July: Packaging Data


The Sustainability in Packaging US 2024 agenda is here!

Beginning in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 6, Sustainability in Packaging US 2024 will kick-off with three pre-conference workshops followed by two exciting days of general sessions on March 7 - 8. Hear from representatives from across the supply chain, and extend your learnings by choosing a ticket will all three workshops included!

Enjoy networking lunches, an off-site welcome reception sponsored by Constantia Flexibles, an evening reception with drinks and hors d'oeuvres - plus a custom cocktail by Quantis and reTURNable cups by turn - and more, all included in your registration

Meet the speakers from PepsiCo Global Snacks, Tetra Pak, Alaska Airlines, Landsberg Orora, Casper, Constantia Flexibles, Ocean Conservancy, Minderoo Foundation, US Department of State, Searious Business, Cardia Bioplastics, Earthfirst, Neste, Crown Holdings, Inc., Illinois Environmental Council, and more!

Add the three workshops for just $400! Decide which workshop to attend in person, and access presentations and videos from the other two after the event. Featuring experts from Starbucks, ALPLA INC., Tetra Pak, Interact Boulder, Carbon Better, Steptoe & Johnson, Munchkin, Dr. Bronner's, Plastic Ingenuity, GE Appliances a Haier Company, EFI, American Forest & Paper Association, The Aluminum Association, Strategic Materials, Plastics Industry Association, Sway, erthos, Cruz Foam, Turn, RRS, Avery Dennison, Kellanova (formerly Kellogg's), FPI, Sonoco, P&G, and more.

ALSO INCLUDED: This recorded presentation will be sent after the event.
SB 54 and Single Use – How Does this Impact the Packaging Industry – pre-record
Rachel Machi Wagoner, Director, CalRecycle 

< Design for Consumer Centric Packaging >
< Workshop Description >
This workshop will cover design for consumer centric packaging, innovation, circularity etc.

Moderator: Scott Byrne, Director, Global Sustainability Services, Sonoco
Scott Byrne | Director, Global Sustainability Services, Sonoco
Opening Presentations
The Power of Partnerships
  • In an age where we have major targets to reach for packaging sustainability, we can’t work in silos any longer
  • Some blue-chip partners have already started major initiatives together (making competitors, partners)
  • CDP has been the glue for commercially successful innovation partnerships and we will share how we see the future in the context of changing business approaches toward ‘partnerships’ for major packaging innovation at scale.

James Harmer | Planning & Innovation Strategy Leader, Cambridge Design Partnership
Closing the Information Gap
Many companies recognize the information gap that exists in the public and the importance of providing accurate information to help facilitate the transition to a circular economy. The question is, how? As a recycler and leader in providing innovative solutions for plastic packaging, ALPLA, has chosen to raise people’s awareness on how to use plastic responsibly as a valuable material through a global communication’s project called aVoice. As a B2B supplier that doesn’t directly engage consumers, we have entered new territory. As part of the project, ALPLA North America launched a website called Plastic Reimagined, along with two social media accounts to provide timely content on topics like recycling, policy, waste, pollution, and greenhouse gases, to name a few. By providing information in a simple and engaging way, ALPLA hopes to reduce consumer confusion about the life cycle of plastics. Additionally, people who engage with the content can learn how to easily incorporate sustainability into their lives with confidence. This presentation will provide the audience with some of the thinking that went behind Plastic Reimagined and the associated media sharing networks along with examples of content provided to users, steps taken to increase followers and challenges encountered. From this we hope that other companies will feel inspired to directly engage the public to close the information gap, regardless of where they are on the supply chain.

Additional Presenter: Chivvaun Smith, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, ALPLA North America
Billy Rice | Sustainability Manager, ALPLA
Understanding Consumer Recycling Behavior
What is the number one influence on consumers to recycle? This was the question Carton Council of North America wanted to better understand in their efforts to increase the carton recycling rate across the United States. So, the industry association commissioned a study to look at the behavior behind consumer recycling practices to better understand how people make decisions and what behavior changes could be made to improve recycling. Seven key findings were identified and will prove valuable across packaging formats. Learn how packaging companies can translate these findings into effective messaging their brands can use to inspire more consumers to recycle.
Larine Urbina | Vice President of Communications, U.S. and Canada, Tetra Pak
Panel: The Plastics Conundrum: Engaging Gen Z to Drive Sustainable Packaging and Material Recovery in a Disrupted World
This session aims to benefit the Sustpack community by addressing the urgent need for regenerative systems amidst global challenges. We'll delve into the complexities of plastics credits, emphasizing the reduction necessary before implementation and explore the hurdles surrounding single-use plastics. By engaging with Gen Z, an educated activist generation, we'll reveal their demands for better packaging and increased access to material recovery facilities (MRFs), highlighting how their advocacy influences brand transformation. Our speakers will share data on Gen Z's attitudes towards packaging, helping brands understand the choices they must make to balance quality standards and sustainability goals. This session will inspire community members to adopt innovative, localized solutions that drive consumer behavior change, enhance brand purpose, and foster a sustainable, regenerative future.

Moderator: Valerie Hawks | Director of Production & Sustainability, Interact Boulder

Panelists Include:
  • Candace Lawton, Senior Manager of Business Partnerships, rePurpose Global
  • Additional Panelists Coming Soon
Networking Break
"Recycle the Jug" Campaign - How the Dairy Industry is Advocating Recycling the Most Valuable Plastic for Recyclers!
The ubiquitous HDPE milk jug is the most desirable plastic for recyclers across the USA because of the revenue received after collection, sorting and selling.  CMAB (California Milk Advisory Board) and MilkPep (National Milk Processor Education Program) invested in developing partnerships and a communication strategy focused on California consumers and citizens with the Recycle the Jug campaign which included radio spots, bi-lingual website, social media influencers and communication with retailers and milk processors.  Roger Zellner of Rogue Zebra Consulting will share how the strategy and partnerships evolved in helping the dairy industry take a leadership role to advocate recycling of the milk jug with the long term goal to make it national. He will share the huge opportunity and the multitude of challenges with understanding, education and alignment with the broad range of stakeholders that the humble HDPE milk jug is the gold plastic nugget for recyclers who really are investing in new equipment and technology to  capture as many of the very profitable milk jugs as possible.
Roger Zellner | Former Global Director of R&D Packaging Margin Management and Simplification, Rogue Zebra Consulting
Packaging Assessment Trends in Around the Globe
The environmental considerations for packaging design and selection are getting more complex and conflicting than ever before.  Brands are having to trade off material efficiency against recyclability, climate change against circularity and litter impacts against material efficiency.  The priorities vary by region and sector as shown by a survey undertaken by Lifecycles of companies using PIQET.  The results reflect regional legislative priorities and emerging expansion of traditional life cycle metrics and those material related properties.
Timothy Grant | Director of Lifecycles, owners of PIQET
Circularity and Scoring for Sustainability in Corrugated Packaging
The Corrugated Packaging Alliance recently completed its latest and fourth Life Cycle Assessment showing an incredible 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since the first study in 2006. The presentation will explore the critical role circularity and a long-standing commitment to sustainability play in generating meaningful improvements to combat climate change. In this session, Rachel Kenyon will present a well-rounded discussion about the latest study and what it says about the true sustainability of a corrugated box.
Rachel Kenyon | Senior Vice President, Fibre Box Association
Cont’d Topic: Around the World in 120 Minutes – Regulatory Updates for Global Sustainable Packaging Pt. 1
Best Practices for Developing a Sustainability Compliance Program for Packaging
Companies are under growing pressure to comply with sustainability-focused laws for packaging, including laws restricting use of recyclable and compostable claims for packaging, EPR schemes, and recycled-content mandates, among others.  This presentation will provide an overview of some of these key laws, highlight how these laws intersect, and propose best practices for developing compliance programs.
Joseph Dages | Associate, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Straight Talk into Sustainability - What we can Learn from the Sustainable Packaging Success Story of the Japanese Market
Sustainability in packaging has been a significant movement for some time, while other countries have already adopted it long before the US market. A refill pouch in Japan is an excellent example of how sustainability in packaging has advanced and evolved. Japan introduced refill pouches for home and personal care products in the late 1990s to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. Japan successfully reduced over 40% of home and personal care plastic packaging in the last 25 years. Why is the US market stagnant in adopting refillable and reusable packaging? ZACROS is one of Japan's leading pouch manufacturers that has developed a refill culture together with brand owners and other suppliers. From our experience and expertise, this session discusses the key findings from the success in the Japanese market and the opportunities and challenges US brands face with refillable packaging solutions.
John Patterson | Business Development Manager, Zacros America
Welcome Evening Reception
Welcome Evening Reception at Acebounce
Sponsored By
< Reuse, Refill and the Future of Consumer Behavior >
< Workshop Description >
This workshop will highlight reuse and refill options as well as address the consumer behavior outlook. Do we push consumers to change their behaviors? Or do we wait until they are willing to accept reuse and refill options? The issue with consumer acceptance seems to be that there is not enough implemented solutions in retail, convenience stores, collection, etc. What does the future hold for reuse and refill for consumers?

Moderator: Mark Watts, Chuch & Dwight
Mark Watts | Sr. Research Manager-Packaging Engineering, Sustainability & Open Innovation, Church & Dwight Co. Inc.
Opening Presentations
Measuring the Environmental Performance of Restaurant Reusable vs Single-use Takeout Container Systems
Reusable packaging is one sustainable solution that may have the potential to reduce plastic waste in the restaurant takeaway sector. Returnable systems are the leading reusable implementation strategy in this sector where the container is owned by the restaurants or system operators and temporarily loaned out to customers who are then responsible for returning the container. These systems result in greater complexity and require attention to program design parameters to ensure environmental benefits are realized. We modeled and compared a variety of container materials and takeout/return scenarios to identify system parameters, such as container reuse rates, that can significantly influence environmental performance. Through our research, we highlight the importance of consumer behavior as a driver of environmental performance. Centralized washing systems also have the potential to increase accessibility to a city-scale cooperative reusable system. In our most recent work, we evaluated the performance of a centralized system against a distributed washing system.
Christian Hitt | Research Specialist, University of Michigan, Center for Sustainable Systems
Learnings from Reusable Cup Tests
In the fall of 2023, 12 stores in the Napa, CA region converted to reusable options only - personal cup, ceramic "sit and stay", or a new borrow-a-cup reusable cup. It's the latest in a series of tests Starbucks has conducted to learn how to transition from single use to reusable.
Paul Earl-Torniainen | Lead Packaging Engineer, R&D, Starbucks
Workshop Cont’d - Topic: Navigating Supply Chain Disruption
Effects of Polyvinyl Alcohol Molecular Structure on Barrier Properties
The use of packaging materials is crucial in our lives, as they ensure that products are preserved during handling, transporting and storage as well as prolonging their shelf-life. It is obvious that the use of plastic as a barrier lining is a significant contributor to the pollution of the ecosystem. The objective of this study is to develop high-barrier recyclable packaging structures that are environmentally friendly and utilize a class of hydrophobically modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) resins. The crystallinity, polarity, swellability, and the rate of dissolution of the modified resin are altered by the introduction of hydrophobic groups on the backbone of the PVOH resin. The study’s findings hydrophobic modification results in a resin that has better barrier properties for paper, while at the same time maintaining repulpability by optimizing the coating parameters and choosing the appropriate coating structures, it is feasible to avoid any negative effects from the modification. As a matter of fact, the fiber recovery from the repulping of the coated product met the industrial requirements. This study also indicate hydrophobic modified PVOH can achieve a high barrier mono-material structure based on a polyolefin substrate with a thinner barrier layer such as 1-2 µm, which could improve recyclability. Lastly, due to the biodegradability of hydrophobic modified PVOH, it is a possibility to create a whole biodegradable barrier film structure using biodegradable substrates like PLA This study also indicate hydrophobic modified PVOH can achieve high barrier mono-material structure based on polyolefin substrate with thinner barrier layer such as 1-2µm, which could improve recyclability. Due to the fact that hydrophobic modified PVOH is biodegradable, there is a possibility to create a whole biodegradable barrier film structure using biodegradable substrates such as PLA and PHA. 
Vitor Godoy | PVOH Technical Service & Development Engineer, Kuraray
Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Reusable Packaging in the Circular Economy, using Packaging Life-Cycle Assessment (PLCA) Data
As companies drive supply chain sustainability and efficiency, they scrutinize their entire network, including packaging, for opportunities to reduce their impact on the environment and cut waste throughout their operations. Many leading companies today have ESG and sustainability scorecards that measure their environmental impacts. A standardized method to analyze packaging helps companies measure and document performance against these metrics.
Reusable packaging provides an effective method to handle, store and move product in the supply chain and can also reduce a company’s environmental impact, in terms of solid waste, water, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
Packaging Life Cycle Assessment (PLCA) involves the study of how packaging impacts the environment, from raw material to end-of-life. LCA takes a cradle-to-grave life approach, from raw material extraction to make the product, to its disposal or recycling plan at the end of its useful life. It is critical to use life-cycle data to accurately compare and evaluate reusable packaging to single-use packaging within the supply chain.
Thomas Estock | Director of Sustainability, ORBIS Corporation
Cellulose films for future food packaging applications
Single-use bags, plastic bottles, food containers and food wrappers are the four most widespread items polluting the seas, making up almost half of human-made waste. The see-through plastic film has been used in global food packaging, such as bread and candy, for decades to protect food and minimise waste. However, thin plastic films are difficult to recycle because they are made of multiple plastic layers, making them difficult to separate. Because of this, they usually end up in landfills, or in the worst case, in nature after use. These environmental concerns coupled with legislative efforts are driving factors to evaluate cellulose-based material alternatives to plastics.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is working on a novel technology to produce transparent films from dissolved cellulose. This is based on an alternative dissolving and regeneration technology that is more environmentally friendly compared to cellophane production.
The novel technology applies improved rheology control enabling enhanced film properties, wider raw material selection, and improved recyclability. VTT has launched a major material and application development project and pilot equipment for technology demonstration in Espoo, Finland. The pilot facility is ready to scale up the production methods of renewable cellulose films. With the pilot facility, VTT aims to further accelerate sustainable packaging options in the food industry by developing new material solutions that meet customers’ needs. The facility’s goal is to develop easily recyclable cellulose-based film-like materials for food packaging and bio-based barrier materials for films, paper, and cardboard.
Vinay Kumar | Research Team Leader & Project Manager (IPMA-C), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Networking Break
Panel: Applying Multiple Factors into Packaging and Product
This panel will cover topics such as reducing packaging materials, supply chain impact on packaging design, working towards more sustainable packaging, tackling recycling and understanding the consumer.

Moderator: Kelly Helein, VP of Business Development, Procon
  • Alyssa O'Halloran, Senior Packaging Engineer, Munchkin
  • Zach Muscato, Corporate Sustainability Manager, Plastic Ingenuity
  • Jessie Franco, Packaging Engineer, Dr. Bronner's
  • Alex Hagedorn, PhD, Principal Design Engineer – Packaging, GE Appliances a Haier Company
Panel: Digital Printing and its Impact on Carbon Emissions
Digital printing is a sustainable option for marking and decorating corrugated packaging and displays.  To substantiate and quantify, EFI has partnered with Clean Agency to develop a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that calculates Global Warming Potential (kg CO2e) for digital printing on corrugated and then compares it to other printing technologies.

In this session we will discuss the LCA findings, the methodology used, and how Brands can leverage EFI’s approach to reduce and quantify Scope 3 emissions.

Moderator: Kerry Sanders, VP Market Development, EFI

  • Seri McClendon, Principal and CEO, Clean Agency
  • Hossein Tavakoli, Research Lead, Clean Agency 
  • Howard Bertram, President, Complete Design & Packaging

Kerry Sanders | VP Market Development, EFI
Panel: Package Sustainability - A Material Sector Assessment of Opportunities and Challenges
This panel will bring together representatives from the glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum industries and discuss:
  • Messaging challenges/opportunities
  • Policy challenges, dealing with negative press, communications, advocacy
  • Policy advocacy challenges/opportunities  
  • Recycling challenges/opportunities  
Moderator: Gary Robinson, Independent Consultant, Tetonia, LLC

  • Terry Webber, Vice President, Industry Affairs, American Forest & Paper Association
  • Nadya Ally, Sustainability Director, The Aluminum Association
  • Laura Hennemann, SVP, Sustainability & Corporate Affairs, Strategic Materials and Executive Board Member, Glass Recycling Foundation
  • Patrick Krieger, VP of Sustainability, Plastics Industry Association
Welcome Evening Reception
Welcome Evening Reception at Acebounce
Sponsored By
< Startup and Innovative Packaging Showcase >
< Workshop Description >
This workshop will highlight alternative fibers, startup sustainable companies, reusable platforms, up and coming trends, packaging alternatives in e-commerce, fashion, food & beverage and beyond. 

Moderator: Gary Robinson, Independent Consultant, Tetonia, LLC 
Gary Robinson | Fractional Advisor: Sustainability and Consumer Packaged Good, Tetonia, LLC
Sustainability in Automotive Packaging
Cleancult & The Evolution of Household Cleaning: The Future of Refill and Reuse in Mass Market Retail
Can the household cleaning category reduce its plastic usage while keeping costs and profits in check? In this talk, Cleancult Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Lupberger will talk through his founding journey and his experience in launching alternative form factors in retail. Cleancult is the first brand in world to put soap, cleaners, and detergents in milk cartons instead of plastic bottles and has now launched innovation products like filled and refillable aluminum bottles and PVA based laundry sheets. Ryan will share his experience in meeting the shopper where they and navigating behavior change in retail.
Ryan Lupberger | Co-Founder and CEO, Cleancult
Swaying the Future with Scaled Seaweed Packaging
What if plastic could evolve from a ubiquitous threat into a material with the capacity to restore the planet? By now, many have heard of innovative materials created from microbes, shrimp shells, agricultural waste, seaweed, and other biobased resources. There’s immense potential to shift our petroplastic packaging systems towards renewable, and even regenerative, solutions. But what will it take to scale these materials to effectively compete with plastic? In this talk, Sway co-founder and CEO Julia Marsh will share how her company is designing home compostable seaweed packaging, the lessons they have learned in bringing it to the world, and what next-generation material companies want brands to know. 
Julia Marsh | CEO and Co-Founder, Sway
Biomaterials: Revolutionizing Global Sustainability Through Inclusive Circular Solutions
Join us to explore how next-gen biomaterials lead the charge in creating a global circular environment. Learn how these innovative materials surpass traditional paper and recyclable products and redefine sustainability by offering a closed-loop solution that minimizes waste, conserves resources, and paves the way for a greener future in sustainable packaging.
  • Compostable vs. Recycling: Explain the concept of compostable products as an alternative to recycling globally, especially in regions with limited recycling facilities.
  • Global Environmental Impact: Highlight how compostable products, when properly disposed of in composting systems, can reduce the burden on landfills and lower the overall environmental impact.
  • Landfill Overflow: Discuss the challenges countries face without efficient recycling infrastructure, where recyclable products often end up in overflowing landfills.
  • Composting as a Solution with erthos’ Material: Showcase how composting allows organic materials like our compostable products to break down naturally, offering a more sustainable waste management solution.
  • Global Sustainability: Emphasize the global significance of adopting compostable products, as they can alleviate landfill issues and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future, even in regions facing recycling challenges.

Nuha Siddiqui | CEO and Co-Founder, erthos
Doing Packaging RIGHT
We are often told to think outside of the box for ideas on how to improve our sustainability and logistics, but have you ever thought ABOUT the box? Right-sizing packaging is a key component in improving your efficiency and reducing your carbon footprint. This presentation will guide you through the most cutting edge innovations in the packaging industry to help you improve your throughput, reduce emissions, minimize waste, and accelerate your ability to deliver – literally!
Brian McCarson | Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer , Packsize International LLC
Cruz Foam Presentation
More information coming soon
John Felts | Co-founder & CEO, Cruz Foam
Reuse and rewards - The Secret to Eliminating Single-use Plastic
Is there a shortcut to scaling behavior change for the better? In this talk, TURN’s Chief Commercial Officer, Henry Simonds will showcase insights from over a decade, discussing how reuse systems can significantly reduce single-use plastics and why rewards hold the key for adoption. From real-life case studies to scientific studies, this talk will help to illuminate the ways businesses can take advantage of simple tactics to drive change
Henry Simonds | Chief Commercial Officer, TURN - REUSE
Using PHA to Make Sustainable Products and Packaging
PHA, a naturally occurring biopolymer that can biodegrade in many different environments, can be used to produce safe and sustainable products and packaging. Mango Materials formulates PHA and sells pellets to partners in various product sectors such as cosmetics, toys, and apparel. This presentation will showcase the various products made using Mango Materials’ PHA and discuss the acceleration of interest and capacity for the future.
Anne Schauer-Gimenez, Ph.D. | Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Mango Materials
Revolutionizing Sustainability and Efficiency: Unveiling the IndES Elastic Staple System for Substantial Single-Use Plastic Reduction and Cost Savings in Packaging
Explore the cutting-edge IndES Elastic Staple System as a beacon of sustainable packaging excellence. This groundbreaking solution outshines conventional options like clam shells, blister packs, plastic cable ties, and paper twist ties by delivering remarkable reductions in water and energy consumption, solid waste production, and CO2 emissions. Uncover the substantial cost savings achieved through diminished material expenses and enhanced production throughput, making the IndES system a game-changer for industries across the board. Discover the limitless possibilities for technology utilization and learn how Avery Dennison can empower you to meet your sustainability and cost-saving objectives. Join us to witness the future of eco-friendly packaging and economic efficiency.
Ram Ramakrishnan | Business Development Manager, Avery Dennison
Networking Break + Show and Tell
Workshop Cont’d
Panel: Collaborating toward Sustainable Packaging Success
The Poly Coated Paper Alliance launched in 2023 with the defined goal of collaborating toward the end goal of widespread end-market acceptance for poly coated paper materials. To achieve this goal, the PCPA has outlined 5 essential workstreams that focus on key problem areas in the recycling chain. Each workstream has individual program plan steps, strategic initiatives, and targeted outcomes as listed below. Since the launch, we've worked together on material definitions and focusing on the data we will need to move poly coated paper toward increased end markets and becoming widely recycled. Sustainable Packaging in the US would be a great opportunity to present the work of Poly Coated Paper Alliance one year later and spreading the word about the progress that could be made through collaboration.
  • The Poly Coated Paper Alliance was founded this year to build a platform for the industry to collaborate toward the end goal of widespread end-market acceptance, universal adoption of design guidelines, seeking upgraded ISRI specs, and documented flow and recovery of poly coated paper.
  • The PCPA developed a material list and packaging type that will be researched by PCPA and included in our database.
  • The PCPA narrowed down the packaging attributes that will be included in the PCPA research.
  • The PCPA is currently preparing specific survey and interview questions, strategy, and issue-framing language for an outreach survey to mills and end markets. 
Moderator: Samantha Kappalman, Senior Consultant, RRS
Panelists include:
  • Shannon Moore, Director, Global Packaging Sustainability, Kellanova (formerly Kellogg's)
  • Ashley Elzing, Director, Sustainability & Outreach, FPI
  • Scott Byrne, Director, Global Sustainability Services, Sonoco
  • Amber Barron, Sustainable Materials Engineer, P&G
  • Jason Pelz, Vice President of Sustainability, Tetra Pak and Vice President of Recycling Projects, Carton Council of North America
Magnetizable Inks for Recyclable Packaging
Magnomer is a materials startup introducing a patented magnetizable coatings technology (Magmark) to impart sortability features for recyclable packaging. Magmark coatings are printed using industry standard techniques as a transparent varnish to impart magnetization on flexible films such as bottle labels. This complements widely used magnetic separators in plastics recycling to economically separate problematic labels. Magnomer's coatings technology is a packaging design tool used to resolve long standing sorting issues in package recycling such as label contamination. Magnomer has received industry recognition from the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) on the basis of a first ever commercial scale recyclability test of shrink labelled bottles.
Ravish Majithia | Founder & CEO, Magnomer
Turning Plants into Plastics to Defossilize our Everyday Products
Renewable feedstocks that tackle our CO2-emissions, or better absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, are prompted to fill the gap between ever-growing plastic demand and the limited available recycled plastic supply. Supporting this, Avantium, a disrupter in renewable chemistry, develops and commercializes fossil-free chemical building blocks to accelerate the transition to a renewable and circular economy. 
Our most advanced technology converts plant-based sugars into furandicarboxylacid (FDCA), the building block of the plant-based polyester PEF, PolyEthyleneFuranoate. PEF has the advantage of superior barrier performance and can be recycled in existing PET assets. PEF can be identified with NIR sorting technologies enabling PEF to PEF recycling at industrial scale. At the same time, Avantium’s PEF has interim endorsement by the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) to enter the EU PET bottle recycling stream. In the United States, Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) has formally recognized the recyclability of Avantium’s PEF multilayer bottles containing up to 10% of PEF in the clear PET recycling stream. 
In 2024 Avantium will open its first commercial Flagship Plant facility producing 5-kiloton of 100% plant-based PEF. Meanwhile, Avantium is spearheading towards the industrialization of PEF at 100-kiloton scale through its licensing strategy. The first licensee to date to industrialize the production of PEF is Origin Materials, a like-minded frontrunner in the transition to sustainable materials, based in the USA. 
Bart Langius | Commercial Director, Avantium
Welcome Evening Reception
Welcome Evening Reception at Acebounce
Sponsored By
Off-site Welcome Reception at AceBounce
Sponsored by Constantia Flexibles
Sponsored By
Registration Opens
Registration Open
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Brittany Onslow | Conference Producer, Smithers

Set the Stage Sponsor
Sustainable Packaging Podcast: Collaborations, Future Partnerships and Opportunities
A look into sustainable packaging from three different industries, Cory Connors will ask the questions: what value have collaborations brought to your company achieving your sustainability goals? How can future partnerships help further sustainability overall? Where would you say are the biggest opportunities for the packaging industry?

Host and Moderator:
  • Cory Connors, Sustainable Packaging Podcast and Director of Sustainable Packaging, Landsberg Orora
  • Cody Stanton, Packaging and Digital Product Management, Casper 
  • Kathy Pazakis, Chief Commercial Officer, Terracycle
  • Jason Manasse, CRO, Business Development Executive, Client Success Leader, Dispatch Goods 
  • Blake Brown, VP of Brand and Creative, Kizik

Cory Connors | Director of Sustainable Packaging, Orora Packaging Solutions
Session I: Industry Trends, Consumer Insights and Innovation Around the World
Sustainable Packaging: Are Consumers Buying It?
Since 2018/19, virtually all of the major Consumer Packaging Goods (CPG) companies have announced goals and initiatives to make their product packaging more sustainable. Many media reports suggest that consumers are demanding more sustainable products. 

This presentation begins with a short summary of goals and progress among some of the largest CPG companies and then reviews a series of studies that show where consumers are at in terms of interest in sustainable packaging and willingness to make changes to their purchasing habits. Research conducted by the author is discussed as well as a number of other studies by well-known consulting firms and research companies. 

Research with US consumers shows that interest in sustainable packaging has grown significantly since 2020, and that a substantial percentage would consider buying paper instead of plastic in specific product categories. Yet consumers don’t differentiate between different types of sustainable packaging – they aren’t sure whether made with recycled materials, recyclable, or compostable is better. Products with sustainability claims on pack have averaged higher growth rates than those without in recent years. Yet there are so many different ‘eco-claim’s’ that consumers are confused by the choices and are concerned that some claims are greenwashing.
The presentation shows that some consumers will pay more for sustainable packaging but that a substantial percentage are not willing or able to pay more. One of the greatest barriers to shopping more sustainably is the cost of more sustainable products. The presentation wraps up by showing the results of two segmentations of the consumer market, one from Europe and one from the US. Both have very similar findings and show there is a segment of consumers who may be called “Eco-Actives” or “Activists”. This segment may well be influencing corporate sustainability goals, but it is important to recognize that this is a small segment, not the entire market, and there are substantial segments who may not be on board for sustainable packaging.
Susan Cornish | Principal Consultant, Insight + Action
The Future of Sustainable Packaging Long Term Strategic Forecast to 2032
Embracing transformation – why a life cycle perspective (only) is key to win the future
Evolving demands for packaging materials need a full scope view. Life cycle assessments (LCA) are a key basis to understand environmental impacts and identify more sustainable solutions. Showcasing Constantia Flexibles’ 360 degree approach and in-house LCA model, we discuss how requirements for sustainability and functionality can be met in flexible packaging
Daniel Winkler | Executive Vice President Aluminum Division & Group Sustainability, Constantia Flexibles
Networking Break and Coffee – Sponsored by Tetrapak
Sponsored by
Session II: Collaboration and Partnerships Around the World
Partnership Case Study
Additional presenter: Rob Koenen, Chief Revenue Officer, Boxed Water is Better
Scott Coughlan | Environmental Sustainability Program Manager, Alaska Airlines
Session III: Sustainable Retailers
Panel: Sustainable Retailers – Applying Sustainability
This panel will address packaging, recycling, carbon emissions and more. How are retailers maintaining sustainable supply chains? What sustainability initiatives are implemented? How are you educating your consumers on these initiatives?

  • Ann LeBlanc, Packaging Manager, The Home Depot
  • Ame Igharo, Sr. Director of Sustainability, Ulta Beauty 
  • Scot Case, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, National Retail Federation
Networking Lunch Sponsored by Kuraray
Sponsorsed by
Session IV: Global Plastics Treaty and the future of the circular economy
Panel & Presentation: Policy in Practice, Plastics Treaty Update
Policy in Practice - Willemijn Peeters, CEO and Founder, Searious Business
The world waits to see what will be contained in the UN Global Plastics Treaty to end plastic pollution. Whatever ambitions are set, the methods are unlikely to be prescriptive. It will be left to national governments and private-sector businesses to identify the technical solutions, invest in and build the infrastructure needed to support its execution. Which is why we created EPPIC – The End of Plastic Pollution International Collaborative together with the US State Dept, convening stakeholders across the plastic value chain. We’d like to introduce EPPIC and talk about how the Plastics Treaty could affect the packaging sector and sustainability across the world and how they can get involved in supporting a just transition to a circular plastic economy.

Panel: Plastics Treaty Update

Mark Watts, Church & Dwight

  • Felipe Victoria, Senior Manager for International Policy, Ocean Conservancy
  • Liz Nichols, Foreign Affairs Officer, US Department of State 
  • Willemijn Peeters, CEO and Founder, Searious Business

Willemijn Peeters | CEO & Founder, Searious Business
Panel: Explaining Claims and Further Education around Advanced Recycling
This panel will address how brands approach/explain claims with advanced recycling and better understanding how they can help with education to consumers as well as the industry.

Moderator: Suzanne Shelton, CEO, Shelton Group 

  • Berry Global
  • Christiane Waldron, Head of Business Development, Neste
  • Carlos Ludlow-Palafox, CEO, enval
  • Wesley Porter, Berry Global 
Networking Break
Sponsored by:
Session V: Technology and Sustainability – How does material use and technology play into sustainable packaging?
< Moderator >
This session will cover food packaging, bioplastics, compostable packaging and more.
Dylan Layfield | VP, Material Sales & Recycling, TerraCycle
Compostable Bioplastic Gains Momentum in Brazil's Food Packaging Industry
The use of compostable bioplastic packaging in food production lines has gained traction in Brazil, with some early adopters and success cases, which will be presented by ERT´s CEO, Kim Gurtensten Fabri.
One notable example is stand-up pouches, commonly multi-layered materials that can be transitioned to compostable bioplastic packaging in several applications. Other examples are delivery and supermarket thermoformed single-use packaging, significantly reducing their environmental impact. Additionally, the natural food and supplements industry has shown a substantial interest in adopting more sustainable packaging solutions that align with the brands' purpose and product offerings.
Kim Gurtensten Fabri | Presidente, Earth Renewable Technologies
How to Develop Compostable Packaging and Avoiding Greenwashing
This informative presentation will detail the do’s and don’ts of developing sustainable packing using coffee pods as an example. It will explain the four pillars of sustainability (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle & Compost) while outlining FTC green laws/claims and third-party certifications (BPI, CMA, ASTM, TÜV, How2Recycle, and Carbon Neutral). The presentation also reviews current and future state recycling and composting requirements in addition to resources/organizations that can provide support. It identifies existing and upcoming materials that can help. Participants will be able to ask questions at the end for respective relevant situations.
Michael Sands | CEO and Co-Founder, Smile Compostable Solutions
Dry Molded Fiber - Scaling up for Sustainable Change
The need for sustainable solutions to remedy the climate crisis is critical, and the impact of single-use plastic is one of today’s more significant environmental challenges. That was the starting point when PulPac developed Dry Molded Fiber – a disruptive technology for packaging solutions, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to do with cellulosic fibers.

Fiber was always the best alternative to replace single-use plastics. And using water to make fiber-based products is proven, but PulPac managed to take almost all the water out of that equation. The result is cost-effective, responsibly produced, biodegradable, and recyclable packaging with a significantly lower climate impact than alternatives.
Sanna Fager | Chief Commercial Officer, PulPac
Evening Networking Reception
Turn to be Used at Reception
Quantis will provide a custom cocktail at the reception bar! Be sure to grab one!
Session IV: Recycling, Ecosystems and MRF Involvement
Panel: How do you Steer a Mountain?
This panel discussion, titled 'How Do You Steer a Mountain?', offers an insightful dialogue between emerging and established leaders in the sustainable packaging industry. This session is a journey through the evolving landscape of sustainable packaging, aiming to uncover tangible solutions for the industry's future. It covers the transformation towards sustainable manufacturing, the emergence of new materials, and the balance between consumer convenience and environmental goals. It's a platform where pressing, genuine questions from a fresh perspective meets established norms, driving towards actionable solutions

Moderator: Esteban Guzman, Commercial Director, Cardia Bioplastics

  • Kelly Williams, Managing Director Lamination Division, Earthfirst
  • Ralph Giammarco, Global Business Development and Applications Director, Michelman
  • Tim Morgan, Business Director – Flexible Packaging, Brook & Whittle
Session V: Around the World in 120 Minutes – Regulatory Updates for Global Sustainable Packaging Pt. 2
< Moderator >
This session will cover regulatory updates from EPR around the world, EU PPWR and SB 54.
Scott Byrne | Director, Global Sustainability Services, Sonoco
Fireside chat on SB 85
This session will be focused on SB 85, the recycling refunds (i.e., beverage container deposit return system) bill that will be re-introduced in Illinois in 2024.

Moderator: Jennifer Bogs, Director, Global Sustainability, Crown Holdings, Inc.

Panelists include:
  • Anthony Tindall, Solid Waste Coordinator, Cook County
  • Seema Keshav, Co-Founder, Go Green Vernon Hills & Lincolnshire
  • Liz Kunkle, Zero Waste Policy Manager, Illinois Environmental Council
Networking Break
Sponsored by:
From EU to USA: The PPWR's Influence on Packaging and Sustainability
Regulatory Updates – EPR
US EPR Implementation from the Perspective of the PRO
In less than two years, Circular Action Alliance has become the single U.S. PRO for paper and packaging and has been working across states that have EPR laws to track regulatory developments, build stakeholder relationships, and prepare for program implementation – from needs assessments to program planning. Join this session to learn about this work, next steps in California, Colorado, Maine and Oregon, and what producers need to do today to prepare for EPR compliance.  
Olivia Barker | Communications & Recruitment Director, Circular Action Alliance
Evening Networking Reception
Turn to be Used at Reception
Quantis will provide a custom cocktail at the reception bar! Be sure to grab one!
Registration Opens
Registration Table Opens
Open Remarks
Brittany Onslow | Conference Producer, Smithers
Session VI: Sustainability – CSR, Emissions and Zero Waste to Landfill
< Moderator >
This session will talk about carbon emissions, zero waste, labeling and how companies are reporting on sustainability.

Dylan Layfield | VP, Material Sales & Recycling, TerraCycle
Keynote: Sustainability Reporting, Focusing in on Packaging Transparency
Organizations can sharpen their understanding of their impact and create pathways to reduce their environmental footprint, and they can better keep pace with global regulatory and consumer pressure. Transparency over a business’s circular models may help drive value and gain brand recognition as sustainability leaders. 

But, how do organizations demonstrate transparency over such sustainability practices and the impact of their products and packaging, and what steps should they take to get started?

Providing a look into some of the regulatory requirements in the US and globally, and how they will impact the packaging value chain:
-    SEC proposed climate-related disclosure
-    California SB253, SB261 & AB1305
-    Extended Producer Responsibility
Nicole Ray | Senior Manager, CCaSS, Assurance, Ernst & Young LLP
Unveiling Scope 3 Emissions in Paperboard Production: Navigating Sources, Challenges, Reporting Processes, and Reduction Initiatives
Explore the nuanced landscape of Scope 3 emissions within the paperboard packaging industry. This session will delve into the diverse sources of Scope 3 emissions in paperboard production, shedding light on the challenges companies may face in quantifying and managing them. The discussion will also touch on the complexities of the reporting process, offering practical insights into effective measurement and disclosure strategies.

Moreover, the session will spotlight reduction initiatives undertaken by our organization, showcasing real-world examples of mitigation strategies. Attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of the broader environmental impact of their activities and practical approaches to foster sustainability, aligning with global climate goals.
Nate Pajka | Sustainability Manager, Metsä Board Americas
SB 343 (Allen) Truth in Recycling – and updates to 1201
SB 343 provides “truth in labeling” to familiar recycling symbols on many plastic and packaging products. The measure prohibits the use of the chasing-arrows symbol on products that are not truly recyclable.

Moderator: Kelly Helein, Principal, Stratus Solutions, LLC
Nick Lapis | Director of Advocacy, Californians Against Waste
Leveraging open innovation around the entire value circle with venture capital to achieve meaningful sustainable packaging goals.
Emerald is a globally recognized venture capital firm founded in 2000 that manages and advises assets of over €1 billion from its offices in Zurich, Toronto and Singapore. The firm invests in start-ups that tackle big challenges in climate change and sustainability with 4 current funds (including the Sustainable Packing Innovation Fund), hundreds of venture transactions, four third-party investment mandates, and loan guarantees to over 100 start-ups.

The packaging ecosystem is complex and competitive, but is remarkably collaborative.  We will share Emerald’s perspective on catalyzing technology adoption via open innovation strategies as global corporate players strive to meet their aggressive sustainability targets. 
Neil Cameron, PhD | Partner, Emerald
A Demonstration toward Zero Waste in a Major League Soccer stadium
Additional Presenter: Holly Hayes, Product Manager, Huhtamaki

In 2023, Huhtamaki announced its sponsorship of Children's Mercy Park, the stadium of Sporting Kansas City, a Major League Soccer (MLS) organization. As the official provider of sustainable packaging into the park, Huhtamaki is taking an active role in helping Sporting KC achieve its goal of being a zero waste facility by 2027. This project encompasses both recycling and composting of packaging in the front of house and back of house operations. Huhtamaki is using this as a demonstration to help others organizations understand the important elements in setting up a zero-waste program.
Michael Hodges | Vice President, Sustainability and Communications, Huhtamaki
Session VII: Trends, Industry Impact and Future Outlook
Panel: Enhancing Recycling Access for Packaging
There are packaging types that are accepted in some, but not all, U.S. recycling programs. Manufacturers and consumer brands are working to elevate the recyclability status of these packaging types. In this session, you'll learn about the approaches that the carton, polypropylene, and aerosol can industries, among others, are taking to increase acceptance in U.S. recycling programs of their packaging.
The need for many packaging types to increase their recycling access performance is becoming more acute as states consider setting standardized recyclable lists and as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) begins its review of what the FTC’s Green Guides define as "recyclable."
The activities these packaging manufacturers and consumer brands are executing to increase the access rate include Materials Recovery Facility engagement, grant opportunities, new research and data development, and improved labeling on the package. You'll hear about the goals and strategies of several packaging manufacturers, as well as what has and hasn't worked in the past and their plans for the future.

  • Carter O’Brien, Assistant Commissioner, City of Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation
  • Katherine Huded, Vice President, Circular Venture, The Recycling Partnership
  • Scott Breen, Vice President of Sustainability, Can Manufacturers Institute
  • Jason Pelz, Vice President of Sustainability, TetraPak, and Vice President of Recycling Projects, Carton Council of North America
Closing Remarks