The East Midlands Packaging Society

The Voice of Packaging in the Heart of the Country

Pack to the Future 6 at University of Birmingham: Polymers in Packaging 16th March 4pm, Program Headlines

Program Headlines

- Welcome by Prof Paul Bowen, FIMMM, Head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham

- Chair and Introduction by Dr Alan Wood, Chairman of the Polymer Society / IOM3

- Dr Mike Jenkins, Senior Lecturer, Metallurgy and Materials - Sustainability and Biodegradability in Polymers for Packaging

The talk aims to introduce the need for sustainable and biodegradable polymers in the packaging industry by briefly exploring sustainability in the petrochemical industry and discussing the implications of immediate disposal of plastic material into the environment. The sustainable supply of biodegradable polymers and monomers will then be considered. The relationship between the production, the physical properties and the 'green credentials' of two polymers will be explored (PLA and PHA). The talk will conclude with a brief personal view on future routes to sustainable and biodegradable polymers.

- Tony Hancock, Chairman of the Environmental Committee of The Packaging Society – Key Issues of Post Consumer Recycling

• Recycling – Definition
• Is the recycling of post consumer recycle (PCR) plastics commercially viable?
• Key Issues – End User Markets, Material Quality and Financial viability against virgin materials
• Technology required to promote the use of PCR plastics materials
• Birth of the MRF
• The Regulations
• The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive
• The Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste ) Regulations
• HM Government – Defra and consultation documents
• Recycling Targets
• Exports v’s Home markets
• Packaging Recovery Notes (PRN) and Packaging Recovery Export Notes (PERNS)
• The Local Authorities – main source of recycling feedstock
• Design for recycle
• Recycling Incentives
• Summing up – The way forward

- Dr Terence Cooper, Chief Executive Officer ARGO Group International, Global Polymer Consultants – Bio-based and Biodegradable Packaging Materials

This presentation will provide an outline of the present status of bioplastics in packaging materials and some possible future developments.
Topics to be covered will include:
1) Basic definitions, classifications and rationale for bioplastics
2) Evolving feedstocks and biobased monomer development and concept of platform chemicals
3) Commercial and potential future biobased polymers for packaging, “drop-in” versus new polymers and key producers
4) Biodegradable plastics for packaging
5) Some current packaging markets and applications, and bioplastics growth projections and market trends
6) “Green issues”, consumer and environmental concerns

- Dr Peter Cox, Peter Cox Associates – The Role of Multilayer Plastic Packaging in Sustainability

Two different aspects of sustainability as regards plastics packaging will be considered.
The first example will be a comparison of performance between a multilayer plastic jar and a glass jar. The project was carried out at the Metal Box R & D Centre, Wantage in the 1980’s and used an innovative manufacturing process to produce firstly a 6 layer pipe structure and then a stretch blow moulded jar. Life Cycle Analysis for plastics was in its infancy at this time and the comparison between the plastic and glass structures was made on the basis of energy. It was shown that for a cradle to grave life that the plastic product consumed considerably less energy that the glass product and as such the plastic jar was a more sustainable product. The potential recyclability of energy was also considered.
The second example will look at the benefits of multilayer packaging over monolayer packaging on extending the life of contained products leading to a more controllable lifespan of food and other consumables. This can lead to a reduction in food waste which is a substantial volume in the UK and the reduction will be a major contribution to sustainability.

- Andy Sweetman, Marketing Manager Innovia Films, Manufacturers of Packaging Films - Where do biodegradable materials provide the best fit within the flexible packaging arena?

Andy Sweetman’s presentation will focus on the use of bioplastic materials in the flexible packaging sector specifically.
Why should this sector be particularly relevant when flexible packaging only makes up 3% by weight of municipal waste?
• Isn’t lightweighting plastics enough to create ‘sustainable packaging’ ?
• Which particular applications make most sense to use bioplastics rather than conventional plastics?
• How can we substantiate claims with regards to the sustainability of packaging solutions?

- Chris Gordon-Smith, Friends of the Earth – Plastics, Packaging and a Blueprint for a Sustainable World

Friends of the Earth – Short Introduction
Plastics – Concerns
Moving to a Sustainable World
- The Linear Economy
- The Circular Economy
- Tracking our impact: Footprinting
- What does it mean for packaging?
Making it happen

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