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Disclaimer: The postings in this blog section do not necessarily represent Desjardin's positions, strategies or opinions.

Social Responsibility in Packaging

What does it mean to be a socially responsible company? This can take many forms, so I think it is easier to first discuss what makes a company not socially responsible. A company that does not care for its employees, community, and shirks its social responsibilities falls into this category. This is seen in many different ways, like poor working conditions for employees or false advertising to consumers. Many types of companies can have these issues, but it is especially common to see them in companies that manufacture products. In the clothing industry a large portion of clothes are still produced in factories with poor working conditions [6]. The packaging industry falls into the category of manufacturing, which means it is crucial that these companies are aware of what socially responsibility is, its importance, and why it is beneficial. Over the past 20 years many packaging companies have been working hard towards producing their packaging in socially responsible ways.

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Metal Packaging & The Essence of Packaging Design

Humans began packaging products over 3,500 years ago in Egypt. This early on their sole purpose was for transporting food and beverages. They were made of natural products, like leaves, animal skins, or coconut husks. With time this developed and the Egyptians started using glass containers in 1500 BC. It wasn’t until Napoleon in the early 1800’s when tin cans were finally developed. From then packaging development began to speed up with the invention of paper bags in 1850, cartons in the 1870’s, cardboard containers in 1906, cans in 1935, and plastic containers in the late 1940’s. In the early days containers were mostly unbranded, designed solely for functionality, and lacked aesthetic appeal. 

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Health Implications of Biodegradable Packaging

Over the last decade biodegradable packaging has become a viable alternative to plastics. Biodegradable materials are made out of biopolymers, which are polymers made of naturally occurring molecules. They are often used in conjunction with metal containers to help seal perishables, like food and cosmetics. When used with metal containers they typically are found in the form of films, coatings, and bags.

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What is Biodegradable Packaging

The most commonly used material for packaging is plastic. Plastic is easy to make, but comes with a slew of environmental consequences, like long decomposition rates and damage to natural ecosystems. A great alternative to plastic packaging are metal containers made of tin and aluminum. These containers remove a lot of the issues created by plastic packaging. When metal containers are used for food and other perishables they often still require a plastic film, seal, or coating to completely protect the contents from coming into contact with air. In recent years biodegradable non-plastic packaging and films have begun to immerge as an alternative to standard plastic packaging. Biodegradable packaging is produced using biopolymers, which are molecules often found in living organisms, like cellulose and proteins. This means they can be safely consumed, degrade quickly, and often be created from waste plant products [4].

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Future Trends in Biodegradable Packaging

Aluminum packaging was first introduced in the late 1950’s. Over the last 60 years the metal packaging market has skyrocketed and now encompasses over $100 billion in yearly production with a projection of reaching $136 billion by 2020 [1]. Metal cans and containers are one of most consumed forms of packaging in many industries and are becoming more common in others, like food and cosmetics.

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Consumer Trends Towards Sustainable Packaging

Product packaging plays a role in nearly all purchasing consumers do. In 2016 the packaging market was valued at over USD 221 billion. The majority of this was packaging used for food and beverage, with over 75% of it being made of plastic [5]. Many consumers now know that plastic is generally a very unsustainable material because it has a high energy cost for production, takes a long time to degrade, and can be challenging to recycle. Even though plastic remains the most common material used in packaging, it’s percent of the total packaging market is slowly declining. This slow decline can be attributed to increased public awareness of its issues and increasing popularity of sustainable packaging.

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Aluminium Coatings for Cosmetic Packaging

More and more producers and manufacturers in search of environmentally packaging are using aluminium as it is one of the most recycled metals. 75% of aluminium that has so far been mined is still in use. It therefore fits well with European ambitions to move towards a circular economy. In this context it is important to find out the extent to which the coatings in aluminium impact its eco-friendly image.

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How Aluminium and Tinplate are Better Than Plastic Packages

The European Union wants a circular economy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly, and is promoting recycled packaging materials as one of the means to achieve this objective. Aluminium and tinplate are considered ideal due to the various environmental and economic advantages they have over ubiquitous plastic containers.

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Anamorphosis: How to print on circular and round metal objects?

Printing on circular and round objects is often a very challenging task. When an image designed for a flat surface is placed on a curved object it can become distorted. This can be seen on maps of earth. This article explains how anamorphic correction can produce compelling results. 

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