This week we attended the Packaging Innovations show at Olympia, London. Here are some of our highlights:
1. The #PlasticFreeLand
Developed by A Plastic Planet, this entire zone featured companies and organisations that are leading the way in plastic-free packaging. It was fantastic to speak with some of the innovators and learn more about plastic alternative materials. We are continuously on the hunt for sourcing new materials for our products and the event gave us a great opportunity to discover new options for our business.
2. Seminar on ‘The Greenwash Epidemic’ by Packaging Oracle
All of us in business are navigating our way through the complex issue of environmentally-friendly packaging, and it was enlightening to learn about the implications of what may be considered as ‘green’ solutions. We have learnt that the term ‘biodegradable’ is not necessarily a good thing as it is actually quite vague; many products that claim to be biodegradable can actually just mean that the plastic can be broken down into tiny fragments, or microplastics. ‘Compostable’ can also be misleading if the product requires an industrial composting facility to break it down – rather than in a standard food waste bin at home. On our quest to find bio-based plastics (derived from products such as agricultural waste such as wood pulp, sugar cane and corn starch), we learned that there is potential for these to contaminate the waste stream of plastics that can be recycled. It’s a huge challenge for the packaging industry, and many solutions can have a different environmental consequence.
3. Discovering plastic-alternative materials that are readily compostable
It was fantastic to see a number of industry leaders present their materials that are suitable for home composting. Did you know for example that quality street wrappers are compostable? We are looking to incorporate these sort of materials into our packaging division. Watch this space!