With Auspack in full swing, attendees of the day one conference sessions have heard from experts across all aspects of packaging, manufacturing, energy, and sustainability.

Opening speaker Michael Okoroafor, vice president, Global Sustainability & Packaging Innovation, McCormick (USA), touched on the need to radically redesign ecommerce packaging from the ground up, as the supply chains have changed so much from bricks and mortar retailers. Okoroafor says that the full cycle of all packaging needs to change, starting from the mind set. He says, “The era of make, use, discard is over. We are now in the era of make, use, reuse.”

Next up, visitors heard from a panel on the 2025 sustainable packaging target, which touches all printers and converters in the packaging space. Chaired by Craig Reucassal of the ABC’s War on Waste, Brooke Donnelly of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation pointed out the business benefits of moving to sustainable materials, noting, “The pressure on business is coming from consumers’ expectations around their packaging, that it is recyclable and reusable.”

For label printers, Ben Culligan from Treasury Wine Estate underlined the importance of labels for growing business, saying, “Nearly half of all consumers choose their wine based on the label. It is a huge role for one label across similarly formatted products.”

For printers concerned about their energy use, a discussion on Power Purchasing Agreements demonstrated their ability to insulate manufacturing companies against power price rises, while sourcing energy from more renewable, sustainable sources.

Jackie McKeon, project director, Business Renewables Centre Australia, explains, “The idea is that you are hedging against the market, and it allows you to meet sustainability goals: de-carbonising, or helping a global target be met locally.”

For Orora, PPAs now cover 80 per cent of its energy needs across several states in Australia, saving money and insulating them from price volatility.

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