In all these discussions packaging was ever-present, whether it was the point of focus or a significant touchpoint for other issues. It’s clear that packaging technology must play a central role in resource efficiency – both in paying attention to its inherent attributes (efficiently preventing waste without creating waste) and in supporting behavioural change, communicating freshness, meeting the requirements of smart manufacturing and logistics. But on top of these practical challenges there is a credibility challenge.
As Marco Sachet (MD of the Istituto Italiano Imballaggio) observed in the closing debate, recent research found that 60 per cent of the Italian public is unaware that packaging has a function in preventing food waste. This reflects a wider misperception across Europe. Packaging is still far too often regarded as the problem itself. For the sake of the planet, we can’t allow this fallacy to impede the implementation of packaging solutions to serious environmental challenges.