Paperization: Kraft Heinz launches fiber-based cups for the microwave

Photo source: Envato Elements

Paperization: Kraft Heinz launches fiber-based cups for the microwave

The substitution of plastic with paper is a big player in the ongoing revolution of the packaging market. The focus of paperization is on the climate and the cycle. The new, fibre-based, recyclable and compostable cup for the microwave from Kraft Heinz also bears witness to this. The fact that a real industry heavyweight is setting out on this path is telling.


The global shift toward substituting paper for plastic is not only unabated, it’s disruptive. Paper is making further inroads into market areas that were previously the pure domain of plastic. This is particularly noticeable in the area of rigid packaging.

The focus of this development is currently on the aspects of climate and recycling. Here in particular, brands are looking at where advantages can be generated. And paper, especially when it replaces previously used plastic, comes in at just the right time.

The current example of a fiber-based, recyclable and compostable cup for the microwave, which also replaces the plastic label with direct printing, is further evidence of this development. It is particularly exciting that Kraft Heinz, a real heavyweight, is getting involved. This shows how big the topic has already become on a global level.


The Kraft Mac & Cheese cup

– The packaging is the first recyclable fiber-based cup for the microwave in Kraft Heinz’s brand portfolio.

– It is currently being tested and is expected to hit shelves during 2021 for the new Kraft Mac & Cheese Shapes variety.

– The cup will also receive a new design for this purpose.

– According to the company, the cup will be recyclable and (industrially) compostable.

– As part of the plastic reduction, the previously used label will also be eliminated. Instead, digital direct printing technology will be used.

– Specific recycling instructions on the cup will make it transparent and easy for consumers to dispose of the packaging correctly.

– The new cup is part of Kraft-Heinz’s commitment to use 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.


Paperization, climate, circulation

Rigid packaging is a focus area for Paperization. The substitution of plastic for paper is particularly rapid here for two reasons:

  1. the packaging gains recyclability through the use of the fiber material.
  2. rigis, unlike flexibles, have a fairly high plastic content. Its substitution promises a correspondingly high climate effect.


Solution for disruptive times?

At Berndt+Partner, we think that every material has its justification. You can’t boil everything down to a single solution. The diversity and multitude of products, segments and markets create different conditions, for each of which a separate, optimal answer must be found.

Irrespective of this, the example of Kraft Heinz shows how important the topic has now become. The development is disruptive and Paperization is a big player in the ongoing revolution of the packaging market.

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Reuse: Digital empowers circular economy

Source: Envato Elements

Reuse: Digital empowers circular economy 

Thomas Reiner | 13.07.2021

The start-up Good Goods is launching an incentive-driven deposit system for wine bottles in New York. The barcode of the bottle is scanned and a QR code is sent to the customer’s smartphone. The next time wine is purchased, this code can be used for a $2 discount. Systems for reuse are strongly on the rise as a central point of packaging strategies. Digitalisation makes it possible.


A new incentive-driven deposit program to reuse wine bottles is launching in New York this year. The startup, Good Goods, is using it to encourage customers to return their Good Goods-compatible wine bottles to the point of sale. In return, they will receive a $2 discount on their next wine purchase.

The promotion runs via bar codes, QR codes and customers’ smartphones. For one thing, it shows that reuse systems are increasingly entering the market. This is not surprising, as they are playing an increasingly important role in the packaging design strategy of many brands. On the other hand, the example shows that digital transformation has become a significant driver of the circular economy. And the trend is upward.


The Good Goods Initiative

  • By scanning the barcode of the empty wine bottle, a QR code is sent to the customer’s smartphone upon return, offering them a $2 discount on their next wine purchase.
  • Currently, New York retailers Henry’s Wine and Spirits, Gotham Wine and Liquor, The Gilded Grape and The Natural Wine Company are participating in the program. The startup plans to roll out its model nationwide by the end of 2021.
  • The new incentive-driven deposit program was developed by Zach Lawless, founder of the “Fresh Bowl” vending machine that uses reusable containers.
  • For participating retailers, added value comes in particular from the ability to provide personalized offers to customers. However, it is also useful to compare performance with the success figures of other affiliated retailers.
  • According to Good Goods data, standardized bottles perform well in program participants’ sales.



The start-up Good Goods was inspired by the European model of returnable bottles and the incentive-driven deposit system. The fact that the wine market was chosen as the starting point for the initiative is due to the particularly large number of standardized bottles in this segment.

Around 4.3 billion wine bottles are sold worldwide every year. Within the USA, New York is the third largest wine-producing state. Up to now, the only wine sold here has been single-waste. This is now set to change.


Digital brings added value for reusable bottles

It is not clear whether and to what extent Good Goods will be successful with its campaign. Regardless of this, the idea is still the right one.

In the packaging strategies of many brands, reusable and recyclable models are playing an increasingly important role in establishing a circular economy. The possibilities of digital transformation in particular make it possible to rethink reuse and recycling. Digital is becoming the enabler of Circular Economy in this area as well.

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Game Changer: Renewable Plastics from 2nd Generation Feedstock

Source: Arthur Pereira | Unsplash

Game Changer: Renewable Plastics from 2nd Generation Feedstock

Thomas Reiner | 07.07.2021

Beiersdorf is now using packaging made from certified renewable polypropylene (PP) for parts of its Nivea portfolio in almost 30 countries around the world. Certified tall oil, a second-generation renewable feedstock, serves as the raw material base. Beiersdorf is taking the right approach! The use of renewable raw materials will become a game changer in the establishment of the Circular Economy alongside the use of PCR.


Starting this month, Beiersdorf began using packaging made from certified renewable polypropylene (PP) in nearly 30 countries around the world for its Nivea Natural Balance line of facial care products. In doing so, the company is choosing a correct and forward-looking approach. After all, the use of renewable raw materials will become a game changer in the establishment of the circular economy, alongside the use of PCR. The fact that this development is taking place more quickly than was generally expected is a cause for concern.

What makes Beiersdorf’s move particularly striking is the use of a second-generation renewable raw material. The material comes from Sabic’s Trucircle portfolio and is extracted from tall oil. The fact that a big player like Beiersdorf is not only tackling the issue of renewables, but also taking it to its logical conclusion, can only be welcomed.


Tall oil as a raw material

– An important criterion in Beiersdorf’s choice of raw material and supplier was the feedstock concept.

– Tall oil is a second-generation feedstock and a by-product of forestry. Unlike, for example, bio-plastics based on sugar cane or corn, the raw material is not a food source.

– Its eco-assessment is based on the principle of mass balance in accordance with the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) scheme.

– Tall oil replaces crude oil and is integrated into the manufacturing process according to the principle of mass balancing, without the need to set up a separate production run.


Packaging strategy at Beiersdorf

The company has set itself the goal of using 50 percent less petroleum-based virgin plastic by 2025. In addition, all packaging should be reusable, refillable or recyclable by then.


Game changer

The central importance of the use of post-consumer recycled plastics for the establishment of a circular economy has now been understood by almost all stakeholders. If we think the matter through to its logical conclusion, we must also look at the source of the virgin raw material.

Renewable sources are only truly sustainable if they do not compete with food production. The use of so-called second-generation feedstocks will be a game changer! That this development is becoming concrete so quickly and then being rolled out globally right away is a great and positive realization.

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PCR = “vaccine” of the circular economy?

PCR = “vaccine” of the circular economy?

Thomas Reiner | 30.06.2021

Unilever is switching the “Squeezy” range of its Hellmann’s food brand in the UK to bottles made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET. The step is also a real benchmark in terms of volume. And it makes it clear that the pure focus on recyclability is a thing of the past. The use of recyclate is gaining importance as a logical second step. No cycle without the use of recyclate: PCR is becoming the “vaccine” of the Circular Economy.


For a long time, recyclability was the main heading on the path to circular economy. However, the circle can only be closed if the recyclate is used again. The fact that Unilever is now taking this step is a strong sign. The use of recycled material is no longer just a small game for niches.

The Hellmann’s condiment brand is strategically and quantitatively relevant in Unilever’s portfolio. In the mayonnaise segment, the brand is one of the biggest. The switch to bottles made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET will therefore make waves – even if it only affects the market in the UK for the time being.


Facts about the rPET move

  • With its rPET bottles, the Hellmann brand is one of the first food brands in the UK to use 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • At 40%, Unilever has already converted almost half of the Squeezy range to recycled plastic and sent it to shelves by April 2021. The conversion is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
  • According to the company, the complete conversion will save around 1,480 tonnes of virgin plastic per year.
  • Increasing the use of recycled plastic is an essential part of Unilever’s wider global packaging commitments. By 2025, all packaging should be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
  • The Hellmann’s Squeezy project in the UK also serves as an important knowledge generator for the company. The experience gained is intended to accelerate the switch of other Unilever food brands to recycled packaging.


PCR as a vaccine
Hellmann’s is a flagship in Unilever’s portfolio. So the switch to packaging made from 100% PCR is a real head-turner. The move will have major consequences, not only for the company but for the market as a whole. It is becoming clear that recyclability is no longer enough. The use of recyclates as a logical second step is becoming increasingly important. Good thing! Because only by using recycled material can we close the loop on plastics. The use of PCR could become a vaccine here.

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