Packaging's global challenges

DuPont (Aust) Limited

Monday, 20 June, 2016


Some of the global challenges facing the packaging industry have been discussed in a series of video interviews released by the judges of the 28th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

Elevating consciousness in consumer choice, reducing food waste, feeding the world, advancing sustainability and facilitating technology transfer are just a few of the challenges that innovative packaging can address, said the judges.

Lead Judge David Luttenberger, CPP – global packaging director, Mintel Group Ltd., said, “The one that I really look to is technology transfer, whether that is taking a great technology from a developed or served economy and applying it to an underdeveloped or underserved economy.”

Ramon Agustines, general manager of Flexible Packaging Division at Philippines-based Universal Robina Corporation, sees opportunities to elevate consumer consciousness to focus on not just what’s inside a package, but how the packaging was thought out and how it should be either used or discarded.

Judges from around the world noted that alleviating hunger and reducing food waste are among the challenges packaging can address. Eduardo Yugue, R&D packaging manager, PepsiCo, Brazil, said, “Packaging is one of the ways to distribute food and help feed the people in some parts of the world that don’t have productive local conditions.”

Amazon Senior Manager of Supply Chain Packaging Suzanne Fisher said, “The most impactful problem that it can help with is food waste, [which] contributes to world hunger. We have to make sure that packaging, especially for example for produce, is sufficient to get it there safely; and if it’s not … it not only is contributing to the lack of food to some regions, but it’s also contributing to a huge amount of scrap or waste in our system.”

Jeff Schuetz, staff vice president of Global Technology Consumer Packaging at Sonoco, agrees: “There’s still a very, very high percentage of food that gets wasted even in developed markets, and packaging innovation can truly help in that way.” Brian Rivers, engineering fellow – Strategic Sourcing, Sealed Air Corporation, said, “Packaging has opportunities to solve many of the global needs of the world, including food distribution and supplying areas of the world that need nourishment.”

Sustainability also featured prominently throughout the awards process, from submissions to the judges’ discussions. “We can do more looking at sustainability; we can do more with plastics moving them to renewables; we can look at how we impact the environment; we can make consumer convenience; we can use innovation; we can be sustainable, and that’s the great beauty of packaging,” said Mars Global Petcare Packaging Sustainability Director Colin Yates.

The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation honours innovations in packaging design, materials, technology and processes.

The independent panel of packaging experts from across the globe evaluated nearly 200 entries from more than 25 countries, selecting a total of 22 winners.

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