pack2go Europe: Packaging CEOs Discuss the Future of their Industry
Sixty CEOs and other top executives from some of Europe and North America’s leading food and beverage convenience and service packaging companies pledged to coordinate more closely in future to tackle some key common challenges for the industry. They met in Barcelona, Spain, for the the sixth joint summit in ten years. The event was organised by Pack2Go Europe, Europe’s convenience food and beverage packaging association, and North America’s Foodservice Packaging Institute. Top of the list is the issue of littering, thrown into relief by the highly visible and environmentally detrimental waste accumulating in the world’s seas and oceans. Brussels regulators have announced that they will come forward with measures to tackle the issue, while many US states are also active.
Another major challenge for the future is extended producer responsibility. While Europeans are familiar with this since the advent of the 1994 European packaging directive, this is a relatively new regulatory phenomenon in North America. While Europe’s rules have been centralised and largely harmonised by Brussels, the USA is seeing a growing number of uncoordinated local and state initiatives.
Speaking at the CEO summit, Xavier Sala-i-Martin, advisor to the World Economic Forum, Davos, argued that Europe’s future will look grim compared to fast-growing Asian economies unless European business leaders find effective ways to promote a culture based on innovation. This advice is particularly relevant for foodservice packaging businesses, who are investing capital and human resources to develop innovative packaging products which are able to satisfy today’s more and more challenging requirements.
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