INTHEBLACK April 2022 - Magazine - Page 56
“ D I G I TA L I S AT I O N
PA C K A G I N G ’ S
AND OPENING UP A
WHOLE WORLD OF
N E W O P P O R T U N I T I E S .”
ANDERS ANDRÉN, TETRA PAK
materials, says Michael Grima, industrial designer and
“Testing and trials of new technology materials for
packaging that is more sustainable – and that has the
capability of being able to extend shelf life and reduce
food waste – are being cancelled or delayed because
producers can’t get access to the materials from
overseas raw suppliers,” he says.
Garofano explains the supply conundrum. “One of the
APCO targets is to use 50 per cent of average recycled
content to be included in packaging by 2025. The
challenge in achieving this target is that reprocessing in
this country is very limited. Unfortunately, we are having
to buy a lot of material from international suppliers,
sometimes at a premium rate.”
Nevertheless, Garofano emphasises that Australia
is making progress on recovering and processing
local recycled content and that, while there are gaps
to fill, awareness is increasing among consumers and
investment in recycling infrastructure is happening.
Not least among it is the Recycling Modernisation
Fund to which the federal government is contributing
A$190 million and which, along with investments
from states and territories and industry, is estimated to
generate A$600 million in recycling investment.
One of the most eye-opening developments in
packaging is in the Internet of Things (IoT), whereby
protective packaging is embedded with sensors,
software and other technology that allows them to
exchange data with smart devices.
“Digitalisation is extending packaging’s traditional
role and opening up a whole world of new
opportunities,” says Anders Andrén, product manager
automation solution with Tetra Pak.
56 ITB April 2022
Imagine a scenario where you are on the way
home from work and thinking about what to cook
for dinner. An “intelligent” pack of noodles that you
picked up in your lunch hour has a unique ID code
that, once scanned by a smartphone, connects to your
home fridge and checks on its contents, dynamically
adjusting expiry dates to see what is viable.
Based on that information, as well as on your
previous behaviour and preferences, suggestions about
what to cook are then sent to your phone, including
an alert if some of the suggested ingredients are
missing or expired.
Alvise Cavallari, Nestlé’s digital printing program
lead, says that digital printing of packaging allows
for customisation, “moving from a conventional rigid
supply chain to a networked supply chain, where
different players can print different static and variable
layers of an artwork in one or several locations”.
Full traceability of individual packages will also
soon be possible, adding value for stakeholders along
the supply chain, from logistics to recycling.
Unique, codified packaging as a portal to
communicate more meaningfully with consumers is
just the beginning.
“Food companies have recognised that consumers
want more than a tasty meal, and that the product is
fresh and safe to consume. They want to know where
it came from, how it has been processed, its carbon
footprint and how they can dispose of packaging
responsibly,” says Andrén.
In the future, intelligent packaging will be “born
digital” – the centrepiece of the value chain, connected
to the IoT, says Andrén. “Codes will enable devices
and packages to talk to each other, providing new
levels of services and insights for brand owners,
manufactures, retailers and consumers.”
IMAGE COURTESY 99DESIGNS
F E AT U R E
// PA C K A G I N G I N D U S T RY