At this year’s European Forum Alpbach, described as the “Austrian Davos”, flexible packaging producer Constantia Flexibles presented a content session titled “Packaging with a Purpose: Understanding the Power of Circular Packaging.”
The session set out to emphasise the importance of more sustainable packaging solutions and to highlight the necessity for a holistic approach to the life cycle of flexible packaging and underlined the industry’s and the public’s growing interest in sustainable packaging solutions and a circular economy. It featured a panel discussion with speakers from politics, brands and industry associations and was moderated by Packaging Europe’s Elisabeth Skoda.
Packaging, in modern times, has become an integral part of our daily lives, safeguarding precious commodities ranging from food and hygiene products to pharmaceuticals. In order to balance functionality and environmental performance, it is key to adopt a circular approach that considers the complete life cycle of packaging. Designing packaging for the future includes embracing sustainable materials, minimizing waste, and optimizing recyclability. A universal solution doesn’t exist.
Constantia Flexibles delivers various packaging options, from film and foil to paper. The packaging journey begins with understanding a product’s lifecycle. Insights on this were shared by Martina Wagner, the Group Sustainability Expert at the company.
The content session also featured a keynote address from Prof. Achim Grefenstein, Head of Group R&D of Constantia Flexibles, shedding light on the evolution of ‘Circularity and Packaging Design’ and what lies ahead, possibly beyond 2030.
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Packaging Europe’s editor at large, Elisabeth Skoda and featured Lukas Mandl, Member of the European Parliament, Sarah Warscher, Representative from Austria’s Green Party, Marianne Neumüller-Klapper, Sustainability Director, Nespresso Austria, Guido Aufdemkamp, Executive Director of Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) and European Aluminium Foil Association and Daniel Winkler, Member of the Executive Board, Constantia Flexibles.
The European Union has presented several strategies and policy packages to transition to a circular economy. An essential step is the reform of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, in short PPWR to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal and the New Circular Economy Action Plan.
The panellists discussed the role of packaging for consumer goods and circularity challenge and gave updates on the latest stage of the PPWR review, the use of recycled content as well as future developments.
The session highlighted the importance of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) and emphasized the crucial role of policymakers and the entire packaging value chain. It focused on key factors shaping the future of the circular economy. It provided comprehensive insights for policymakers and encouraged dialogue with key players along the value chain for a better understanding of flexible packaging.
“We too are working on the transformation of our customers’ product portfolios. For that purpose, understanding what packaging actually does is essential! In fact, there are still challenges we need to overcome, and everyone needs to understand them. Education and collaboration with the wider public is key. Through events like the European Forum Alpbach, we hope to create an open dialogue that can lead to actionable solutions for a more sustainable future,” said Daniel Winkler, Member of the Board of Constantia Flexibles.