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IoPP tackles sustainable packaging

About 100 people braved the lake effect snow of Southwest Michigan January 25 to attend the first meeting of the IoPP Sustainable Packaging Task Group.

Pw 8992 New Iopp Photo

The meeting was hosted by office-furniture manufacturer Herman Miller Inc. and took place in Miller’s renowned Greenhouse Factory and offices in Holland, MI. The stunning building was designed by the architecture firm of William McDonough, co-author of the book Cradle-to-Cradle.

Moderating the day-long brainstorming session was Suzanne Fisher. Fisher is a packaging engineering manager at Herman Miller and is executive vice president—finance/operations within IoPP. Shown here at one of the brainstorming sessions is Randy Boeller, Package Engineering Program Manager at Hewlett-Packard Co.

Described at the outset of the meeting was the process by which the IoPP Sustainable Packaging Task Group would, within 24 months, evolve from task group status and become the IoPP Sustainable Packaging Technical Committee. Near the end of the meeting, Laura Donnelly of Plymouth Foam Inc. was named chair of the Sustainable Packaging Task Group. Donnelly is president of the Wisconsin chapter of IoPP and has been an active participant in IoPP technical committees.

“Other groups, notably the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, have done a lot of good work already in defining sustainable packaging and putting packaged goods companies in a position to meet the requirements not only of Wal-Mart but of others, too,” Donnelly tells Packaging World. “What IoPP hopes to do with this Sustainable Packaging Task Group is get beyond what you might call ‘visionary’ concepts and develop concrete, practical, actionable tools that IoPP members in the trenches, so to speak, can use. Without those tools, how will they come up with the deliverables they’re being asked for?”

In addition to naming a chair for the Sustainable Packaging Task Group, those who participated in the January 25 meeting identified three sub-groups that will move forward the work that needs to be done. The sub-groups are Definitions, Metrics, and Education. Volunteers are encouraged to step forward.

“We want as many people as possible from the packaging community to participate,” says Donnelly. “Of course, we hope that eventually everyone who participates will join IoPP.”

The next meeting of the IoPP Sustainable Packaging Task Group is set for May 15-16 in Rosemont, IL, concurrent with the Packaging Summit Exhibition and Conference. For additional details, contact Pat Farrey at [email protected].

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