RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Carbon and plastics dominate debate at Packaging Innovations 2020

Carbon and sustainability were the hot topics of conversation among speakers, exhibitors and visitors at Packaging Innovations 2020.

The event, which returned to Birmingham's NEC on 26 and 27 February, saw exhibitors showcasing the latest developments and technologies designed to lower packaging's carbon impact. Meanwhile the Drinks Forum, sponsored by The Drinks Report, saw the likes of Coca-Cola, Britvic and Carlsberg espousing the latest industry thinking on sustainability.

This year's event also played host to the BIG Carbon Debate, focused on discussing and sharing best practise in sustainability and carbon reduction - including the future role of plastics in packaging.

Panellist Simon Balderson, owner of Sirane Group, said: "I fear the argument against plastics has become emotional. People aren't anti-plastic because of the carbon footprint, they are anti-plastic because they see images of dead whales. If all packaging came from plants and trees, there would be a huge carbon sink. Industries have to work collaboratively to find a solution."

Following the news that Coca-Cola will not be ditching single-use plastic bottles, the brand's head of sustainability Nick Brown joined a panel discussion to explore how brands can encourage consumers to play their part, particularly through recycling. 

"The science is absolutely clear. By 2050, at the latest, packaging and business models must be zero-carbon... that's why we are investing in deposit return schemes to make it as easy as possible for consumers to recycle our packaging," he said.

Speaking to an audience at Packaging Innovations 2020, Kevin Vyse, head of technology at Rapid Action Packaging, said: "We are acting quickly, but we are not looking at the facts. It is carbon that is killing the planet, not packaging. As we create new solutions to replace plastics, we are actually releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than ever before. We have to keep looking for new ways of thinking and challenging the ways we do things currently to make sure they are right."

2 March 2020 - Bethany Whymark