In this issue, we consider the shared responsibility of all parties in the push towards a sustainable, circular economy. Consumers, businesses and governments all continue to look towards sustainable packaging solutions as a high priority. But it seems futile for the burden to be solely on businesses – consumers do have a part to play, and it’s a vital part at that.

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However, as safety concerns increase in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a balance needs to be struck between progressive packaging solutions and making sure that the products that packaging protects are, in fact, protected. With that in mind, we look at the rising demand for canned goods and the merits of the recyclable metal can when it comes to sustainability. Is the rise in popularity solely due to stockpiling or long-life goods, or is there more to it?

When looking at sustainable packaging it’s impossible to ignore plastic. Whilst the material has it’s benefits, the environmental impact is plain to see. We cover the latest response from businesses as they attempt to reduce their plastic use, which is particularly apt moving forward as the UK’s plastic ban comes into effect.

But perhaps rather than simply avoiding plastics, we should also keep in mind that not all plastic is virgin, nor is it all non-recyclable. The potential of biopolymers should not be ignored, and continued research and development could move us closer to a more nuanced solution to the plastic problem.

Finally, we cast an eye over design in packaging with a roundup of the winners from this year’s Pentawards. We also learn how, with some creative thinking, labelling design can offer an effective low-cost marketing solution for small businesses.

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In this issue

The future of canned goods: Amcor Q&A

Jessie Paige speaks with Amcor‘s Nicola Maffi, to find out whether the growing trend of purchasing cans is likely to continue in the wake of the pandemic and learns about the company’s new offering.

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Design for sustainability: making a case for metal cans

Russell Wiseman, head of global beverage solutions at Domino Printing Sciences, discusses the increasing demand for aluminium and steel as plastic packaging alternatives and the options available for manufacturers on the journey towards sustainability.

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Harnessing the benefits of digitalisation

Digitalisation allows packaging manufacturers to achieve mass-customisation, but financing new technology is a key challenge say Carolyn Newsham and Kirsty Talmage-Rostron, UK business development managers for industrial equipment at Siemens Financial Services.

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Collaborating towards a sustainable future

Alex Henriksen, Tetra Pak’s managing director for north Europe, highlights why a shared collaboration between companies, consumers and policymakers is vital as the packaging industry looks to a more sustainable future.

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Pentawards 2020: the winners

This year’s digital Pentawards ceremony still managed to showcase a host of innovative packaging designs, despite the disruptive nature of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve highlighted some of the stand-out winners from this year’s awards.

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Material choice is key for food packaging

Ben Smye, head of growth at materials database Matmatch, explains what effective packaging materials available on the market and what the future holds for the food industry.

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The broken promises of plastic substitutes

Dr Ashlee Jahnke, research director of biodegradable bioplastics developer Teysha Technologies, explains why polymer research holds the key for plastic alternatives.

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How brewers can get crafty with labelling

In the world of craft beer, it’s not so much the product, rather the branding that can make or break a company. Guy Boxall, senior manager of Label Printing at OKI UK, highlights how personalised printing offers a solution.

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Next issue preview

2020 has been a troubling year for businesses in all sectors, with many going from a state of shock to damage control. However, in the packaging sector, many businesses, big and small, have nobly stepped up to offer their services to key sectors in response to the pandemic.

Now, we’re witnessing a renewed focus on evolution and innovation as we all look to the future. In the next issue, we’ll be looking ahead to the coming year, offering our predictions for the key trends in packaging.

We’ll also be looking at near field communication (NFC) technology as we ask if this year, particularly in a post-lockdown world, we’ll see more applications in packaging.

Deposit return schemes are widespread, and successful, across mainland Europe. Despite efforts to introduce them in the UK, they have yet to find a foothold. We look into the new trial in Scotland and ask if 2021 could be the year we see progress on the topic.

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