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

Internal Coating for Food Packaging

It often takes food products a long time to go from being produced to sold. During this process they spend a majority of their time packaged in the same container. It is important that the product not only withstands the changing environment it is moved through, but also that it remains edible over the long time period before it reaches consumers. One of the main ways that products are packaged to increase their shelf life is through the use of internal coatings. These are layers of different compounds on the interior of metal packaging that creates a barrier between the food product and the metal.

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Important Non-Design Factors For Successful Cosmetic Packaging

Cosmetics are a broad category of health and beauty products. They range from things applied to the face like makeup to nail polish and even hair coloring and lotion. This very broad range of products contains a similarly broad range of materials used to make them. These materials all have different factors to consider when creating safe packaging. It can be a costly process to continually design new packaging for products, so many cosmetic companies rely on packaging specialists. These companies work hard to meet packaging demands of the ever growing cosmetic market. As of 2017 the global cosmetic market was valued at over $530 billion and are expected to grow to upwards of $800 billion by 2023. This means there will continue to be a growing demand for cosmetic packaging [1].

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Reducing Costs in Small-scale Cosmetic Production

Once the product preparation is done, it is time to pack it. For cosmetics, packaging is very important as it is a wellness and often a luxury product. The challenges for small and indie producers can be greater, as they have to handle all aspects of the business themselves, and their budgets are smaller.

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Government Regulations of Cosmetic Packaging in the USA and the EU

Cosmetics come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are used for many things and their composition varies widely based on the intended purpose. Additionally, their ingredients range from acids, to bases, and even some perishables items. This large amount of ingredients means that government regulation of packaging is very important. It oversees the safe design, production, and distribution of cosmetic products and their packaging. Unfortunately, it also makes cosmetics very hard to regulate, so governments have implemented large, overarching policies to blanket the industry with a set of guidelines. Most governments only review products on a case by case basis.

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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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