More than 150 experts discuss the roadmap to greener packaging at Hispack

Packaging for a better future will be redefined at Hispack in terms of sustainability. More than 150 experts and professionals from industrial and consumer goods companies will address some of the key issues that are driving innovation to minimise the environmental impact of packaging. They will talk about eco-design, new materials, circular economy strategies based on recycling and reuse, the legal obligations introduced by the new regulatory framework and the digital transformation of this industry.

From 7 to 10 May, Hispack offers more than 80 knowledge and networking activities to complement its commercial offer with 780 exhibitors and 1,250 brands represented. The “Hispack Unboxing” space in Hall 2 of Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue stands out with a programme of conferences, round tables and presentations, with the participation of representatives from food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, textile and construction companies that use solutions from the packaging industry. There will also be speakers linked to organisations, technology centres, clusters and suppliers of packaging technology and materials.

The Body Shop, Nestlé, Puig, Martiderm, Bella Aurora, Vallformosa, Grupo Ametller Origen, Acesur, J. García Carrión, El Corte Inglés, Farma Dorsch, Bodegas Torres, Beam Suntory, Almirall, Reckitt, Pastisart, CQP Brands, Mahou San Miguel, Danone, Uriach, Flax and Kale, Pascual, Grupo Nueva Pescanova, Desigual, Kave Home and Roca are some of the firms that will present their experiences of innovation and sustainability in packaging.

Among the organisations providing speakers and content are Elisava, AINIA, Aebrand, Packnet, Eurecat, Stanpa, Centro Español de Plásticos (CEP), AIMPLAS, ANARPLA, ITENE, FIAB, Federación Española del Vino, Leitat, Packaging Cluster, IQS, Gremi de Recuperació de Residus and the Centro Español de Logística (CEL), among others.

Sustainability, protagonist

The “Hispack Unboxing” space will deal with topics related to trends in packaging design, sustainability strategies and circular economy in mass consumption and other industrial sectors; or eco-design and eco-innovation in containers and packaging. Advances in cosmetic packaging, new biodegradable and compostable packaging, recycled high-barrier flexible materials for food packaging, glass bottle reuse projects for the wine industry and the dynamics of the plastic recycling market for packaging will also be presented.

The event will also discuss new regulatory developments in the packaging and packaging waste sector in Spain, strategies to be adopted in view of the forthcoming publication of the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation; the impact of plastics on packaging waste management; and sustainability in the supply chain by applying reuse in reverse logistics. Finally, there will be a debate on how the digital transformation of the packaging industry is at the service of sustainability thanks to automation, robotics and artificial intelligence.

One of the novelties of this edition is the possibility of completing this knowledge with a dozen thematic routes around the fair that will focus on creative and innovative materials and packaging, circular packaging, intralogistics, the sustainability of packaging technologies or plastic packaging, industry 4.0 in the packaging sector and smart packaging.

Thematic conferences: “Engineers Day” and “Best in Class”.

Meanwhile, professionals with technical and engineering profiles linked to production processes, R&D, operations and the supply chain are invited on 8 May to “Engineers Day”, an initiative of Hispack and Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya (EIC) with presentations on automation and robotics applied to intralogistics with the participation of representatives from SSI Schäfer, GEPORK, Condis Supermercats and HAI Robotics.

Hispack will also hold an exclusive conference on “Best in Class”, three selected international projects in which packaging plays a transformative role. The protagonists will be: The Danish city of Aarhus with its Rotake Reusable system, which aims to eliminate single-use cups and create a new circular system in which takeaway food packaging from restaurants is collected, washed and reused. The Japanese firm Kao Corporation, with a pilot plant to horizontally recycle plastic refill containers so that they can be converted back into containers of the same type. And AMITA Corporation’s project, together with other Japanese partners, introducing digital product passports with bockchain technology to trace the recycling of plastic caps from collection to use as a material for manufacturing other products.

Side events

Hispack will also host other conferences organised by sectoral associations. This is the case of Procurement Day Catalonia, organised by the Spanish Association of Purchasing, Contracting and Procurement Professionals (AERCE), an event that will bring together professionals from the purchasing function to discuss issues related to sustainability, competitiveness, digitalisation and new skills.

In turn, the Spanish Plastics Centre (CEP) and amec will present financing solutions for the internationalisation of companies and for investment in R&D projects. They will also promote the debate on the mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for commercial and industrial packaging introduced by the new Royal Decree on packaging and packaging waste and the advantages of belonging to a collective SCRAP system such as IMPLICA, GENCI and ENVALORA.

Another highlight will be the conference on innovation and trends in packaging in the cosmetics, perfumery and personal care sector organised by the Beauty Cluster and the Packaging Cluster. Completing the agenda of invited events are the EU Green Deal session on SDGs and innovation in logistics and transport activities organised by the Spanish Logistics Centre (CEL) and the presentation of the European Flexible Packaging Market Report by Graphispack Association.

International Business

As a new feature, Hispack’s International Business Centre (IBC) in Hall 3 will host a range of activities aimed at foreign visitors to the show. There will be institutional receptions for trade delegations and presentations on opportunities for Spanish packaging in Morocco, Poland, Tunisia and Mexico. The “Japan Day” will also be dedicated to exploring trends in the Japanese market with presentations by representatives from the Japan Packaging Institute and Shiseido.

In addition, a dozen Spanish manufacturers of packaging machinery and materials, accompanied by their customers, will explain success stories of “Spanish Solutions” to international buyers. The companies AND & OR, Ayrtac, Invpack, Limitronic, Innova, Capsa Packaging, Difmaq, Meler, E2M and Macsa will participate.

There will also be a Brokerage Event, quick business interviews to find suppliers or collaborators, as well as business meetings between exhibitors and invited buyers through the “Hosted Buyers” programme.

Finally, Hispack will hold the packaging party on 8 May, a relaxed industry networking event that is expected to bring together more than a thousand people. Prior to the event, the Liderpack 2023 Awards will be presented, which will recognise 45 containers, packaging and Point-of-Sale Advertising projects that have stood out for their innovative and creative design, with sustainability as a common denominator. There will also be an event to recognise several companies and individuals for their achievements in the sector.

Barcelona, April 2024