UK retailer Co-op will become the first in the UK to trial a new recycling vending machine for plastic bottles.The reverse vending machines will be tried at pop-up stores at UK music festivals as part of a deposit return scheme for plastic containers. The reverse vending machines will enable automated collecting, sorting and handling of used plastic containers used at the events for recycling. Plastic bottles sold at special Co-op festival stores will have mandatory deposits added to the overall price, which festival goers can then exchange for vouchers when the items are returned to the vending machines. The plastic will create bottles for Co-op’s own-brand bottled water, which is made from 50% recycled content. Festivals are seen as a good closed testing ground to see how consumers might respond to recycling deposit schemes. Co-op has a wider objective to ensure that all its own-brand packaging is easy to recycle by 2025
Self-chilling can technology is taking an important next step to commercialisation with a small introduction that will road-test its viability. It has previously been covered in the Innovation Zone database – Self-chilling can new technology improves viability. The concept is moving to reality with convenience store chain 7-Eleven introducing the self-chilling cans for its Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee. The cans will be displayed at 15 stores in the Los Angeles area. Consumers can easily twist a bottom cap of the Chill Can to activate the built-in internal heat-exchange unit to lower the temperature of the beverage by about 30 degrees within 90 seconds. Fizzics will be the first that can be chilled on demand. The Chill-Can technology comes to market via The Joseph Co. International. The Chill-Can is 100% recyclable and uses technology that uses CO2 that is recaptured from the atmosphere and reused.
Martin Emballages are headquartered north of Lyon, France. The business has developed a mini wooden barrel for the packaging of wine, fruit juices, olive oil and even liquid soap. Their Tonely solution is a distinctive mini-barrel made from poplar wood. The patented lightweight pack is a nod to the bygone days of the cooper profession. The wooden pack has a three litre capacity and is 200 mm in height. It consists of two baskets assembled by interlocking one above the other. A plastic bag ensures the liquid contents stay secure. A patented biodegradable food glue serves to maintain the staves and the circle of the baskets.The Tonely sells for up to €5 per unit. Martin Emballage are targeting professional distribution channels as well as wine merchants and plans to invest up to two million euros in the next two years to support this project
Researchers from Mexico based Scientific Research Centre of Yucatan (CICY) is working on a new biodegradable material that has potential packaging applications to one day replace conventional plastic films. The multinational initiative sees CICY working with the Laval University of Quebec as well as the University of Guadalajara. The project aims to develop a biodegradable material made using poly lactic acid and cellulose nanocrystals rather than oil-based polymers. The aim to to create a biodegradable material with the same resistance as conventional plastic films. The cellulose nanocrystals are obtained from the waste of Agave Tequilana also known as blue agave, which is a plant used to make tequila. It is reported that the tequila industry annually discards around 4000 tons of the material. The project is proposed to produce films for food packaging as well as plastic bags.
A jar that can detect specific spoken words has been created as a fun way to prevent bad language, politics being discussed or even the use of office buzzwords. Jargone is a speech recognition device that listens for user-defined flagged words. A Bluetooth enabled mobile app is paired to the jar and users can add custom words or select from a list of pre-compiled packaged topics. Flagged words spoken within range of the jar set off an alarm and the jar glows red. Jargone has a rechargeable battery to make it portable. The jars will be manufactured in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the business is currently raising funds via Kickstarter.