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5 hottest plastics packaging issues now

Want to know what news and developments are on-trend in plastics packaging? A check of the five top-read articles of December 2018 shows that green remains highly in vogue.

As it has done annually, late in 2018 PlasticsToday posted Top 10 articles of the year compilations that reveal what topics, issues and news drew the most attention over the past 12 months. The articles serve as an indicators of trends across a medium-term timeframe as measured by what stories saw the most readership via website metrics.

And as we have done more frequently,  we now take a quick review of what articles were the most popular the previous month, which provides a snapshot look at what news and developments are on-trend now.

You’ll find that the top-read, top-of-mind articles of December involve a  sustainable packaging theme—sometimes referred to informally as “green”.

The shortlist starts with #5, Eco-friendly expanded polystyrene is oxo-biodegradable and recyclable, which centers on news from Plastilite Corp.  Founded in 1958 in Omaha, the company quickly expanded its manufacturing of expanded polystyrene (EPS) products such as picnic coolers and minnow buckets for retail markets into applications for commercial shipping cooler packaging. The company’s Integritemp division announced the introduction of patent-pending ReFoam, an environmentally friendly EPS that both oxo-biodegradable and recyclable that makes the often maligned EPS greener.

#4 Loop Industries signs multi-year supply deal with Coca-Cola for 100% recycled PET

On the heels of a multi-year supply agreement with PepsiCo for 100% sustainable plastic announced in October, Loop Industries Inc. (Montréal) has just secured a multi-year supply deal with Coca-Cola.

“Investments like this one with Loop Industries support our goal to ensure that at least 50% of the material we use for our PET bottles comes from recycled plastic, and will help us divert more materials from landfills and build a stronger circular plastic economy,” said Ron Lewis, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Coca-Cola European Partners, a bottler member of CEPG.

Working with Coca-Cola’s Cross Enterprise Procurement Group (CEPG), Loop will supply 100% recycled and sustainable PET plastic from its joint venture facility with Indorama Ventures Ltd. in the United States to authorized Coca-Cola bottlers who enter into a supply agreement with Loop. Indorama Ventures is a chemicals company and global integrated PET and fibers supplier serving major customers in diversified end-use markets, according to Loop.

WestPack 2019 (Feb. 5-7; Anaheim, CA) offers everything from design to manufacturing in packaging and plastics with valuable free presentations throughout the event at Center Stage. Come explore the latest innovations, processes and new products. For details, visit WestPack 2019 .

#3 finds more green of the singular and possibly apocalyptic type...

#3 Pressure to reduce consumption of single-use plastic packaging will continue into 2019

It's often stated paradoxically that the more things change, the more they stay the same, a truism that senior reporter Clare Goldsberry alludes to in this article.

It’s not hard to pinpoint the trends and issues that will impact the plastics industry in 2019—in many cases, they will be the same challenges that the industry has faced for the past two decades. While plastics usage in durable goods isn’t so much a focus of those wanting to rid the world of plastic waste, packaging and water bottles will be under increased pressure thanks to a harsher light being thrown on plastics in the marine environment.

Goldsberry then cites the Washington, D.C.-based American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Plastics Division three goals it says “crystallize U.S. plastics producers’ commitment to recycle or recover all plastic packaging used in the United States by 2040.”

#2 reveals more green of the type that goes away…

#2 Does it make sense to use compostable containers even if there are no composting facilities nearby?

This first person account from Clare Goldsberry starts this way: My immediate answer to the question posed by the headline is, “No!” Yet, I ran across a blog post written by Ken Jacobus, founder and CEO of Good Start Packaging (Bedford, NH) that makes the argument that the company’s compostable containers make perfect sense even if you can’t compost them.

This first occurred to me when, after enjoying a great meal at one of my favorite restaurants, I was given my leftovers in a paperboard “compostable” container that had, “Hello Please Compost Me,” imprinted on the front. I thought to myself, "Great! But where am I going to compost this?” I don’t have a composting bin in my yard and I’m sure there is an industrial composting facility somewhere in Phoenix, but driving around in my ICE vehicle trying to find one may not be the “greenest” thing to do.

And Goldsberry then launches into one of her typical insightful and thought-provoking op-ed pieces that many readers including this editor found not only highly readable, but instructive.

#1 on our list takes a reflective turn…

#1 Plastic packaging’s Top 10 bestsellers of 2018

This was one of those annual Top list alluded to at the start that provides broader and perhaps more authoritative exposition of on-going trends that has plastics and packaging professionals’ attention.

Making the past year’s top lists were these articles, four of which report directly on sustainable issues in plastics and packaging and others that mention the trend.

1. Graham Partners adds another thermoformer to portfolio

2. Pack Expo 2018: 5 breakthrough plastic packaging innovations

3. Glass or plastic? Study profiles changing consumer attitudes

4. PHA bioplastics a ‘tunable’ solution for convenience food packaging

5. NPE2018 watch (literally) and 4 more cool things from the show

6. R&D/Leverage helped convert the iconic Snapple bottle to plastic without losing the 'snap'

7. Top 5 issues in plastics and packaging: The ACC responds

8. Global plastics packaging market to hit $375 billion by 2020

9. False assumptions on food waste, plastics and packaging

10. Global plastic packaging market worth $269.6 billion by 2025

WestPack 2019 (Feb. 5-7; Anaheim, CA) offers everything from design to manufacturing in packaging and plastics with valuable free presentations throughout the event at Center Stage. Come explore the latest innovations, processes and new products. For details, visit WestPack 2019 .
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