I hope you are well and enjoying the beginning of spring! I know I am. I finally have finished my masters degree and as such it has given me time to go back and update some of my old posts. This post in particular was one I knew I wanted to update. At the time I wrote this I finished my placement in 2019 and was so excited to share with you guys my experience of my first exhibition. At the time I thought it would be my first of many and yet I was so blissfully unaware of how the world was going to change in 2020 and that my career path would take a slightly different turn of events. That being said looking back on this post now I think there is so much more than needed to be said from this experience. Also with it being International Earth Day I thought it would be fitting to explore an event which promoted sustainability.
So back in March of 2019 as part of my work placement I got to spend the afternoon in Birmingham at an event called Packaging Innovations. It is basically an event for companies who produce packaging to show off their products and new innovations.
In 2019 there was a clear distinction that one of the aims of the exhibition that year was to show the importance of sustainability on their businesses. It also was an opportunity for companies to show off their creativity and explore how they were to make their packaging more sustainable.
Sustainability is something that has become more and more recognised as an important thing as let’s be honest we are killing our planet. Even today with many companies following the UN’s sustainability goals it is obvious to see the push for more of a sustainable way of working.
The exhibition itself had a section called ECO PACK which had all the stands where the companies specifically focused on eco-friendly and sustainable products and packaging innovations. I had the joy of getting to walk around an experience this show. This I must admit was one of my favourite sections as all the businesses I spoke to were so happy to talk about this subject and passionate with their responses. There was also an ECO PACK seminar stage.
One of the seminars I went and listened to spoke about the catastrophic effect of ocean plastic and how realistically there is more plastic than we would ever be able to predict in the ocean. It then went on to talk about how there are ways that we can help change this by either turning to other forms of packaging materials or the fact that actually if we stopped looking at plastics as a single use material we could prolong the “life” of the plastic.
It was interesting for me from a student’s perspective and a member of the younger generation to speak to the owners of these companies who are of an older generation. Being able to see that they actually know they should have looked at sustainability a long time ago but in their eyes, it was only a thing spoken about by extremists. This being said they were open to the idea of change and really embraced the idea of working with people and their teams to try and be more sustainable as a company.
I spoke to a representative, whose name I will not mention in case he does not want to be named, of RPC whos company basically creates many different products from recycled plastic from paint cans to decking for events and so on. He mentioned that from a packaging point of view plastic is one of the best materials they have as it does not create a high carbon footprint to make the products, but he wanted people to stop seeing plastic as a single use material and that actually using recycled plastic is a great tool for packaging and promoting a slightly more sustainable outlook.
From attending this event it was easy to see the importance of having exhibitions like this have on business not just by drawing in potential customers but also sharing ideas and innovations that could help them progress as a business.
Have you guys attended any events that changed your opinion on things? What’s your opinion on sustainable packaging possible or not?