As underlined by the research “The Future of Packaging - Sustainability & Innovation in Packaging” conducted by GlobalData, published in March 2020, the packaging industry has stacked up record numbers.
Just think about the turnover of 900 billion dollars recorded worldwide by the packaging materials market in 2019, the global packaging machinery market of 50 billion dollars and an annual growth of 3.2%of the sector between 2018 - 2019.
Regarding the vast use of packaging, which has increased by an average of 2% per year over the last five years, as much as 48% is used for packaging food. 62% of the global amount is made up of demand for rigid (30%) and flexible (32%) plastic packaging.
However, this exponential increase has had two consequences. The first was the reaction of governments and supranational organizations to place limits on the proliferation of packaging waste, especially plastic waste, which, in particular, pollutes the oceans (today, it is estimated that 150 million tons are present in the oceans).
On the other hand, the second consequence comes from consumers: the increase in sensitivity on the part of ordinary people, also promoted by the urging of the media, towards the issues of environmental sustainability as well as the quality and traceability of food.
Today, the final consumer feels directly "involved" in the planet’s fate, so they prefer brands that make social responsibility and respect for the environment part of their pillars.
This is true even if there is a greater expense for the purchase of eco-friendly products.
This aspect has convinced large multinationals such as Nestlé, Danone, Coca-Cola Company, Mars, Aldi, Tesco, Walmart, Heinz, Hipp, Gerber, and Asda, among others, to make a specific commitment to reduce the amount of waste produced by packaging and multiply their efforts towards the launch of innovative, sustainable, superior quality products that are able to distinguish them from the competition thanks to a more “healthy & green” footprint.
Baby food packaging solutions: sustainability and safety are key factors
These perspectives have led many baby food multinationals to join The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment that involves over 400 realities including economic operators, governments, and organizations such as the WWF or the World Economic Forum, which intend to undertake a common path towards reducing unnecessary packaging by 2025 and making it as recyclable and easily disposable as possible.
This has led them to take new paths such as bio-design and to focus on packaging made of biodegradable materials such as bio-derivatives, cardboard-based packaging or, where necessary, flexible plastic, non-toxic and, perhaps, what has been recovered from the oceans.
World brands support safety in baby food
However, quality and sustainability are issues that also involve food, especially food for infants. In fact, for parents, nothing is more important than seeing the healthiness of the food ingested by their children, especially in the very first years of their life.
One of the fundamental requests of the most attentive consumers is the perfect traceability of the products to guarantee the absence of pesticides or contaminants both at the origin and during processing and packaging.
Indeed, recent research conducted by GlobalData showed that, in the United States, the presence of contaminants, pesticides, and toxic substances in baby food had reached alarming levels. As many as 80% of infant products and 60% of jars containing meat and dairy products had antibiotic residues. However, 33% of the containers and products stored there contain traces of pesticides and heavy metals.
For this reason, the next step for baby food multinationals is the elimination of all the materials and additives from the packaging that can migrate into food intended for babies ensuring, at the same time, a superior product quality.
This means that guaranteeing the health of the younger generations and a sustainable future for the planet constitutes a decisive step towards consolidating social responsibility as well as the corporate brand image.
Nowadays, it is an essential "calling card" for any company that wants to be competitive in a market worth almost 52 billion dollars (2019) and in which baby milk and wet foods make up the majority share, with 39 and 6 billion respectively; therefore, it is a market strongly influenced by the awareness of the final consumer.
In fact, the consumer now reads the label carefully and wonders how much environmental damage a product can cause before placing it in their shopping cart.
For all these reasons PVC, one of the most used plastic materials in packaging, will soon be completely replaced, especially when used as liner for caps for glass containers.
Which Baby Food Packaging Is Best When It Comes To Storage?
The PVC compound, used in the sealing of the capsules, has a low polymeric base, about 60% of the total, and the remaining consists of plasticizing, lubricating and stabilizing (liquid additives). The latter are the ones with a higher impact on the migration rate.
Substances as phthalates and BPA are potentially capable of contaminating food, especially in the case of wet and fat foods.
Not surprisingly, the European Commission with the Regulation 10/2011 has set stringent limits on the use of resins and plasticizers capable of ending up in food.
In particular, scientific tests on potential migrations into glass containers of 80 ml and sealed with 51 mm closures with PVC liner add up to 140 mg/Kg of the release of plastic substances over a year.
For this reason, to meet the needs of baby food producers who aim to strengthen their brand image, Pelliconi has created the innovative SoPure® capsule.
This closure does not contain plasticizers, ESBO and bisphenol A (BPA) and, so to answer the question in this title’s section, it is the ideal solution for the conservation of foods dedicated to early childhood.
In-depth laboratory research has confirmed that in 12 months, SoPure® has lower rates of migrations than PVC and shows the only initial migration of lubricants that is constant over time.
Eco-Friendly Solution: SoPure®
SoPure® is an innovative capsule for baby food that utilizes Provalin®, a material without PVC and plasticizers and able to guarantee the same reliability as polyvinyl chloride closures.
Provalin® is a mixture of thermoplastic elastomers, polyolefins and additives free of substances that are harmful to our health. Tests demonstrated that SoPure®, maintains a level of 5 mg/dm2 of overall migrations,therefore, it is well below the migration limit of 10 mg/dm2 Established by the European Regulation 10/2011
Furthermore, the force required to open SoPure® is low—the effort is less than 26 pounds per inch—even after months and after pasteurization, hot filling or sterilization processes.
Another fact that should not be underestimated is that it easily adapts to normal capping systems , without costs increases due to the adaptation of industrial plants for its production.
The current production of SoPure® capsules, which began in 2018, has a current manufacturing capacity of 40 thousand pieces per hour.