Sunday, 25 January 2009

Braille and Packaging

Since January 1, 2006 a new EU directive (2004/27/CE No) requires all packages of pharmaceutical products to bear the Braille characters, in order to give the blind and partially sighted consumer the ability to read and understand the necessary consumer information.

The number of people that can be categorized as blind or partially sighted increases each year, mainly as a result of the higher life expectancy and aging of the population. Most of the visual disabilities manifest themselves at an older age, namely 88% after the age of 60 compared to 10% between 16 and 59 years and 2% below the age of 16 years. But unfortunately - less than 2% of the partially sighted and the blind can read Braille.

This year it is 200 years since the Frenchman Louis Braille (1809-1852) was born. When Louis was 3 years old, he became blind. He spent most of his life teaching the blind and stimulating the interest of people for his revolutionary braille. The braille alphabet is a so-called relief alphabet: the letters and other characters are made by punching dots in the paper, so that a small elevation occurs which can be ‘read’ by the fingertips. probably Braille took the idea of a relief alphabet from a French artillery officer, Charles Barbier, who developed "Ecriture Nocturne" (night writing) in response to Napoleon's demand for a code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light at night.

The year 2009 has been declared the Braille year
The EU directive requirements for the installation of Braille characters on labels and packaging is one of the challenges, which the pharmaceutical industry faces. Past experience has shown that it is often difficult or sometimes impossible to free sufficient room for the Braille characters on the label or packaging.
In order to help drug manufacturers to comply with the European legislation, several companies have developed their own unique solution.
Here successively Sleever Braille, CCL's BrailleMarker, the AccuBraille system of Bobst and Nordson's
............ read the full article

Saturday, 10 January 2009

What Are We Going To Do with Polystyrene and PET Trays

More and more supermarkets and food service companies prohibit suppliers to use polystyrene and/or PET trays following their policy to show ‘green’ involvement to their customers. Wal-Mart, took the lead in 2006, in cooperation with the Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, Canada, a supplier of fresh produce, by introducing the compostable packaging from EarthCycle Packaging Ltd, in the Wal-Mart Stores.

Palm Fibre trays for Wal-Mart's fresh produce
The packaging - used for organic kiwi fruit and tomatoes - is a moulded, food approved, palm fibre tray, wrapped in cellulose-based NatureFlex film from Innovia Films and labelled with a compostable, pressure sensitive paper label from Reynders, Belgium.

The tray is made from a renewable source: palm fibre from long-established palm oil plantations in West Malaysia. This agricultural biomass waste, which occurs when the oil from the palm fruit is pressed, was always burned or taken to a landfill.

The tray and film degrade within 90 days, meeting the ASTM D6400 standard. The tray is not printed, but is .......... continue reading with more about:
CycleEarth’s palm pulp packages for mushrooms
SilvaPak’s shaped wood pulp trays
RPET-trays for frozen food

Friday, 9 January 2009

Pure nature - The fragrance of the Amazon dancing in the wind

The capillarity of the wooden sticks transmits the fragrance of the perfume from the Amazon region to the ambiance of the room.
Justify Full15% of the world’s total of all known vegetal species (plants, trees) and 10% of all mammals are concentrated and trying to survive in the Amazon region.

This source of fresh air to the world, home to (besides man and animal) many super-fruits, medicinal plants and other useful species, will be destroyed soon. Between 2006 and 2007 11.224 km2 has been deforested - 20% less than in the period 2005-2006. Compare 2004 when one of the highest indices (27.379 km2)) in history had been registered. Hopeful? No! In the last 5 months of 2007 the devastating activities for prime wood, soy and cattle has been accelerated. Between Aug and Dec 2007 3.235 km2 has been cut down and satellite pictures show it could be twice as much.

It is no wonder that many individuals, research centre and companies are feverishly looking to the Amazon forest as a tremendous source for sustainable exploitation, which might stop the illegal activities that cause the destruction. Responsibility and sustainability are the keywords.

With the recent trends in healthy food, energy and fortification drinks, interest in Amazonian “superfruits” is growing. It’s little wonder that produce as açaí, coco, cupuaçu, buriti, acerola, pitanga, guaraná and medicinal plants as andiroba, are tagged with such superlatives as ”the next great super food”. I shall explain the names of the fruits and their significance in a later post regarding innovations in food. Just for now an example: Cupuaçu, described as a “pharmacy in a fruit”, is loaded with a variety of flavonoid polyphenols that act as antioxidants, including catechin and epicatechin (the same as in green tea) and quercetin, the polyphenol found in grapes and berries.

But it is not only the edible components which are extracted (in a sustainable way) from the Amazon rain forest. Since some years exquisite perfumes are created from this region, as well as the ingredients for a wide variety of shampoos and cosmetics.

The Indian smelling sticks in mind, Nutriphitos Cosméticos Ltda developed a similar product with the natural fragrance of the Amazon delta. The “Perfume para ambiente” (Perfume for the ambiance) releases its fragrance through the capillarity of the wooden sticks which stay in contact with the perfumed liquid. It lasts up to 5 months.

To market the new product, art director Rodrigo Teixeira of ZehDesign created a packaging holding the bottle with the olfactory liquid and functioning as a display. The wooden sticks are positioned at the side of the packaging fixed with a sisal rope, as a show-off to the costumer.

Not surprisingly this packaging won the Prêmio ABRE in Brazil.

Every single item of this product is natural and sustainable, highlighting the closeness to nature of this brand. The Vitacarta 300 g/m2 card board box is made from 100% recycled material and offset printed.

© Weslley Murylo de Souza Steeman

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Ready-to-drink cocktails in single-shot stand-up pouches

ShotPak comes in the ready-to-drink segment in four flavours with vodka created cocktails, in addition to four pure alcoholic beverages. All flavours are presented in single-serve stand-up pouches from eco-friendly material.

The package, called ShotPak contains a single shot of a tasty liquor in a plastic stand-up pouch. The company is targeting people with an active lifestyle and for on-the-go. Consumers find the eco-friendly packaging attractive, while the price/quality ratio is seen as attractive.
Since 2003 ShotPak, is known for its innovative cocktails and alcoholic drinks in, by the Beverage Pouch Group's patented flexible portable one-portion stand-up pouches.

Justify FullWith the successful launch of four premium vodka flavours and four types of premium spirits in January 2007, ShotPak immediately received national attention in the burgeoning USD 110 billion market for alcoholic drinks, in which spirits show an annual increase of 8.1%.
Beverage Pouch Group, founded in 1996 and belonging to PPI Technologies Global, is the main supplier of machinery for stand-up pouches.
BevShot is BPG's contract packing division, where a customer can bring his own recipe and use BevShot's machinery and process to fill his product into the patented single-shot stand-up pouches.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The paper water bottle

The paper/cardboard bottle, the so called, 360-Paper-Water-Bottle from Brand Image, has been developed in an attempt to reduce the waste of billions of plastic bottles.
Overall introduction of the 360 paper-water bottle to replace the mineral water bottles made from PET or other plastics, might reduce resolutely the plastic bottles which are discarded every day in the United States and end up at a landfill. The bottle is made from 100% renewable food safe resources, fully recyclable and can potentially be used for a number of liquid categories.
The extremely innovative new packaging of Brand Image, which was responsible for the whole project including the development of the concept, the branding, proto-typing, engineering and product design, is the first of its kind in the world and a real environmental friendly solution to the problem of plastic bottles.

Each day, Americans throw away 60 million plastic bottles. Only 14% is actually recycled - so that 86% end up at the landfill or as litter. Radical problems require radical solutions. Brand Image tried to answer the question: Can we design a container, which would emit durability, be easy to transport and give consumers an improved drinking experience?

The 360 Bottle Paper, versatile in its range of consumer applications and made from food safe and fully recyclable materials, reduces energy consumption during the entire life cycle of the product without violating the functionality.

The packaging uses sustainable sheet material made from bamboo and palm leaves, which are squeezed into 2 halves to encapsulate a micro-thin PLA film which guarantees the liquid/O2 barrier. The compressed material provides for the design, the graphic substrate and/or decorative surface and structural integrity. It is shipped in folded condition and "pops open” during filling through a conventional liquid opening in the bottom. The barrier material also functions as media for sealing the 2 halves together.
To pour the liquid the top is removed by snapping off. To re-close, the deleted section is opened to have a hygienic cap available, the remaining part can be hanged on the handle to prevent waste. It changes the whole experience of drinking water, from the way the bottle looks, feels and works until the end of its use.
The 360 bottle of paper is basically designed as a one-portion packaging, but the way it has been made a collection of several bottles can be arranged without having to use a separate 6-pack carrier. The use of pure natural cardboard with structural vertical breaks reduces the material consumption for palletising and transport.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Sunday, 4 January 2009

“Have we met before?”

With the action: "Have we met before?" Pepsi tries to recuperate a large part of its 750 million aluminium cans (per month) after use by the consumer for recycling. The value of ad space, which Pepsi frees on its cans, is estimated at USD 40 million.

"Wonder why that can of Pepsi you're holding feels so familiar? It could be because it's been in your hand before."
With at least 40% of the average aluminium can made from recycled material, Pepsi is trying to tell the story of how used aluminium cans gain a new life through recycling. The "Have we met before?" campaign aims to promote the benefits of aluminium can recycling and encourage Pepsi consumers to make recycling a natural part of their daily routine.

National Recycling Coalition, show a monthly consumption of some 500 million Pepsi cans and 250 million Diet Pepsi cans on the U.S. market. That is a total of seven billion cans by the end of the year. The ad value for the space reserved on the cans is estimated to USD 35 million to $ 40 million.
Research has shown that people are more inclined to recycle when they know more about the benefits of recycling, particularly the energy savings. Consumers indicate that the information will help them to see the importance of recycling, particularly when offering an additional reason for securing a green environment.

The "Have we met before?" recycling themes this listed year on Pepsi and Diet Pepsi cans are:
• Recycling could save 95% of the energy used to make this can.
• On average, aluminium cans produced in the United States contain 40-50% recycled content.
• The average person has the opportunity to recycle 25,000 cans in a lifetime.
• Recycling a single aluminium can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours.
• Recycle this can and save enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman