GERMAN – German multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, Bayer has partnered with open innovation services company yet2 to launch innovation challenge for biodegradable packaging sachets/tubes.

Through this challenge, Bayer is inviting innovators to share their knowledge of sustainable flexible and rigid packaging materials, including biodegradable or compostable materials, for use in its consumer healthcare product packaging.

In aiming to achieve its goals of being climate neutral by 2030 and net zero by 2050, the company’s Consumer Health Division says that it is prioritizing “reduce, recycle, reuse and replace” across its products and packaging.

All new product development projects are evaluated for sustainability performance, and Bayer claims that it has already started converting paper packaging to include PCR content and sourcing from certified and well-managed forests.

To further progress toward its sustainability targets, Bayer is leveraging open innovation as a strategic asset, powered by its long-time partnership with yet2, to identify promising external technologies.

“We look forward to bringing in the expertise from specialists in the area of sustainable packaging,” said Keiko Tago, Head of Packaging Sustainability, Consumer Health.

“Designing and developing more sustainable packaging, as early as possible in the product design and development stages, is vital to reduce the impact on our environment and achieve Bayer’s ambitious sustainability goals.”

Current packaging is designed to meet rigorous product protection requirements. This frequently results in waste, however, which does not break down when discarded and is not sourced from sustainable materials.

Bayer said it is now seeking biodegradable, compostable, dissolvable, or edible packaging that ensures its products maintain their efficacy and quality standards.

Packaging formats of interest include sachets and rigid or flexible tubes. Potential solutions include packaging materials derived from seaweed or plant extracts, such as alginate, starch, bagasse, cellulose, or mycelium; chitosan; agricultural waste; and more.

Bayer says that submissions should include non-confidential information only that covers an overview of the technology solution, data on water vapor transmission and oxygen transmission rates, current scale or potential to scale, relevant patents and any supporting details such as technical spec sheets, pictures, among others.

This move come at a time when sachets pollution have become a problem since they are made up of different materials bonded together, making it very difficult to separate them using current recycling infrastructure.

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