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Exclusive interview

Active and intelligent packaging: the future

By Jane Byrne , 24-May-2011
Last updated on 24-May-2011 at 10:48 GMT

What role will active and intelligent components play in future food and drink packaging? We caught up with Chip Tonkin, director of the US based Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Interpack 2011 to find out.

He stressed that cost is still a major factor in brand owners choosing new packaging materials, and without economies of scale, a lot of active and intelligent packaging developments remain stuck in the pilot production phase.

And Tonkin explained how the Institute, based at Clemson University, is exploring how to make active films or intelligent technologies more affordable and how they can be integrated into current manufacturing techniques.

Cost savings will underpin carbon reduction and energy efficiency efforts around the manufacture of tomorrow’s food and drink packaging and not so much the “sustainability for sustainability sake” driver, added the packaging specialist.

Tonkin presented on a similar topic at the FAO backed Save Food conference at the German trade event.

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