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Packaging, sustainability are NPE2018 focal points

Plastics will play a central role in food, beverage, and CPG packaging applications for the foreseeable future, while sustainability and recycling implications loom large.

NPE Plastics Show
NPE Plastics Show

NPE2018: The Plastics Show, scheduled for May 7-11, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, will give attendees access to innovations, people, processes, science, and ideas that are shaping the future of plastics. Here are a few packaging-specific features that attendees might find beneficial.

Packaging focus at the show
As a comparatively horizontal industry tied to the performance of many vertical markets, packaging fluctuates with the demand for packaging of products that vary from consumer goods and appliances to medical devices. Next-generation plastics will play a huge role in increased efficiency and reduced costs for packaging machinery and processes, and NPE2018 will cover all of the potential packaging implications. Consider these factors as they play out on the show floor, in private discussions, and in educational sessions:

Consumption: A strengthening economy means greater consumption of packaged goods, from food to medical supplies. Plastics packaging is key to absorbing greater consumption.

Sustainability: Buyers are willing to pay more for consumer products delivered in environmentally responsible packaging. Plastics and recycling are at the crux of this movement.

Innovation: Advancements in bioplastics mean big business for those plastics suppliers that find new ways to leverage them in packaging applications.

Bottle zone
Profits in the bottling industry continue to grow, fueled by strengthening consumer demand and new innovations in technologies, processes, and materials. Revenue for this market segment is expected to rise 1.3% in the U.S. alone over the next five years. From quick-drying PET to plant-based bioplastics to new barrier technology, the dedicated Bottle Zone will cover what’s next for plastics bottling.

The 65,000-sq-ft Bottle Zone pavilion will be packed with new bottling and container equipment, innovative materials, and more than 80 suppliers. Sit in on in-depth sessions covering the latest need-to-know information to strengthen your position in a sector of the U.S. plastics industry that accounts for $12.6 billion, according to an IBISWorld Industry Report on Plastic Bottle Manufacturing in the US.

Plastics and sustainability
The Plastics Industry Association announced a new round of programming for the 2018 Re|Focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit at NPE2018. Oliver Campbell, Director of Worldwide Procurement & Packaging at Dell Technologies, headlines the programming, which aims to address manufacturers’ real-world challenges with recycling and sustainable practices.

The three-day summit will also feature the following educational sessions that will provide practical steps companies can take to achieve their recycling and sustainability goals:

• “Recycling Game Changer: Moving Beyond Mechanical Recycling” will explore cutting-edge technologies that are expanding the boundaries of traditional recycling and allowing the industry to profitably use more recycled materials.

• “Advances in Composite Recycling” will feature the leading successes in the world of recycling composite materials, which may eventually be one of the most valuable recycled feedstreams available.

• “Under One Roof: Investing in Onsite Plastic Reprocessing at MRFs” will uncover the steps to upgrade and enhance plastic reprocessing capabilities at material recovery facilities (MRFs) in order to keep up with rapidly-changing global markets.

• “Additives for Upcycling” will explore the latest in additive compounding, which has the potential to turn recycled plastics back into materials with near-virgin properties.

• “Innovations in Bioplastics” will highlight recent trends in the booming bioplastics industry, including new polymers, products, and production techniques.

Who attends?
Companies like 3M, Bausch & Lomb, Bemis Company Inc., Beyer Material Science, Conair, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Walt Disney will be there. Register at www.NPE.org/packaging.

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