PT Blog

Sponsored Content 21. February 2019

Five New Developments in Plastics Drying

While the buzz at last year’s NPE was all about Industry 4.0 and IIoT, there is also a lot going on to enable the drying process itself—as well as the plastics processes it serves—to become more efficient and produce higher quality output. Here are five of the top drying product developments in both categories from Novatec.

Get a snapshot of this technology in this short video series. WATCH HERE.

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We were recently approached by CPAs Tim Finerty and Sarah Russell—shareholders at Clayton & McKervey, a Detroit-based international certified public accounting and business advisory firm—regarding the Research & Experimentation (R&E) tax credit, also known as the R&D tax credit.

The two authors noted that while the R&E tax credit has given businesses a powerful tool to strategically improve their bottom line, it is often overlooked or unclaimed. In reality, they note, there has never been a better opportunity for “smart” manufacturers in the Industry 4.0 era to explore and capitalize on these cash savings. Tax savings can be extensive. For companies who have adopted an Industry 4.0 approach, it’s worth it to take a second look at their qualified research activities to make sure they are receiving all the tax savings available to them. Here is further clarification.

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For the last several years, I have reported on the progress and advantages of flexible packaging innovations that certainly have been making a significant impact, particularly in the food sector and most often at the expense of rigid plastics packaging. Still, rigid packaging is here to stay and with a focus on innovation and customization, will continue to grow. This, according to a new study from global consultancy Frost & Sullivan (U.S. office in San Antonio, Texas). Global Rigid Plastic Packaging Market, Forecast to 2022, identifies market and technology trends; drivers and restraints; market share and competitive analysis.

Prateeksha Kaul, research analyst, Frost & Sullivan, notes that while plastics have delivered many benefits, the environmental impacts associated with their production and disposal have caused serious concerns. “The market is also affected by the presence of competitive packaging options, such as flexible plastic packaging. To mitigate these risks, players will need to develop innovative packaging that conforms to current recycling and re-usability regulations but also to increasingly stringent future environmental regulations.”

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A new initiative at NatureWorks will ensure that by 2020 fully 100 percent of the agricultural feedstock for Ingeo PLA-based biopolymers and Vercet performance chemicals will be certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification System (ISCC) to the ISCC Plus standard of best practices in agricultural production. (ISCC is a global sustainability certification system applied by more than 3300 companies in 100 countries.)

NatureWorks was the first biopolymers manufacturer to become certified to the new ISCC Plus standard in 2012, and currently it has more than 40 percent of its agricultural feedstock certified. At full capacity, more than 90 farms will be involved in the program by 2020.

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By: Heather Caliendo 15. February 2019

Recycling a Key Focus at The Packaging Conference

The packaging landscape continues to evolve. While plastic packaging is getting a bit beat up by mainstream news and various social media posts, the packaging industry is focused on sustainability. This was especially apparent during The Packaging Conference (Las Vegas; Feb. 4-6) where sustainability was mentioned throughout almost every presentation. Let’s take a closer look at some of the trends, innovation and initiatives discussed when it comes to embracing the whole sustainable package. 

Valeria Orozco, director of sustainability at Nestlé Waters, presented the keynote where she discussed how the brand is focused on helping to achieve a more circular economy for plastic. For instance, at the end of 2018, Nestlé announced it will achieve 25 percent recycled plastic across its U.S. domestic portfolio by 2021. The company plans to continue expanding its use of recycled materials in the coming years, setting an ambitious goal of reaching 50 percent recycled plastic by 2025. But the objectives come with challenges including a lack of food grade recycled PET. In addition, Orozco says there is a need for improved standards for recyclability as well as new technology including robotics/optical sorting and other high-end equipment. Nestlé has invested in production infrastructure to blend virgin plastic with rPET in almost 25% of its factories in North America (you can read more about here). She also mentioned the company’s focus on inspiring consumers to recycle.

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