Ecopack Stage

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
27 - 28/02/2019

The Ecopack Stage

Ecopack at Packaging Innovations is dedicated to the future of sustainable solutions for packaging. Waste reduction and protecting our environment are becoming increasingly important issues for consumers, so brands, retailers and manufacturers need the most innovative eco-friendly solutions on the market. That's where Ecopack comes in.

Are you looking for suppliers with a focus on sustainable packaging?
With no other dedicated sustainable packaging events, this is the only place in the UK that packaging professionals can meet the innovative suppliers pioneering eco-friendly packaging, and see, touch and experience the green solutions of tomorrow.

Ecopack Stage - Day 1

10:15 - 10:35


People power, plastic pushers and plastic-free pioneers - humanising the plastic problem

Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder, A Plastic Planet

• Change is coming like a juggernaut - jump on or get squashed
• One man's trash is another man's problem
• The 5 accelerators of change
• Putting plastic back on the pedestal of respect
• Designing a new way to live



10:45 - 11:15


Iceland’s COMMITMENT to remove plastics - No turning back! -The Big Update one year on!

Ian Schofield, Own Label & Packaging Manager, Iceland Foods



11:30 - 12:00


What is it and how do you embed sustainability in your business?

Joanna Gilroy, Head of Sustainability, Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division

It seems like today nearly every organisation and business leader is talking sustainability.  We need sustainable businesses, sustainable societies, sustainable environments and sustainable economies.  But what does this term actually mean?  Moreover, what does it mean to be a sustainable business?  What does a sustainable business look and feel like?  And what happens when a business is not?   During my presentation I will be unpacking these questions and exploring how each of us can play an important role in embedding sustainability within our own organisations.  I’ll be sharing experiences from my role within Bunzl, and offering practical hints and tips for success.    



12:10 - 12:40


Redefining single use plastic

Prof. Anthony J. Ryan, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Sheffield

Plastics are difficult to recycle from post-consumer waste because they need to be separated to be reprocessed - it is cheaper to make new disposable plastic packaging because the costs are borne by society in general and not the packaging producer or waste disposer. We want to answer the question “When and how does a circular economy for plastic make good sense?”. In some situations, single-use plastic may be the only option. It is obvious, however, that we should make the best use of both our fossil and renewable resources, so the move towards a zero- waste, circular economy is needed. This should not be an ideology; it must be based on evidence. We will test the idea that people can “buy the product but rent the packaging” rather than legitimise a throw-away culture based on degradable polymers and determine how to deliver this as a national and international  vision. A new system that prioritises reuse, and then recycling, of durable materials requires a step change in thinking and behaviour - and will explore how we might achieve this.

12:40 - 13:00


Achieving full circle in the plastics economy: how 360° recyclability is now a reality

Justin Kempson, Sales & Innovation Director, Charpak Ltd

Concern about the environmental impact of plastics in general and plastic food packaging in particular has never been greater. As a leading design and manufacturing company in this field, Charpak recognises its responsibility to help allay consumer fears and has taken major initiatives to achieve a truly circular plastics economy. This presentation explains the many challenges Charpak has faced and the innovative recycling solutions the company has successfully created for the sake of the planet.


13:15 - 13:45


Nothing more certain than change. Adapting to a circular mindset.

Kevin Vyse, Senior Packaging Technologist & Circular Economy Lead, Marks and Spencer

14:00 - 14:30


An innocent view of the circular economy

Louise Stevens, Head of Circular Economy, innocent drinks


innocent drinks have been adopting circular economy principles in their packaging since 2003 and have learnt a few things along the way. They will share their approach to packaging innovations, industry collaboration and consumer engagement. Along with their belief that the opportunity to improve the sustainability of food & drinks packaging is huge, as long as you don’t stray far from the core principles of reduce, reuse, recycle.


14:40 - 15:00


Will compostable plastics save the Planet from plastics pollution? Exploring their role in the future of packaging

David Newman, MD, BBIA UK

Brands and retailers are adopting compostable materials as a substitution to traditional plastics especially where the short shelf life of food stuffs is concerned. We see compostable coffee cups, carrier bags, tea bags, coffee pods, fruit and vegetable bags, biscuits, cake and sweet wrappers, and even the first compostable crisp bags, entering the market place on a daily basis.  A Plastic Free Aisle allows compostable materials to use the definition of plastic free.

As national food waste collections will become mandatory from 2023, what is the role of compostables in reducing plastic waste, improving food waste recovery and reducing pollution into final sinks such as water courses and soil ? Are we being delusional and greenwashing or is there a real value in compostable materials ? 

The BIG Plastics Debate

15:00 - 15:45


The Ecopack Challenge

In association with M&S. Hear the least cutting-edge sustainable innovations battle it out in a Dragon’s Den style pitch to discover who will be crowned the 2019 Ecopack winner.

15:45 - 17:00

The Big Debate: This house believes plastic packaging will always be fundamental to our everyday lives'

Two teams (for/against) battle is out to persuade the audience of their view of plastic packaging.

Speakers tbc

Ecopack Stage - Day 2

10:30 - 11:00


Towards A Circular Economy: Exploitation Of Agri-Food Waste

Graham Bonwick, Institute for Agri-Food Research & Innovation, Newcastle University

Progress towards a circular economy will help reduce the quantity of packaging materials that enter the environment. Greater recycling of oil-derived polymers will assist this process, however, there is also interest in the use of non-fossil fuel packaging alternatives because of factor such as consumer demand. Large quantities of agri-food waste are produced which could provide a source of sustainable or green packaging materials. The presentation will review recent developments in the exploitation of agri-food wastes and their prospects for use within a circular packaging economy.



11:15 - 11:45


Packaging Sustainability in a Single-Use-Plastics Context; Coca-Cola’s perspective and actions

Hans Van Bochove, VP European public affairs, Coca-Cola European Partners


Recently adopted EU legislation around packaging and packaging waste will have a profound impact on businesses throughout the packaging supply chain. Embedding sustainability in packaging design and reaching higher recycling targets through Extended Producer Responsibility poses challenges and opportunities.

The recent emphasis on particularly plastic products and packaging has put pressure on the consumer acceptability of packaging. Producers will have to respond and the effects will be felt throughout the entire packaging supply chain and not be limited to plastics only. Being mindful that packaging is applied for its functionality and essential in today’s economy, Producers need to reconsider the way they are applying packaging and deal with the end-of-life phase of packaging more consciously. Things will get more complicated and expensive, before they get easier and affordable.  

This session will provide an overview of the most relevant pieces of EU legislation and their effect on the packaging supply chain and will be illustrated with insights, considerations and actions from Coca-Cola’s reality.


12:00 - 12:30


Transforming the Beauty Industry – Why Sustainability is not a Trend.

Dagmar Chlosta, Chief Market Officer, Schwan Cosmetics

Schwan Cosmetics pledges to become the most sustainable innovator in colour cosmetics to deliver to customers and consumers alike Tomorrow’s Beauty. Now. This entails considering sustainable innovation in all aspects – product, services, business models. A special emphasis is placed on primary packaging to ensure that our products meet and exceed the expectations of brands and consumers alike, whose focus is clearly on sustainability as a given to fit with their beliefs and lifestyle.

12:40 - 13:00


Can you nudge people to recycle more and litter less?

Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO, Hubbub UK

Despite all the chatter created by Blue Planet, English recycling rates are not improving. Whilst awareness is rising behaviour is not changing.  What can be done to alter this? Can proven behaviour change techniques boost recycling and cut littering? This presentation will share the practical experiences of Hubbub in our attempts to nudge people to live more sustainably.

13:00 - 13:40


Panel discussion: All-round sustainability: 360° packaging recycling solutions for the circular economy

Justin Kempson, Sales & Innovation Director, Charpak Ltd

Stuart Foster, CEO, RECOUP

Simon Ellin, Chief Executive, The Recycling Association

Trevor, Head of Waste Resources, Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service

The 25 Year Environment Plan: A Green Future and the Resources and Waste Strategy confirms Government priorities to drive change in packaging reform, a focus on the circular economy, the reduction of single-use plastics, and who pays.  Industry experts debate the solutions to achieving recycling solutions for the circular economy.



13:40 - 14:00


A psychologists approach to enabling behavioural, organisational, and social change with respect to plastics

Dr Tom Webb, Lecturer, University of Sheffield

To reduce plastics waste, the behaviours and practices of individuals, organisations, and society at large will have to change. This talk will explore what psychology can and has offered with respect to this challenge, focusing on the limits of motivation alone and the need for additional strategies that can help people to translate their good intentions into action.

14:10 - 14:25


Helping to Protect the Product and the Planet – Packaging FSC

Rosie Teasdale, Executive Director, FSC UK

With high consumer interest in packaging and moves to reduce plastic use, there is a risk that businesses switch from oil-based to forest-based packaging without considering the source of the paper and card they use.  FSC-certified packaging can help demonstrate a commitment to responsible sourcing through the use of certified materials and the application of the FSC label.  This session will highlight the business benefits of choosing FSC and promoting this choice.

The BIG Plastics Debate

14:30 - 15:15


Designing packaging for a circular economy

Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP UK
Stuart Foster, CEO, RECOUP
Dr. Andy Rees, Head Of Waste Strategy, Welsh Government
Paul Day, Senior Packaging Technologist, Church & Dwight Co., Inc

What do packaging designers and technologist’s need to consider when designing packaging that will be as sustainable as possible.

15:15 - 16:00


Recruiting consumers for a circular economy

Carole Taylor, Chair, LARAC
Jos Harrison, Global Design Strategy Director, RB
Paul Rhodes, External Affairs Manager, Greggs

How can we influence consumers to change their consumption and recycling habits, to help reduce plastic waste?