A time for reflection...
Can one believe that 2020 is almost done –
where did this year go, and what a tumultuous year it has been for each of us
individually as well as from an industry global perspective.
Each year that passes seems to have its own
character. This past year certainly had its challenges, which greatly affected
the WPO. As I look back over these past twelve months, I know that it has
affected some more than others. Covid19 has taken its toll on us and our
families across the world, and continues to do so. In this busy time of year, I encourage you to take a few minutes
to count our blessings. We all have so much to be thankful for, including our
associations, businesses, family and friends, to name a few.
I would like to take this opportunity to
thank everyone for the efforts in putting the WPO where it is, globally. I am
particularly aware that the success of the WPO rests upon the valuable support
of our global members and the hard work of the committees who so generously
volunteer and give of their time.
I take this opportunity to thank each of
you for your wonderful support and dedication. A special mention has to go to
the WPO Executive team. You all have done an amazing job, well beyond your call
of duty. You all do it with great generosity and love, in many cases with great
personal expense, Thank you so much.
We bid farewell to Aslihan Arikan (VP
Education) and Antro Saila (VP Sustainability), both have done a remarkable job
and taken their respective portfolios to new heights these past three years. I
will always be grateful for their unselfish dedication, enormous contribution
and keen interest in WPO affairs. We wish them both well into the future.
Christmas is a time for reflection and a
rejuvenation of hope for the future. May we always be ever mindful of the
spirit of caring, sharing, love and generosity of the Christmas season, and do
our best at all times as we seek to develop our organisation, improve the
prosperity of our businesses and grow as individuals, contributing in whatever
capacity for the benefit of our families and communities in each of our
Regardless of your current level of
involvement, I challenge you to become more engaged with the WPO next year.
There is a direct correlation to the effectiveness of both the WPO and your
national organisation, and how involved you are in the activities and
networking opportunities provided by your respective organisations.
So while many of you will be taking a
holiday, some short, for others a bit longer. May I encourage you to take a few
moments to relax, to step out of the fast lane, and to consider what is
important. Our definition of importance will vary due to our backgrounds and
lifestyle. For many of us, we consider three main categories to be important:
family, faith and community. Family and faith tend to be more private
considerations; but we can all recognise the importance of community.
This holiday season, please consider how
we, as individuals, can help to improve the lives of someone, or a group of
people, within our community. We all possess the ability to make a positive
impact in our communities.
From our Board of Directors and all of us
on the WPO Executive team, thank you for the opportunity and the honour of
being the WPO president this past year. I look forward to 2021, with eagerness
and great expectations. It is my sincere hope that you will all have a very
Merry Christmas, a safe and joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year.
*Pierre Pienaar is President of WPO
WPO – World Packaging Organization
Around the World
"Golden Chestnut" competition, from
Ukraine, goes online
Due to pandemic, Club Packers (www.upakjour.com.ua), WPO member in Ukraine,
held the XX Scientific and Practical Student Conference "Golden
Chestnut" on line. 11 students, from 10 higher educational institutions,
won the competition for the best scientific work on packaging.
The technical and organizational support of the competition was responsibility
of the staff of the National University of Food Technologies. Despite the new
format, the event was attended by 65 students, teachers and specialists of the
The conference had active discussions, interesting questions and meaningful
answers. Students considered the current problems of development of various
directions of the packaging industry in their reports. At the end of the event,
all speakers were informed about the awarding of diplomas - from the Ministry
of Education and Science of Ukraine, as well as from the Packers Club. In
addition, the reports are published in a collection that is a supplement to the
For more information contact the President of
the Club Packers, Veronika Khalaydzhi by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
South African packaging stars shine
Thanks to Covid-19 restrictions, the judging
procedure for 2020 Gold Pack Awards, oganized by WPO member the Institute of
Packaging South Africa (IPSA – www.ipsa.org.za) changed
to online prejudging of pictures and motivations, followed by virtual judging
of physical packs courtesy of a series of Zoom meetings.
For this virtual procedure, judging chairman,
Bill Marshall, plus three Gauteng-based judges – Annabé Pretorius, Ralph von
Veh and Vanessa von Holdt – acted as the eyes, ears and senses of the other
judges, providing a greatly-appreciated degree of interactivity for the others
– Andy Rice, Clive Glover, Gill Loubser, Gunnar Sigge, Kishan Singh, Susi Moore
and Wendy Knowler – as they collectively identified the excellent application
of innovative design and technology to enhance packaging.
Concurrently with the publication of the
awards brochure, in another departure from the norm, the final results were
announced on a virtual platform https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxTIXErAsMWc1Az-g6b2drA
2020’s Gold Pack Awards honoured 55 finalists, with 29 category winners. The judges
also acknowledged innovative work with five Highly Commended certificates in
the Sustainability category and six in the Covid-19 Response category. The
number of finalists in each category was led by Non-Alcoholic Beverages (ten),
Food (nine), Alcoholic Beverages (eight), Health, Beauty, Medical &
Pharmaceutical Packaging (six), Transit & Secondary Packaging (six), and
Household Products (two). And the winners are:
Gold Pack Trophy winner
Palletplast – pallets that are produced from
up to 97% recycled PET (rPET). The patented design includes three PET straps,
enabling the pallet to rack up to 1 200kg of fruit, a vital factor in a sector
that exports more than four-million pallets annually from the Western Cape
Designed to replace wooden pallets, these
lightweight, cost-effective rPET pallets can be reused or granulated after use
for recycling abroad.
Produced in a consistent and standard size,
they’re ideal for container loading.
Star of Africa
The awards programme also recognises and
encourages excellence in packaging in African countries where no similar award
programmes exist via the Star of Africa Award. The judges noted that the Eezi
Pool Floatster from Zimbabwe’s CarnaudMetalbox stood out from the other four
finalists for its innovation and usefulness as an affordable low-maintenance
alternative to traditional pool care treatment systems. They awarded this
2-in-1 floater/booster a gold medal because it overcame the design challenge of
transitioning the packaging from facilitating the application of all the
necessary chemicals for a weekly to a monthly dose.
Star for Africa
The winner of the Star for Africa category is
commended for producing extremely cost-competitive packaging in South Africa
destined for use in another African country. This year, gold was awarded to
Gayatri Beverage Cans for KungFu Energy Drink cans. According to the judges,
the modern reproduction and printing techniques applied have resulted in a
stand-out pack in the Zambian market.
It’s clear from this year’s results that the
region's packaging design and technology is world-class and is fostering
co-operation across the supply chain. It’s gratifying, too, that sustainability
and environmental awareness are increasingly obvious in both entries and
Global Packaging Forum presentations are
WPO member, the Australian Institute of
Packaging (AIP – www.aipack.com.au), in conjunction with Informa
Markets, and supported by the WPO, recently ran the second Global Packaging
Forum @ProPak Asia 2020 virtually. It was held over four days and over 2,000
people, from 20 countries, attended the sessions.
Each session brought together expert global
presenters including WPO President, Pierre Pienaar CPP, WPO VP Sustainability,
Antro Säilä, WPO Board Members Nerida Kelton (AIP) and Henky Wibawa (IPF) and
World Design Organisation experts Srini Srinivasan and David Kusuma, who
discussed four topics:
- How to achieve Global and Regional
Packaging Targets for the ASEAN region.
- How to balance Sustainable Packaging &
Food Waste Targets.
- Circular & Sustainable Design:
Packaging for the future.
- Reusable & Refillable Packaging Designs
for the Future.
All of the sessions were livestreamed around
the world and recordings are available for viewing at YouTube. Check the links
Young Turkish designers for packaging have
The 16th Packaging Design National Student
Competition 2020, organized by WPO member Turkish Packaging Manufacturers
Association (ASD – www.ambalaj.org.tr) awarded 17 projects from a
total of 101 registrations. Every year, the award is organized with the
contribution of Eurasia Packaging Istanbul Exhibition, in collaboration with
Reed TÜYAP. This year, due to pandemic, the judging committee met virtually,
for two days, to evaluate the projects.
The first winner of the competition was awarded 6,000 TL, the second winner was awarded 4,000 TL
and the third winner 3,000 TL while three students who received honorary
mentions were rewarded with 1,500 TL prize. Top three winners are now entitled
to receive free "ASD & TÜYAP Educational Scholarship” for 12 months as
New podcast series developed in Australasia
In a new podcast series developed by WPO
member Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP – www.aipack.com.au) for Australasian audience, WPO President,
Pierre Pienaar, sat down to discuss global packaging situation and trends.
Nerida Kelton, Executive Director of AIP and recently elected WPO Vice
President Sustainability and Save Food, also participated in one edition
discussing the role that packaging plays in minimising food waste.
To listen the podcasts access the links:
Episode 1: Pierre Pienaar
Episode 4: Nerida Kelton
From the board
Pierre Pienaar is re-elected WPO President
After the election, Pierre announced announced the new Executive Team
Pierre Pienaar was elected WPO President for a second term,
commencing January 2021. During his speech, immediately after election at WPO
Board Meeting (November 25 during WPO Digital Week), he pointed out “to make
the society understand that packaging is part of the solution, and not the
Pierre also reinforced his mission established in November
2017, when he was first elected: use packaging to eradicate hunger and poverty
around the globe.
To put all these plans into action, Pierre appointed a team
of high level packaging professionals to work with him over the next three years
of his second term (2021-2023). WPO new Executive Team is formed by:
- General Secretary – Johannes Bergmair (Austria)
- Senior Vice President Marketing - Luciana Pellegrino
- Vice President Exhibitions and Conferences - Soha Atallah
- Vice President Education – Henky Wibawa (Indonesia)
- Vice President Sustainability and Save Food – Nerida Kelton
- Press & Communication Liaison Officer - Liliam Benzi
Pierre also appointed 3 WPO Ambassadors that can officially
represent the Organisation in an advisory capacity to President. They are Carl
Olsmats (Sweden), Kishan Singh (South Africa) and Chakravarthi AVPS (India).
Johannes Bergmair will be responsible for Food Safety (Packaging Hygiene)
portfolio and Pierre will also take care of Awards (WorldStar and WorldStar
WPO and WDO join forces to explore opportunities for
sustainable packaging design
WDO President, Srini
Having collaborated on several occasions in the past year,
WPO and WDO (World Design Organization – www.wdo.org)
formalized, in November, a partnership and signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) to leverage their shared commitment for sustainability and education as a
means to organize and implement a variety of collaborative projects. With a
special focus on training initiatives for designers in packaging design and
technology. Both parties will aim to align their common interests and explore
new areas for industry optimization.
“Packaging is neither solely an exercise in aesthetics nor
simple functionality; it is an indispensable factor that exists at almost every
level of product design, development and production” said WDO President, Srini
As stated by the WPO President, Pierre Pienaar: “We always
see design as one of the key pillars in the development of successful,
sustainable and acceptable packaging. Designs of the future must be in
accordance with the circular economy of packaging and always striving to reduce
the demand on our global natural resources. The WPO therefore sees this
partnership with WDO a significant shift in design focus as we develop this
partnership in striving to maintain good acceptable packaging practices.”
Today, the safety, usability and environmental impact of
packaging remains paramount, and both WDO and WPO hope that this partnership
will enable new understandings and advancements of the materials that house and
protect everyday personal, food and commercial products.
The World Design Organization (WDO)®, formerly the
International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), is an
international non-governmental organization founded in 1957 to promote the
profession of industrial design. WDO advocates industrial design driven
innovation that creates a better world, engaging more than 170 member
organizations in collaborative efforts and carrying out international
programming—World Design Capital®, World Design Talks™, World Design Impact
Prize™, World Industrial Design Day™, and Interdesign™. WDO has United Nations
Special Consultative Status.
WPO announces LibanPack as the new management of WorldStar
WPO member The Lebanese Packaging Center (LibanPack – www.libanpack.org) will assume WorldStar
Packaging Award management starting on January 1st, 2021. The Award will be
coordinated by LibanPack Executive Director, Soha Atallah.
Since 2010, the global packaging competition, WorldStar, has
been very successfully organized by WPO British member IOM3. “As IOM3 has
decided not to continue this task in the future, WPO Board members and myself
issued a tender for the WorldStar Award Management, among our members, in March
this year”, explains WPO President, Pierre Pienaar.
He also highligths the wonderful work IOM3 has done during
the last 10 years, especially WorldStar coordinator, Rachel Bayswater. IOM3
will continue to organise and plan the WorldStar Award until December 31, 2020.
In an official communication to all WPO members, Pierre
Pienaar also thanked the members whom applied for the WorldStar Management
tender. He completes: “The decision was certainly not easy and was made after
careful consideration by the Board members and myself”.
welcomed five new members during the second Board Meeting 2020 (November 25 –
Zoom platform). The new members are from Morocco, Poland, Georgia and Mongolia;
IAPRI, the 5th new member, is an international body based in USA.
more about each one in the following articles.
Moroccan Federation of the Plastics Industry
The Moroccan Federation of the Plastics
Industry (FMP – www.fmplasturgie.ma), a non-profit association,
is the representative organization of the plastics processing sector (design
and manufacture of plastic products) in Morocco. Created in 2010, it is the
result of the evolution over time of professional associations in the sector:
the association of plastic processors (ATPM) which succeeded for 10 years to
the Moroccan Association of Plastics Industry (AMP), which existed for over two
Among its objectives and missions, FMP aims to
inform and help the operators of the plastics and packaging industries to
develop locally and internationally, by putting them in contact and developing
partnerships. The FMP ensures the defense of this major sector of Moroccan
industry by making its own all issues of primary importance: economic, social,
technical, financial, fiscal and customs.
By accompanying companies in their collective
concerns, the FMP provides them with solutions in the management of their
day-to-day problems. It is also the voice of the Moroccan plastics and
packaging industry, intervening on subjects of common interest to national
operators, in which it is the spokesperson near the national and international
professional structures and regulatory authorities.
FMP board is composed, among others, by
presidents of companies and is assisted by a permanent team headed by a Director
and 04 commissions: Training, Technical Assistance and Research &
Development; Economic Development & Investment; Sustainable Development;
Aware of the strategic role that the sector
plays in the national economy and in the industrial emergence of the country,
the FMP has voluntarily adopted a charter of ethics and excellence intended to
guarantee healthy social, commercial and institutional relations with the
various partners, both public and private.
This charter recalls the fundamentals of the
company's internal and external social responsibility, corporate citizenship,
respect for the environment through the reduction of the waste emission, the
respect of qualities standards and of national regulations in force.
According to FMP packaging department, 38% of
the total country plastic’s production is for packaging; there are about 160
plastic packaging companies. The other materials are represented by: 26% paper
and cardboard packaging (around 60 companies); 3% glass packaging (01 company);
15% metal packaging (03 companies).
In 2018, with the royal decision to ban
plastic bags, most of the manufacturers converted to the production of paper
and cardboard packaging.
For more information about Moroccan Federation
of the Plastics Industry (FMP), contact Moussa Eltoumi by e-mail email@example.com.
Polish Chamber of Packaging
The Polish Chamber of Packaging (PIO – www.pio.org.pl) was established in 1994 as an economic
self-government organization of entrepreneurs of the packaging industry. It
brings together over 80 companies: producers of packaging, packaging materials,
machines and devices for packaging, as well as companies providing packaging
and logistics services.
Other members of the Chamber are universities
and research institutes conducting research and educating specialists for the
packaging industry. In addition, there are national exhibition centres and
According to its statutory tasks and duties,
PIA cares about the interests of entrepreneurs and the prestige of the
packaging industry. It disseminates knowledge about the role and importance of
packaging for society and the economy. It promotes companies and people merit
for the development of industry and the packaging market.
It also organizes specialized conferences and
seminars, economic and promotional missions to fairs and packaging exhibitions,
and supports innovative development projects of its members. One big
achievement was to establish the “Day of Packaging”, celebrated on September
PIA aims to help to promote the Polish
packaging industry in the country and internationally. The packaging market in
Poland, in 2019, was estimated in EUR 11 billion (approx. PLN 45 billion). The
increase in the value of the packaging market this year amounted to approx. 6%.
Such a good result was determined by the Polish economy, influenced by the
increase in consumption and exports. According to PIO forecasts, in 2020 the
per capita consumption of packaging, in Poland, will approach 300 EUR.
For more information about the Polish Chamber
of Packaging (PIA), contact Beata Pys-Skronska by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Packaging Manufacturers’ Association of
Packaging Manufacturers’ Association of
Georgia (PMAG – www.PMAG.ge) was established in 2019 by 08
Georgian packaging companies. Later that year, within the framework of the
EU-funded “EU innovative action for private sector competitiveness in Georgia”,
the Association was transformed into PMAG Packaging Cluster.
PMAG aims to support the packaging industry
and individual members to enhance competitiveness and scale up through
synergies of collaboration across the value chain. Its members benefit from
access to industry knowledge and networks, leveraging collaborative efforts and
being on the cutting edge (be right at the front of the industry).
PMAG advocates the industry interests, enhance
industry visibility, set up strategic partnerships, gather and disseminate
information and knowledge, provide analysis, create and maintain networking and
collaboration platforms, facilitate cooperation, coordinate and manage
projects, negotiate with stakeholders.
Packaging industry in Georgia is weakly
represented in discussions and communication on governmental, donor and
international organization and business community level. Furthermore, the
sector is subject to many existing and especially planned environmental and
waste management regulations and needs strong advocacy to avoid damaging
developments in regulatory framework.
It should be noted that, Georgian packaging
industry experiences lack of internal communication and collaboration, which
makes it problematic for industry participants to make use of economies of
scale and achieve meaningful knowledge and capacity building beneficial for all
The companies feel diffficulty in accessing
specific data and analytics and finding networking opportunities. For this very
reason, PMAG establishes itself as an industry hub in order to enable scale up
and access to the markets through industry knowledge generation, enabling
networking platform, and facilitating collaborative efforts. Members also
experience shortage of qualified/unqualified human resources and opportunities
for employee capacity building.
Further difficulties are faced when looking
for specific experts, technology/spare parts providers and providers of
industry specific and general services. There is a vast untapped potential for
cost cutting through activity coordination and negotiation of preferential
terms for different services utilizing increased bargaining power of
PMAG positions itself as a Center of
Excellency enabling corporate efficiency improvement of members through
knowledge transfer, human capital development and access to technology/advisory
services. It is open to manufacturers of all types of packaging, companies
upstream and downstream the value chain and providers of various services
important for the industry. As of now, our cluster unites 24 companies, among
which majority are involved in paper, cardboard, plastics packaging industry.
However, PMAG Cluster also unites a number of designer agencies who provide designs
for packaging, raw material suppliers, packaging for consumer goods as well as
research and development institutions such as state universities and
For more information about Packaging
Manufacturers’ Association of Georgia (PMAG) contact the Managing Director,
Revaz Topuria, by e-mail email@example.com.
Mongolian United Packaging Association
The Mongolian United Packaging Association (www.package.mn) is the only association in the Mongolian
packaging field that serves its member organizations. The organization
activities include the proposals of member companies on government policies and
address issues in the sector, support fair competition, improve the legal environment
of the field, perform some government functions in line with its goals, and
cooperate with international organizations.
The country has more than 60 active companies
and enterprises operating in packaging field, of which 50 of them are members of
the Association. The sector employs more than 2,000 people and produces more
than 225 billion MNT worth of packaging products annually. This attends 45% of
the total demand of Mongolia.
Domestic packaging products include:
- cardboard and paper boxes;
- mining and heavy container bags;
- beverage plastic bottles and closures;
- plastic bags and nets;
- bag in box packages;
- bags with and without lining;
- cloth bags, handbags, nets;
- leather bags and nets;
- metal packaging; wood buckets.
By joining WPO, Mongolian United will facilitate the introduction of
world-class, state-of-the-art technology, cooperate, introduce the latest
packaging trends to domestic companies and show, internationally, how Mongolian
packaging is developing. It is considered to be mutually beneficial in many
ways, such as demonstration and training of global packaging specialists in
For more information about Mongolian United
Packaging Association contact B. Boldbaatar by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
IAPRI - International Association of Packaging
The International Association of Packaging
Research Institutes (IAPRI – www.iapri.org) is an
international membership association established in 1974 to promote packaging
research and education. IAPRI is a unique global network of packaging research
institutes, universities that teach packaging, testing laboratories, and
corporations that conduct packaging research. It provides member organizations
the ability to communicate and develop ideas, exchange experiences and in many
cases reduce duplication of effort. Today IAPRI has 88 members from 29
countries. It is headquartered in the United States and incorporated as a non-profit
Our main activities are to establish and
advance relations between representatives of packaging research and education
institutions to assist in them reaching their professional and personal goals
and objectives. To promote packaging science and technology to important target
groups, including international organizations, government bodies and
foundations and to contribute to the academic recognition of educational
programs on packaging.
These aims are supported and enabled by the
arrangement of IAPRI conferences, symposia, lectures, and other educational
activities. We publish a monthly e-newsletter and work with publishers to
facilitate the recognition and publishing of scientific and scholarly work.
We are proud to have the WPO as an affiliate
member of IAPRI and look forward to working the WPO officers, staff, and
individual members on efforts of common interest related to the world of
For more information about IAPRI contact the
Secretary General, Edward A. Church, CPPL by e-mail SG@iapri.org.
WPO 1st on line Packaging Technology training program
Trainers were WPO President, Pierre Pienaar
and WPO Ambassador, Kishan Singh
WPO organized the first online training on
Packaging Technology in September 2020 (21-24). The purpose of those training
courses is to increase and develop professional knowledge and competency of
packaging industries´ employees, other professionals in related industries and
also university students.
The online training titled as “Introduction to
Packaging Technology” was presented in English and attracted 15 participants from
Austria, Latvia, India, Nigeria, Palestine, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa,
Sri Lanka, Switzerland, United States and Turkey. All participants received a
The four days course content included
Packaging Technology; Environmental Sustainability; Food Safety; Save Food and
Over the past seven years, WPO has been
responsible for more than 53 packaging training courses, in 15 countries, that
has impacted more than 2,157 packaging professionals.
Some new education initiatives are being
discussed and planned in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central & South
Americas, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The future potential training
programs will be:
- Packaging Technology
- Food Packaging Technology
- Advanced Packaging Technology
- Technical Course for Corrugated Board
- Packaging Graphics & Design
- 6 Sigma and other Quality Management Trainings
- Online Training Programs on Packaging
For more information,
contact Aslihan Arikan, WPO Vice President of Education & Chair of
Education Committee email@example.com.
WorldStar Special Award winners & Student winners were
announced at a Virtual Ceremony
WPO formally announced virtually the Bronze, Silver and Gold
Special Award winners in categories Marketing, Sustainability, Packaging that
Saves Food and President’s Award on the 25th and 26th August. Also taking
part were the up and coming talent of today – the Student Awards and not
forgetting, the Industry Lifetime Achievers.
The main awards winners, special awards winners and winners
guide can all be viewed at http://www.worldstar.org/worldstar-winners-2020
To watch the virtual 2020 ceremony of WorldStar Special
Awards, access the links below:
And to watch the virtual 2019 ceremony of WorldStar Student
Awards, the links are:
The entries are in and the judging has started!
The unsettled nature of the year, particularly for
educational institutions around the world, encouraged IPSA (Institute of
Packaging South Africa – www.ipsa.org.za),
WPO member and organizer of WorldSTar Student Award, to be as lenient as
possible with the deadlines for entries into the 2020 competition. The last of
the entries have been received and the on-line judging process is on its
The judges will access the entry PDFs on-line at their own
pace and score each entry on a selection of criteria. This allows a little more
time for consideration of each of the projects submitted, however it is
understandably a little more time-consuming for them. The judges from around
the world, who volunteered for this, are performing a very valuable task for
the WPO and the extensive time they dedicate by giving their expertise and
experience to this process is greatly appreciated.
Despite the difficulties faced, more entries have been
received this year than in the last few years. Organizers are particularly
pleased to have received entries from "first time entrants"
Australia, Ghana and Ukraine. It is also pleasing to welcome back entries from
India, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates after a few year’s break.
The increased number of entries means the the judges have a
big task in front of them and we hope that they will all be able to complete
the judging by the end of December. Their scores will then be compiled and
consolidated with the target of announcing the results by the middle of
January. The entrants will receive the results by email and they will be posted
on the WorldStar Student Awards website. This can be accessed via the WPO
website or directly at www.WorldStarStudent.org.
For more information contact Bill Marshal, National
Secretary of IPSA, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Message from General Secretary
A year like a gift box
At the end of every year, it is a good
tradition in many regions of our world to give special presents to those we
love. These presents are packed beautifully; in my eyes as General Secretary of
WPO a good tradition, too. Sometimes if you get such a present on your own, you
wonder how beautiful/useful/precious it is and how good your family and friends
know you to select such a perfect present for especially you. But sometimes you
open it and think (not say): What the …?!??
Well, 2020 is/was maybe such a present. A
pandemic hit us. Most of us could not imagine how quick and fundamental this
would change our lives. We had and have to rethink our lifestyle, business
models and priorities. Some of us lost close friends or relatives, some are
struggling to keep their business running or stumbled into unemployment, some
feel lost or are blocked by fear. And the virus is still spreading …
On the other hand, if you get such a
“special” present, look at it at second time. Maybe you can conclude and say:
well it was not exactly what I expected, but let’s see what we can do with it.
Even the ugliest tie can be used for fixing some loose parts in your flat …
Positive thinking is a big gift to human mankind in general.
So, let’s check: what was there for WPO in
2020? Not so bad, I would say. Yes, we had to cancel our big meeting at
Interpack in May. But this situation forced us to strengthen our online
communication skills. We transferred many meetings to zoom, organised WPO’s
first webinars, arranged an online training course and – finally – set up a
totally online WPO Board Meeting. There we welcomed five new members
(Gamarjoba, Georgia! Sain uu, Mongolia! Bonjour, Morocco! Science rocks, IAPRI!
Dzien dobry, Pio!).
We had to reduce our presence on fairs and
conferences, but our (online) public relation is stronger than ever – thanks we
had that marvellous Linked In account established well already prior to the
crisis. No World Star ceremony in Düsseldorf this year – but a new virtual
format of showing, what a star packaging is, still watchable on YouTube.
Beside this, we finalised a new contract
for WorldStar management: Hard to lose IOM3 and especially Rachel (Thank you so
much, Lady Bayswater!), but we can imagine already what power the new team of
LibanPack brings as we saw at the new online voting while WPO Board Meeting!
Finally – not to make the list too long –
WPO worked on strategic partnerships with UNIDO, WDO, FEFCO, ECPA/GCSCC, IAPRI,
ISTA, …). Again, I think it would not have been that efficient without having
the new online meeting facilities, this crazy year forced us to use.
What’s in the gift box for 2021?
Well, nobody knows for sure yet. Meanwhile
it is confirmed, that Interpack won’t happen in February/March 2021, but will
be postponed to the next regular slot for that show in May 2023. So, the
planned joint booth/area of WPO and Messe Düsseldorf will be organized for that
Our next WPO Board Meeting will be done
online via zoom again from 17 to 20, May 2021. Very likely, the next WorldStar
Ceremony will be virtual again, too. Optimistic as we are, the next “real”
meeting will then be South Africa 22 – 26 November 2021. We will further
develop and launch WPO Webinars Talk Shows in stronger cooperation with our
members and organize WPO Online Trainings like in September. Work on
international cooperation and last, but not least, support our members in
creating better quality of life through better packaging for more people. As we
Barbara Zottl & Tanja Woschniak
WPO General Secretary
50 years of South African packaging
By Gill Loubser*
In 2019, Gill Loubser received the Lifetime
in Packaging Award, from WPO, in a
ceremony in Prague.
Although 2020 has been a year like no
other, one of the highlights has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the
founding of the Institute of Packaging SA (IPSA), a WPO member.
Little did I realise that my introduction
to the National Executive (NatEx) team in 1979 would trigger a lifelong
devotion to IPSA in particular and the packaging industry in general!
It was the start of a career in a
stimulating industry, with its unique and exciting juxtaposition of technology
and design, a career that has provided more than four decades’ worth of
memories – of technologies unveiled, of innumerable visits to exhibitions and
conferences both locally and in far-off countries, and, most of all, of
friendships formed and sustained. Indeed, many such friendships have resulted
from my close ties with the IPSA family.
In 1970, packaging professionals in Cape
Town and Johannesburg campaigned for an Institute of Packaging similar to the
one established in the UK. As a result, a historic meeting took place at AECI’s
Modderfontein plant where the fledgling IPSA took flight.
During that year, committees were formed
and in due course three regions nominated representatives to a National
Executive committee (henceforth called NatEx), which met for the first time in
Johannesburg in February 1971, with AECI’s Bob Gillespie as its first chairman.
The agenda included education, publicity, membership categories, finance and
the drafting of an all-important constitution.
A year later, 46 companies had been
enrolled as corporate members and 103 individual members had been signed up and
IPSA’s first national AGM took place in Johannesburg in February 1973.
In 1974, a fourth region was inaugurated in
the Eastern Cape, and ten years later the Border Region was born (although the
latter has since expired!).
With that much-abridged history of IPSA’s
early days as a backdrop, the 50th anniversary profile [www.packagingmag.co.za/specialprojects/the-institute-of-packaging-south-africa-turns-50]
chronicles IPSA’s continuing progress over the past decade – including the
ongoing development of its education and awards programmes – and most
especially highlighting the people who have played key roles, without whose
professionalism and dedication IPSA would have been stillborn.
Education has always been a driving force
in IPSA, which offers wide-ranging formal courses and ad hoc seminars,
workshops and specialist speaker events, all designed to ensure a supply of
packaging professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet
Included in this strategy are the dual
objectives of creating a sense of pride in the profession and attracting young
talent into the industry. The Gold Pack and Student Gold Pack programmes are
important elements in helping to attain these goals, and have undergone
remarkable development over the years.
The education portfolio, cohesively
solidified by Barry and Annette Oakley and subsequently ably guided by Roger
Carey-Smith, is now presided over by Kishan Singh. The last decade has seen
IPSA’s education framework mature into a four-tier skills development
Although the idea of online courses had
been considered previously, the Covid-19 pandemic fast-tracked this concept.
The quick transition of existing courses into online versions has been so
successful and well received that all courses will move online with immediate
effect. This allows anyone, anywhere, to participate.
The geographic expansion of IPSA’s
education programmes and the Gold Pack Awards [www.packagingmag.co.za/ipsas-gold-pack-awards-brochure-2020]
has resulted in the creation of a new IPSA region, nominally labelled the
International Region, that’s rapidly gaining momentum. IPSA has always actively
engaged with its international counterparts, not only playing an active role in
the WPO, but also as a founder member of the African Packaging Organisation.
That these connections are viewed as
important is underscored by next year’s meeting of WPO board members being
hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa. A week-long programme of meetings and
networking opportunities will have as its highlight the 2021 Gold Pack banquet,
scheduled to coincide with the presence of the international visitors.
Indeed, it’s thanks to the sterling efforts
of IPSA’s founding fathers and the many subsequent waves of packaging
aficionados who have nurtured and managed IPSA’s affairs at both national and
regional levels over the last 50 years, that we can now celebrate the existence
of a thriving, well-respected body of true packaging professionals.
*Gill Loubser is Fellow of the IPSA and one
of the most brilliant and long time packaging journalists in the world. She is
also one of the founders of IPPO (International Packaging Press Organization).
Looking towards a refillable future for Packaging
By Nerida Kelton*
Every time I purchase a new shampoo or
other expensive hair care product from my hairdresser, I walk away wondering
why I can’t take the empty bottles back and have them refilled? I do the same
for my bathroom and cleaning products and realised that this is an area that
needs further exploration by packaging technologists and designers, as we move
towards circular packaging design.
Whilst Refillable Packaging is gaining momentum
across beauty, hair and household categories the development of innovative
concepts seems to be untapped.
In 2019, Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New
Plastics Economy initiative introduced its research on reuse models. Converting
20% of global plastic packaging into reuse models offers a USD 10 billion
business opportunity. The research highlights six ways that reuse can bring
significant benefits to both users and businesses: 1. Cut costs 2. Adapt to
individual needs 3. Optimise operations 4. Build brand loyalty 5. Improve user
experience 6. Gather intelligence.
Before you set out to design Refillable
Packaging, I would encourage you to build an evidence-based case that includes
Lifecycle Assessment and measurements to ensure that the packaging materials
and design selected are optimal.
Refillable Packaging does come with several challenges and design
considerations, including that the materials selected are not only sustainable,
but also capable of withstanding multiple usage. This involves incorporating
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) investigation into the development of the design to
ensure the ‘number of uses’ and the final disposal of the reuse container will
have a better environmental impact than a recyclable package. Understanding the
lower environmental impacts that the packaging offers, including how many uses
are required for the new packaging, are invaluable pieces of consumer
communication and messaging.
In addition, Hygiene, Safety and Cleaning
protocols need to be considered as well as accuracy of the equipment that
weights and measures the refilling process. Refillable Packaging design also
needs to ensure that it is intuitive, user-friendly and an affordable
alternative to introducing more plastics into the ecosystem. Incorporating
recycled content is also paramount wherever possible.
Refillable Packaging is not only better for
the environment, but it is also another way to actively engage consumers in the
sustainable journey of a brand. Brands need to communicate with consumers the
true benefits of Refillable Packaging systems including reduction of
unnecessary plastics, use of recycled content, recyclability of the packaging
and consumer convenience. Brand loyalty could also be improved by developing
reward and incentive programs for those consumers who actively support a
Refillable Packaging Program.
A number of examples that stood out to me
include local manufacturer Natures Organics, Nivea, Olay and the Body Shop who
were one of the pioneers in this space 3 decades ago.
Natures Organics inspiring the next generation to reuse
In August 2020, Australian company Natures Organics launched a
refillable and reusable starter kit for the Cove laundry and bathroom cleaning
range. The Starter kit comes with aluminium reusable bottles and pouches for
refilling the respective products. The company has also designed the refill
pouches to contain more active ingredients and at least 75% less water compared
to normal cleaning products. This ensures that the environmental footprint of
the product is less during transportation and consumers can simply add water to
the products at home from the tap. Natures Organics have partnered with
REDcycle to ensure that the refill packs are recycled. The products are shipped
in cardboard cartons made from recycled material.
Shower Gel Refill Stations trials
In August 2020, German skincare manufacturer Beiersdorf announced
that their largest global brand, NIVEA, had just launched its first shower gel
refill station. The prototype, which are in select DM stores in Hamburg and
Ettlingen, will investigate the concept of reusable bottles with consumers. The
refilling machine has been designed, developed and
engineered by a cross-functional team within Beiersdorf’s global packaging and
Olay Skin Care Refillable Containers to target Millennials
In 2019 P&G’s Olay skin care brand announced that its Olay
Regenerist Whip moisturiser was selling in refillable containers as part of a
trial to reduce plastics waste. The skin care packaging contains a jar of cream
and one refill pod of moisturiser that can be placed inside the jar once it is
emptied. P&G indicated that the packaging will also be sold and shipped in
a container made of 100% recycled paper and would have no outer carton to cut
paperboard use. P&G said the Olay pilot could be a way to attract more
millennials, whose purchases of the Olay brand grew 8% last year.
Body Shop offers refillable shower gel
In 2019 Body Shop established a UK concept store in London that
includes trials for a refillable shower gel station. Interestingly, this is not
the first time that Body Shop have had refillable packaging systems in-store.
In fact, they trialled a similar program in the 90’s, but sadly consumers
thirty years ago were unable to understand, or embrace, the concept.
I look forward to seeing the results of
these initiatives, as for consumers like me to embrace Refillable Packaging
Systems the program needs to be easy to use, intuitive, affordable and
convenient to access.
The reduction of plastics waste across the
globe would be significant if everyone started to embrace Refillable Packaging
Programs and environmental visionaries like Body Shop Founder, the late Anita
Roddick, would be proud that consumers are taking ownership of their
My haircare, beauty and cleaning products
are ready to be refilled. Who is up for the challenge?
*Nerida Kelton MAIP is Executive Director of AIP (Australian
Institute of Packaging), ANZ Board Member of WPO and recently elected WPO Vice
President Sustainability and Save Food.