AIP launches salary survey

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has partnered with sister association the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) to bring their annual salary survey to the Australasian Region.

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Global Lifetime Achievement Award for AIP stalwart

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is extremely proud to advise that AIP education coordinator, Ralph Moyle FAIP, CPP, has been recognised as the only international Lifetime Achievement in Packaging Awardee for the 2021 WorldStar Packaging Awards.
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Date labelling and food waste go hand-in-hand

Accurate and consistent date labelling on-pack ensures that food is not only safe to eat, but at its best quality throughout its entire life. Getting this right can help to minimise unnecessary food waste in the household.
Food manufacturers need to ensure that they are communicating the correct information and advice on pack; the messaging needs to be clear, intuitive and easy for consumers to understand.
What is date labelling?
Date labelling is designed to guide consumers on how long food can be kept before the quality deteriorates, or once the item is unsafe to eat.
What are the meanings of a Use By Date VS a Best Before Date?
Use By Dates and Best Before Dates are the next step in date labelling and are the responsibility of the food manufacturer.
Use By Date
In the simplest of terms a Use By Date is designed for the health and safety of a consumer and you should not eat the item after this date. Items are also not legally permitted to be sold after this date as they pose health risks.
Best Before Date
A Best Before Date however does not mean that you cannot eat the food after then; it simply means that the quality or taste may not be ‘at its best’ after the recommended date. This style of date-labelling is determined by the manufacturers recommendation of “optimum consumption” to achieve the best quality product.
According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), who is responsible for all date labelling definitions, “Food items are legally permitted to be sold after a Best Before Date and until they are no longer fit for human consumption”.
Legally, the only food item that can have different date marking is bread, which can be labelled with a baked on, or baked for date, if its shelf life is less than seven
days. Foods that have a shelf life of two years or longer – e.g. some canned foods – do not need to be labelled with a Best Before Date. This is because it is difficult to provide a consumer with an accurate guide as to how long these foods will keep as they may retain their quality for many years and are likely to be consumed well before they spoil.
(FSANZ)
Storage and freezing advice
If there are additional ways to extend shelf life of the product such as freezing the product, preferred methods of storage such as a specific area in the refrigerator, or at room temperature, then let the consumers know this information on-pack.
Manufacturers need to be clear on-pack if the food is best kept stored in the packaging so that the product can remain fresh for longer. They need to communicate to consumers how long products should be kept frozen, include defrosting explanations and how to cook from frozen instructions. As an industry we need to ensure that the date labelling used on pack is consistent across all categories so it is easy for consumers to make informed and conscious decisions before wasting food unnecessarily. We encourage you to educate everyone within your business about the differences and help make a contribution to minimising food waste.

2020 Australasian Packaging Conference: virtual edition

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has announced that the 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference will be moving to a virtual edition on the 27th to the 30th of October.

The virtual edition of the conference  will bring together over 70 international and national technical experts that will discuss the theme Packaging: Fit for the Future.

If a person is unable to attend all of the sessions they you will not miss out. The conference will be designed so that delegate can choose to:

  • Join live via Zoom software and interact –  watch and interact with the sessions while they are happening.
  • Watch the ‘live stream’ – watch a live video of the session.
  • Watch a ‘recording’ of the session at a later time.

“As added value, delegates who are unable to join any of the sessions live will be able to access the recordings of all sessions using their unique conference website login details until the end of December 2020. This will allow everyone the flexibility to view the presentations as many times as they wish, and in their own time,” executive director of the AIP, Nerida Kelton said.

“There will also be live interactive opportunities during the morning tea and lunch breaks to learn about new innovations, materials and equipment that the industry has to offer. These sessions will be designed so that delegates can bring their coffee, or lunch, into the live room and learn about a new innovation and ask questions.

“The AIP’s goal is to re-create the physical conference planned for April into a Virtual Edition so that the industry does not miss out on hearing all of the wonderful speakers that the Institute had lined up. In addition, delegates will be able to have a coffee and network with all of the conference partners during the breaks; just like you would during a physical conference.”

Registrations are open to book your place at the virtual edition of the largest technical packaging conference run in Australia by the industry for the industry. http://aipack.com.au/event-registration/?ee=248

AIP: How Do I Design a Test if I Don’t Know My Supply Chain? webinar

Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) Members to access ‘How Do I Design a Test if I Don’t Know My Supply Chain’ Webinar for Free

As part of the partnership with the IoPP, all AIP Members will have access to the How Do I Design a Test if I Don’t Know My Supply Chain? webinar on 17 September

The presenter will be Rodney Prater, Principal Packaging Engineer, SC Johnson & Son Inc., who has 26 years in the industry.  Rodney manages the distribution test laboratory at SC Johnson and applicable distribution test protocols.

Problem: How can you properly design, test and validate your product to withstand the rigors of distribution within a region and from one region to another region?

Solution: Understand your supply chain handling process and create a test protocol for more robust and faster validation.

This webinar will walk you through the steps of the intuitive, informative and interactive process map of SC Johnson’s global supply chain environment to assist in product development and validation. You will learn how to utilise process maps to create regional simulated distribution test protocols.

Additionally, you learn how to create a BCT (Box Compression Test) tool and PSF (Product Support Factor) procedure for a corrugate performance-based specification that is supplier agnostic based on the regional supply chain criteria.

Due to the different time zones it would be difficult for AIP Members to attend the live webinar but you can register to view the rebroadcast – simply email info@aipack.com.au  by the 16th of September to register to view the recording.

The AIP will arrange your FREE access to the rebroadcast of this IoPP webinar – a USD$99 saving and special benefit of your AIP membership.

Can Save Food Packaging Design minimise food waste?

Did you know that 34 per cent (2.5 million tonnes) of all food wasted occurs in the household, followed closely by 31 per cent (2.3 million tonnes) in primary production? In economic terms, food waste in Australia has become a $20 billion problem that sees each person waste on average 298 kilograms of food a year.

While the primary function of packaging is to protect, contain, preserve and transport a product, the function of intuitive Save Food Packaging Design to minimise food waste, is only now being discussed.

As a core participant of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has been working on guidelines that will help packaging technologists to design Save Food Packaging to minimise food waste from paddock to plate. This is by using innovative and intuitive design features that can contain and protect, preserve, extend shelf life, and can be opened and resealed easily, provide consumer convenience and portion control – while also meeting global sustainable packaging targets.

The intuitive ways that packaging can save food include:
• Design to contain and protect the product from spoilage and damage from the manufacturer’s warehouse and the various stages of distribution. This design aspect needs to cover primary, secondary and tertiary applications and how it is transported to the consumer. Considerations need to include palletisation and stabilisation, transport packaging and load utilisation, tamper evidence, shocks, vibrations, temperature, moisture, infestation, and chemical contamination.
Tip: As a part of your packaging design ensure simulation testing is undertaken to better optimise the carton design with regard to physical-chemical protection and mechanical protection.

• Design to preserve, enhance product appeal and extend shelf life. Considerations need to include improved barrier packaging and processing, retention of nutrition, skin and MAP packaging, as well as active and intelligent packaging.
Tip: Improve your use of active and intelligent packaging (temperature, O2 and CO2 sensors) to assist retailers and consumers understanding of shelf life issues with the packed product. There are “Smart label sensors” now being developed to assist the detecting of spoiled foods.

• Design to provide convenience to not waste food in handling. Considerations need to include portion control, ease of opening, re-closing, dispensing and inclusive design. Designing packaging that offers an effective resealable pack, to protect the product from spoilage after multi-use occasions (a necessary feature for flexible packaging) is just one design feature that can be effective.
Tip: Review portion control and changing the size of packs. Understanding your consumer’s requirements and providing smaller sealed portion packs. i.e. 500gm meat packs that could be provided in dual 250gm sealed packs.

• Design to promote and communicate to consumers how to handle, store, prepare and reuse food products. Consideration must include usage and storage instructions, date labelling – including Best Before, Use By and Good After and on-pack communication. On-pack communication can include everything from why the product is packaged a certain way to extend shelf life, resealable functionality, any intuitive design features, all the way through to preparation and left-over ideas.
Tip: Review your on-pack and off-pack communication. Provide information on pack, or using a QR code, so that consumers can access helpful information on shelf life, storage conditions and recipes for products past their Best Before coding. Information on food safety and freshness including opening, resealing, closing and dispensing could also be communicated, in addition to ideas for using or storing leftovers.

• Design to meet 2025 National Packaging and Global Sustainable Packaging Targets.
Consideration must include a balanced approach to ensure that the packaging meets all necessary sustainable packaging guidelines and true recyclability of the packaging in the country in which it is sold. Save Food Packaging Design needs to link to the Product Waste principle in Sustainable Packaging Design.
Tip: Increase your usage of Lifecycle Assessment Tools to better understand the role of your packaging, food production and food waste.

Industry pilots Save Food Packaging Design
The AIP will be shortly rolling out the industry pilot phase of the Save Food Packaging CRC project, which will be a critical step in finalising the key criteria and guidelines needed for the industry. If you would like to be a part of the pilot project, please contact the AIP as everyone has a role to play.
Once the Save Food Packaging Guidelines are finalised, the AIP would like to see:
1. The new Save Food Packaging Guidelines used as a standard for all packaging technologists and designers.
2. More companies being recognised for their Save Food Packaging innovations through the Packaging Innovation and Design (PIDA) Awards and the international WorldStar Packaging Award program.
3. More local best practice, award-winning Save Food Packaging innovations showcased across Australia and New Zealand.
4. Improved consumer education and engagement projects to change the narrative around packaging’s roles in minimising food waste.

I would encourage everyone to build these guidelines into new product development processes, as simple changes to design can potentially prevent unnecessary food waste in the households.

Bookings open for AIP course

Bookings are now open for the sixth Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) virtual training course ‘Use of Lifecycle Assessment Tools for Sustainable Packaging Design’ which will be held on 30th of September 2020. All participants will attain 12.5 Certified Professional Development points towards the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) Designation.

The course trainer will be Dr Simon Lockrey, Senior Lecturer/Research Fellow – School of Design, RMIT University, Australia and is open to anyone to attend from anywhere in the world.

The Use of Lifecycle Assessment Tools for Sustainable Packaging Design training course is aimed at providing an introduction and learning framework for packaging industry professionals to apply lifecycle thinking to their working contexts. This includes an understanding of the reasons why lifecycle thinking is critical, as well as how the method may be used for packaging design projects they manage.

The course will be structured to cover the following:

  • Understanding the current shifts and challenges in Sustainability
  • What is Lifecycle Assessment?
  • Why is Lifecycle Assessment an important tool in Sustainable Packaging Design?
  • How do you quantify eco-efficiency?
  • Lifecycle Thinking within Sustainable Packaging Design
  • Introduction to Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) and Its benefits
  • Case Study Examples and Interactive hands-on LCA tool usage
  • Seizing the strategic opportunity in Sustainability
  • Better understanding of how to use LCA tools for competitive advantage and to establish strong relationships across your Supply Chain partners

The objectives of the course are to provide participants an understanding of:

  1. The role LCA plays in both Sustainable Packaging Design and development
  2. Why Sustainable Packaging really matters
  3. Four step procedure of lifecycle assessment
  4. Tools and knowledge to apply LCA in practical contexts

Additional AIP Training Courses in the virtual series include Tools to Help you Meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets: ARL & PREP (October), Tools to Help you meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets: PREP & ARL, Future of Sustainable Labelling, Flexible Packaging: Now and Into the Future, How to Implement the New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, Introduction to Sustainable Packaging Design and New World of Plastics Technology: Polymers & Recycling.

AIP webinar discusses role packaging has in minimising food waste

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is to discuss the important role that packaging plays in minimising food waste at up-coming APCO Webinar on 26 August

This webinar will be looking at the journey of food from farm to fork and the important role packaging plays in food waste prevention. Globally, one-third of all food produced for human consumption around the world goes to waste and here in Australia the government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year. As Australian businesses and communities look to phase-out single-use plastic packaging, and redesign their packaging for recoverability, food waste avoidance is another critical issue packaging designers must consider.

Topics for discussion include:

  • An update on the research and projects being delivered within the Fight Food Waste CRC – an organisation that brings together industry, research and the community to capitalise on Australia’s food waste opportunities.
  • Training, tools and resources for businesses working to reduce food waste through packaging
  • Save Food Packaging Design Guidelines
  • Award-winning Best Practice examples of Save Food Packaging Design

Speakers:
Nerida Kelton MAIP
Executive Director
Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)

Karli Verghese FAIP
Program Leader
Fight Food Waste CRC

Mark Barthel
Special Advisor Food Waste
Fight Food Waste CR

Fifth AIP Virtual Training Course: How to Implement the New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

Bookings are now open for the fifth Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) virtual training course ‘How to implement the New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPG’s) into your business’ which will be held on 1 September 2020. This training course has been developed in collaboration with APCO and all participants will attain 12.5 Certified Professional Development points towards the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) Designation.

The course trainer will be Ralph Moyle FAIP, CPP, Education Director, Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and is open to anyone to attend from anywhere in the world.

Overview of the course:
The ‘Implementing the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines Within Your Business’ Training course will enable companies to deep-dive into how to implement Sustainable Packaging Design into your existing and new packaging development processes to ensure that the business is reducing the environmental footprint of all packaging where possible, and at the same time meeting the 2025 National Packaging Targets. The Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPGs) have been established to assist the design and manufacture of packaging that meets the sometimes conflicting demands of the market, consumer protection and the environment. Sustainable Packaging ultimately ensures that the design provides the lowest possible environmental impact compared to existing or conventional packaging. Sometimes achieving the lowest possible environmental impact can be challenging, particularly when balancing various environmental criteria with other functional and commercial considerations.

Course objectives:
The training course will work through the 10 Sustainable Packaging Principles that have been developed with the highest priority principles being those that support the achievement of the four targets, i.e. design for recovery, design for efficiency, using recycled materials and design to minimise litter. During the course the 9 Packaging Smart Material Guides will be discussed which have been developed to work in collaboration with the SPG’s. Attendees will be asked to select in advance which materials are their design priorities or challenges so that the course is tailored to all attendees.

Through homework exercises and interactive components of the course attendees will learn to successfully integrate these principles within their business through design and procurement practices to achieve the optimal outcomes for packaging functionality, and to collectively work to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

From attending this course attendees will learn:

  • The steps to implement SPG’s in your business
  • Review the 10 guiding principles
  • Understand how the SPG’s link work with the 2025 National Packaging Targets
  • Review Existing Packaging
  • How to apply and implement the Sustainable Packaging Principles that underpin design
  • Understand how to use the SPG’s in conjunction with PREP to make the best selection for your products and packaging.
  • Be able to compare and understand different packaging materials
  • Track and Report Progress
  • Data collection and storage reviews
  • Mapping Document
  • How to develop a SPG Checklist

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This course is ideally suited to packaging technologists, industrial designers, marketers, agencies, graphic designers, sustainability and environmental managers, procurement and anyone that is responsible for the 2025 National Packaging Targets, Sustainability Strategies and Plans, APCO reporting, PREP and Australasian Recycling Label programs within the business.

Innovative sustainable packaging designs recognised

The 2025 National Packaging Targets enables brands to clearly understand what outcomes they need to achieve to ensure that the packaging put into the market is sustainable and circular by design by the year 2025.

The targets include that the packaging is 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable; 70 per cent of plastic packaging is being recycled or composted; packaging includes 50 per cent of average recycled content and there is a phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging in Australia.

A number of companies across the food and beverage industries are set to achieve these targets and are evident through the 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design (PIDA) Awards for Australia and New Zealand.

The Sustainable Packaging Design Award is the most coveted category of the awards and the quantity of entries this year was a clear indication that brands are actively engaged in meeting the 2025 targets. The hardest part for the judges was selecting the winners from a high-quality shortlist of finalists.

The Sustainable Packaging Design Award has been designed to recognise companies that have developed innovative packaging or processing solutions that incorporates sustainability considerations. Elements include efficient use of materials, source reduction, energy, recovery and recyclability, sustainable packaging design considerations, packaging changes to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets and benefits to society.

Due to the range of packaging design innovations, which covered everything from milk cartons to e-commerce solutions, the winners were split into two sub-categories – Retail Pack and Product Protection.

2020 Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award – Retail Pack
The winner of the Gold Award for the 2020 Sustainable Packaging Design of the Year category – Retail Pack was Coca-Cola Amatil for the 100 per cent recyclable post-consumer recycled rPET bottles.

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has provided key industry leadership and assisted the drive to the circular economy by making and delivering on a commitment to convert all of their single serve PET bottles to 100 per cent post-consumer recycled PET resin (rPET).

Many other bottlers both in Australia and around the world have converted their water bottles to 100 per cent rPET, however CCA is the first to achieve this on the technically difficult carbonated soft drink (CSD) bottles, sensitive warm filled bottles and aseptic dairy bottles. By converting all of these SKU’s to 100 per cent rPET, seven out of every 10 bottles CCA sells in Australia are now made from recycled post-consumer resin. This equates to over 55 per cent of CCA’s total PET tonnage or a reduction of CCA’s use of virgin plastics in Australia by around 16,000 tonnes a year.

Even more technically remarkable after the bottle weight reductions undertaken over the last decade, the conversion to rPET was achieved without increasing the weights of any packs. In the case of the preform used for warm fill and aseptic dairy, the company successfully light weighted these bottles by a further 8.5 per cent during the conversion to rPET.

CCA’s commitment to increased use of recycled PET has created important demand in Australia, which will encourage further investment in this area so that all recycled
PET used in Australia is sourced from Australia.

Following the launch of the rPET conversion program CCA recognised their need to source local rPET and they now have announced a joint venture with Veolia to develop the business case around building an rPET plant in Australia.

The winner of the Silver Retail Pack Award was Pact Group for New Zealand’s Earthwise brand of PCR 75 per cent rHDPE household cleaning range.

Earthwise has been pioneering eco-friendly products for more than 50 years. Sustainability is at the heart of everything it does and the company is always looking for ways to improve its environmental footprint.

Earthwise follows environmental practices that take into consideration the full life cycle of a product, from sourcing plant-based ingredients, use of recyclable packaging, and management of energy, water and waste to reduce their contribution to landfill.

Earthwise pledged support to the New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration and with packaging already recyclable, moving to bottles made from recycled content was the next step. Earthwise will have reused and diverted more than 320 tonnes of plastic packaging from landfills over the next 12 months.

The winner of the Bronze Retail Pack Award was a tie between Brownes Dairy, for Australia’s first renewable gable top milk carton, and UPM Raflatac & Kiwi Labels for the Custom-Pak rPET Cherry Punnet with self-adhesive label, a permanent adhesive that is also washable at the PET recycling plant.

Brownes Dairy identified that to be truly sustainable it must focus on both end-of-life management and recycling, considering the full end-to-end environmental impact its products and packaging have on  the environment.

After considering different packaging options, Brownes decided to progress the Tetra Rex bio-based carton, from Tetra Pak. These packages are the world’s first fully renewable carton packages made entirely from bio-based, fully renewable materials. The paperboard used is certified by the FSC and is recyclable.

The Cherry Punnet Label applied to the Custom-Pak rPET container has been manufactured on UPM Raflatac Label Stock, printed by Kiwi Labels and has three features
to consider that are relevant to criteria one.

First, the label enables enhanced recyclability of the package once discarded; second the package is manufactured from 100 per cent rPET, rather than just virgin PET; and last, components of the label stock, namely the label liner, now contains 90 per cent post-consumer recycled (PCR) waste which has replaced virgin plastic.”

2020 Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award –  Product Protection
The winner of the Gold Award for the 2020 Sustainable Packaging Design of the Year – Product Protection category was a tie between Opal Packaging for its recyclable moulded paper inserts, and Sealed Air Brand Protective Packaging for the TempGuard kerbside recyclable packaging for pre-packaged, temperature sensitive goods.

The Opal Packaging inserts provide protection and presentation for fresh produce inside the carton and offer a recyclable alternative to standard, non-recyclable PVC plastic inserts.

The recyclable moulded paper inserts are made from responsibly sourced fibre and can be customised with specific colours and branding for a range of products. The inserts are currently available for avocado and mango segments in multiple count sizes.

The individually moulded trays provide shock and vibration protection (no ringing on fruit) and offers ventilation and moisture control characteristics to ensure fresh produce integrity.

The inserts are recyclable and an alternative to the standard plastic inserts as they are a third lighter than the current industry PP/PVC insert, which weighs 24gm compared with the moulded paper inserts at 16gm. The inserts can also be reused and are space efficient for storage compared to the plastic inserts. They simplify the recycling process as there is no need to separate inserts from the cartons, saving time and reducing contamination within ‘bale press’ recycling.

Sealed Air’s TempGuard is a kerbside recyclable and ARL compliant paper pouch liner made from virgin kraft paper and is filled with 100 per cent recycled paper. It is used to line cartons that are used for distribution to deliver thermal insulation for chilled items including chilled meals, pharmaceuticals and chocolate.

TempGuard flexible liner pads are 14mm thick and provide cushioning and protection with greater space efficiency compared to EPS (wall thickness of 30mm), and allows the opportunity for customers to decrease the size of the outer carton. TempGuard’s flatpack format enables reduced warehousing costs (space and utilities) and efficiency improvements compared with EPS.

TempGuard virgin kraft fibres on the pouch exterior means that the pouch remains unaffected by product condensation, which is important for chilled applications such as seafood and for other chilled good processors who are looking for alternatives to EPS.
TempGuard is recyclable through PREP with on-pack communication providing information to consumers about what to do with the product at the end of life.
The judges also awarded a High Commendation for the Sustainable Packaging Design of the Year – Product Protection category to Omni Group for the PerformX 100 per cent recyclable stretch wrap. This reinforced film requires fewer wrapping rotations while giving higher holding force. PerformX uses over 50 per cent less film than conventional stretch film.

All of these sustainable packaging designs are now eligible for global peer- recognition through the prestigious WorldStar Packaging Awards.

The 2021 PIDA Awards will be open in late 2020 and the judges are excited to see what new innovative sustainable packaging is being designed to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

New AIP course: The New World of Plastics Technology – Polymers and recycling

Today, there are hundreds of identified ‘species’ of synthetic polymers. Any of these are available in a range of molecular masses, most can be influenced by processing conditions.? Therefore the choice in plastics is almost limitless. Polymer science is the subfield of materials science concerned with polymers, primarily synthetic polymers such as plastics. The field of polymer science includes researchers in multiple disciplines including chemistry, physics, and engineering.

This course is intended for those that have spent a number of years in some related plastics industry. This course is intended to extend those attending to new levels of understanding the complex world of polymer science. Every attendee will learn new aspects of polymers, test themselves and their ability of remembering what they know. All those wanting to know more about the complex world of polymer science are welcome. The course will cover certain aspects of organic chemistry, revisit the raw materials, syntheses, and applications, only touching on the manufacturing and moulding aspects. It will ensure that those attending are reminded of the main classes of plastic materials as a function of the molecular properties of polymers used in the plastics industry.

It will discuss the molecular structure of plastics in relation to the two main families of plastics, namely thermosets and thermoplastics. In addition we explore plastics recycling. Plastic is versatile and very cheap to produce, it’s no surprise that it’s used so much, but it doesn’t belong in our environment forever. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. Since the majority of plastic is non-biodegradable, recycling is a part of global efforts to reduce plastic in the waste stream, especially the approximately 8 million metric tonnes of waste plastic that enters the Earth’s ocean every year. We will learn how and what we can do about attaining a better environment with less plastics around.

Course objectives

  • Revisit the basic knowledge of polymer chemistry
  • Know how to quickly identify the mainstream plastics
  • Learn why we use plastics as much as we do, and what are the alternatives
  • The future of plastics and its correlation to recycling of plastics
  • Learning collection systems for recycled plastics
  • What do recyclers do with the plastics
  • What valuable products can be created from recycled plastics
  • Environmental considerations

Who should attend?

This course is  suited to anyone who has limited knowledge on polymers and plastics as a material. In addition, packaging technologists and designers, product developers, marketing personal, technical and production staff using packaging, sales and marketing reps will benefit from this course.

The new world of plastics technology

Bookings are now open for the fourth Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) virtual training course the ‘New World of Plastics Technology: Polymers & Recycling’ which will be held on 11 August 2020. This course is open to anyone to attend from anywhere in the world. The course trainer will be Prof Pierre Pienaar MSc, FAIP, CPP, Education Director – Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP).

Overview of course:
Today, there are hundreds of identified ‘species’ of synthetic polymers. Any of these are available in a range of molecular masses, most can be influenced by processing conditions. Therefore the choice in plastics is almost limitless. Polymer science is the subfield of materials science concerned with polymers, primarily synthetic polymers such as plastics. The field of polymer science includes researchers in multiple disciplines including chemistry, physics, and engineering.

This course is intended for those that have spent a number of years in some related plastics industry. This course is intended to extend those attending to new levels of understanding the complex world of polymer science. Every attendee will learn new aspects of polymers, test themselves and their ability of remembering what they know. All those wanting to know more about the complex world of polymer science are welcome. The course will cover certain aspects of organic chemistry, revisit the raw materials, syntheses, and applications, only touching on the manufacturing and moulding aspects. It will ensure that those attending are reminded of the main classes of plastic materials as a function of the molecular properties of polymers used in the plastics industry.

It will discuss the molecular structure of plastics in relation to the two main families of plastics, namely thermosets and thermoplastics. In addition we explore plastics recycling. Plastic is versatile and very cheap to produce, it’s no surprise that it’s used so much, but it doesn’t belong in our environment forever. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. Since the majority of plastic is non-biodegradable, recycling is a part of global efforts to reduce plastic in the waste stream, especially the approximately 8 million metric tonnes of waste plastic that enters the Earth’s ocean every year. We will learn how and what we can do about attaining a better environment with less plastics around.

Course objectives:

  • Revisit the basic knowledge of polymer chemistry
  • Know how to quickly identify the mainstream plastics
  • Learn why we use plastics as much as we do, and what are the alternatives
  • The future of plastics and its correlation to recycling of plastics
  • Learning collection systems for recycled plastics
  • What do recyclers do with the plastics
  • What valuable products can be created from recycled plastics
  • Environmental considerations

Bookings are open for the third AIP virtual training course

Bookings are now open for the third Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) virtual training course the Future of Sustainable Labelling, which will be held on July 21. The course trainer will be Dr Carol Kilcullen-Lawrence PhD, FAIP, CPP, who has nearly 30 years’ experience in the packaging industry, specifically in the field of labelling, holding various roles including technical, marketing and sustainability. All of industry is invited to attend no matter where you are located in the world.

Course Overview
How do you select the right type of label to suit the package to carry the product branding from the filling and labelling line, right through to the consumer, and then enable the package to be effectively recycled? Self-adhesive labelling is the most versatile method of product decoration, being innovative and eye catching for such a wide variety of packages. However, selecting the wrong label can cause major issues downstream when the package is sorted at a material recovery facility (MRF) for recycling. This training course is designed to give a comprehensive guide to navigate through the myriad of sustainable labelling options, combined with the PREP Design aspects that are key to selecting the right Australasian Recycling Label helping consumers keep package recyclability at the forefront.

Course Objectives
The course will provide attendees with an understanding of the types of self-adhesive labels and their properties, which have been designed with specific selection criteria in mind, and are key to the selection of the right label. Permanent, removable, repositionable and wash-off adhesives, combined with the optimum chemical composition to comply with regulations for safe use on foods/pharmaceuticals, are among the considerations that must be made. Then, having selected the adhesive, how do you combine the adhesive and label face to achieve optimum performance?

To make the right selection requires answers to many complex questions, so the performance of the label is tailored to the specific conditions that the package must withstand. All of these questions will be discussed in detail together with case studies to illustrate the importance of considering all the key attributes of the product being labelled, including: Packaging substrate – cardboard, glass, rigid/flexible plastics; labelling and in-service temperature considerations; moisture or condensation whilst labelling; label printing method and the need for the addition of variable information or tamper-evident features.

Additional training courses in the series still to come include the New World of Plastics Technology: Polymers & Recycling (New Course) August 11th and Implementing the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines within your Business (New Course) September 1st.

 

Bookings essential for AIP virtual training course

Bookings are now open for the second Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) virtual training course ‘Introduction to Sustainable Packaging Design’ which will be held on July 7th. All of industry is invited to attend no matter where you are located in the world.

How do you work your way through the maze of demands to change packaging to meet environmental challenges?

The course will provide attendees a better understanding of the practical guidelines and criteria needed to design and develop sustainable packaging including the Sustainability Hierarchy of Reduce, Reuse then Recycle and the Circular Economy approach to packaging and the environment.

Course Objectives:

  • To provide participants an understanding of the current environmental issues that are impacting the producers of packaging and the manufacturers and retailers of packaged product.
  • To provide participants an understanding of sustainable packaging design and the practical design guidelines and approaches required in the packaging design process including End of Life (EoL) thinking.
  • To provide participants with a better view of Best Practice Examples and Case Studies of award-winning Sustainable Packaging and Save Food Packaging innovations.

Additional training courses in the series include: ‘Future of Sustainable Labelling July 21st, The New World of Plastics Technology: Polymers & Recycling (New Course) August 11th, Implementing the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines within your Business (New Course) September 1st.

Book today by clicking here.

AIP introduces on-line training courses for industry

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is pleased to advise that the Institute will be moving 5x Training Courses to a virtual platform to ensure consistency of educational offerings for the industry at this time. In addition, two of the training courses are new to the portfolio and one has been updated. All of industry is invited to attend no matter where you are in the world so book your place today.

The first of the 5x course series will be the popular Flexible Packaging: Now and Into the Future Training Course on the 16 of June.

Flexible Packaging: Now and Into the Future
Overview of the course: One of the fastest growing segments of the packaging industry, flexible packaging combines the best qualities of plastic, film, paper and aluminium foil to deliver a broad range of protective properties while employing a minimum of material. Typically taking the shape of a bag, pouch, liner, or overwrap, flexible packaging is defined as any package or any part of a package whose shape can be readily changed.

Leading the way in packaging innovation, flexible packaging adds value and marketability to food and non-food products alike. From ensuring food safety and extending shelf life, to providing even heating, barrier protection, ease of use, resealability and superb printability, the industry continues to advance at an unprecedented rate.

The life cycle attributes of flexible packaging demonstrate many sustainable advantages. Innovation and technology have enabled flexible packaging manufacturers to use fewer natural resources in the creation of their packaging, and improvements in production processes have reduced water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and volatile organic compounds.

The Flexible Packaging: Now & Into the Future training course will cover the basic fundamentals of flexible packaging, its benefits, how you chose the specific structures to match the product, its performance, marketing challenges and how the packaging is manufactured.

With the latest challenges facing us regarding sustainability in packaging the course will discuss the options, pros and cons of compostability vs recyclability and other alternative materials now available. As an add on, the course will briefly be looking at the future plans for flexible packaging and available recycling options to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

Course objectives
The objectives of the course are to provide participants an understanding of:

  • A good broad understanding of the benefits of Flexible packaging.
  • Understanding flexible films to build the structures used in the industry
  • The process of manufacturing.
  • Where the future lies with flexible films and the changes ahead.
  • Snap shot of some of the latest packaging trends and what are the driving forces.
  • Understanding the challenges facing us with the sustainable packaging race toward 2025.

Who should attend?
Packaging technologists and designers, product developers, marketing personal, technical and production staff using packaging, sales and marketing reps who want a crash course on all things ‘flexible’.

 

The true role of packaging comes to light in the midst of the COVID-19

In the haze of pandemic conversations swirling around everyone’s heads, one topic that has global significance is food security and integrity. The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) invited experts from different areas of the packaging industry to provide their views on the important role that packaging plays in times like these.

In part one of this two-part feature, Michael Dossor MAIP, group general manager, Result Group; Dr Carol Kilcullen-Lawrence, FAIP, CPP sustainability specialist, UPM Raflatac; Alan Adams MAIP, sustainability director APAC, Sealed Air; Professor Pierre Pienaar FAIP, CPP, education director – Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and president – World Packaging Organisation (WPO); and Keith Chessell FAIP, APCO board member all bring different views to this discussion on COVID-19 and how it will affect the packaging industry.

With the world turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are now realising that packaging plays an integral role in food safety. Do you think that this pandemic might help show packaging for its true purpose and perhaps even in a different light from recent times?

Michael Dossor: One hundred per cent it will, particularly in fresh produce. Although a lot of information about unpackaged produce – fruit and vegetables specifically – has been published and research has shown it not to be impacted, a consumer being faced with a choice of packed or unpacked is subconsciously selecting packaged products. The responsibility we have as an industry is to ensure we are still doing all we can to make sure this packaging fits with APCO goals for a circular economy. There are many ways to develop packaging in this space that can go to kerbside collection. I hope as an industry, we use this time to keep that a primary focus. The industry, brand owners and major retailers have an even greater responsibility right now.

Carol Kilcullen-Lawrence: The essential aspect of food packaging is really in the spotlight – shoppers are seeking to ensure that the food they purchase is less likely to have come into contact with COVID-19 and a protective layer of packaging is now desirable compared to loose produce that has been handled. While I believe this shift of focus from so called “excessive packaging” to “essential packaging” is understandable, we should not lose sight of the opportunity to engage with the consumer and the instructions supplied by the Australasian Recycling Label are doing just that.

Alan Adams: Yes, safety and availability are now primary concerns which is a different focus on packaging from a consumer’s perspective than of late. With COVID we believe that most consumers are looking at the retail shopping experience with a new focus on food safety. Contamination, handling in store, protection during transit and the unwrapping, safety of products arriving at home are all now being considered when in the past many consumers took these for granted. These concerns previously did not form part of the decision-making process for so many. Hermetically sealed packaging is now extremely attractive, plastics that enables us to see products but protects them from contamination are now attractive. The safety of reusable containers and bags is now in question. Placing the onus on cleanliness and eliminating contamination in the hands of consumers will deliver varying levels of safety. Efficient and effective packaging delivering products safely – the primary role of packaging – is back in focus.

Pierre Pienaar: Indeed, we have been turned upside down. I await with interest to see how the impact of the pandemic will change or influence the food buying habits of consumers. Consumers’ needs have always driven the look of food packaging. The battle in the immediate future will be between extended shelf-life items and fresh produce; with fresh produce perceived as proving a threat to the consumers’ health. Yes, consumers will expect safe food packaging. Whether their attitude towards the status of packaging being the “bad boy” changes or now, I am not convinced. I am hoping the pandemic, as well as ongoing education, will bring about a greater sense of responsibility within consumers for their own actions. In many countries around the world, and probably more in developed countries, we are seeing an uptake in meal kit subscription and home delivery services. Some countries tell me this service is busier than ever; leading to increased employment opportunities and greater demand for packaging that can cope with such a service.

Keith Chessell: Consumers have certainly become very aware during the COVID pandemic of the range of health issues around hand washing, cleaning surfaces and close contact with people. This awareness has changed consumers thinking about their view of packaging and especially the plastics packaging, especially when it comes to food purchasing decisions. Everyday COVID requirement changes have accelerated this understanding, like reusable coffee cups reverting to single-use cups, single-use bags replacing reusable shopping bags and the enormous quantity of single-use items of gloves, masks, clothing that are used once and then disposed (where and how hasn’t been disclosed by the authorities). Although I am sure consumers understand the important role that packaging plays in protecting and preserving the freshness of the food products from the farm, through manufacturing/processing plants, to the store and to kitchen cupboard/refrigerator, the environment concerns have been pushing that understanding into the back of the minds. Will this changed attitude revert when we return to “normal” or “new normal”? I believe this will very much depend on ensuring future packaging design assists the consumer to recognise the protecting and preserving benefits and also assist them to know there are recycling, reuse options that will reduce and hopefully eliminate packaging ending up in the rubbish bin.

How important is the role that packaging plays in food safety and food integrity?
Dossor: Packaging plays a massive role; not only in food safety and food integrity, but more so in food waste. Consumers are looking to minimise their trips to retail outlets for obvious reasons. Giving them a package that enables both food safety and integrity, as well as functions like reseal or reclose with tamper evidence and less plastic, is where we at Result are focusing our energies. These style solutions are available right now, they don’t require large capital investment and tick all these boxes – as well as fit within APCO guidelines.

Kilcullen-Lawrence: Packaging plays a hugely important role in food safety and integrity. In the current climate however, I am still cautious about the virus potentially being on the surface of the packaging, particularly as it has been shown that it can survive for several days on non-porous surfaces. I have been combating this risk in a number of ways, including discarding some outer packaging layers before putting food in the pantry or fridge.

Adams: Vital. Packaging is the vehicle that ensures the consumer receives the product in the manner in which the producer intended. The core function of packaging is to protect and preserve product and to prevent damage of all types – including physical, contamination or interference. Packaging also plays a key role in authenticity. Take vacuum packaged meat as an example; the packaging is vital to ensure the safe and quality eating experience is delivered. Products like Darfresh vacuum packaging seals the meat in with intimate contact delivering extended shelf life by as much as 28 days, prevents any contamination and still allows the customer to “feel” and see the meat.

Pienaar: It would appear that Covid-19 will be directly affecting each of us positively or negatively, or both, for at least the next six to 12 months, if not much longer. What we may need to focus on is the packaging of fresh foods for supermarkets. Consumers will become sceptical about any food not wrapped, especially foods where the skin is usually consumed, such as fruit and vegetables. Packaging remains integral in the delivery of safe food. The so-called “Farmers Market” concept may suffer somewhat, initially, until they too take on board the safety element that packaging offers the consumer. Our challenge will be to strike the balance between possible additional packaging requirements in response to the impact of the pandemic while still considering the sustainable, demands from the same consumer.

Chessell: As mentioned previously, packaging has a critical role in protecting and preserving the quality, freshness of the food products from the farm through every stage to the consumer. But packaging is also recognised today for the important benefits it provides of extending shelf life, reducing food spoilage and waste. It provides important information on ingredient, nutritional, storage and recipes, as well as the convenience (portion control, easy opening, ready meals) that consumers are now requiring.

The packaging industry is playing such an important role at the moment during this pandemic. What changes are you seeing to the industry? Are you seeing shortage in materials and packaging? What else can be done to help the industry at this moment?
Dossor: Short answers is yes, increased volumes at a retail level with classic food service products being in such massive demand based on isolation closures. Having partners companies in Germany, Spain, UK and North America, Result Group is keeping close to see the trends it is facing. Typically, what is happening overseas is also happening in Australia. Lead times are being pushed out, as order in volumes are upwards of 200 per cent. Our challenge is to maintain supply of products with increased volumes for all retail based FMCG on the up. Result’s approach has been to increase our volume holding as quickly as possible to ensure we support our customers. We cannot let customers down and that has meant additional investment in stock which is critical to the success of the current state of our supply chains in Australia.

Kilcullen-Lawrence: The importance of securing supply chains is critical as we navigate through the increased demand for packaging. Packaging that is manufactured in Australia has been desirable, to ramp up production to keep supermarket shelves topped up. I am noticing that panic buying is still a problem for some food lines.

Adams: The big impacts are staff safety and site security along with managing surge demand. Security of supply has risen sharply as a key concern up and down the supply chain. Having Australian production sites and international operations Sealed Air has managed very well keeping up supply even when demand for some lines jumped by more than 200 per cent. We have implemented a “Fortress mentality” at our production sites. We have put in place a range of measures to protect our staff and sites and there is a strong feeling of sense of duty to support the food and e-commerce industries who rely on us. There is a great feeling throughout the whole supply chain that we pull together in this time of crisis.

Pienaar: More than ever, packaging is playing an important role in the industry. Across the world, I am being told that all the essential related aspects of industry are busier than ever, packaging being one. Both in flexible and rigid plastics, factories are running 24/7 producing packaging components of some sort. One factory in India told me that they have no capacity for any development work as all hands are on deck producing around the clock. At this stage, customers of the converting industry can help by not placing orders for non-essential goods, until they can get on top of the demand. We, the end customer, need to understand and accept the status for now.

Chessell: It has been amazing to see the innovation and initiatives that many companies have undertaken to change production facilities to meet the additional medical and cleansing demands required to meet COVID requirements. Materials and packaging shortages have been initially impacted due to panic buying. It has been impressive to see the rapid response by producers and manufacturers to rapidly respond to this demand. Manufacturers and producers who are sourcing the packaging raw materials from overseas, have been immediately impacted by China’s shutdown and then the flow on to countries around the world plus the closing down of most international transport arrangements.

The federal and state government support of our manufacturing industry has been an important step in keeping industry working and enabling the restarting of those impact industries after COVID. This includes the support programs via the JobKeeper Payment, assistance with energy bills, mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

Australia and NZ shine in 2020 WorldStar Packaging Special Awards

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is pleased to announce that the 2x of the Australian and New Zealand companies that were shortlisted as finalists for 2020 WorldStar Packaging Special Awards have won their categories globally. The other two ANZ finalists were awarded Silver and Bronze awards which is an incredible feat for the ANZ region.

The Gold winner of the 2020 Packaging that Saves Food Special Award is Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm & Sealed Air for Cryovac Darfresh on Tray vacuum skin technology that has been engineered to address food safety, 25% extension of shelf life over the previously used Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) format, improved on-pack communication. (Australia)

The Gold winner of the 2020 Sustainability Special Award is PACT Group for the New Zealand brand Lewis Road Creamery PCR 100% recycled PET milk bottle range. (New Zealand). The Silver winner in the same category was awarded to Woolworths Australia for replacing plastic trays with pulp based trays nationally into all stores for over 50 of their in-store bakery products. (Australia).

The Bronze winner of the 2020 WPO Presidents Award is Plantic Technologies for the Plantic RV Material that was designed for Moana seafood company to be able to supply fresh fish to the on-line meal delivery company ‘My Food Bag’. This is the first time an ANZ entry has ever won an award in this category.

Winners from across Australia and New Zealand received the highest amount of Special Awards and the third highest amount of WorldStar Packaging Awards in the world this year. This brings the ANZ total awards to 21 for the 2020 WorldStar Packaging Awards. This global recognition is a significant achievement for the Australia and New Zealand packaging industries and for the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) who have led the annual Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design (PIDA) Awards program for industry which are the exclusive feeder program for the WorldStar Packaging Awards for ANZ. The 2021 PIDA Awards program will be open for entries late 2020.

Due to the current pandemic the winners of each Special Award will receive their awards at Interpack in Duesseldorf, Germany on the 26th of February 2021

New packaging program offered by AIP

In today’s challenging packaging environment, you can’t afford to make mistakes or overlook the critical details that cost time and money. You need the knowledge – from materials properties and selection to transport packaging issues – that can help you make better decisions regarding your company’s packaging dollars.

A new course offered by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology, has course content that has been developed in consultation with packaging subject matter experts at leading global consumer packaged goods companies who face packaging challenges just like yours. Undertake the complete course and learn about all the major segments of packaging and beyond.

The AIP, in partnership with the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), are bringing the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course to Australasia as a residential course for the first time in 2020. The residential course is divided into semesters to provide maximum flexibility around your work schedule. This course is also the basis for the examination side of the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) designation; bringing you one step closer to becoming an internationally recognised CPP.

The course will be broken up into 4x two-day semesters over a 12 month period. An array of packaging topics will be covered including graphic design, market research, printing, lithography, gravure, labelling, barcoding, paperboard, folding cartons, corrugate fibreboard, box compression, supply chain and logistics, polymers, extrusion moulding, flexible packaging, thermoforming, blow moulding, injection moulding, closures, bottle design, metal cans, adhesives, containers, glass packaging, packaging machinery, filling machinery, production line equipment and more.
There are two ways of completing the course:


1. Take the entire course

Participate in the full Fundamentals of Packaging Technology residential course which will be broken up into 8x classroom days as 4x semesters over 12 months.

OR

2. Attend semesters relating to your subject-interests or knowledge gaps

Content is divided into 4x two-day Semesters with each semester focussed on specific areas of packaging. You have the choice to enrol in one semester, or as many as you wish based on your professional development needs and knowledge gaps.

The Fundamentals of Packaging Technology residential course will be broken up into 4x two-day semesters over a 12 month period.