blog    Plastic Ingenuity November 2013 Archive

Domestic PET Packaging Recycling Rates Break Records

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 | 0 comments

Once again, plastic is demonstrating its high level of sustainability. According to a new report issued by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the gross recycling rate for PET bottles in the U.S. is now at an all-time high. More consumers in the U.S. are recycling PET packaging than ever, and it doesn’t stop there—more plastic packaging companies are making the most of the trend with their own sustainable production practices. PET Packaging Recycling Rates According to NAPCOR, the recycling rate for PET jumped from 29.3 percent to 30.8 percent between 2011 and 2012—a difference of about 100 million pounds. That brings the total collected volume of PET bottles up to 1.718 billion pounds, the largest volume ever. And what’s happening to all of that reclaimed PET packaging? It’s being put to good use. The NAPCOR report reveals that in 2012, U.S. reclaimers/plastic packaging companies also produced a higher volume of RPET than ever, coming in at 930 million pounds. (RPET, of course, is the reprocessed PET that it used to turn postconsumer plastic packaging like bottles into...

Pack Expo 2013 Recap: Takeaways & Trends

Posted by rhelmke on Design | Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | 0 comments

This September, Pack Expo 2013 shattered records as the biggest and most-attended show in the expo’s history. With attendance well over 42,000, the show gave us the perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the biggest challenges faced by packaging companies today. From creative technology like our own revolutionary new coining technology to experimental concepts in packaging design, we noticed a few common threads among the thousands of attendees and exhibitors. Innovation Creative and unusual packaging design continues to push the envelope as the fight for retail shelf space and consumer attention grows more competitive than ever. Pack Expo was a place to see the unconventional in action, and did we ever.  As we already know, though, there’s a difference between packaging that commands attention and packaging that is practical for consumers and retailers. It’s exciting to see the limits of practicality tested, but packaging companies have to be careful not to sacrifice usefulness for novelty. Sustainability As recycling rates rise and consumers increasingly prioritize eco-friendliness, more and more packaging companies are focusing on sustainability. This isn’t only limited to working...

Design Considerations: Packaging for Cosmetics

Posted by rhelmke on Design | Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | 0 comments

The world of cosmetics is fast-paced and highly competitive, presenting unique challenges when it comes to packaging for cosmetics. At PI, our relationship with the cosmetics industry has taught us how to adapt to its demanding pace and need for innovative packaging solutions—here are just a few things that deserve special attention. Visibility and Security Cosmetics are unique because they must be highly visible in their packaging while remaining highly secure. They can’t be obscured by their packaging, but because they are generally small and high-value, they must be tamper-resistant. This is why plastic packaging is generally the standard for cosmetics—it can be extremely tough without sacrificing clarity. Of course, this means that the designer must know which type of plastic provides the best packaging solution for the job. Certain plastics are highly shatterproof, but scratch and compromise the product’s aesthetic appeal. Others may be strong, but risk losing their clarity during manufacturing. There is no room for error in packaging for cosmetics, so it takes a designer with encyclopedic plastics knowledge as well as experience in this particular industry....

Will Liquid Coating Catch On with Plastic Packaging?

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 | 0 comments

Here at PI, we know that plastic packaging design has everything to do with how people interact with the products they use every day. The expert minds at MIT, now, seem to have developed a new coating for plastics that could shake things up. Packaging World reports that LiquiGlide, a patent-pending “structured liquid,” can be used to coat glass and plastic, creating a super-slippery surface that lubricates whatever it touches—ketchup stuck at the bottom of the bottle, for example, could be a thing of the past.[1] Of course, the question we have to ask is, can this solution stick? Why Use It? LiquiGlide purports to be a solution to an age-old question across industries: How do you get everything out of the package? Even wide-mouth jars for condiments like mayonnaise tend to leave globs behind. LiquiGlide wants to lubricate the inside of your plastic packaging, so those condiments slip and slide right out. The demo videos show viscous substances effortlessly pouring out of bottles, which raises a question of its own: What about the times when you don’t want the...