On 10-12 February, Eric Appelman, EVP Innovation & Strategy, visited the Packaging and Converting Executive Forum (PACE) in Brussels. Read his reflections from the event here!
Impressions from the event
“The keyword is customization: differentiating products to a specific country, for a special promotion, even for an individual person. The challenge is to combine this with mass production. This year, we see a lot of ink and print technology, especially digital printing. Perstorp’s interest is for the ink technology. Important, because the other half of the ink market (readable stuff like newsprint and office print) is really going down!
Whereas sustainability remains a hot item, renewable origin is a bit less hot this year. Although some players are now using green polyethylene from bio-ethanol for the closures on cartons, I don't think it is very sustainable.”
Panel discussion: “Examining how packaging purchasers influence the regulatory agenda and the impact it has on packaging decisions”
Eric Appelman participated in the panel discussion with representatives from Unilever and Mars.
“We agreed, with the audience, that official regulation about health and safety aspects comes too late and after too much of a confusing period, where parallel solutions occur, and during which investment in better alternatives is discouraged by uncertainty.
In the end, it is the consumer that votes with his feet and wallet, but all too often the matter is too complicated to handle. And all too often, time and money is wasted on prolonging the life of suspicious technologies.
Large brand owners and retailers are best positioned to lead the way forward here, using their clout to defend their image by pre-empting the debate and actively ban certain substances. This will at the same time help justify meaningful innovation way up the value chain, where the likes of Perstorp have to put the money on the table for R&D, product approvals and fixed assets. It is interesting to see that some brands already do this, having banned bisfenol-A, phthalates and formaldehyde already.”