Innovations: into the future with sustainable concepts

Conscious, sustainable consumption is becoming increasingly important. There are many ways to approach this, ranging from eco-friendly manufacturing, waste recycling and new inventions through to alternative base materials for familiar products. In the final instalment of our four-part expo report, we want to tell you about a number of innovations that were on show at Insights-X from 9 to 12 October.

Blue Angel for peace of mind

In Germany, the well-known Blue Angel ecolabel is awarded to products manufactured in a resource-efficient, environmentally-friendly manner. In addition, they must be durable and easy to recycle and contain no substances harmful to health. The edding 24 EcoLine highlighter is now the first marker pen to receive this prestigious environmental label. Its cap and barrel are made from a minimum of 90% renewable resources, while the neck piece and filter fibres are made from at least 97% recycled material. The marker is refillable to significantly lengthen its lifespan, and even the packaging is made entirely of recycled cardboard.

Individual upstyled items

The creative and colourful offerings from German manufacturer Viva Decor can be used to transform everyday objects into upstyled custom pieces. "Glanzzeit" adds an intense metallic shine finish to surfaces, "Sternenstaub" creates shimmering effects and "Glitterfreude" produces a trendy glitter look. The products are water-based and come in glass bottles that can be reused. The packaging is also made of 100% recycled paper.

Products with a second life

It's unbelievable what you can do with old PET bottles. For example, the raw material in the 2ndLife PET pen from Online is obtained from recycled PET bottles. 150 A4 pages can be filled with the replaceable large-capacity refill, which also helps to keep the environment clean. Miquelrius has come up with a set of backpacks and bags for preschoolers with polyester fabric made from recycled PET plastic bottles. The Save the Ocean collection with sea motifs as patterns and shapes also aims to raise awareness of marine pollution. With these bags, the company is demonstrating how mountains of rubbish can be reduced and products given a second life in order to protect the environment.

New and unusual materials 

Creating notepads from something other than vegetable fibres is good for vegetation and, therefore, the environment. Stone paper composed of 80% ground stone and 20% recycled plastic (HDPE) is an interesting alternative. Less energy is required to manufacture it and less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere than with normal paper. Stone paper is naturally white and therefore does not need to be bleached. Also, up to 20% less ink is required during printing. Furthermore, the paper is water- and tear-resistant and still 100% recyclable. 

Products that are kind to the environment, lower our carbon footprint and contribute to a better climate will become increasingly important in the years ahead.

About the author:

Gabriela Kaiser has been the owner of a trend agency since 2002, after working 6 years as designer for knitwear. She visits trade fairs as a trend scout and gives lectures there. She advises companies from industry and trade on upcoming trends and writes regularly for various trade magazines.

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