VDMA Packaging Forum Information day “Plastic packaging – Quo vadis”

VDMA Packaging

Frankfurt, 7 November 2018 – The autumn event of the Forum Packmittel took place on 30 October 2018 at the company ROVEMA GmbH in Fernwald. Due to current events, the focus was on plastic packaging.

Rising global demand for packaging materials
The global food and beverage industry continues to be a dynamic growth market and is thus generating increasing demand for packaging materials. According to the British market research institute Euromonitor International, global packaging sales are expected to grow by almost 13 percent between 2017 and 2022. Above all in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions, above-average growth is expected over the same period.

Flexible packaging – blessing or curse?
Stefan Glimm from Flexible Packaging Europe talked about the current discussion on plastics and microplastics. The association called for a more objective discussion on the topic. The lecture answered the question how packaging can contribute to feeding the world’s population and avoiding food losses. If the market for flexible packaging were to disappear, the economic benefits of flexible packaging would also be affected. One of the messages of the lecture was that especially in emerging and developing countries, no recycling is possible without orderly collection of packaging waste: “No collection – no recycling”.

European Strategy
The information day also provided information on developments within the framework of the circular economy package adopted by the EU Commission on 16 January 2018, which focuses on the European strategy for plastics in the circular economy. This includes an EU-wide voluntary commitment to ensure that 10 million tons of recycled plastics will be used in new products in the EU market by 2025. In October 2018, the EU Parliament agreed to ban disposable plastic products from 2021. The resulting uncertainty among buyers of machinery and equipment is leading to a reluctance to invest, which some machine manufacturers are already noticing.

Bio-based plastics
The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging has presented a study commissioned by the BMEL on bio-based plastics for food packaging. The aim of the study was to clarify whether bio-based plastics are suitable for food packaging. Packaging must fulfil functions, such as being suitable for logistics and protecting food, but it must also fulfil communication tasks. Even if the respective requirement profile is decisive for suitability, the study concludes that bio-based plastics basically cover the properties of fossil-based plastics.

As an example of alternative packaging solutions, Rovema presented its clean and dense flour packaging made of organic paper.

The VDMA Packaging Forum is organized by three sector associations, i.e., the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association as well as the Printing and Paper Technology Association.

The VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association is the voice of the manufacturers of machinery and systems for prepress, printing and post-print processes, paper production and paper converting as well as components and devices. Together with Forschungsgesellschaft Druckmaschinen e.V. (FGD) – Research Association for Printing Machines – and PrintPromotion GmbH, the Association offers its members services with regard to, e.g., trade fairs, public relations, technology and research.

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