever

Thomas Reiner | 05.09.2019

Unilever uses augmented reality (AR) for its new eco-refill packaging for its household cleaner Cif. The move is part of Unilever’s strategy to develop new offerings for cross-linked always-on packaging. AR is a key element of this strategy.

Unilever wants to consistently use packaging as an always-on media channel in order to address and activate consumers at the point of product use. Augmented reality should be part of the integrated marketing activities and not an isolated one-off activity.

By using AR, one wants to make sure that the content and information one provides is always relevant and highly attractive. In order to achieve this, AR has to contribute positively to the customer experience and deliver real added value.

Unilever launches its on-pack AR on the eco-refill packaging for the Cif detergent The refill packaging is, according to the company, an innovation in the Household Products segment. Consumers can refill their already used spray bottles with an “eco-refill”.

The augmented reality offer provides instructions on how to refill and how to reuse unnecessary spray bottles, as well as information on some “surprises” not yet revealed at the time of the report.

Five key contexts have been identified for the use of augmented reality on packaging:

  1. Communicating transparency and messages on sustainability and recycling
  2. Storytelling
  3. Demonstrations of the practical application of the product
  4. Promotions and games
  5. Social sharing activities such as face filters.

For the own enterprise with the employment of augmented reality on the packaging one aspires a higher meaning and value of the brand for the consumer. In addition, one learns a lot about the consumer experience of one’s own brand. These learnings can be used well to further optimize the experience.

Another plus is that one can offer customers more shopping options. For example, via connected eCommerce pages – provided AR is used as part of an integrated and networked packaging programme.

In future, Unilever expects to provide consumers with personalized and dynamic content through packaging platforms.

When it comes to packaging as a media platform and the Internet of Packaging (IoP), we would love to hear from you and build on your ideas, as we find the topic most engaging. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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Circular Economy. From old to new – Also with PP

Source: reCycle Technologies, PCTPR001

From old to new:

Also with PP

Thomas Reiner | 11.06.2019

One step forward in recycling PP goes PureCycle Technologies together with Milliken and Nestlé.

The process developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble turns old polypropylene (PP) new polypropylene. It also removes color, odor and other contaminants from the feedstock.

As a result, the new process should ensure that similar to PET, PP can now be materially recycled and made available for follow-up applications.

The first PP recycling facility is currently under construction in the US, in Lawrence County, Ohio. From 2021, 54,000 tons of old PP are to be processed into more than 47,500 tons of new PP.

A trial unit of the new plant will soon be put into operation by PureCycle Technologies. The focus of the experimental unit is the processing of old PP from different sources and the optimization of processes.


• Currently less than 1 percent of old PP is recycled worldwide.

• For polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the proportion is already 20 percent. Out of R-PET plastic bottles and other consumer goods packaging are usually made.

Circular Economy. Food safety with R-PET: Pioneer Rügenwalder leads the way

Source: Rügenwalder

Food safety with R-PET:

Pioneer Rügenwalder leads the way

Thomas Reiner | 05.06.2019

The use of recycled PET for food packaging is still unusual. The pioneer is the Germany-based manufacturer of meat products and vegetarian meat substitutes, Rügenwalder.

Rügenwalder has been increasingly using recycled PET (R-PET) for its food packaging since 2017. The packaging material is obtained, for example, from PET beverage bottles.

In the meantime, R-PET content makes up 70% of packaging for cold cuts. In the case of vegetarian products, the share of R-PET is currently at 40%.

It is being planned to continuously increase the R-PET quota.

A central element of Rügenwalder’s strategy is the maintenance of product safety. In order to do so, it is necessary to meet the particularly stringent requirements imposed by the legislator for materials in contact with food.

The use of R-PET is part of the company’s strategy of making all packaging fully recyclable so that any used packaging can, in principle, become a new one.

Rügenwalder Sustainability Strategy:

Circular Economy. Tesco launches chemical recycling programme for plastics.

Tesco launches chemical recycling programme for plastics


Thomas Reiner | 03.06.2019

How do you deal with plastic packaging, which until now has been difficult to sort or can’t be recycled? Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has now launched a pilot project focused on chemical recycling.

Tesco’s cooperation partner is the British company Recycling Technologies, which has a patented process for the chemical recycling of plastics.

As part of the project, customers from ten Tesco supermarkets will be able to return all types of plastic packaging after emptying, including flexible packaging and composites.

Those packages that have not been sorted or recycled in the UK recycling system are then shipped to Recycling Technologies for chemical recovery.

For Tesco, the project is an important step towards achieving its own recycling goals. At the same time, it hopes to close the last gaps in UK plastics recycling.

Chemical recycling
There are now some processes and patented solutions for the chemical recycling of plastic and composite packaging.
In this case, the plastics are converted back into low molecular weight products such as monomers or high-quality oils and liquefied gas by gasification, pyrolysis, hydrogenation or other feedstock process. These products can then serve as a replacement for fossil raw materials for the production of new virgin plastics.

Incidentally, according to the Federal Environmental Agency, chemical recycling in Germany does not qualify as material recovery in the sense of the Packaging Act, which came into force at the beginning of this year.