Global food and drink giants including Coca-Cola and Britvic are putting sustainability in the spotlight when they join the Ecopack Stage as part of Packaging Innovations 2020.
Consumers are more concerned than ever about the environment, with record numbers of protests taking place across the globe during 2019. Great strides have been taken in the packaging industry to make the sector eco-friendlier, but there is still work to be done.
Packaging Innovations 2020 will tackle the industry’s most pressing issue with world-leading suppliers and specialist educational content designed specifically to address the challenge of sustainability, when it returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 26 & 27 February.
The BIG Carbon Debate
2020 will see the debut of the BIG Carbon Debate. Developed in association with OPRL and the FPA, the two-day seminar will replace the popular BIG Plastics Debate and move the conversation forward by shifting the focus by focussing on the wider issue of carbon’s damaging impact on the environment.
The new feature will provide a holistic view of the challenge of creating packaging that is truly eco-friendly throughout its life cycle, from raw material to disposal.
Day-one will welcome a panel of experts from Coca-Cola, Wrap, Hubbub, and Green Alliance to discuss the challenge of balancing convenience with sustainability. Panellists will explore how brands can align design with consumer lifestyle to encourage customers to prioritise sustainability over convenience and help ensure that sustainable packaging remains eco-friendly throughout its entire life cycle.
The second day will open with a talk from the keynote speaker, Rebecca Pow, Minster for the Environment at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The headline debate will then follow, where leading authorities will deliberate on whether banning plastic packaging will impact on the UK’s ability to reach its net-zero carbon targets.
Some of the industry’s brightest minds will join the debate to consider the impact of plastic packaging on carbon output, including; Richard Kirkman, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Veolia; Margaret Bates, Executive Director at OPRL; Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF UK; Robert Fell, Director & Chief Executive at Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association; Anthony J Ryan, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Sheffield; and Barry Turner, Director at BPF.
The Ecopack Stage
In addition to the BIG Carbon Debate, the Ecopack Stage will host a series of educational and thought-provoking seminar sessions, offering visitors advice on the latest environmental developments, policies, and sustainable solutions, with experts from leading brands such as Britvic, Aveda, and FSC taking to the stage.
Sessions will explore a range of challenges, including navigating the conflicting data on sustainable packaging alternatives, considering all elements of an item’s lifecycle to prevent unintentional consequences in the future, and responsibly sourcing paper and card.
Sustainability will also be in the spotlight on the show floor as the event welcomes 20 specialist exhibitors to its dedicated Ecopack show, which offers visitors a glimpse into the future of green packaging solutions. Joining the area will be leading names such as, Charpak, Sirane, Delipac, Krehalon, Preston Plastics, and Footprint LLC.
As businesses are increasingly switching to paper packaging to avoid single-use plastics, the Forest Stewardship Council will join the show floor to demonstrate how businesses can ensure that paper, card, and other forest-based materials support people, the planet, and profit.
In an event first, visitors will also be able to seek advice about funding their sustainable solutions from experts from UK Research and Innovation. One-to-one advice sessions with Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network will offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the latest government funding available, including applying for the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging funding competition.
“As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of packaging’s impact on the planet, sustainability is at the forefront of the minds of everyone in the industry,” said Victoria Blake, Event Director of Easyfairs’ UK Packaging Portfolio.
“By gathering experts and policy influencers at the largest meeting place for the UK’s packaging industry, collaborative discussions can happen that will move the conversation on from just plastics and onto the challenge of creating packaging that is truly eco-friendly across the entire supply chain.”