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Bayer Launches Sustainable Packaging Innovation Challenge

Image courtesy of Alamy/NicoElNino businessman presenting sustainability concept
In partnership with open innovation services company yet2, Bayer invites external innovators to share knowledge on sustainable flexible and rigid materials for use in its consumer healthcare packaging.

The Consumer Health Division of Bayer, which owns global brands including Aspirin, Bepanthen, Claritin, and Elevit, has launched a sustainable packaging Innovation Challenge in partnership with yet2, an open innovation services provider. Through this challenge, Bayer is inviting innovators to share their knowledge of sustainable flexible and rigid packaging materials, including biodegradable or compostable materials, for use in its consumer healthcare product packaging.

Bayer is attempting to make 100% of its consumer health packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030. The company also aims to be net zero by 2050.

To further progress toward its sustainability targets, Bayer is leveraging open innovation as a strategic asset, powered by its long-time partnership with yet2, to identify promising external technologies. "We look forward to bringing in the expertise from specialists in the area of sustainable packaging,” said Keiko Tago, Head of Packaging Sustainability, Consumer Health. “Designing and developing more sustainable packaging, as early as possible in the product design and development stages, is vital to reduce the impact on our environment and achieve Bayer’s ambitious sustainability goals,” said Tago.

Current packaging is designed to meet rigorous product protection requirements. This frequently results in waste, however, which does not break down when discarded and is not sourced from sustainable materials. Bayer said it is now seeking biodegradable, compostable, dissolvable, or edible packaging that ensures its products maintain their efficacy and quality standards. Packaging formats of interest include sachets and rigid or flexible tubes. Potential solutions include packaging materials derived from seaweed or plant extracts, such as alginate, starch, bagasse, cellulose, or mycelium; chitosan; agricultural waste; and more.

Key requirements for potential submissions include:

  • Sustainable packaging and end-of-life solutions;
  • potential to scale to industrial packaging volumes;
  • achieving water-vapor and oxygen transmission rates, as shown below;

Packaging incorporating bio-sourced or renewable materials will receive preference in the challenge, added Bayer.

 

Water-Vapor Transmission Rate

Oxygen Transmission Rate

Sachet

0.02 g/100in2/day

[@ 38°C, 90% RH]

0.02 cc/100in2/day

[@ 22°C, 0% RH]

Flex Tube

0.001 - 0.009 g/100in2/day

[@ 38°C, 90% RH]

0.01 - 0.04 g/100in2/day

[@ 50°C, 50% RH]

Rigid Tube

0.09 g/100in2/day

[@ 38°C, 90% RH]

0.09 cc/100in2/day

[@ 22°C, 0% RH]

The challenge is open for submissions through October. Submissions should include non-confidential information only that covers:

  • An overview of the technology;
  • data on water-vapor and oxyen transmission rates;
  • current scale or potential to scale;
  • relevant patents;
  • supporting details such as technical spec sheets, pictures, etc.

Promising startups, entrepreneurs, technologists, and researchers are encouraged to submit.

Challenge submissions should be emailed to [email protected].

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