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A comprehensive package


The main body of this 550- page recent publication comprises a comprehensive innovation re­view featuring more than 400 sustainable packaging examples, from re­search and development (R&D) concepts through to actual market launches.

The entries are divided into 11 ‘reduce, recycle, reuse’ areas namely: compostable, biodegradable, bio materials, light weighting, recycling, reusable, alternative materials, plastic alternatives, increasing shelf life & reducing waste, carbon footprint reduction and edible. These categories are then briefly explained at the start of each section and, as the introduction mentions, are not mutually exclusive as a material may fall under several of the areas.

The content section lists the entries according to the wordy headings used for each page, however there is no easy way to search by usage or by packaging type, for example. The introduction also mentions that this is the first such compendium that ThePackHub has published and that it plans to update it early in 2019, hence this version will be replaced within a year.

The actual review consists of a full page for each entry, made up of a description, a colour photograph and a user-friendly tick box style summary capturing some, or all, of the following details: supplier name, brand, launch country, market(s) i.e. usage (e.g. food, beverage, consumer goods, health and beauty, household). The food category, for example, is then split into sectors, such as confectionary, fruit, fish, ice cream, meat, cereal, snacks, pizza etc., which helps the reader to understand the specific application. In this feature ‘beverage’ use is subdivided into water, beer, coffee, tea etc. The summaries also capture the relevant trend, principally being sustainability, but some also relate to added functionality.

The substrate itself is captured e.g. film, PE, HDPE, plastic, paper, carton board, bio-materials, coating etc. for the stated pack type e.g. lid, cup, bottle, bag, dispenser, jar, tray, sleeve, pouch, box, crate, wrap, punnet etc. Finally, the innovation type is highlighted, which includes such aspects as edible, material substitution, reusable, recycled material and preservation, to help explain the key features and advantages. The appearance and layout of the review is clear.

The compendium also includes a short section on industry insight based on the authors’ own recent research. It identifies the main opportunities and challenges, as well as other factors that are necessary to increase sustainable packaging. More than 80% of the brand owner and retailer related respondents had roles in food and drink processing.

An A-Z guide of more than 160 sustainable packaging supplier innovators, at the back of the compendium, includes current contact details. In most cases it specifies: a name (no specific job title or role mentioned), email address, telephone number and website hence it serves as a useful directory for those involved with packaging procurement and product development.

The final section of the compendium, entitled ‘Who’s Who of Sustainable Packaging’ indexes over 60 of the sustainable packaging industry’s main development companies and organisations, although there are some minor errors in the page numbering. The logos, website addresses, locations, CEO names and contact details of those highlighted, are provided in most cases, alongside a synopsis of their relevant capability, which is another useful feature of the publication.  


Editors Paul Jenkins and Barrington Pamplin

Publisher The PackHub Ltd

Price £899 + VAT exclusive 30% discount for IFST members – £629.30 + VAT

Reviewer Natasha MedhurstInstitute of Food Science & Technology


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