We live in interesting times when it comes to dynamic influences, developments and changes in plastics and packaging. These forces yield a rich and ongoing diversity of news, innovations, designs and material options that PlasticsToday reported throughout 2017 here at the Packaging Channel.
Which articles stood out and resonated best among the hundreds that were published these past months? We assessed website metrics to assemble a date-driven compilation of the best-read articles of the year to share with you the content that’s must-read with your peers and likely of keen interest to you as well.
We list the Top 10 in classic reverse order across three pages, starting with this feature from April that spotlighted four plastics packaging patents. Leading the quartet of innovations was this patent from Graham Packaging Co. (York, PA), that involves a new design to address the need for a plastic, wide-mouth, blowmolded (PET) container for packaging a variety of viscous and other food products that’s also stackable. The novel base structure enables the container to be used in hot-fill, pasteurization and retort processes. Read about it and the other fascinating foursome here.
#9 Longtime PlasticsToday contributor Clare Goldsberry said it was inevitable: Plastic bags are now outlawed in the People’s Republic of California. “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve written about California’s war against plastic over the past 25 years,” she wrote. “The Plastics Industry Association (formerly SPI) used to form the front line in California to hold off this type of legislation. I used to go to Sacramento to cover the efforts of the plastics industry in California to stem the tide of legislation against plastic bags, but alas it’s done.”
Goldsberry also mixes in related news and comment including this from Wall Street Journal reporter by Allysia Finley: “California’s bag ban is a classic marriage of economic protectionism and government paternalism, dressed up in environmental virtue. As with so many other progressive policies, the ban is likely to have unintended consequences.”
For more, read In California, bring your own bag is now the law.
|Go west to explore packaging, plastics and more February 6-8, 2018, during WestPack that’s co-located with PLASTEC West in Anaheim, CA. For more information, visit the WestPack website.|
If you expected red-hot interest in bioplastics to show up on the list, you were correct. Hitting the charts at #8 was this August report chronicling moves into bioplastics by DuPont (Wilmington, DE), which sees a clear route to helping the planet through the use of high-performance biomaterials for packaging and other end-use products including textiles and engineered plastics. That’s no small task, yet one the company has both embraced and achieved notable milestones. For example, the company’s breakthrough Bio-PDO compound turns a formerly chemical process into an eco-efficient biological one. In March, the company’s continued commitment to R&D in innovative biomaterial solutions earned it “Bio-based Materials Company of the Year” recognition by research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Its stated goal: A commitment to innovative biomaterials that aims to revolutionize the materials’ landscape, specifically in packaging. DuPont’s Michael Saltzberg, PhD, who is global business director of Biomaterials at DuPont Industrial Biosciences, details its plans to do this in DuPont accelerating in bioplastics for packaging and more.
Halfway through the year we took the industry’s pulse with a half-time, half-portion preview of this report in Top 5 plastic packaging developments of 2017 that drew enough interest to make this year-end final list at #7. Without giving too much away ahead of the remainder of this list, the Top 5 noted features on flexible packaging, a new plastic alloy, the decision to phase out a certain utilitarian foamed polymer at a major restaurant chain and of course the best-read article at halftime of 2017.
It comes as no surprise that packaging’s largest segment, for food and beverages, led to the inclusion of our #6 feature from May. Driven by the proposition that plastics and packaging are nearly synonymous and that developments and trends in the one directly affect the other, contributor Goldsberry notes that packaging of all types from food and beverage to consumer goods to durables makes use of plastics because of its durability, consumer friendliness, sustainability and recyclability into myriad new products. Her insightful overview assembles a well-rounded number of resources including market reports, industry authorities, consumer trends and personal experiences in The megatrends that are reshaping food and beverage packaging that proved a must-read to many.
Next: The next half of the list starts with winning packages and a breakthrough solution to a 60-year old chemistry problem.