With the reduction of plastic packaging a current hot topic in the media, the UK's only sustainable packaging event, Ecopack is more relevant than ever.
Hosted alongside Packaging Innovations, Label&Print and Empack 2018 next month, sustainable packaging will be a key focus at the event. Whether it's reducing waste through smarter packaging, finding more energy efficient solutions or sourcing more recyclable materials, attendees at the UK's largest packaging show will, once again, be able to discover and learn more about the sustainability challenges and opportunities facing the packaging industry.
The global market for sustainable packaging is forecast to reach $244 billion by the end of 2018, with it also being touted as the top challenge facing companies by 2023. With this in mind, Packaging Innovations, which returns to Birmingham's NEC on 28th February & 1st March, will see the return of the Ecopack Show and the Ecopack Theatre. The ever-popular theatre will return with its strong sustainability focus and host a line-up of international brands and thought-leaders delivering advice on how to not only survive, but thrive in an eco-conscious market.
James Drake-Brockman, Divisional Director of Easyfairs' Packaging Portfolio, comments: "Any packaging professional who reads the news will see that sustainability is the hottest topic around at the moment. Iceland has just announced that it is going plastic free, and the Prime Minister has pledged to eliminate the UK's plastic waste by 2042. These are just two of the many news items that showcase the increasing importance people are placing on sustainability within the packaging industry.
"We launched Ecopack back in 2008, when we first identified sustainability as becoming one of the biggest challenges facing the packaging industry. Ten years later, the issue of sustainability is more prolific than ever, which is why our dedicated theatre is packed full of educational content. We already have major names, such as Innocent, Co-op and TerraCycle on board, looking to discuss and educate those in attendance on all things 'green'. It is not to be missed."
The Ecopack Theatre will see Simon Reid, Sustainability Manager at Innocent Drinks, take to the stage to address the plastic bottle dilemma, as part of his talk 'Go Circular or Go Home'. He will take visitors on a journey, exploring Innocent's unique take on the circular economy, as well as looking at what Innocent is currently doing to get the circle turning.
With Brits buying £133bn worth of goods online every year, Ben Murray, Managing Director at Carbon Smart, will examine what packaging manufacturers and providers need to do to ensure that its eCommerce packaging is sustainable for the planet and its people. He will present 'eCommerce packaging needn't cost the earth'.
Retailers, recyclers and local authorities will also be taking to the stage to discuss sustainability, as part of the Ecopack Panel Talk, titled 'How to Tackle the Packaging Problem'. James Piper, Managing Director at Ecosurety, will be chairing the panel debate, which will explore how brands can take on the growing problem created by packaging at the end of life, and stay up to date with the fast-moving policy area.
The highly anticipated Ecopack Challenge will be returning for 2018, offering companies that are creating truly innovative and sustainable products the chance to win the opportunity to develop an idea with Marks & Spencer. The Dragons' Den style session will see the four shortlisted companies demonstrating why they should be crowned champion, winning the prize for most environmentally responsible packaging, in front of an expert panel and interactive audience.
New for 2018, the Sustainability Trail will highlight which suppliers at the show are offering solutions and services designed to drive more sustainable values. The feature will inform the brands and retailers in attendance of ways to take a more sustainable approach to their packaging, as well as highlighting the most appropriate stands to visit.
In addition to the Ecopack Theatre, the show's Industry Forum Stage will also touch upon the subject of sustainability, with a dedicated forum focused on the issue of plastic within the food packaging industry. The Food Forum will play host to 'The 25 Year Environmental Plan - how can we design a sustainable future for packaging?', which will be chaired by Martin Kersh, Executive Director at the Foodservice Packaging Association.