Tag Archives: the packaging society

Will You Make Your Next Trade Show Visit Zero-Waste?

An important part of the calendar for packaging professionals is attending trade shows.  it gives us a good opportunity to catch up with our industry colleagues, find out what is new from the exhibitors and to attend seminars given by industry leaders.  At the time of writing, it is just under two weeks to the next big Packaging trade show – Packaging Innovations, co-located with Luxury Packaging on 11th – 12th Sept 2019 at Olympia in London. 

Trade show tatt

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll come away with a couple of plastic carrier bags full of leaflets, brochures, pens and, to be frank, useless plastic tatt, which ends up languishing in a corner of the house.  I have a drawer full of average quality pens, lanyards that are too good to throw away and no end of plastic carrier bags, and even worse reusable carrier bags, with an industrial company logo that I wouldn’t want to be seen with in normal life cluttering up my kitchen.  At least the leaflets and brochures can go into the recycling when I’m done with them!  That was until February this year when I made the change at Packaging Innovations in Birmingham.  I now try to make my visits to trade shows zero-waste, it’s not that hard, it just takes a bit of remembering stuff.

This was my kit in Feb –

Trade show reuse kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lanyard – I was fully prepared to look a bit odd wearing last year’s lanyard, as it turned out, they were exactly the same.  Tbh I was a little disappointed that no-one could tell I was reusing an old one! 
  • Reusable bag, the older the better. Back in February I challenged my Linked-in contacts to do exactly that. Below is me with my collegue Dr Peter Cox from the Plastics Consultancy Network – mine was from just 2018 – Peter won with one from the 1980s!  It should be cool to use old stuff.  
  • Keep-cup – meeting up with colleagues for a cuppa means I must get through at least 4 cups a day – that means taking a reusable cup saves 8 unrecyclable paper cups from landfill/ incineration = smug feeling. 
  • Pen – I take my own(and a notebook) so I’m not tempted to take a free one.
  • Hankie – meant I used fewer single-use napkins
  • Business Cards – These are hard to give up, and unless your company specialises in zero-waste solutions, it seems really rude to refuse one.  I am also fully aware that mine are laminated on both sides which made them difficult to recycle.  Next time I order some I’ll change that.

Comparing old bags!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So did it work?  On the whole, yes I think.  I came back with a few free copies of Packaging News to give to colleagues, a couple of samples of novel materials and not much else.  At this particular show you’re given an RFID tag in your badge which means you can ‘check-in’ at stands, the exhibitors then send info over email, so no brochures/leaflets required.  I was, however, disappointed to see that I was only one or two people using reusables in any way – and was especially disappointed to see the number of single-use plastic water bottles being left on the tables at a certain NGO’s stand who should have known better! 

A report prepared by ThePackHub and recently published by the Packaging Innovation organisers Easyfairs highlighted that 43.2% of industry stakeholders are investigating reuse or refill options for their products.  If that includes you, will you put your money where your mouth is and join me on 11th-12th september (or whichever your next visit to a trade show is) by trying one or two of the waste-saving options above?

I plan to be at Olympia for the full two days – I’m especially looking forward to the discussions on compostable packaging, and will be on the IOM3 stand (H44) around about lunchtime on the 12th as part of the The Packaging Society‘s Packaging Surgery.  If you see me, show me your reuseable bag (or tweet me at @GreenwoodPkg) and I’ll buy a cuppa (in a reusable cup) for whoever has the oldest one, can’t say fairer than that!

 

 

 

 

Sarah Greenwood MSc(Eng) FIMMM APkgPrf is a Sustainable Packaging specialist.  She is currently leading a proof of concept study at the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield on reusable packaging. This is part of the UKRI funded project Plastics: Redefining Single Use . She is also an independent consultant www.scgreenwood.co.uk #plastics #RedefiningSingleUse #Reuse

lots of people's faces

Networking for Packaging Professionals in the North of England

Northern Packaging Professionals!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy meeting up with industry colleagues at packaging shows and events, but find that living in the North of England it is usually a long way to travel.  For some time now I’ve been thinking of starting networking sessions for those of us working in the North of England – the facebook group UK Packaging Professionals Discussion was created as a starting point.  I’ve spoken with a lot of people in the course of this year. After careful consideration I’m excited to let you know that I have agreed to chair the northern branch of The Packaging Society – NEPkgS.  I’ve been a member since I started the Diploma in Packaging course in 2004 and although there are excellent events planned by TPS in London and Nottingham, have been disappointed by the level of activity here in the North.  The only way to fix that is to do something about it, and with the help of my occasional colleague and associate Steve Jackson will be organising the first of, hopefully, many meetings in the North of England soon.  You will not have to join up to attend – we just want to get as many people together as possible.

The North of England Packaging Society covers all of Yorkshire, and the North West and North East up to the Scottish border.  Ideally, I’d like every packaging professional in the region to be within an easy drive of at least two events a year.  This is a big ask – we’re effectively starting from scratch so this is where you come in.

Please get in touch if you;

  • Have ideas of who you would like to see speak, where you would like to visit or know a great place for a social
  • Are interested in hosting an event /tour at your workplace,
  • Would like to speak at an event
  • Help us organise an event near you

Events could be a simple meet up for networking drinks, a talk by an industry expert, a visit to a manufacturer – anything packaging related.

If you are already a member of TPS, keep an eye out for emails and newsletters with details of the new events (it’s also a good idea check your preferences for communication are up to date in your IOM3 login, if you use it).  Events should also appear in the events section of Materials World magazine.

Non-members can join the UK Packaging Professionals Discussion Group on facebook (completely independent of TPS, but run by myself and a few others), connect with me on Linked-in or subscribe to my monthly newsletter to be notified of new events.

If the last few months have shown us anything it is that us packaging professionals need to stick together, we do a lot of chatting online, but it would be good to do it in person!

Cheers,

Sarah

07826 791 045