The European packaging industry has been warned by senior LINPAC Packaging executives that it is failing to communicate the crucial role packaging plays in modern society.
Director of Innovation, Alan Davey (above left), speaking at the recent European Plastics and Composites Innovation Days – organised by the European Plastic Converters Association – told delegates: “We have a very good case to make for plastics and plastic packaging, but as an industry we are punching below our weight and need to work harder to show retailers and consumers the benefits of packaging for preserving and storing food at a time when food waste is one of the biggest environmental issues facing Europe.”
Quoting war-time British Prime Minster Winston Churchill, Mr Davey said: “‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty’ and with this in mind we need to address the challenges facing the industry – including the changing needs of the market, the effectiveness of packaging, plus the need to drive down food waste and deliver environmental benefits.”
Mr Davey also offered an insight into LINPAC Packaging’s Fresh Thinking philosophy and its ongoing programme of innovation. He said: “I think what we all realise today is that the world is changing very quickly and that we can’t expect to do the same jobs as we’ve always done in the same way. We need new methods, products, ideas and innovations if we are going to stay ahead of the competition and be in business tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, LINPAC’s Vice President Marketing and Innovation, Joanna Stephenson (above right), also provided a robust defence of packaging when she gave a keynote talk at the thirteenth GE (Greater Europe) PET conference in Strasbourg – offering LINPAC Packaging’s views of the key macro trends affecting the design and production of consumer packaging today, plus emerging factors such as increasing disposable incomes in the Third World, ageing societies in the West and increasing divorce rates.
Ms Stephenson laid-out LINPAC’s strategy for sustainability in food packaging and in particular how it can impact on every facet of the fish and meat packaging cycle.
She said: “LINPAC Packaging has a role in offering leading-edge solutions in the key area of sustainability. By investing in both best practice and innovation we can offer effective packaging for meat and fish that’s valued by our packer customers.
“We ensure food safety by putting our products through the most rigorous cleaning and testing processes available, and we are at the forefront of our industry in terms of concentrating on weight, carbon reduction and recyclability. At LINPAC Packaging we are constantly challenging the boundaries of sustainability.”
Ms Stephenson added that innovation was a key part of the quest for more sustainable packaging solutions, and stated that an over-reliance on just one environmental goal – like recycling – can stifle it.
Below: Innovative plastic food packaging from LINPAC Packaging. Top: The international market-leading packaging manufacturer's Alan Davey, Director of Innovation, and Joanna Stephenson, Vice President Marketing and Innovation