Consumers love hate the current packaging materials, especially plastic. In the eyes of some people, rigid plastic packaging is safe easy to use, while in the eyes of others, it wastes raw materials pollutes the environment.
Although plastic has won successes in the new market with new styles, it is not so popular with consumers; even in some packaging industries, it is still regarded as a "bad" material.
In the field of mainstream packaging materials, plastics have successfully replaced most other materials, especially partition polypropylene. Processors, such as RPC, add vinyl acetate to transparent polypropylene to make packaging materials that can be used in the field of long-term fruit preservation. Although this product also has some performance defects. The adoption of such packaging by Dole, a giant in the industry, is another successful case of contradictory marketing strategies. Compared with long-term fresh-keeping tin cans, the use of this kind of plastic packaging has been welcomed except that the price is 50% higher or higher. At present, the market has grown by 3-4%.
"Plastic packaging is harder to recycle than tin packaging, but why do people prefer to buy Plastic cans?" asked Vince Dean, marketing manager of RPCCorby. He should add that the shelf life of plastic packaging is also very short, because even partition polypropylene can not extend the shelf life to more than two years. The answer is that many consumers believe that plastic packaging is safe easy to use that it is associated with freshness health. They can see the products inside through the packaging without worrying about being as fragile as glass, which is very popular with customers.
Food health problems have been plaguing some children's soft drinks market, so Dean believes that the potential market for plastic packaging fruits in the field of sale is huge. At present, the same structure of partition products has established a solid foundation in the field of salad fast food packaging. The beverage industry, especially the beer industry, has been using glass metal as its packaging materials, but now plastic packaging has entered the field in a large scale. It is cost performance that affect the selection of packaging in beer industry, not environmental protection.
Advocates of glass metal packaging point out that PET is degraded after exposure to sunlight oxygen. The smaller the size of plastic packaging, the more prominent the problem is. This means that in Western Europe, where bottle packaging is popular, consumers either endure a short shelf life or wait for expensive partition packaging solutions.
Of course, more efficient cheaper partition packaging can be developed, no one in the industry can underestimate the possibility, but bottle can manufacturers need not panic at the moment. John Hayes, president of Ball Packaging Europe, predicted that "PET can't do big things for beer-savvy consumers." Peter Davis, president of the British Plastics Federation, expressed different views. "In Britain, the long-awaited beer bottle revolution, in which rigid plastic replaces glass bottles, has not yet occurred, but that does not mean that it will not happen. Police waste organisations want sports parties outdoor drinks to be packaged in plastic bottles."
Other countries have done so. In Denmark, Carlsberg Brewery has established a chain of reusable beer bottles. Customers can get a refund if they return the bottle. Recycled beer bottles are re-injected into beer after industrial cleaning.
In this way, retailers follow consumers'choices with a very confused attitude towards plastic packaging. Adam Barnett, marketing manager of Linpac Plastics, analyzed the conflict between environment interests: the bulk fruits vegetables currently sold in retail stores. "There has always been a demfor bulk fruit in the market," he admitted. "But if you don't pack these fresh fruits, they won't stay fresh for long." The demfor baskets pallets to pack these fresh fruits will grow further, but the materials used are not environmentally friendly.
Like other rigid plastics processors, Linpac recognizes the need to supply customers with biodegradable polymers.
But as Barnett quickly acknowledged, there are potential defects in the new material from the perspective of the company as a recycler. "We can supply polyester, but the polyester in the waste stream can seriously damage our recycling areas," he explained. Linpac may focus on providing R-Fresh products adding food-grade recyclable PET. Barnett believes that through the integration of polymer raw materials post-consumer recycling in the primary secondary packaging industries, processors, brands retailers can establish a "true closed-loop supply chain".
There are many other examples of the growth of rigid plastics, many of which are small-scale applications. For example, Linpac launched the LinFreeze series of hybrid polymers a few months ago, which are supplied to companies in the dry goods industry that need ultra-low temperature refrigeration. The purpose of the development of hybrid polymers is to supply frozen food customers in the UK, which can remain normal at - 40 C low temperatures.
In another area, as a typical example, Surlyn offers a special plastic that changes the current market for cosmetics personal care packaging. This particular material looks very similar to glass but has no defect of brittleness. However, Beaute France, a company owned by RPC, points out that it also has some special effects tones, such as multi-color co-injection moulds, over-moulds shades.
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