mercredi 23 janvier 2013

Results of Recyclable Produce Box Pilots

For the pilots, Global Green USA teamed up with members of their Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) to test alternatives to paraffin-coated produce boxes, which cannot be recycled and are a contaminant within bales of uncoated cardboard. Boxes were tested with a variety of wet cooling processes in California and New Jersey and the results show that many box products with recyclable coatings are robust enough to withstand vacuum cooling, hydro-vac, and hydro-cooling processes.


 "The move to recyclable-coated boxes will divert waste from landfills and save money for the foodservice and retail industry," says Lily Kelly, interim director of CoRR and coordinator of the pilots. "It is an exciting time." 

Greens, vegetables, seafood, and meats are often transported in paraffin-coated cardboard, generating 1.45 million tons of solid waste that must be sent to landfills or burned. If these cases were designed for recycling and were recycled, CoRR believes retailers and restaurants could realize a net benefit of combined cost savings and revenue generation of $200 million nationwide. CoRR has worked since 2008 to accelerate the industry adoption of alternative recyclable-coated packaging and recycling it, which could reduce America's annual carbon emissions by 4.5 million mtCO2e—the equivalent of eliminating an entire coal-fired power plant with no loss of energy. (The Fibre Box Association estimates that 5% of OCC is wax-coated. EPA’s 2010 Solid Waste Facts and Figures, WARM Tool, and Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator were used to calculate potential greenhouse gas savings. Savings assumes 100% of the boxes and packaging generated is recycled. National restaurateur and grocers’ savings are based on a national average tipping fee of $44.09, based on the 2010 data in BioCycle’s State of Garbage report. A spot market price of $100/ton of OCC was assumed.) 

Food producers report finding recyclable boxes easier to use than paraffin-coated boxes, and have benefited from being able to recycle them on the farm. “This is good news for farmers and our customers," says Vince Consalo of Consalo and Sons, a produce distributor in Vineland, NJ, who helped to test the recyclable boxes in September. “Recyclability is a big selling point." Other participants in the pilot program also expressed satisfaction with the results, including Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville, CA. 

The results are advantageous for grocers, who may soon be receiving more recyclable-coated boxes that they can bundle with their regular cardboard instead of paying to send them out with the trash. "Selling cardboard is a revenue stream for us, and it helps contribute to our Zero Waste Goals of 2020," says Dom D'Agostino of Ahold Intl., which operates several grocery store chains, including Stop and Shop and Giant. "If we could recycle coated cardboard, it would significantly help us meet these goals." 

Global Green USA's pilot series is slated to continue in 2013. "As a third party, our job is to document these tests and spread the word about what is recyclable and what works,” says Kelly. "Our next steps are to document increasingly tough use of the boxes—wetter cooling and longer distance traveled. We’re confident that these boxes can handle it, and we’re excited to document next year's story in video as well." 

vendredi 18 janvier 2013

The new, reusable (and recyclable) Starbucks® cup: Clarifications, Thoughts and Questions

I would like to share with you some Clarifications/Thoughts/Interrogations regarding the new, reusable (and recyclable) Starbucks® cup for hot beverages (source).

1-     "When I talked with Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact for Starbucks, regarding the cups made out of 100% virgin polypropylene, he told me that one main reason the company turned to plastic was to cut down on paper waste. Starbucks uses about 4 billion disposable cups annually and the interior wax coating makes them difficult to recycle." MISLEADING: Starbucks disposable cups are made from paper coated with PE (polyethylene). Polycoated cups are recyclable and repulpable. Furthermore, most paper mills are able to process paper mixed with other materials such as polycoated paper. Pulper equipped with scavenger could remove plastic debris. Finally, polyethylene coating represents less than 6.6% of total basis weight.

2-     "The exciting thing about PP is that it's one of the most versatile resins out there," Hanna said. "From cradle-to-cradle, PP offers one of the best environmental stories; it's just a winner all around." MISLEADING: Starbucks reusable cups are made from polypropylene #5 Plastics. In fact, most polypropylene #5 plastics, unless they're reused, end up in the landfill since so few municipalities accept them.

3-     What is the carbon footprint of reusable cup VS disposable cup?

4-     PP based reusable cups cost $1. However, a major price hike has hit the North American polypropylene market, sending prices up an average of 15 cents per pound since Jan. 1. Can we expect a cup price increase in the upcoming months?

5-     How about increasing Starbucks cups recycled fiber content? Cascades, developed recently a new grade of cupstock paper with 25% recycled fiber content.

6-     How about water-based coating for a fully repulpable and recyclable cups? (The idea is to replace Polyethylene by water-based coating)

7-     How long do the cups last? Reusable cups need a lot of carefulness/attention/love: not lose them, not crush them, and not forget to bring them…

mercredi 16 janvier 2013

ThermaFresh Box: RETHINKING fresh fish packing containers

Cascades offers ThermaFresh, a new packaging innovation that is an ingenious eco-designed option to replace traditional fresh fish packing containers. By rethinking protective packaging, Cascades provides the industry with a high-performance, cost-effective solution for the packaging and distribution of fresh food.

The ThermaFresh container is designed for shipment of fresh food both inside and outside the cold chain, and its thermal performance is equivalent to that of the traditional containers. The containers can keep the food at the required chill level (39°F/4°C) outside the cold chain for a period exceeding 48 hours.

The components of the ThermaFresh container are a water-resistant corrugated box, a metalized film liner, and a honeycomb structural core. The thermal barrier uses the principle of radiant barrier technology. The Technicomb (honeycomb paperboard) construction traps the air inside, and the metalized film liner reflects the heat molecules; when both are combined, they provide significant thermal performance. Since the ThermaFresh container is Direct Food Contact compliant, no plastic bag is required for the shipment of whole fishes.

The smart, patented waterproof liner is crack-proof and the ThermaFresh container can resist rough handling. This considerably reduces spoilage and eliminates potential contamination which can occur through the distribution process.

With this new alternative container, there is no additional disposal cost to the end user. The ThermaFresh container is easily recyclable and it can be bailed within the OCC (Old Corrugated Container) programs. Thanks to ThermaFresh, rethinking fresh food distribution packaging provides the industry with the cost effective, added performance it needed.

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“We start with the perfect water, which produces beautifully textured fish, but the other important thing is the way we pack it up. We have a system [of recyclable corrugated cardboard cartons and liners] that makes sure that the chef gets to experience the fish exactly as it was pulled from the water, and then customers get a great dining experience”. Dave Mergle, Skuna Bay's marketing director.

Cascades has produced a video-animation exhibiting all of its eco-designed packaging innovations with respect to industrial uses, which is available on line at: Cascades Industrial Packaging

mercredi 9 janvier 2013

Innovation through Collaboration

Think about it: To stay ahead of the competition, we need to be number one at leveraging new technologies and products that increase value for our customers. We also need to anticipate and lead the way for new trends and innovations. We cannot achieve that goal by trying to do everything by ourselves. We need the expertise of suppliers, customers and partners to bring new ideas and solutions. By creating this space for external collaboration, open innovation accelerates research and product development efforts that will grow your business.

Open Innovation: Concept and Key Benefits

The main concept of open innovation is a radical departure from the traditional model of closed, in-house innovation. Open innovation embraces the idea that there are a lot of clever people doing clever stuff outside your own company. Tapping into that potential increases the effectiveness of innovation efforts by allowing the company and individuals to concentrate on things where they excel, while opening new outlets for R&D efforts alongside the company’s own business goals.

The two key benefits of using open innovation are speed and the ability to capitalize on knowledge and labour regardless of where it resides. Open innovation fosters a faster exchange of ideas through innovation action networks and shared development. In addition, open innovation could be the best way to address knowledge and labour limitations.

Successful open innovation is all about multidimensional collaboration. This means simultaneous downstream collaboration with retailers and customers, upstream collaboration with vendors, horizontal collaboration internally, and collaboration with other ecosystem partners as well as with outside communities of common interest, including freelance experts and academicians.

Getting to market faster is the name of the game. Innovation intermediaries such as NineSigma, InnoCentive and IdeaConnection play a big role in rapidly achieving success and increasing your open innovation capability—regardless of where you are today. These open innovation services help public, private and non-profit organizations “connect efficiently with the world” to find and develop new solutions, products, knowledge and partners that will accelerate and improve their innovation cycle.


Every company is unique and must define what level of involvement and approach to open innovation will best fit its specific needs. We cannot simply copy another company’s approach. What we also know is that, without a significant cultural shift, open innovation too often remains within the internal R&D domain, focusing heavily on technical problems.

Setting everything in motion with a strategy and learning through experimenting how to gradually make open innovation part of our culture are wise steps to take in order to achieve our highest goals!

lundi 7 janvier 2013

L’innovation, une affaire de collaboration

Je partage avec vous mon article sur l’Innovation Ouverte publié dans le dernier numéro de i-LEAD, le journal d’innovation de Cascades.

Pensez-y. Pour rester hautement concurrentiels, on doit être le premier à mettre de l’avant de nouvelles technologies et de nouveaux produits à valeur ajoutée. On doit aussi anticiper les tendances et les innovations ambiantes, et montrer la voie à l’industrie. Impossible d’y arriver seul dans son coin. Source d’idées et de solutions novatrices, l’expertise des fournisseurs, des consommateurs et des partenaires gagne à être mise à contribution. L’innovation ouverte a créé un espace pour la collaboration externe. Résultat : les efforts consentis en recherche et en développement de produits gagnent en efficience. Voilà de bonnes nouvelles pour l’entreprise.

L’innovation ouverte : définition et principaux avantages

Il faut retenir que l’innovation ouverte s’éloigne radicalement des modèles d’innovation du secteur privé, qui fonctionnent en boucle fermée. L’innovation ouverte part de l’idée qu’une foule de gens brillants font des découvertes brillantes à l’extérieur de l’entreprise. En tirant parti de leur potentiel, on augmente l’efficacité des efforts investis en innovation. La société et les employés se concentrent ainsi sur leurs domaines de prédilection, et on profite de contributions en R&D sans compromettre les buts de l’entreprise.

L’innovation ouverte a deux avantages principaux. Elle permet d’une part d’accélérer la recherche en facilitant la communication d’idées grâce à des réseaux axés sur l’action innovante et le développement partagé. L’innovation ouverte augmente d’autre part les profits liés au savoir et à la recherche. Elle fait éclater les limites spatiales et comble les manques de l’entreprise en savoir spécialisé et en main-d’œuvre qualifiée.

Le succès de l’innovation ouverte réside dans la collaboration multidimensionnelle. Plusieurs niveaux de collaboration se font en simultané : en aval avec les fournisseurs et les consommateurs, en amont avec les commerçants, sur un plan horizontal avec le personnel de l’entreprise et globalement avec les autres partenaires de l’écosystème et les groupes externes qui partagent les mêmes intérêts, y compris avec les experts indépendants et le milieu de la recherche universitaire.

Le but du jeu est la mise en marché accélérée de produits innovants. Les intermédiaires du domaine de l’innovation comme NineSigma, InnoCentive et IdeaConnection jouent un rôle central à ce titre. Peu importe la position actuelle de l’entreprise, ils l’aident à atteindre ses objectifs le plus rapidement possible et à augmenter ses capacités d’innovation ouverte. Véritables services d’innovation ouverte, les intermédiaires établissent la communication entre le public, le privé et les organismes à but non lucratif. Ils facilitent la mise au point de solutions et de produits, le partage de connaissances et la recherche de partenaires qui sauront améliorer et accélérer le cycle d’innovation de l’entreprise.

L’innovation ouverte : pas exactement une panacée pour Procter & Gamble

L’innovation ouverte se veut une méthode efficace pour avoir accès à des idées venant de l’extérieur de l’entreprise. Pour rester rentable à long terme, le projet d’innovation doit reposer sur un processus structuré et reproductible qui ne repose pas uniquement sur l’innovation ouverte. Les efforts investis en innovation doivent être constants. L’exemple de Procter & Gamble montre bien la nécessité de conserver un équilibre stratégique. P&G a fait appel à des partenaires externes pour augmenter sa cadence en recherche et développement. Il en a résulté une décentralisation du département de R&D et un investissement en recherche devenu fonction du profit immédiat : on privilégiait les résultats immédiats, donc modestes et graduels, plutôt que la recherche de longue haleine, qui mène à des découvertes révolutionnaires.


Chaque entreprise est unique. Son niveau d’engagement et son approche en innovation ouverte varient en fonction de ses besoins spécifiques. Il ne suffit donc pas de copier-coller l’approche d’une concurrente.
On a remarqué que sans le profond changement de culture nécessaire, l’innovation ouverte reste trop souvent confinée au département interne de R&D. Son objet se limite alors essentiellement à des questions techniques pointues.

Un conseil : prendre la vague stratégique et apprendre de ses expériences. C’est la clé pour intégrer peu à peu l’innovation ouverte à la culture d’entreprise et atteindre les objectifs les plus ambitieux!

dimanche 6 janvier 2013

Emballage Alimentaire: Un Partenaire Actif !

Je vous invite à lire mon article publié dans le dernier numéro de la revue l’Actualité Alimentaire: Emballage Alimentaire: Un Partenaire Actif !

Les emballages actifs entrent en interaction avec l’aliment ou s’adaptent à son environnement pour préserver, le plus longtemps possible, et de façon optimale, ses qualités organoleptiques et nutritionnelles. Les possibilités offertes par les emballages actifs sont prometteuses. Certaines de ces applications sont déjà commercialisées, mais plusieurs d'entre elles en sont encore au stade du développement.

La conservation prolongée des produits et la réduction au niveau des pertes dues à la dégradation des aliments procurent des avantages économiques considérables à l’industrie de l’alimentation. Au Québec, on s’en tient à quelques absorbeurs d’oxygène ou d’humidité et aux emballages sous atmosphère modifiée. Le marché est encore balbutiant et le principe de précaution, adopté dans plusieurs pays, demeure un frein majeur au développement des emballages actifs.

L’avenir des emballages actifs dans l’industrie alimentaire semble être conditionné par la réduction de leur prix, combiné à une plus grande acceptation de ces produits par tous les acteurs de la chaîne, et surtout augmenter la durée de vie de l’aliment sans compromettre ses propriétés organoleptiques.

Nb: N'hésitez pas à me contacter ( si vous voulez consulter l'intégrale de cet article

mardi 1 janvier 2013

Five Packaging Trends That Will Shape 2013

Here is my list of 5 packaging trends to watch closely in 2013:

1)   Bio-Based Plastics: Recyclable PET made from renewable resource is projected to offer significant growth potential over the longer term, particularly as large corporations, especially those in the soft drink industry, are investing heavily in the development of this material.

2)     Smart Packaging: The focus of active and intelligent packaging has moved from specific retailer and manufacturer driven benefits like shelf-life extension, traceability and food waste reduction, to include more consumer focused benefits such as food quality and safety, freshness and information.

3)     Stand-up Pouches: Packaged food makers are thinking outside the bottle and can. Flexible packaging, especially stand-up pouches provide Maximum Flexibility, Sustainability and Convenience.They are an innovative marketing approach to stimulate the sales of a stagnant brand or increase the acceptance and success of a new product introduction.

4)     Retail Ready Packaging (RRP): continues to gain traction in North America as a greater number of retailers start to consider implementation, and others broaden the scope of existing initiatives into additional categories

5)     Packaging and social media: Getting found by customers. The new age of inbound marketing is about providing value and earning customer loyalty instead of simply pounding a message into consumers heads and hoping it will stick.

Best wishes for a healthy, wealthy, sustainable and innovative New Year 2013!

  1. Biobased Plastic future
According to a recent Smithers RAPRA study (2012), worldwide consumption of all polymers reached about 259 million tonnes in 2012, with bioplastics representing 0.4% at 890,000 tonnes. So why haven’t bioplastics captured a larger market share?  There are four reasons: 

1.   Performance is not matched to brand owner or consumer expectations;
2.   Time-line to market acceptance not realistic;
3.   Bioplastic companies marketing efforts not given enough field support and
4.   Difficulties selling to an uninformed customer base and an uninformed end-user base. 

With abundant feedstocks of sugarcane, corn and biomass, it is not surprising that activity remains strong in Brazil and the US. According to The Freedonia Group, global demand for biodegradables and bio-based plastics will more than triple to exceed 1m tonnes, worth $2.9bn, in 2015. US demand for bioplastics is forecast to climb at a 20 percent annual pace through 2016 to 550 million pounds, valued at $680 million

  1. Smart packaging: active and intelligent packaging
Increasing health awareness, rising food and safety concerns and improved purchasing power in emerging economies will drive growth in the global active and intelligent food and drink packaging market. The terms active packaging and intelligent packaging refer to packaging systems that help extend shelf life, monitor freshness, display information on quality, improve safety and increase convenience. Recently this has been updated to include intelligent functions (sensing, detecting, recording, tracing, communicating and applying scientific logic) in order to extend shelf life, enhance safety, improve quality, provide information and warn about possible issues.

Robust growth is anticipated for intelligent packaging, propelled by rapid advances for time-temperature indicators (TTIs) and the emergence of other smart packaging systems offering product differentiation at less costly prices. Smart technology could be able to detect food germs and to trigger colour changes in the packaging to alert the consumer if the contents have gone bad.

According to a recent study by MarketsandMarkets, the global market for active and intelligent packaging technology in food and beverages is expected to grow to $23.474 million in 2015, at an estimated CAGR of 8.2% from 2010 to 2015.

  1. Flexible packaging: Stand-up Pouches: Maximum Flexibility, Sustainability and Convenience
Consumers’ nomadic life-styles and the growing number of single and senior households favor a trend toward single and small-portion packs. Flexible packaging, especially stand-up pouches constitute the ideal solution.

Flexible packaging has been shaking up the packaging industry for many years now, especially in the food packaging market, where flexible materials are introducing a wide range of new design concepts to minimise waste (both in terms of conservation and cost), attract consumer attention and maintain the freshness of the products within.

The market of flexible packaging is expected to see annual growth to over 22 million tonnes by 2016.within the flexible market the stand-up pouch has continued to evolve and offer suppliers, brand owners and consumers, solution that looks set to dominate and expand its influence on the flexible packaging markets over the next few years. According to The Freedonia Group, demand for pouches in the US is projected to increase 5.1 percent per year to $8.8 billion in 2016, driven by faster gains for standup pouches stemming from sustainability, functional, and marketing advantages over alternative packaging media.

  1.  Retail Ready Packaging
Over time, and under pressure from retailers seeking to improve in-store efficiencies, RRP has emerged as a system designed to reduce the amount of handling required to place products on the retail shelf whilst providing the consumer with easy access to products. Numerous benefits have been identified for these RRP systems, including:

  • both consumers and store employees indicating better product recognition
  • 'one-touch' shelf replenishment
  • streamlined restocking
  • less product damage and more attractive, neater shelf appearance

A new study has revealed that retail-ready packaging (RRP) demand is expected to reach 32.1 million tons, worth $63.4bn, by 2017. In 2011, the demand totaled 27 million tons of material, worth over $54bn. According to Smithers Pira's study, titled 'The Future of Retail Ready Packaging to 2017', corrugated board accounted for three-quarters of the total volume of materials used in 2011. Within the segment, die-cut display containers make up more than half the market, decline-wrapped trays constitute 17% of demand and modified cases constitute 5%. RRP demand will be primarily driven by the development of supermarkets, especially in underdeveloped economic regions.

  1. Packaging and social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest…
It is clear that marketing is changing on a fundamental level as the internet continues to revolutionize how we find, buy, sell, and interact with brands and their products or services. The days of annoying consumers with intrusive advertising and marketing tactics are fading. Traditional Marketing was about pushing messages out. Today it’s about pulling people in. Inbound marketing is a marketing focused on getting found by customers. The new age of marketing is about providing value and earning customer loyalty instead of simply pounding a message into consumers heads and hoping it will stick.

From a recent Canadean report “Global Packaging Industry CEO Business Outlook Survey 2012-2013”, advertising budgets, “email and newsletters,” “social media and networking sites” and “public relations” are expected to register the highest investment, identified by 47%, 44%, and 36%, respectively. Conversely, “television,” “outdoor,” “radio” and “newspaper” advertising is expected to decline.