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Packing Innovations 2019

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The use, or rather the misuse of plastics of packaging has been at the forefront of national and international news reports for the last five years and at the recent Packing Innovations 2019 conference it was at the top of the agenda.

Experts from the leading brands in the world, including Marks and Spencer, Pepsi, Lipton as well as leading environmental campaigners such as the British Plastics Federation, A Plastic Planet and WRAP all came together to seek out solutions.  The conference took place at Birmingham’s NEC complex.

During the so called Big Plastics Debate, experts discussed the future of plastics and also reflected on the pledges made by the big brands over the last year and to assess how well they have achieved them.

One of the most innovative was from Marks and Spencer who will in future transform non recyclable plastic packaging into playground equipment for children, then there was another superb idea from Iceland for a fully supported bottle return scheme. Part of the two day conference was given over to discussing the role of plastic in our future and to what extent we will always be reliant on the product for day to day living, whilst other debates focused on potential alternatives with such topics as ‘Designing Packaging for a Circular Economy’, ‘Recruiting Consumers for a Circular Economy’ whilst others topics included how to manage waste processes.

James Drake-Brockman, divisional director of Easyfairs’ Packaging Portfolio, commented: “Since the Big Plastics Debate launched in 2018, we have seen many global brands taking steps towards creating greener packaging solutions, but the issue still remains prolific, as consumers and regulatory bodies increasingly demand more sustainable packaging and plastic alternatives.

“The return of the Big Plastics Debate offers us a fantastic opportunity to bring together some of the biggest names in the industry to continue the discussion and tackle the issues our industry is currently facing, including the circular economy. The debate provides a platform for all sides of the debate, from many areas of expertise, to discuss the issue in a balanced manner. It is certainly not to be missed!”

This year’s conference, for the first time, featured A Plastic Planet, a whole Plastic Free Aisle on the showfloor, that showcased packaging made from biomaterials, which truly showed how the human race can change the course of the plastic epidemic and, perhaps, change our addiction.


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