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European Packaging Institute (EPI)
Reports, News, Notifications - English Edition 2/2008

General meeting 2008 of the European Packaging Institute e. V.

The work results of the European Packaging Institute e. V. (registered society) from 2005 to 2008 and the goals and tasks of the institute in the next three years were the main issues of the general meeting 2008, which took place on 29th April 2008 in Düsseldorf on the occasion of the interpack PROCESSES AND PACKAGING, the 18th International Trade Fair for Packaging machinery, Packaging means and Confectionery machinery. Renowned specialists from 6 countries participated in the meeting.
In the report of the board, which was presented by secretary Prof. Dr. Dr. Grundke, the most important results achieved from 2005 to 2008 in terms of the development of exchange among experts and the integration of important institutes and organisations into the work of the institute were described. In doing so, a reference was made in particular to the announcements published under the title “Reports, News, Notifications”. By the end of 2007, there were already more than 15 editions including over 190 reports and announcements. For interested members, up to 300 publications were obtained by the board annually. Since the last general meeting, the Association of Russian Manufacturers and Suppliers of Packaging and Processing Machines, Packmash, in Moscow, the Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre in Warsaw, the Ukrainian Club of Packagers in Kiev and the Russian National Packaging Federation have joined the institute. With the absorption of the Institute for Ecological Systems in Riga, also the Latvian Packaging Certification Centre became a member of the European Packaging Institute e. V. During the reporting period, several documents were prepared for the future work of the European Packaging Institute e. V. These include a basis for discussion on the benefit for promoters and a concept for the further development of the homepage of the European Packaging Institute e. V. The recognition of the institute of benefit to the public status by the tax authority I in Leipzig is also to be emphasised.
The graduate engineer Thomas Reiner, chairman of the board of the German Packaging Institute e. V. was appointed as the new chairman of the board of the European Packaging Institute e. V. The graduate engineers Igor Smirennyi (Moscow) and Anatolij Kosak (Kiev) were reappointed as deputies of the chairman of the board; Prof. Dr. Dr. Günter Grundke was reappointed as secretary.

Packaging and logistics development

With the substantial cooperation of the Armenian packaging association, ARMENPAK, the international conference “Transport-Logistics-2008” took place on 16th and 17th May 2008 in Yerevan. The subject of the conference was the development of transportation logistics, in special view of the preparation of the freight as well as the storage and the packaging and the ecological problems associated with them. Besides ARMENPAK, the Russian Logistics Coordination Council, the Russian magazine “Logistics”, the State University of Engineering of Armenia and the French University in Armenia participated in the conference. Among the more than 50 participants, there were specialists from Armenia, Russia, Germany and France. The conference conveyed a great number of suggestions for the future development of logistics in Armenia. The most important results of the conference are intended to be made accessible to the experts in an anthology. Further information can be obtained from the association ARMENPAK, 11 St. Yeghbayrutyan, ap. 27, 0039 Yerevan. RA, Armenia.

Packaging and consumers protection

During the last few years, the significance of the utilisation of packaging for the protection of consumers has been subject of studies by the packaging department of the Cracow University of Economics. The results are compiled in a book that has been published by the university under the title “Packaging and Consumers Protection”. Their significance is underlined by the fact that consumers are exposed to aggressive sales practices and advertisements to an ever greater extent, which makes objective decisions difficult. Its authors are Mrs Prof. Dr. habil. Malgorzata Lisińska-Kuśnierz, head of the Cracow Chair of Goods Packaging as well as Mrs Dr. Ing. habil. Marzena Ucherek from the same chair.
An additional result of the Cracow packaging department’s work is a book titled “Research of Transport Packages” by Mrs Agnieszka Cholewa-Wojcik. The work provides an overview of the state of knowledge, starting with the terminology and the requirements on transport packaging. The books have been printed in Polish and contain a summary in English.

Graduate engineer A. W. Kosak received diploma as academic of heraldry

The deputy chairman of the board of the European Packaging Institute e. V., graduate engineer Anatolij Wassilowitsch Kosak, has been awarded with a diploma by the Ukrainian Chamber of Economy and Commerce as “academic of heraldry”. The reason for the award was his works on beer and match labels. He has already more than 1000 labels.

Internet lexicon on packaging

On a practical initiative, an internet lexicon on topics related to packaging is currently being created. The suggestion for the project, which is modelled on the example of Wikipedia, has been made by the company Nabenhauer Verpackungen. This lexicon is designed for the purpose of creating an up-to-date source of information which, in addition to the scientific improvements, also takes relevant experience with the handling of packaging into account. The packaging experts are requested to write and post additional articles. Interested persons shall refer to the site www.verpackungslexikon.de

10% consume 70% of all packaging

The inhabitants of Western Europe, North America and Japan consume 70% of all packaging currently produced in the world. Thus, 10% of the inhabitants of the world use 70% of the produced packaging. This has been shown by latest statistical investigations, according to which the packaging market currently has a growth rate of 2 to 4% annually in the fast developing countries of Asia and South America. In the last few years, Asia can notch up the largest increase in the production of packaging materials. At present, already as much as 30% of all packaging is produced in Asia - this is more than in Western Europe or North America.

Unit load retension as a European standardization matter

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has presented the draft of the European standard EN 12195-1:2008 to the circle of experts. The standard is the basis for a number of standards concerning cargo securing. The standard is titled EN 12195-1:2008 Load restraint assemblies on road vehicles – Safety – Part 1: Calculation of securing forces. It is aimed at vehicles with an overall weight of less than 3.5 tons. The standard refers to various securing methods and takes the acceleration values for overland and sea transport into account.

Uniform assessment of services in the focus of standardization

Under the designation CHESSS, a European project within the framework of the CEN mandate M/371 “Standardization in the field of services” is currently being processed. In doing so, CHESSS stands for “CEN Horizontal European Service Standardization Strategy”. The project is to clarify to what extent cross-sector standardization of services is reasonable and feasible. The activities carried out under the leading of the British Standards Institution, BSI in cooperation with DIN (German Institute for Standardization) as well as the standardisation organisations of Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands and Spain focus on 7 modules: Guidance for the preparation of service standards (Module 1), Glossary of terms and definitions relevant to service standardization (Module 2), Safety in the delivery of services (Module 3), Good practice in the assessment of customer satisfaction (Module 4), Recommendations for complaints and redress systems (Module 5), Billing and innovative metering practice (Module 6) and Specification, sourcing, delivery and quality of B2B services (Module 7). For more details, please refer to www.chesss.eu

New bar code for packages

A new bar code called GS1 Data Bar is currently being tested in German business enterprises. The new code is 60% smaller than the currently used EAN code. It thus allows for the labelling of small parts, such as e.g. single apples and pears, and, in addition to the European Article Number (EAN), the indication of the net weight, the price and the batch or serial number. This way, the traceability can be facilitated by means of the GS1 Data Bar. Additional advantages are achieved by the improved graphical design of the packages and the improvement of various commercial processes, such as e.g. the check-out. First results are expected as early as in 2008. The introduction of the new code can be expected from January 2010.

New database for ecological assessments and eco-balancing

The EMPA Material Science & Technology has built up its database “ecoinvent” on the basis of many years of experience in eco-balancing. The database, which is unique especially with respect to its volume and transparency, has been available since the end of 2007 and ensures substantially improved prerequisites for ecological assessments and eco-balancing. The announcements of the ETH department for material science and technology indicate that the users of “ecoinvent” have 4,000 data sets from the fields of energy, transport and waste disposal as well as important economic sectors at their disposal. The new database is suitable not only for eco-balances and ecological assessments but also for life-cycle analyses, environmentally compatible product development and design as well as for CO2 compensation. Lately, 1000 users from 40 countries have made use of the previous database of the EMPA. Further information on the new database can be obtained at www.ecoinvent.ch.

10 research projects to prevent product piracy

In the next three years, the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education intends to fund 10 research projects for preventing and fighting product piracy.
For this purpose, the ministry has provided 15 million Euros. Industrial partners would like to participate in the projects with an additional amount of 15 million Euros. In addition to the relevant institutes, interested manufacturers of products at risk as well as printing plants and printing machine manufacturers will be collaborating on the projects. The inspections will be conducted in view of the existing risks during the life cycle of products.

UN Environmental Authority on plastic pouches and carrier bags

The significance of a closed material cycle in the use of plastic packaging materials is demonstrated in latest announcements of the UN Environmental Authority. Accordingly, pouches and bags made of polyethylene and polypropylene require much more time to be completely dissolved than previously assumed. The authority estimates a required time of 400 to 1000 years and sees a danger for seabirds and fish above all in the waste, particularly because at present already as many as 146,000 plastic parts per one square kilometre are located at the bottom of the oceans. Currently, a worldwide annual production of 500 billion pouches and carrier bags is assumed.

Systematic development of the sustainability assessment of products and packages

The authors of the science review “Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau” the organ of the Society of German Natural Scientists and Physicians, speak up for a systematic development of the sustainability assessment. In an issue, in which the 125th meeting of the society was announced, the eco-balancing is described as “a component of sustainability assessment”. According to the environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro, besides the effects of the products and processes, which are the basis of eco-balances, the economic and social effects are also to be considered as the pillars of sustainability.
The examinations by BASF already constitute a first step towards the integration of economic aspects into the sustainability assessment, especially the eco-efficiency analysis and the socio-eco-efficiency analysis also known as SEEbalance.
The eco-efficiency analysis takes advantage of essential elements of eco-balancing, such as the functional unit underlying to the balancing, which is a measure for the benefit of a pro-duct. In case of packaging for beverages, 1000 litres of the beverage are the functional unit. Besides the environmental impacts, all incurring expenses of an overall life-cycle are taken into account for the eco-efficiency analysis. The objectives of sustainability are to be converted into social development goals, also over a complete life-cycle. In this respect, criteria are, among others, the human health, the living conditions, nutrition, education, research, working and living conditions as well as fair trade with developing countries. The experience during working on the socio-eco-efficiency analysis or SEEbalance shows that there still are aspects for which there are no practicable assessment criteria in place.

VDI guidelines for source tagging

The Association of German Engineers (VDI) has issued four guidelines on electronic article surveillance; they are supposed to contribute to the reduction of inventory shortage. The guidelines take electromagnetic, acustomagnetic and radio frequency methods into account. The guidelines are titled “Sector implementation of source tagging” and have the VDI-number 4475. The VDI guideline VDI 4475, Sheet 1 contains the fundamentals of the application, including the individual stages of source tagging such as protection against manipulation, hiding of product information, positioning of securing elements and securing of metal-containing products and packages.

Plastic packaging

The volume edited by Dr. Otto G. Piringer from the Fabes ForschungsGmbH in Munich and Dr. Albert L Baner from the Nestle Purina Petcare PTC in St. Louis under the title “Interactions with Food and Pharmaceuticals”, published by the WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA in Weinheim, gives an idea of the possibilities of anticipating the interactions between plastics and contact media. 19 authors collaborated on the work, among them 7 from Germany, 5 from the USA as well as two from Romania and the Czech Republic each.