Sustainable innovations

25 February 2020

The latest packaging solutions and technologies will take centre stage at Packaging Innovations 2020 when it returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 26 and 27 February. The two-day event will welcome more than 300 industry leading suppliers to its show floor, many of which will launch their latest developments live at the show.

As the UK’s largest packaging event, and the only one that caters to the whole of the supply chain, Packaging Innovations will offer visitors an exclusive glimpse into the future of packaging.

More retailers than ever before searching for the best eco-friendly packaging options in response to growing consumer concern, including Tesco, which recently pledged to remove a billion pieces of plastic from its stores by the end of 2020. Sustainability is high on the agenda for exhibitors.

One company that will launch its latest eco-conscious innovation is Wrapid and DuPont Tijin Films, which has created the Mylar rPET lidding film range for the food sector. Made from up to 50% post-consumer recycled content sourced from European deposit return schemes, the innovation reduces the carbon footprint of films by 1.4kg for every 1kg of virgin PET. The films are suitable for use on ready meals, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, as well as frozen foods.

Products showcase

Cambrite Camvert, a fully biodegradable and home-compostable decorative metallised film, will be presented by Camvac. Designed for the board lamination market as an eco-friendly alternative to metallised polyester, the film is available with a mirror-like finish and in a range of base colours.

Also set to showcase a sustainable new film solution, Megaplast Group will unveil its Eco Fiber Film for the first time at the show. The stretch film has been developed to include reinforcement fibres to increase tear resistance and efficiency. The new material utilises 30% recycled raw materials, and can reportedly produce 50% CO2 emissions below the market average. It is also fully recyclable.

Similarly, Innovia Films will launch its extended Propafilm Strata range. The high barrier films are recyclable and have included new grades. Innovia’s products will provide an effective barrier to mineral oils, oxygen and other aromas to ensure increased shelf life and reduce food waste.

Henry AR Alderney Race will also present some new environmentally friendly solutions. The company is set to explain how its Stakker Roll Cradles will fit perfectly for pallet transportation and about its specially moulded fibre packaging, and how both are designed to minimise environmental effects and increase cost-effectiveness. It is also looking to take advantage of its new office in the Netherlands and boost service to the EU.

Foxpak Flexibles is set to unveil its Generation Green range of sustainable flexible packaging options. The showcase will include compostable, recyclable and paper primary packaging answers in a variety of design formats, such as sachets, coffee pouches and sealable bags.

i2r Packaging Solutions will join the show floor to display its i2r Ultra. The award-winning design utilises a patent protected new embossing style to develop a greater degree of stress resistance, thus diinishing the price point and environmental impact of the aluminium tray.

Corrugated cardboard box specialists, Durham Box, will appear with a new innovation. The company is hoping to offer digital print for the corrugated packaging market following a large investment in the EFI Nozomi C18000 digital press. The new machine provides an array of print finishes and is able to produce the same quality as flexo, with high gloss photo-quality print too.

Bericap UK will present new additions to its caps and closures range, including the DIN 60 cap, which can be used across a broad range of moulded containers, in a wide variety of sectors. The caps can easily contain liquids for products such as vinegar, ketchup, edible oils, as well as larger scale commercial operations including the automotive industry and agrochemicals.

Cambrian Packaging have developed a range of recyclable PET clear plastic bottles for Packaging Innovations, a move that follows the expansion of its second warehouse to accommodate the new lines. The company will also display its wide range of trigger spray solutions and packaging designs.

Highlights to show

Ahead of the show’s return next February, director Paul MacDonald announced some other highlights in the upcoming show that visitors can look forward too.

“Our two-day NEC event is the only show in the UK that caters to the whole of the packaging supply chain under one roof,” MacDonald says. “Packaging Innovations, which includes our co-located events Ecopack, Contract Pack & Fulfilment, Label&Print and Empack, enables our visitors to meet with over 300 of the industry’s leading suppliers. The event is a place where they can discover solutions for every aspect of the packaging process, from concept through to fulfilment.

“In addition, we have a series of free-to-attend seminars set across four stages, which will enable visitors to hear from industry leaders, innovators and policy influencers as they put some of the sector’s most pressing issues under the microscope. There will also be numerous networking opportunities across both days, allowing the packaging community to come together and do business.”

MacDonald continues on the subject of how eco-friendly packaging will be addressed: “The topic of sustainable packaging is something everyone is talking about, and not just within our industry. We are dedicated to providing insightful, cutting edge information to our visitors, so we are working with leading experts to ensure our content tackles the industry’s biggest challenges and current trends.

“As part of this, we host an annual Ecopack Advisory Board, which offers us the opportunity to discuss the hottest issues in sustainability with the industry’s brightest minds. Our most recent meeting gathered the likes of WRAP [the charity Waste & Resources Action Programme], WWF [World Wide Fund], OPRL [On-Pack Recycling Label], ThePackHub and the Recycling Association to talk about the wider issues in creating sustainable packaging. This was invaluable in offering a unique insight into the challenges currently facing brands, with waste management, consumer education and readjusting the ‘plastic phobia’ mentality all flagged as key issues that need to be addressed by the wider community.

MacDonald believes these discussions will help inform the eco focus of the show, which has been thematically set to inform a balanced, articulate view about sustainability. The nuts and bolts of this sustainable conversation will set the foundation for the Big Plastics Debate, where speakers will explore the broader impact of plastic and its alternatives, “as well as tackling the complex issue of creating a solution that is truly eco-friendly at every point in the supply chain. Discussion points will include zero-carbon targets, future-proofing packaging and convenience versus sustainability.”

With five co-located events under one roof, the show floor will feature over 300 suppliers, many of which, as we have seen, will launch new innovations live at the event.

MacDonald continues: “As well as a wealth of leading exhibitors, we will host a seminar programme that will discuss topics from concept and design through to print and logistics. A series of dedicated industry forums will take place across both days and have been designed to offer tailored advice for the food, drink, beauty, pharmaceutical and ecommerce sectors.”

The Education Hub will also make its NEC debut. It has been designed to connect students and apprentices with industry experts to inspire the next generation of packaging professionals.

Alongside all of this, there will be a number of networking opportunities, including networking drinks at the end of day one, in which all visitors and exhibitors are welcome to attend. It is set to be a productive event.


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