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Hackathon "Reinventing our packaging", held on November 24, 2023 at ESEPAC

On November 24, 2023, Polymeris organized a hackathon at the École Supérieure Européenne de Packaging (ESEPAC) to raise awareness among students of the issues and challenges facing manufacturers in the packaging sector, and to provide opportunities for collaboration and networking between students, manufacturers, competitiveness clusters and technical centers.

This competition, led by Polymeris and organized in partnership with ESEPAC, L'Université de Clermont-Auvergne, CT-IPC, Alimentec, CTP, CTCPA, Cluster Bio, Végépolys Valley and MLMD Events, was financed within the framework of DINAII by the DRAAF, DREETS and AUVERGNE-RHÔNE-ALPES ENTREPRISES, the Region's economic agency.
The Hackathon was born out of the Groupe de Travail Emballages Agro-Alimentaire, created in 2021 on the initiative of the State and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, and organized as part of Packaging Week. This major packaging competition brought together students from ESEPAC l'école du Packaging and the Université Clermont Auvergne to tackle 3 industrial packaging issues, including :

  • Create a bottle-type packaging system incorporating a label that meets the requirements of the deposit system and end-of-life regulations;
  • Design a flexible packaging system for fatty products in the agri-food industry, meeting both reuse and recycling standards;
  • Find an alternative to blotting paper for meat industry trays. How can we capture the exudates released by meat?

Twenty-nine candidates, divided into 6 teams (2 per issue), worked for 2 months to come up with innovative and realistic solutions. The students were supported not only by pitch preparation sessions, but also by exchanges with technical experts to present realistic solutions to the jury at the final presentation.

The final rendition thus gave rise to some very fine solutions by theme, and the jury designated the following for each theme:

  • Winner of the People's Favourite Award (online voting): Groupe Meat Two: Replace blotting paper on meat trays.
  • Winner in the vegetable sector: L'étiquette qui déchire Group: Bottle/label packaging system for deposits.
  • Winner in the flexible film sector: Groupe Infiniflex: Designing flexible packaging that can be recycled and reused.
  • Winner in the meat sector: Groupe Meat Two: Replace blotting paper on meat trays.

Presentation of the winning projects at the "Reinventing Packaging" Hackathon:

Plant chain theme, create a bottle-type packaging system incorporating a label meeting the constraints of the deposit system and end-of-life regulations.

Bottle/label packaging system solution for deposits:
The Solva label is a solvent-free, water-based label integrated with a water-soluble, casein-based film bonded with acrylic glue. The solution combines a water-soluble label with a glass bottle reuse system. The benefits will be less waste, so no residues to dispose of, biodegradability and water-solubility, no caustic soda in washing baths, and reuse of water a greater number of times in washing stations. All that's needed is to hollow out the bottle to hold the label in place, add a notch to facilitate cutting and then cut the notch with a knife, replacing the scraper in washing systems.

The flexible film sector, designing flexible packaging for fatty products in the agri-food sector that is suitable for reuse and complies with recycling standards.

InfiniFlex, the next-generation flexible packaging solution
InfiniFlex is a packaging that withstands more than 50 wash cycles, with a range of use from -20° to 90° C. The packaging will be designed with a transparent HDPE (high-density polyethylene) film, rounded at the edges to a thickness of 120 to 140 microns, and incorporating a zip for ease of use, 2 holes to facilitate passage on washing lines, and capable of supporting 5 to 15 kg of packaged products. The solution offers flexible packaging combining recyclability and reusability (it will be used 50 times), dematerialized traceability with a QR Code placed on the sachet containing both regulatory information and wash cycles, and finally eco-design: InfiniFlex packaging will emit around -42.5% less CO2 than a conventional sachet over a cycle of use. This will be a BtoB solution.

Audience favorite and meat industry theme: finding an alternative to blotting paper in meat industry trays. How to capture the exudates released by meat?

Meat Two solution, replacing blotting paper on meat trays
The Meat Two tray is an innovative solution for meat trays. Assembled from totally recyclable white PP (polypropylene), the tray's purpose is to maintain meat quality by separating it from its exudates via the funnel and the tray's domed base, which retains these exudates in a substrate cavity. The tray offers advantages such as humidity control (to avoid drying out and excess moisture), prevention of cross-contamination, freshness maintenance (texture, appearance, flavor, etc.), and suitability for food contact. It's a viable solution for reducing single-use waste, facilitating recycling and actively participating in a circular economy.



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