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Packaging power: capped & jarred: packaging suppliers must find ways to comply with new TSA requirements as well as demands for green packaging and luxury offerings.

WITH THE GREEN movement showing no signs of slowing down, personal care packaging has to become more environmentally responsible. From high-end luxury packaging to mass-market jars and tubes the introduction of green packaging is serving as an upheaval in the industry. In wake of recent government mandates and consumer expectations, the packaging industry is being held accountable for complying in order to be marketable to the growing popularity of green lifestyles.

Metal packaging--perhaps most often used in fragrance packaging--is being incorporated in many luxury launches in the personal care sector. Metal and metallic looks have become synonymous with luxe packaging for prestige products from skin care to sun care.

Also impacting the packaging industry are recent regulations from the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) requiring that all carry-on liquids and gels must follow the 3-1-1 rule. which states, travelers can carry as many 3oz. or less containers that will fit inside one quart-sized, clear plastic bag one per passenger. The move has forced the packaging industry to offer marketers a solution that will get their products on those planes.

TSA Compliant Packaging

Tumi Inc., is adhering to this mandate. Tumi chose O.Berk Company to provide the plastic bottles for its newest product, the Carry-On Essentials Kit, for airline passengers. The TSA-compliant kit is offered as a gift to customers who purchase a new carry-on tote bag or wheeled packing case in any of Tumi's stores nationwide.

Steven Nussbaum, director of marketing at O.Berk noted that TSA compliant packaging has opened possibilities for new business. "Small is hot, especially for companies catering to the travel industry including airline passengers and hotels/spas for the amenity market."

The kit features four spill-proof plastic bottles in a clear zip-lock pouch, making it the perfect boarding item to hold cosmetics, medications, and other small items. Two of the 2oz. PET bottles provided by O.Berk are topped by continuous thread black caps; the other two by black disc-top dispensing closures. The four silk-screened bottles are packaged in a 1-quart sized, re-closable, re-usable clear plastic gusseted envelope made from heavy duty, clear vinyl envelope with a heat sealed PVC zipper.

The squeeze mist mini squeeze sprayer was introduced by Emsar to capitalize on the ongoing consumer desire for portability. The squeeze mist is a unique, all-in-one squeeze sprayer, ideal for on-the-go packaging. The 3ml, TSA compliant, bottle and pump combination produces a fine mist spray with an easy squeeze of the bottle.

Rexam Dispensing Systems launched a new essential travel kit. Rexam's 3-in-1 miniature solution allows consumers to bring their favorite personal products on board. It was designed to help air travelers carry security-compliant amounts of their favorite personal care product-families along.

The Essential Travel Kit, featured at last month's Luxe Pack New York, was created with Le Papillon Ltd. Each blister pack contains three components: Rexam's Sofistics 1.2ml and 5ml with SP24 lotion pumps, and Sofiluz 2ml with invisible SP5K pump. Le Papillon handles filling and packaging operations, using automatic, high-speed operations.

"In today's air travel environment, where heightened security is the norm, the role of our expertise in sampler packaging has grown exponentially," said Eric Desmaris, global sales director, promotional samplers, for Rexam Dispensing Systems.

According to Norbert de Jong, marketing director at Rexam Dispensing, the airport security issue offers opportunity. "Our sample line enables us to benefit from the regulations and people can bring blister packs as an alternative to bottles," he said.

Luxury Packaging

Suppliers of personal care packaging have realized that in terms of luxury, metal is packaging gold. Prestige and mass brands are utilizing metal packaging and components that denote luxury. These often custom-made packages, closures and fixtures are cast to boast exclusivity.

According to Boris Schaefer, director of customer relations for Seidel in Montclair, NJ, metal enhances beauty and personal care packaging. "Metal, particularly aluminum, is used for both prestige and mass products. It enhances optical and haptical characteristics to give off a more upscale appearance," he said.

World Wide Packaging's dual chamber tube within a tube features a unique visually appealing construction comprised of a 22mm inner chamber and 30mm outer chamber. The oblong shaped head contains two holes for dispensing product from each chamber simultaneously. The tube is fitted with an oval shaped cap.

"Today's skin care and cosmetic products have become increasingly sophisticated and complex. Innovative formulations require equally innovative packaging," said Jeffrey Hayet, executive vice president, sales, World Wide Packaging.

World Wide Packaging also recently introduced the new 13mm slant tip lipgloss tube. "A tube with a slanted tip applicator projects an image of luxury, elegance and sophistication, said Mr. Hayet. He noted that it is a cost effective option for upscale lip products.

The tube features a rounded cap that seamlessly blends with the rest of the tube. The tube sleeve can be produced in mono-layer, dual layer and five layer EVOH co-polymers.

Several categories have embraced metal. The sun care segment continues to make the switch from plastic to metal containers. Skin care and men's body sprays have also emerged as vehicles for aluminum containers.

Ed Martin, vice president of sales and marketing for CCL Container, Hermitage, PA noted that aluminum aerosol containers are being used with sun care and that they will start being used in men's body spray packaging as well as skin cleansing and treatment products.

MagicTan, Clearwater, FL, recently introduced a do-it-yourself sunless tan. The seamless-extruded aluminum CCL container features a distinctive copper finish. A matching aluminum overcap helps form the package's smooth cylindrical shape. The aerosol technology helps ensure an even, natural-looking faux tan, similar to the results achieved at tanning booths.

Christopher Phillip's Gentleman's Youth Maintenance grooming line utilizes CCL Container's full-body shaping aluminum aerosol containers to give it an upscale appearance. The bottles which are reminiscent of a barbell, add a masculine touch.

Also found in the men's grooming aisle, Unilever's Axe is re-launching it's men's body sprays in new packaging as well. The packaging will feature an aluminum can and plastic closure but will be different from the earlier versions, an effort to sophisticate the brand.

Despite the price points associated with metal packaging, it has emerged as a luxury trend. "More metal components are being used in the mass market," said Peter Philip, vice president of sales and marketing for Eyelematic Manufacturing, Watertown, CT. "Marketers are realizing that the benefits of a prestige look and feel outweigh the cost," he added.

HCT has found a way to bridge luxury packaging with sustainable solutions. The increasingly segmented marketplace has enabled HCT to examine the demand for cardboard packaging, due to its versatility, cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness.

When working with cardboard, HCT has found that the possibilities are endless. There has been an increase in coating cardboard with luxury faux leathers, embellished foils, crystals as well as metal details. This enables marketers to deliver a high-end product with an equally sophisticated package.

Sustainable Packaging

According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Charlottesville, VA, in order to deem packaging sustainable it must be healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle and meet market criteria for performance and cost. It should also be sourced, manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable energy.

HCT's Bourjois Dressing du Regard due and trio are round cardboard compacts that can be recycled once the metal pans are removed. Adding to the Mini Bourjois range are two custom designed round cardboard compacts comprised of two or three empty pans in which an eye shadow color is inserted and a further empty pan can house a soft sponge applicator. The compacts have a rigid cardboard structure complete with a shiny OPP finish printed on the cardboard.

Sustainable packaging is still in its early phases, which makes it hard to pin down to one type. Nature meets nurture with Pangea Organics version of sustainable packaging. Pangea Organics Ecocentric Bodycare launched a plantable molded fiber box.

In collaboration with UFP Technologies, Pangea created a 100% compostable, biodegradable and plantable package. Its biodegradable and reusable properties make it a viable option in sustaining the environment. It was manufactured with zero waste and created from 100% post-consumer newsprint-without glues and dies. Consumers can grow medicinal herbs by soaking the box for one minute and planting it about 1" deep in soil.

All of Pangea's bar soaps, as well as its entire skin care line will be packaged in new seeded boxes. Bar soaps will contain Amaranth seeds while facial care packages will contain edible Genovese Sweet Basil seeds.

Yet, sustainable packaging has been met with some opposition. The emphasis on the green effect for dispensers and packaging is not an easy task for packaging suppliers. It could prove useful if packages are offered at a similar price as regular packaging, however, if it is more expensive, it is likely that regularly priced items will continue to be used right down to the consumer.

For instance, if a package is deemed biodegradable or recyclable, there is a very high standard. "It's a challenge for us," admitted Mr. de Jong. "All of our dispensers are refillable, but shelf space is limited. Consumer behavior has shown us that refillable packaging in the personal care sector are not accepted," he said. Though household product refills have been widely accepted, the trend has yet to spill over into the personal product industry.

Dow materials are contributing to sustainable packaging with its plastics offerings for packaging. One key area is reducing the total amount of packaging used for a product.

"Dow has recently made a number of technical developments with polypropylene resins, the main plastic resin used in rigid packaging for items such as household cleaners, detergents, and personal care products," according to Terry Glass, application technology leader for rigid packaging, Dow Chemical Company.

Dow recently launched Inspire 117 and Inspire 404 performance polymers. They provide higher levels of stiffness and toughness than typical polypropylene resins, which enables less plastic resin material use.

The additional stiffness and toughness make for a thinner wall while providing the durability consumers expect. "At the same time, the resin retains its design flexibility which means that it can be easily thermoformed into containers with handles, screw caps and hinges," said Mr. Glass.

The process of reducing the thickness of container walls--downgauging--contributes to sustainability in a number of ways, according to Mr. Glass. It reduces the amount of plastic material needed for specific packaging. In addition, downgauging reduces the amount of energy consumed to transport products. This process also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Initiatives are being discussed to make packaging easy to disassemble, separate and recycle. "Typically you can only recycle the metal part of a cosmetic package, the plastic part is burned during that process. Ideally you'd like to separate those two distinct materials," explained Mark Ormiston, director of research and development, Anomatic, Newark, OH.

The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) has commissioned a Sustainable Packaging Task Group to focus on work done by organizations such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. The Sustainable Packaging Task Group is dedicated to supporting full-time packaging consultants, created three sub-groups: Definitions, Metrics and Education to report on implemented actions. The next meeting immediately follows the Packaging Summit Conference, Be Sustainable, which details sustainable packaging today.

"We see the Sustainable Task Group emerging as a forum to involve the widest range of professional possible in a hands-on program," said Jim Peters, IoPP director of education, Sustainable Packaging Task Group.

"Sustainable packaging requires a multi-discipline approach, and our objective is to get as many of the functions involved sitting around the same table," added Mr. Peters.

"More new applications that seemed impossible are now possible. The economy is getting better, premier packaging is in demand and more sophisticated formulations require custom packaging," according to Mr. de Jong. "Since packaging is becoming a more integral part of the positioning of products, there is a great need for tying some of the senses together in order to strengthen product packaging."

Sustainable packaging must successfully move from the planning stages into implementation. Widespread confusion about how to go green can be squelched with education and more initiatives to bring about the eco-friendly resources and options that challenge the packaging industry.

Luxury packaging continues to be offered in a variety of mediums and the metal look can be achieved in ways that are cost-effective and customizable.

Travel-friendly packaging seems to be an area of growth for the industry. It will continue to spur innovation since travelers need their products and companies want to continue to make their products available.
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Author:Burke, LaToyah
Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Article Type:Directory
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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