As part of the show’s Big Plastics Debate, Ian Schofield, own label & packaging manager, Iceland; Nick Brown, head of sustainability, Coca Cola European Partners; Iain Ferguson, environment manager, Co-op; Shane Monkman, head of procurement, packaging & operations, ASDA and Kevin Vyse, senior packaging technologist & Circular Economy Lead at M&S, will discuss the road ahead for packaging professionals and new approaches to plastic packaging.
UK Government initiatives
James Drake-Brockman, divisional director, Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, said with sustainable packaging and the reduction of plastics at the forefront of everyone’s mind, The Big Plastics Debate will educate the packaging community on the challenges it faces, and the opportunities that will arise because of it.
The session is on day one of Packaging Innovations 2018, at Birmingham's NEC, in the UK (February 28-March 1).
“Sustainability is the most talked about subject in the UK. Theresa May has made it a Government initiative, whilst big brands are coming forward every day with new promises to make their packaging recyclable and renewable,” said Drake-Brockman.
UK Prime Minister May has pledged the Government will work with major retail chains to reduce the amount of plastic wrapping on store shelves.
She confirmed all shops will soon have to charge customers 5p for plastic carrier bags and the Treasury will consider plans for taxing throwaway items such as hot drink cups and takeaway food containers.
She will also set out a number of green proposals in a 25-year plan for the environment including eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042 and a commitment to spend part of the Government's multi-billion annual overseas aid budget on international measures to cut plastic use.
In addition to the panel discussion Packaging Innovations 2018, The Big Plastics Debate will include a Q&A session with all of the panellists, plus presentations from host Martin Kersh, executive director, The Food Service Packaging Association and keynote speaker, Iceland’s Ian Schofield.
During his presentation, Schofield will talk about Iceland’s announcement last month, to ban all plastics from its own-label packaging by 2023 and discuss the challenges ahead for the packaging supply chain in reaching that goal.
Other ‘green’ sustainability-focused features at the show include: the Ecopack Challenge, offering companies that are creating innovative and sustainable products the chance to win the opportunity to develop an idea with Marks & Spencer.
The Sustainability Trail will highlight which suppliers at the show are offering products and services designed to drive more sustainable values.
And there will also be a 'Sustainability Wall' encouraging visitors and exhibitors to share their own thoughts on how the industry can drive sustainability.
“We first identified sustainability as being one of the biggest challenges facing the packaging industry back in 2008, which is why we launched the Ecopack area of the show. Ten years later, the issue of sustainability is more prolific than ever, and our predictions show it is set to continue growing in importance," said James Drake-Brockman, divisional director, Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio.
“New attitudes and legislation around plastics is forcing the packaging industry to change, with companies striving to achieve the Government’s ambitious demand to eliminate the UK’s plastic waste by 2042.
"The newfound attention has certainly kicked started a movement across the entire packaging supply chain, with major brands including Unilever, Carlsberg, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Coca Cola, LEGO, Aldi, Asda, Iceland and Tesco, to name a few, actively and publicly doing more to make their packaging more reusable and recyclable. We foresee an exciting and innovative future, with numerous advances in sustainable packaging, and more of an onus placed upon being ‘greener’.”