PacTec, FoodTec and PlastExpo Nordic to focus on industry sustainability and future trends

PacTec, FoodTec and PlastExpo Nordic, trade events for the packaging, food and drink, and plastics industries, will offer a particular focus on sustainable manufacturing methods and materials, as well as future employers. The PacTec, FoodTec and PlastExpo Nordic events will be held at Messukeskus Helsinki from 11 to 12 March 2020.

The packaging, food and drink, and plastics industries are undergoing a shift as technologies develop and consumers’ values and needs change. How can everyday packaging be made sustainable? And what are the factors driving the future of packaging design? The Business Forum breakfast seminar for stakeholders in the packaging, food and drink, and plastics industries, to be held on Wednesday morning, 11 March, will feature the sustainability strategy and communications manager at DS Smith, Sam Jones, and CEO of SOK, Taavi Heikkilä, who will be discussing sustainability from the packaging and retail industry perspectives, now and in the future. The CCO at Orkla, Nina Olin, will discuss the Sustainable Life Barometer, and how the Nordic and Baltic countries are addressing sustainability. The CEO of Packdesign ID, Maija Olkkonen-Seppo, will, in her speech, explore consumers’ expectations of packaging and how their demands are being met. 

Global megatrends are also challenging the plastics industry, and innovations and changes in operating methods have already been made. Michael Michelsen, of Paboco, and Tuomas Aspiala, of Teknos, will present a recyclable paper-based bottle, which has already caught the attention of the Carlsberg brewery. AFRY’s PlasticsToBio concept aims to make all plastics recyclable in a cost-effective and sustainable way. To discuss the requirements of this change and the underlying disruption will be Tomi Nyman of AFRY. The panel discussion of the Finnish Plastics Association, will, for its part, focus on how digitalisation affects the plastics industry. 

How could materials in the packaging, food and drink, and plastics industries be more sustainable? In his keynote speech, the managing director of Edelmann Group, Constantin Shütz, will discuss how organisations can cope with the pressure from manufacturers and brand owners. 

In the food and drink industry, the role of packaging has been recognised as environmentally significant, and Juha-Matti Katajajuuri, of the Natural Resources Institute Finland, will discuss how food waste can be minimised through packaging. The food and drink industry has also confirmed Finland’s first material efficiency commitment for 2019–2021, and the goal is to see other industries agree to a similar commitment. Paula Eskola, of Motiva, will discuss the process of getting industry organisations on board to confirm the commitment with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. 

Mechanical recycling can also be used to enable more responsible use of materials. Sanna Peltola, of Lassila & Tikanoja, will, in her speech, discuss how co-operation can create a functional flow of materials and promote recycling. Mechanical recycling can be complemented by chemical recycling, which also enables the recycling and reuse of plastics that have previously not been considered to be of sufficient quality for reuse. Outi Teräs, of Neste, will discuss Neste’s goals of being involved in developing chemical recycling, and of recycling more than one million tonnes of plastic per year. 

The Sustainability contest, to be held as part of the event package, will culminate on the PlastExpo stage on 12 March at noon, as the companies or organisations selected for the final present their sustainable product, solution or manufacturing method for the packaging, food and drink, and plastics industries. Each of the entrants selected for the final will get a chance to present their product, after which the jury will select the winner. The competition will be open on the website for the event package until 16 February 2020.

The full programme can be found on the website for the event package.

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