New research will seal the future of green packaging

November 20, 2008

Researchers at the University of Bath and the food & drinks research centre at Campden BRI are leading a project to create a new high speed environmentally-friendly packaging process that will use recycled materials and reduce the amount of plastic used, cutting the waste that goes into landfill.

The half a million pound project is focused on improving the 'form-fill and seal' type of packaging used for foods such as rice, pasta and crisps. By designing a more efficient way of sealing the packaging, the researchers hope to reduce the amount of material used by 13%, which would lead to a saving of more than 39,000 tonnes per year of landfill waste.

Dr Ben Hicks, Professor Glen Mullineux, and Dr Jason Matthews from the University's Department of Mechanical Engineering are working as part of a consortium including Campden BRI, HayssenSandiacre Europe, Amcor Flexibles Food and United Biscuits on the two-year project that is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

They will examine the process used to mechanically fill and seal the packaging and then use this information to design a new packing machine that uses less plastic and can use recycled materials.

Dr Ben Hicks, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the University's Innovative Design Manufacturing Research Centre (IdMRC), said: "Projects such as this are fundamental to the consumer goods industry if it is to meet the challenge of sustainability.

"In the area of consumer packaging, ever-tightening legislation is forcing goods manufacturers to reduce material consumption and reduce the environmental impact of their finished product.

"To meet such targets there is a need for manufacturers to maximise the efficiency of existing equipment, minimise material consumption and use thinner, lighter-weight, recyclable and recycled materials.

"The project brings together a diverse mix of industrial and academic research partners, combining both theoretical and practical studies to tackle this challenge.

"The project is building on the theoretical and modelling expertise of the University's Department of Mechanical Engineering and using the materials and packaging testing facilities of Campden BRI to try out the new system.

"The scientific knowledge base is further enhanced by the materials processing knowledge of Amcor, the practical experience of consumer goods packaging from United Biscuits and the machinery design knowledge of HayssenSandiacre."

In addition to reducing the amount of plastic used in the packaging, the research team are also investigating new sealing processes that can be used with the latest biodegradable materials, which will lead to further environmental benefits.
-end-


University of Bath

Related Food Articles from Brightsurf:

Brain region tracking food preferences could steer our food choices
Researchers discovered that a specific brain region monitors food preferences as they change across thirsty and quenched states.

Rates of food insecurity remain high despite expansion of NYC food assistance programs
In the latest COVID-19 tracking survey from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy conducted from September 25 to 27, 34% of the sample of one thousand New York City adults reported that their households had received SNAP benefits since September 1st, 2020.

Food mechanics recipe to serve up healthy food that lasts
Researchers are investigating the science of food drying to design faster, cheaper and better ways to store food.

Economic and food supply chain disruptions endanger global food security
COVID-19 has led to a global economic slowdown that is affecting all four pillars of food security - availability, access, utilization, and stability.

'Building wealth and health network' reduces food insecurity without providing food
As the coronavirus pandemic forces so many to reckon with growing food insecurity and increased health challenges, the Building Wealth and Health Network program of Drexel University's Center for Hunger-Free Communities is reducing food insecurity and improving mental health - without distributing any food or medicine.

Novel DNA analysis will help to identify food origin and counterfeit food in the future
Estonian scientists are developing a DNA-based method of analysis that enables them to identify food components and specify the origin of a foodstuff.

Holders of negative opinions towards GM food likely to be against other novel food tech
Scientists at NTU Singapore and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health have found that people who hold negative opinions of genetically-modified (GM) food are likely to feel the same about nano-enabled food -- food with nano-additives to enhance flavor, nutrition or prolong shelf life.

UMD researchers seek to reduce food waste and establish the science of food date labeling
Minimizing food waste is top of mind right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Territorial short food supply chains foster food democracy and sustainability
A University of Cordoba study analyzed the governance mechanisms in territorial short food supply chains in Córdoba and Bogotá.

First study on human-grade dog food says whole, fresh food is highly digestible
some pet food companies are developing diets that more closely resemble human food, incorporating human-grade meat and vegetable ingredients that pass USDA quality inspections.

Read More: Food News and Food Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.