Material Monday Sustainable Stories Insight: Packaging Rewrapped Conference

Material Monday Sustainable Stories Insight: Packaging Rewrapped Conference

Posted Yesterday by Katie Kubrak

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change but the last generation who can do anything about it.” Barack Obama


With the above quote in mind, this Material Monday we would like to share with you the insights and incredible experience we had while attending “Packaging Rewrapped”, a conference organised and hosted by Future Planet, last week.

This was our first time at this conference and the organisers’ approach to deliver an engaging and collaborative environment was full of fresh energy. The choice of venue, the Papermill Studios, was a wonderful addition to the package and created an environment in which knowledge exchange happened seamlessly.

“Packaging Rewrapped” is part of series of events that are designed to connect change-makers across the packaging value chain in search of more sustainable solutions. Participants included key decisions makers, experts and influencers from material providers, converters, brands, retailers, waste and NGO’s.

Overall, the event was divided into two parts – presentations and discussions (aka learning tables). The cast of speakers included: Kevin Vyse (Packaging Technologist and Circular Economy Advocate, RAP), Dilyana Mihaylova (Marine Plastics Projects Manager, Conservation Science and Design at Fauna & Flora International), Phil Wild (CEO of papermaker James Cropper plc), Daniel Hartz (Customer Success Manager at Zappar), Sarah Ottaway (Municipal Recycling Manager at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK), Silvana Centty (Senior Manager at Carbon Trust) and more… This impressive repertoire of leading voices was followed by the opportunity to bring to the table key issues across carbon footprint, recycling and unpacking (i.e. using refillables instead of single served solutions).

We learned an incredible amount during this event, and in this blog we would like to share three key insights, which kept surfacing throughout the entire day:

  1. Stop Thinking Fast, Start Thinking Slow

There are two ways in which we make choices: fast + intuitive thinking and slow + rational thinking. However useful fast thinking is in certain situations, in others it can be tripped up by error, prejudice and misinformation (or lack of it). In the era of quick turnaround of creative projects, we can leave no time to do things properly. Instead we jump into the next big thing as ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’ packaging without properly considering the ins and outs of it. When research is slowed down, the creative process will benefit immensely. It will further enable better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.

To find out more about this notion, we recommend an interesting read that was discussed during the event: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.

  1. Collaborate and have a support tribe outside your field

A community where all people involved have a shared commitment to each other and direction, can be best source to accelerate the transition to an inclusive sustainable future. Furthermore, with the right collaborators outside of your field of expertise, you will be able to get the right knowledge and translate it into a viable solution.

  1. Work with hierarchy of solutions

Work towards having a 3, 5- and 10-year vision for your product. Implementation of slow thinking and consideration of long-term solutions will enable you to formulate a hierarchy of viable solutions. Such structured approach can be funded on the following phases:

Phase 1: Reduce, Reuse and Reform

Phase 2: Educate, inspire and reward

Phase 3: Augment reality to deliver layered information

It can also be completely your own.

Should you be interested in a briefing session on all insights gathered during the event, please feel free to get in touch. Also, do let us know what events/conferences you would be interested to read about in the upcoming Material Mondays, or you would just recommend for us to attend!