The Materials KTN held a Materials in Packaging Roadmap Workshop at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, London on 16th June 2011, and the contributors represented a varied cross section of experts from the packaging sector. The workshop methodology followed the steps usually found for most roadmapping exercises:
Where are we now?
Where do we want to be?
What is stopping us getting there?
What do we need to do to overcome the barriers?
Among the plethora of ideas coming from the meeting, the main conclusion was that the packaging sector would benefit from the following:
Education, awareness and communications
- More effort needs to go into attracting people into the industry through apprenticeships and in-work training.
- Unlike some countries, there are no UK university departments which focus entirely on packaging; the disparate departments that are involved should be better coordinated.
- The Materials KTN should help coordinate all interested parties involved in packaging, to include materials scientists, producers, designers, retailers, etc.
- An awareness of the importance and advantages of good packaging should be publicised more readily, highlighting the reduction of food wastage provided by good packaging.
- The packaging sector needs a champion to provide leadership and representation at government level, in order to place packaging higher on the government’s agenda.
Waste management ·
- A more comprehensive infrastructure for collection and recycling in the UK is essential.
- The government should give a clearer vision on waste collection and recycling, with a view to avoiding different local authorities doing different things.
- Incentives to encourage waste management should be used.
- For active and intelligent packaging, cost effective materials will be required.
- Nanotechnologies are already making an impact for lighter weight packaging materials and for barrier properties in the packaging sector.
The above points represent a few of the thoughts forthcoming from the workshop. The full report will be sent out to other groups which were unable to attend the workshop, so that more comprehensive proposals for the future of the industry may be put forward.
The draft report is available for registered members of the Materials KTN to download. Comments would be welcomed.
There is an introduction and link to the report at https://ktn.innovateuk.org/web/materials-for-packaging/articles/-/blogs/draft-roadmap-for-packaging-materials-now-available?ns_33_redirect=%2Fweb%2Fmaterials-for-packaging%2Farticles
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Any queries or difficulties, please contact Jackie.Butterfield@materialsktn.net