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Packaging Innovations debates plastic elimination

Plastic packaging is causing a stir in the UK, and even coming to the attention of prime minister Theresa May and the government.

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Packaging Innovations 2018 was unaffected by the snow storm that tore across Britain, and brought together professionals from the packaging industry

Packaging Innovations, which took place at the end of February at the NEC in Birmingham, housed a debate, which brought together some of the UK’s largest retailers. Coca Cola, Co-Op, Asda, Marks and Spencer, and Iceland all came together to talk about the effects of plastic in packaging, and what is being done to cut down on it.

The Big Plastics Debate concentrated on ‘the road ahead for packaging professionals’ and ‘developing new approaches to plastics in the face of increasing government and consumer pressure’.

James Drake-Brockman, divisional director of Easyfairs’ packaging portfolio, comments: “All packaging professionals will know that sustainability is the most talked about subject in the UK at the moment. Theresa May has made it a government initiative, whilst big brands are coming forward every day with new promises to make their packaging recyclable, but we are also thrilled to have these big brands taking to the stage as part of our Big Plastics Debate.

We have had sustainability at the heart of the show for over ten years now, but the problem is more prolific than ever

“We have had sustainability at the heart of the show for over ten years now, but the problem is more prolific than ever, which is why we are pleased to have the opportunity to bring some of the industry’s biggest players together in one panel to discuss the issue of plastic packaging. This debate is not to be missed.”

The representatives from each company included: Ian Schofield, own label and packaging manager at Iceland, Nick Brown, head of sustainability at Coca Cola European Partners, Iain Ferguson, environment manager at Co-Op, head of procurement, packaging, and operations at Asda and Kevin Vyse, senior packaging technologist and circular economy lead at Marks and Spencer. Iceland has already announced its ambitions to remove all plastic from its own-label packaging by 2023, something which Schofield spoke about at the exhibition.

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