In this issue of comPETence ONE:17, we shine a light on technology, environment, markets and consumers in relation to packaging for food, non-food, household, cosmetics and personal care products. This is an area in which various materials and technologies – including thermoforming, extrusion blow moulding, injection moulding and stretch blow moulding in single- and two-stage processes – not only coexist, but are also in direct competition. The barrier properties of packaging are often crucial in this sector, with multilayer sheets, multilayer preforms and coatings all serving important functions. It is a complex topic – especially in the context of recycling or the new circular economy.
Despite environmental concerns, films remain one of the most important products for the plastics industry. Market researchers expect global plastic film consumption to rise to 71 million metric tons by 2020. We spoke to Bandera’s Dr Andrea Rigliano and his colleagues about the challenges and technical solutions facing the global plastic film market for rigid packaging for food and non-food applications.
We also take a look at the key trends in beauty and personal care products. To this end, we held in-depth discussions about the challenges facing the single-stage PET packaging market with Marcel Schröder and Guido Eijsermans from PET Power and with Benno Sauer and Andreas Umlauf-Sauer from SAUER. Today, the single-stage PET packaging market is driven by efficiency, flexibility and necessary innovations. According to Marcel Schröder, the company which best manages this balancing act will prevail in this market segment both today and in the future.
All of this figures into the “agile packaging design process”, which seeks to develop packaging with an optimal shape and design. In pursuit of this goal, the creative minds behind this process not only consider the emotions that the packaging should convey – technical, economic and human factors also play a key role. You can read a detailed description of the design process in this issue. We then turn to current developments in barrier and hot-fill technologies for these markets.
Digitalisation continues to drive our focus on technology in the sections IN DIALOGUE and IN DETAIL. And the circular economy is becoming increasingly important for companies along the PET value-added chain, raising the question that we have been asking since 2015: Are we green enough? Read all about it in the IN FOCUS section. All of these exciting topics will be front and centre at PETnology Europe 2017, which is being held at Drinktec in Munich this year. I look forward to seeing you there.