Posts Tagged ‘glass packaging’

A Friend of Glass – The Organic Blending Company

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Here at Friends of Glass we love making new friends. This happens a lot when we are out and about attending shows, meeting so many passionate glass lovers and supporters! Last year, at BBC Good Food Scotland we popped over to The Organic Blending Company’s stand and were impressed to see so many lovely herbs and spices beautifully preserved in glass jars.


We learnt that when it comes to storing spices, your biggest enemies are air, light, heat and humidity. That’s why glass is a perfect air tight material to protect, preserve and keep spices fresh. Gordon Wicklow, Managing Director of The Organic Blending company, says: “We want to deliver a high visual impact, while offering the best possible packaging to keep all the flavour in our products.  This combined with the feel of glass means that glass is really the only choice for our products.”


Not only do their spices look great in glass, they are also free from GM ingredients, nut sources and are 100 per cent organic! The varied organic range includes grinding herbs and spices, sprinkles, marinades, gravies and stuffing. The Organic Blending Company is a true heaven for those who are always on the lookout to add that extra twist to their favourite meal or invent something new in the kitchen.







Why Coke Tastes Better from a Glass Bottle

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Have you ever noticed that Coca Cola tastes extra special from a glass bottle? More importantly, have you ever wondered why? If so keep on reading :)


Unforgettable Taste


Many people say that to enjoy Coke at its best, you need to drink it from a glass bottle.. Glass doesn’t interact with what it holds, which is why it’s simply the best protector of flavour and freshness.


Doing your bit for the Environment


Coca Cola from a glass bottle not only lets you experience its full unadulterated taste, but also makes you feel good about your impact on the planet.  Glass is 100 per cent and endlessly recyclable, a combination which is hard to beat.


Clear Quality


Have you ever noticed that restaurants tend to serve their soft drinks in glass bottles? It’s because glass says quality, all by itself. It’s the only packaging material that people get really passionate about, and that’s why the majority of iconic brands still use glass to package their products in.


Coca-Cola glass bottles are still the favourites

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We were excited to hear that Coca-Cola returned to glass packaging after sales of soft drinks in glass bottles grew by 2.6%*. The company was one of the first soft drink makers to use glass packaging when they introduced Coke back in the late 1800s. The distinctive contour bottle design was inspired by the curves and grooves of a cocoa bean and even today, it’s one of the most recognised icons in the world – even in the dark.


With consumers all around the globe becoming more aware of the benefits of glass when it comes to health, taste, quality and the environment, it’s no wonder Coca Cola has a passion for glass.


In fact, we wonder if this move is directly linked to the company’s plans to cut the carbon emissions linked to each of its products by 25%. Did you know that glass can actually lower your carbon footprint compared to other packaging* materials?  Industry research shows that only 4-5% of any form of packaging’s carbon footprint comes from transportation and the full product cycle has to be assessed in order to determine its sustainability credentials.  With glass being 100 per cent endlessly recyclable, it’s hard to find a better choice for nature!


If you prefer drinking your Coke or soft drinks from a glass bottle, we’d love to know why? Is it because you like to recycle or is it just because it tastes better in glass? Tweet us @glassfriendsUK or get in touch on Facebook.


* According to market analysis firm Nielsen, sales of soft drinks in glass bottles grew by 2.6% for the year to the end of April 2013

**O-I’s Life Cycle Assessment

How innovation in glass manufacturing is turning green even greener

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When you pick up a glass bottle, you are holding 5,000 years of history in your hand. Glass was used as a reliable packaging option by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and right through Renaissance Europe to the present day.


The reason glass has survived so many millennia, and big businesses still use it today, is that it has several unique benefits:


1. It is 100% natural – made from the age-old combination of sand, soda ash and limestone.
2. It is an inert material that does not react with the food and drink it carries, and is able to preserve taste and vitamins without any chemicals.
3. Finally, when a glass bottle reaches the end of its life, it is 100% recyclable – it is melted down into what is known as cullet and used to produce more glass products.


But just like all other industries that consume natural materials, glass manufacturers want to make their products as environmentally sound as possible – even when they start at such an advanced point as glass.


The process of making glass bottles lighter – thus reducing the energy required to produce and transport them – has been a very important innovation in recent years. Current glass packaging is around 50% lighter than it used to be. Boundaries are still being pushed to create more sustainable glass bottles in this way – the lightest weight glass bottle available in the mineral water industry has just been released by Rawlings and Belu mineral water (trademarked Ethical Glass).


As a direct result of this improved product, Belu will save 850,000 kg of glass per year (equivalent to 2.1m wine bottles) and reduce its carbon emissions by a further 11%.


An alternative approach to make the glass (literally) greener, is to utilise the abundance of green glass we have. As net importers of wine, the UK in particular has a lot of green glass available. According to a study conducted by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), switching from clear glass to green cuts packaging-related CO2 emissions by 20%. This is due to the higher recycled content in green glass bottles, which is as much as 72.4%, against an industry standard of 28.9%.


Unfortunately within the recycling industry, as colours of glass must be separated, a lot of recycled glass ends up in asphalt production, rather than as new glass products. For example, many restaurants have no formal scheme to collect and recycle their glass, resulting in unnecessary amounts being thrown away. Putting a scheme in place to rectify this will however hinge on a co-ordinated approach between local government authorities to bring efficiencies to the system – often a real sticking point.


Investment in the infrastructure to collect, sort and distribute cullet to the manufacturers is the most obvious effort required to scale up the sustainability of the glass industry. Did you know that Cullet has a much lower melting temperature than its original constituents and therefore requires around 40% less energy to create the molten glass that forms the containers?


The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the British soft drinks industry are currently developing a roadmap to help the sector reduce its environmental impact. This is exactly the kind of collaboration between government and business that the glass industry should welcome, to ensure that the future of glass is green.


Tom Wood is the managing director of glass packaging specialist Rawlings. David Balhuizen is the head of operations at ethical mineral water company Belu.


Read the full article on  Guardian Professional.

Luxury Foods and Beverages Take Glass Packaging in New Directions

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Glass may be one of the original food and beverage packaging materials, but the latest crop of glass jars and bottles is anything but old school. Driving the creative excitement is a new focus on unusual shapes, particularly for gourmet and luxury products.


One great example is the new Callegari Olive Oil bottle, which is in the shape and colour of a drop of olive oil. The company chose glass to convey elegance and to provide functionality.


“Olive oil is not often brought to the table in its original package. Gourmet audiences usually use fancy oil dispensers. Callegari is a premium olive oil, and we wanted to honour its quality by turning its packaging into a statement” says Patricia Ebner, brand design director at Pereira & O’Dell.



Gourmet honey brands also continue to choose glass packaging, to convey quality and purity as well as for product protection. Imperial Yucatán Honey, uses a distinctive rectangle shaped jar for its 100 per cent pure, raw honey. The unique design of the jar complements the artisanal quality of the product and lets the rich colour of the honey speak for itself.


“The inspiration was to create a vessel for this incredible honey that was more perfume- or cosmetic-like,” says Mixed Business Group creative director Marc Balet. “I was looking to make it more of a fashion statement than just another plastic squeeze bottle. That did not fit the product’s intent.”



Luxury and quality also are the themes for AnestasiA Vodka, as the brand’s attention-grabbing design illustrates. The bottle is sculptural and angular, more closely resembling a décor item than a liquor container.


“The vodka is premium. It is five-times filtered. It’s a superior-quality product and a luxuriously smooth product as well. We wanted the packaging to represent luxury and innovation but without necessarily being gimmicky or having diamonds all over it” says Yuliya Mamontova-Calian, CEO and co-founder of NUMbrands Inc.



There is probably no surprise that wine brands continue to choose glass for their new products. The Vini Exceptional Wine by the Glass, uses a custom-designed glass tube as the bottle for its high-end, single-serving wines.


“It’s made with a very lightweight, seamless glass,” says Sunny Fraser, CEO and founder of The Vini, noting the package’s “elegant appeal”. Though tall and narrow, the tubes can stand on their own.



H.J. Heinz Co.chose a glass jar for a new line of gourmet ketchups that it introduced recently in Europe. The 300g jar, which echoes the styling of Heinz’s iconic glass bottle, features embossed details and is decorated with a full-body shrink sleeve. The packaging’s good looks make it suitable for table use, and its large mouth makes spooning out the product easy.


Good news for glass as supermarkets and brands agree to cut food and drink waste

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It’s great to see that the grocery sector continues to show its commitment to reducing food and drink waste as 45 signatories joined the third phase of an industry commissioned voluntary agreement to reduce packaging and food waste, known as the Courtauld Commitment, earlier this month.


Signatories to the agreement, including; all major grocery retailers, many household brands, and manufacturers, could reduce waste by 1.1 million tonnes by 2015, bringing £1.6 billion of cost benefits to consumers and the industry**.


The agreement aims to reduce household food and drink waste by 5%, which is great if you are a friend of glass, as glass is inert and virtually impermeable to oxygen, and thereby keeping food and drink fresher for longer.


There is also a target to reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3%.


The third major aim of this ambitious plan is to improve packaging design throughout the supply chain to maximise recycled content, by improving recyclability and delivering product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging.


We believe that glass can really help to achieve these targets. Glass is made from three simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash and is 100 per cent and endlessly recyclable.  This results in less energy and natural resources being used, which is good for all of us.



** All of the forecast impacts (tonnage, environmental and financial) are based on retaining the same coverage in waste terms as for Courtauld 2.

Why Lucy Loves Glass – and We Love Lucy!

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We were fascinated to read Lucy Siegle’s column in the Observer magazine, where she responded to a reader’s enquiry : “Are plastic jars worse for the environment?”.


In her article, Lucy asks, “Why don’t companies package their products the way they used to?”  She says “Many brands claim they’re being greener by shifting into some new fancy-pants type of plastic (as opposed to saving money). Glass is inert and straightforward (it is essentially sand, soda ash and limestone) and keeps products fresh without plastic films and barriers. It is also highly recyclable – scrap glass, cullet, is a key production ingredient for new glass.”


After weighing up the environmental pros and cons of both materials, she concludes “I urge you to remain a glass purist. While it’s hard to stem the rising tide of plastic packaging, plastic waste – from bottles to the tiny beads called mermaid’s tears – is wreaking havoc on oceans especially. Nothing against PET, the most widely used and recycled plastic… but glass wins for me.”


Glass recycling and reuse contribute significantly to reducing glass packaging’s carbon footprint. It’s resource efficient packaging so it can be reused in its original form over and over again without any loss in quality.


Several initiatives currently under way in the glass industry will further increase the efficiency of glass packaging. This includes efforts to improve the recycling rates of glass jars and bottles, leading to a decrease in energy use and global warming potential. Also, the continuing process to light weight glass containers, which helps reduce raw material usage, emissions, energy used and overall weight.


Friends of Glass would like to know which grocery products you miss being packaged in glass and why? Tweet us @glassfriendsuk or get in touch on Facebook.






Consumers agree that Glass is good for you and the Environment

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Friends of Glass were delighted to see that consumers know that when they buy products in glass, they can be sure about the natural choice they are making for their families and the environment.


According to the recent Waste and Resource Action Programme’s report “Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging” glass jars and bottles are seen as ones of the least concerning packaging materials.


No wonder, glass is a pure and natural product with an added bonus: there is no migration between glass and its contents. Ingredients such as flavourings and vitamins are therefore preserved for a long time without any change in flavour.


The survey also showed that glass jars and bottles are seen as one of the easiest materials to recycle, The glass you put in the bottle-bank is recycled to make new glass, a process that can be completed time and time again, with no loss in quality.  Also, the more glass is recycled, the less energy and raw materials are consumed.


Did you know, recycling a single bottle could power a PC for 25 minutes, a colour television for 20 minutes or a washing machine for 10 minutes!


*Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging Report 2013


Dragon Tamers’ Choose Glass

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Dragon-taming twin sisters Lisa and Helen Tse have chosen Beatson Clark to produce glass containers for a range of sauces developed at their award-winning Chinese restaurant.


Lisa and Helen secured a £50,000 investment when they appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den TV programme with their range of Sweet Mandarin Chinese dipping sauces. The sauces are based on secret recipes, handed down through the generations and named after the Manchester restaurant opened in 1950 by their grandmother, Lily.


Glass best preserves the taste and quality of food and drink. It acts as a single-layered natural shell to preserve untainted both the flavour and freshness of products, whilst also adding that little bit of extra elegance too.


Lynn Sidebottom, sales and marketing director at Beatson Clark, which specialises in low volumes for high-end niche food and drink manufacturers, said: “Glass is perceived as a high-quality packaging material but it needn’t cost the earth.”



The article first appeared on the Star’s website.

Why ‘rightweight’ not ‘lightweight’ is the way forward in packaging

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The recent article “RPC provides barrier jars to well-known Spanish olive firm” published on Packaging News has raised an interesting question: can plastic bottles really be more environmentally friendly than glass? Spanish olives in plastic bottles may weigh less, making some savings in transport costs and carbon emissions on the road, but what about recyclability?


Glass is one of the most natural materials available made from three simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash. Those ingredients make glass endlessly, 100% recyclable. Glass also helps keep food fresher for longer and is the only packaging material that doesn’t need extra layers to protect your olives from tasting like anything but olives.


“The new jar has been specifically developed to meet the needs of the olive industry, according to RPC” says the article. However we support the view of Linpac Packaging’s business manager Erwan Cadoret, who earlier this month argued that ‘rightweighting’ and not ‘lightweighting’ packaging is the way forward:


“It is essential that we respond to our customers and adapt the way we operate to meet those demands, yet it is fundamental that we do not compromise on efficiency and quality in doing so as the consequences of that are more far reaching.”


He also says  that lightweighting was happening across the industry, and that the phrase ‘rightweighting’ – doing more with less material – should actually be the goal and replace lightweighting as a phrase.


Glass can actually lower your carbon footprint compared to other packaging*. For example, only 4-5% of any form of packaging’s carbon footprint comes from transportation, and glass typically offsets that by being 100% recyclable without any loss of quality or purity.


Comparing materials is not the answer, as all materials are different. However, it’s important to look at the total lifecycle of packaging which includes not only shipping and transport, but also raw material extraction, manufacturing, and recycling or disposal. Ultimately, because glass recycles endlessly, making new bottles often requires fewer raw materials and less energy.


*O-I’s Life Cycle Assessment