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EIT Food addressed the challenge of the Future of Packaging at PICK&PACK Event

The PICK&PACK event, held together with Food4Future, stands as Spain's premier technological gathering in packaging, processing, labeling, printing, intralogistics, and logistics. It has brought together industry leaders and packaging innovators.

17 Apr 2024
EIT Food South

EIT Food has organised a roundtable to address the key challenge of our time: sustainable packaging and innovation. With a focus on understanding the holistic environmental impacts of packaging, speakers highlighted the urgency of finding solutions to the growing crisis of single-use plastics, which often end up in our oceans.

Juliet Bray, Food Accelerator Network (FAN) Programme Manager at EIT Food South, highlighted the magnitude of the microplastics problem and the relevance of the food industry in this context. She has pointed out the work of three startups committed to addressing this challenge and emphasized the crucial role of distributors like Sofija in driving these initiatives.

The magnitude of this issue cannot be overstated, and it's imperative that both startups and distributors like Sofija step up to the challenge.

- Juliet Bray, Food Accelerator Network (FAN) Programme Manager at EIT Food South

Françoise de Valera from Pack2Earth shared advances in manufacturing compostable materials from agricultural and industrial waste. Despite initial challenges such as cost and consumer awareness, she remained optimistic about the future of these products in the supply chain.

13% of the plastic that is recycled ends up being lost, thus generating the so-called microplastics.

- Françoise de Valera, Pack2Earth

Farayde Matta from Bio2Coat showcased innovative compostable packaging based on products like tomato and chocolate, emphasizing the importance of overcoming regulatory and financial barriers for widespread adoption.

Food industry has a very established supply chain. To introduce some kind of innovation they have to change a process completely.

- Farayde Matta, Bio2Coat

Carmelo Heras from Feltwood, winner of the Innovation Grant for Southern Europe in 2018, demonstrated the potential of plant-based and biodegradable products to replace plastic in various industries. Despite facing challenges in certification and funding, his vision of a plastic-free world remains compelling.

I am optimistic about the future of the sector; plastic must be eliminated. Governments and companies are aiming to reduce the large tonnes of plastic being used.

- Carmelo Heras, Feltwood

Sofija Selkovnikova from Lukss Pack closed the discussion by highlighting the need to educate consumers and manufacturers about available sustainable solutions. While price remains a barrier, momentum towards greener materials is growing, especially with government initiatives such as plastic taxes.

More government assistance is needed to increase the capacity to purchase materials.

- Sofija Selkovnikova, Lukss Pack

The roundtable has covered the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders in the supply chain to drive the shift towards more sustainable packaging.

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