Like any other industry, the packaging industry is constantly coming up with newer and better ways to package different types of products. Due to COVID-19, many packaging companies have become more innovative with products, but even before that, new and innovative packaging products were coming on the scene with regularity.
Packaging technology matters because it can change the way consumers shop, save wholesalers and retailers money, and even cut down on waste and the number of items put into landfills.
Here are 6 packaging innovations you may have never heard of:
Zero Waste Packaging
Packaging waste is a big problem all across the globe, and many companies are responding by using natural plant life to create “sustainable” packaging. Some companies are now using bamboo and cassava to make zero-waste packaging. Bamboo in Thailand is used to make chopsticks, and at least one company is taking the leftover scraps from this bamboo and turning it into a unique type of packaging. It is an effort to reduce the vast amounts of trash created all over the globe.
Today, products such as plastic bags and styrofoam cups usually either cannot be recycled or don’t decompose when placed in a landfill. If the packaging industry can perfect zero-waste packaging, it can create a more eco-friendly environment for the packaging industry. Other natural materials for packaging are being used and improved year-over-year. Mushrooms and algae are other popular forms of sustainable packaging resources.
Labels That Detect Leaks
Keeping food fresh while in the supermarket is crucial, and there are now labels with specialized inks and pigments that will change colors based on the temperatures of CO2 levels in the products. One company has already come up with a color-coded label that can be placed on the food and kept there even after the consumer gets it home. Once the consumer opens the package, the label will automatically indicate how fresh the food is.
One color will indicate that the package is leaking and, therefore the product shouldn’t be consumed. In contrast, other colors will show how long the food has been in the refrigerator and even if the food is already past its “best when used by” date.
Fully Renewable Paper Cups
The age of fully renewable paper cups is here, and it’s been here since late 2017. EarthCoating has made reCup, a biodegradable paper cup that is rising in popularity so quickly that they are working their tails off to keep up with demand. The cup is made out of a mineralized resin coating, which breaks down the cup and therefore allows it to decompose very quickly. It has proven to be much more convenient than standard paper cups in every way, which is why it is taking Europe by storm.
The experts hope that one of two things will happen: either EarthCoating will expand its market to include the US and other parts of the world, or other companies will jump on the bandwagon and start making such products themselves. This eco-friendly cup is the perfect way to reduce waste and achieve a lower carbon footprint. There’s little doubt that this product will grow and thrive in the years to come
Food Packaging That Is Self-Heating
If you love on-the-go meals, but you’re tired of not being able to eat a hot meal when you’re traveling somewhere, you’ll love this innovation. It is a mini “hotpot” that you put instant food in, then place a water-activated heating pack on top of the food. Any food that requires water will work in this hotpot. All you do is add cold water to the heating pack, then wait 15 minutes for your food to be ready to eat.
If you’re traveling, camping, or don’t feel like doing dishes one night, this hotpot and heating package combination is the perfect solution. All instant foods that require water will work with the hotpot, including rice, soup, pasta, etc. Many people love to camp, fish, and hike, but they are not keen on cooking food over a campfire. This type of packaging is the perfect solution because it is fast, straightforward, and convenient.
There is good news if you hate lukewarm drinks because one company has developed a self-chilling can. You turn the can upside down and twist off the base of the can. This action releases liquefied CO2 that chills the drink to around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. You have to wait for 75 to 90 seconds for the drink to be cold enough for enjoyment.
Placing a drink in a refrigerator and waiting for it to turn cold can take a long time, but these self-chilling cans mean that option is of yesteryear. Even better, the can is 100% recyclable, even with a specialized base. And while the production of these cans is limited, most predict that this will change in the future. The cans will be great not just for soft drinks but also for sports drinks, energy drinks, alcohol, etc.
Superior Atmosphere Packaging
Baked goods such as bread, bagels, and other such items are yummy, but one of the things that can be frustrating about them is they don’t seem to last very long before they go bad. A modified atmosphere package has been helping consumers keep their baked goods fresh for more than 40 days, which can significantly impact the distribution and inventory control of certain products. Naturally, this will appeal to customers because everyone wants to keep baked goods around much longer without the use of artificial preservatives.
The companies working on atmosphere packaging say the design can preserve all types of baked goods and even protect the product as it’s being shipped all over the country. In addition, it can prevent cross-contamination, withstand freezer temperatures, and has a low oxygen intake that both preserves the product and protects it from molding. It doesn’t harm the products in any way but works wonders to keep them fresh for a long time.
Advances in packaging continue through the years and do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This means you can look forward to many other advances that simplify your life and make it more enjoyable and convenient. There are numerous advances in packaging technology that promise to make it much easier for consumers and manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.