2015: The year's biggest Packaging Gateway stories

International Paper considers an €8bn acquisition for Smurfit Kappa, Tsinghua Unigroup acquires 25% interests ChipMOS Technologies and SPIL while Lego Group sets up $152m Lego Sustainable Materials Centre. Packaging-gateway.com wraps-up the key headlines from 2015.


Corrogated packaging production

International Paper considers €8bn bid for Smurfit Kappa

US-based paper and packaging company International Paper considered acquiring Smurfit Kappa, in a bid that could value the Irish packaging producer at approximately €8bn.

This was in line of a series of acquisitions of European companies by US rivals as the dollar's recent gains make these companies cheaper.

International Paper considered an offer at approximately €36 a share if it did make a proposal, Sky News reported citing a source.

Tsinghua Unigroup plans nearly $2.1bn investment in Taiwanese chip packaging firms

China-based Tsinghua Unigroup planned to be acquire 25% interests in two Taiwanese chip packaging firms ChipMOS Technologies and Siliconware Precision Industry (SPIL) for a total investment of around $2.1bn.

The state-owned company invested TWD$56.8bn ($1.7bn) in SPIL and TWD$11.97bn ($364.2m) in ChipMOS Technologies.

The firm have 25% stakes in each of the companies following the two transactions.

Lego to invest $152m in sustainable raw materials development

Lego Group

Lego Group announced plans to invest kr1bn ($152m) to set up Lego Sustainable Materials Centre in Billund, Denmark, to explore sustainable alternatives by 2030 for the raw materials it currently uses.

The proposed centre will be established between 2015 and 2016, and will employ 100 people.

This facility will conduct research, development and implementation of sustainable raw materials for manufacturing its products and packaging materials.

WHO report may trigger warning labels on processed and red meat packaging

A report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying consumption of red and processed meats as carcinogenic to humans may lead to new warning labels being featured on packaged meat products.

Similar to those found on tobacco products, warning labels would enable food companies to alleviate consumer concerns and allow the latter to make informed choices.

Transparency of information on processed meat used in food products will become even important for food companies than ever before to allay consumer concerns.

Coca-Cola and bottling partners to replenish 100% water used by end of 2015

coke

The Coca-Cola Company and its global bottling partners announced that they will achieve their goal of 100% replenishment of the water used by them by the end of 2015, five years ahead of the previously set deadline.

The project is aimed at ensuring that the company has sufficient water to fulfill its needs and reassure its customers concerned about drought in California, US, and elsewhere.

The company announced that it was able to return around 94% of the water used in its finished beverages to local communities in 2014.

Australia wins plain packaging lawsuit against Philip Morris

Australia won a lawsuit against tobacco firm Philip Morris Asia, which strengthens the federal government's plain packaging rules in the country.

Introduced in 2011, the legislation for plain-packaging was opposed by the tobacco giant citing reasons that it infringed foreign investment protections guaranteed by the country in its investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) with Hong Kong.

The tobacco giant is believed to be displeased with the new decision issued by arbitral tribunal.

Environmental factors influence product buys, says Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak

A survey by Tetra Pak revealed that environmental factors are influencing consumers to purchase beverage products with eco-friendly packaging.

Tetra Pak surveyed around 6,000 consumers across 12 different countries, more than 75% of which claimed to prefer products with eco-friendly packaging.

Around two-thirds of consumers said they bought environmental products, despite of the high price, while around the same proportion avoided specific brands or items due to environmental concerns.

Sonoco Alloyd develops new protective package for easy dispensing

US-based Sonoco Alloyd developed a new dispensing package that combines thermoformed technology with a sliding lid.

The new DivvyPack dispensable packaging system also allows convenient storage of unused portions and careful, singular 'divvying' of product for multi-count packages. It features a flat lid, clear packaging and a customisable shape and size.

A single product can be easily dispensed from a multi-product package as the lid slides away without opening completely.

Japan Tobacco files lawsuit against plain packaging law in UK

plain packaging

The UK's second largest cigarette seller Japan Tobacco International (JTI) filed a lawsuit against the government's decision to introduce mandatory plain packaging for tobacco products.

The move followed lawsuits filed by Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco.

The tobacco companies argued that the introduction of plain packaging could be a breach of trademark law in the UK and European Union.

DHL Supply Chain installs new system in Liverpool facility to accelerate packaging services

Deutsche Post DHL unit DHL Supply Chain installed a new CW3 combined checkweighing and metal detection unit at its Liverpool centre in the UK, with the aim of increasing its packaging service capabilities.

The new CW3 system installation was the second at the facility and in line with DHL's intention to expand into contract manufacturing for the food industry.

In order to continue its expansion, the firm was focusing on the evaluation of its quality management and safety control processes in line with food safety and quality standards, including BRC.