Leading industry experts from some of the UK’s most respected authorities will come together on the Ecopack Stage at Packaging Innovations 2020 to debate one of the industry’s hottest topics – sustainability. The Big Carbon Debate, which has evolved from the show’s hugely popular Big Plastic Debate feature, will continue to move the conversation forward by unpicking the challenges of creating packaging that is truly eco friendly throughout its entire lifecycle, instead of focussing solely on plastic and its alternatives.
The debate will take place across both days of the event, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 26 and 27 February. Kicking off day one will be the Ecopack Challenge which returns in association with Marks & Spencer. The Dragon’s Den style session will see six shortlisted companies showcase their eco friendly packaging solutions and demonstrate why they should be voted best in show by an expert panel and the audience. The judging process will also see the products tested by the OPRL Prep tool which assesses whether the packaging material can be easily recycled by consumers. Winners will be awarded the opportunity to develop their packaging concept with the retail giant.
The topic of convenience versus sustainability will then be put under the microscope as a panel of experts discuss how brands can encourage consumers to play their part in the packaging ecosystem. The discussion will consider how the industry can educate consumers to understand the different types of packaging materials, the resources and carbon required to produce them, and how to correctly dispose of them so that they do not adversely impact the environment.
The Big Carbon Debate will be the focus of day two as authorities in their field take to the stage to discuss packaging’s impact on the government’s target to achieve net zero carbon output by 2050. The debate will consider how plastic bans would impact the UK’s ability to reach its target by assessing the carbon footprint of plastic vs the ‘sustainable’ alternatives.
Victoria Blake, event director of Easyfairs’ UK Packaging Portfolio, commented: ‘We are very excited to be welcoming the Big Carbon Debate to Packaging Innovations 2020. It is important to us that our seminar content is constantly evolving to reflect the current conversations taking place in the industry. Our new debate platform takes the concept of the Big Plastic Debate even further to offer a holistic view of packaging and climate change, reflecting the fact that the conversation needs to be broader than just plastic.
‘With the government’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon output by 2050, we want to address consumer’s plastic phobic mentality and discuss how brands can produce truly eco friendly packaging that can be easily composted, recycled, or reused to have a positive impact on our environment and carbon footprint.’