President’s Word

A time for reflection and new challenges

Pierre Pienaar*

One can scarcely believe that 2022 is almost done – where did this year go, and what another 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 impacted the WPO. As I look back over these past twelve months, I know that it has affected some more than others. Covid-19 has not gone away and continues to affect our families across the world. I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on our blessings. We all have so much to be thankful for, including our associations, businesses, family and friends.

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.

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 countries.

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 (mainly the southern hemisphere), some short, for others 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.

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 2023, with eagerness and great expectations, as I carry out my final year in this role.

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

[email protected]
WPO – World Packaging Organization
World Packaging Organization

From the Editor

The plastics industry sent its message during K 2022: circular economy, digitalization, and climate protection will continue to be major themes.

By Liliam Benzi*

The celebration of the 70th anniversary of K (, the largest and most important plastics and rubber fair on the planet, could not be different: 3,037 exhibitors (from 60 countries), occupying 18 pavilions and being visited by 176 thousand people (from 157 countries) during the 8 days of the fair. As a tonic, innovation from multiple solutions in machinery, materials and products for the transformation towards a circular economy model.

At the end of the journey, one certainty: the K was a success and according to what the exhibitors reported, it contributed, mainly, to new bonds with customers and to the conclusion of several spontaneous business deals. In other words, the market needs were dammed up and a giant fair like this was the ideal scenario for a fresh start of good business.

Not even the current political and economic uncertainties overshadowed the performance of the industries present at the K. On the contrary, everything indicates that the turbulent times and the transformation of the sector towards circularity were perfect ingredients to determine the future steps of the sector.

But there are good reasons behind this success. And one of them is called technology embedded in raw materials, machines, and processing systems for plastics not only to implement the circular economy, but also to ensure the conservation of natural resources and climate protection.

As Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Exhibitor Council at K 2022, felt, "We clearly felt that companies have embraced the need to assume their social responsibility and think about plastics in a more sustainable way right from the beginning of the processing chain. The variety of solutions, machinery and products for processing with this circular appeal was unbelievable at this K."

Another important aspect, despite travel restrictions in some Asian countries, was the internationalization of the fair. There were 42% foreign visitors, especially from European countries - Holland, Italy, Turkey, France, Belgium, Poland, and Spain - and from nations such as the United States, Brazil, and India.

About 2/3 of the visitors showed greater interest in machinery and plant construction. Another 57% said they were looking for raw materials, with a focus on recycled materials and bio plastics. For 28% of them, semi-finished products and technical parts made of plastic and rubber were the main motivation for visiting K.

In other words, the searches were fully aligned with the three themes of the fair: circular economy, climate protection and digitalization. On investment intentions, machinery and equipment for processing and recycling were the choice of 43% of visitors, with the emphasis being on sustainability, but also on circular economy and more efficient use of resources and energy in production.

Official data from Messe Düsseldorf (, organizer of the K, indicate a global production of plastics of 390.7 million tons in 2021, with Germany alone accounting for 21 million tons. Among the industry's main challenges are supply chain bottlenecks and exploding energy prices.

Out of 390.7 million tons of plastics produced globally in 2021, it is worth noting that 352.3 million tons were still derived from fossil raw materials, and only 32.5 million tons from recycled plastics and 5.9 million tons from bio-plastics.

About the application of these plastics in Europe, research from Plastics Europe ( points to the packaging industry as the main customer, with 39% share, followed by construction, with 21%, and automotive industry, with 9%.

The global production of machinery and equipment for plastics and rubber in 2021 totaled 38.6 billion Euros, compared to 34.2 billion Euros in the previous year. China alone had a 35% share of this amount, followed by Germany with 19.6% and Italy with 7.1%. The ranking remained similar in international trade: China had a 23.9% share of global exports of machinery and equipment, followed by Germany, with 22%, Japan, 9.1%, and Italy, 8.6%.

In short, what we saw at the K 2022 was an active industry ready to face the various challenges, especially the environmental ones. An industry that has never been more aligned and unanimous about the needs for operational and closed cycles throughout the materials chain. An industry that is willing to work cohesively in developing solutions for environmental compatibility, resource preservation, and waste reduction. An industry willing to assume its responsibility and work to make plastics a strategic solution for the future, not a problem.

Among other attributions, without plastics the management of the world's climate will not be possible. After all, plastics enable lighter constructions, the mobility required by digital models, and the use of wind and solar energy. And in this context the Circular Economy model is of vital importance, while digitalization is indispensable for ensuring transparency and efficiency of resource use.

And what to expect in the future? More than waiting, the important thing is to build paths that pave the sustainability of plastics on a daily basis. And among them, one can include: materials that ensure better barrier properties and encourage mono-material packaging with strong appeal for recycling; more intensive use of post-consumer recycled content (PCR); use of materials from alternative sources to fossil sources; and use of clean energy in production.


*Liliam Benzi is WPO Press & Communication Liaison Officer and runs its own Communication & Strategy company for the packaging industry, LDB Comunicação Empresarial.

[email protected]
(+ 55 11) 99989-1597
Liliam Benzi


Message from General Secretary

Good memories and smart actions in Tokyo

Dear members, what a joy it was to be able to meet you again, in October, in Tokyo! Some of you were with us, in person, and others, online. No matter what the format, I am sure we will all have wonderful memories of this magnificent event.

These were five days where we could increase our connections and bonds with WPO members from different countries, actively contribute as WPO members by voting at the meetings, contributing with our individual knowledge to the working groups, and welcome our newest member Cote D'Ivoire Association of Packaging Professionals (APECI).

We also had the opportunity to learn about the latest packaging innovations presented at Tokyo Pack and not least, we had some leisure time with good old friends where we had the opportunity to taste some good Japanese food and get to know a little better the culture of this amazing country.

We certainly finished our Board Meeting in Tokyo very successfully. Of course, we missed many of you, so we would like to let you know that we are expecting you all at our next Board Meeting in Düsseldorf from 05-07 May. The Board Meeting will happen in parallel with interpack that will happened from 04-10 May.

As discussed, and voted at our Board Meeting, from next year on, the first Board Meeting will take place in person, while the second one will be hybrid (in person and online). Therefore, we reinforce the importance that you plan yourselves to be with us at the next event in Düsseldorf, as it will only take place face-to-face.

Last but not least, the secretariat is updating all your data until the end of the year, so if you have a new email, a new address, a new phone number or some other new information that you think is relevant to let us know, please do not hesitate to contact us through the emails below!

And now, enjoy one of WPO moments of pure joy and friendship in Tokyo!

Nathália Antoniazzi
WPO Secretariat
[email protected]

Johannes Bergmair
WPO General Secretary
[email protected]

Around the World

Association of Packaging Professionals Côte d´Ivoire in action

On November 25th, an online workshop organized by UNIDO (, represented by Aleksa Mirkovic (on behalf of Ali Badarneh), took place with WPO member, APECI (Association of Packaging Professionals Côte d´Ivoire) Board Members. WPO General Secretary, Johannes Bergmair, was also present as well as Sujud Al-Balawneh, Director of JoPack (Jordanian Packaging Center of Excellence –, also a WPO member, and UNIDO representative in Côte d’Ivoire, Tidiane Boye.

The participants presented their vision and the activities of their respective organizations, in a bid to identify collaboration opportunities, to advance in the agenda of increasing packaging awareness and to foster packaging best practices in the country and in the French speaking West African Region.

The main key focus areas discussed were:

  • training and capacity building for packaging practitioners, local agro-industrial transformation SMEs and start-ups;
  • local packaging competitions;
  • sustainable packaging research projects;
  • packaging development support to industries (testing lab…etc).

The workshop was an opportunity for APECI, since UNIDO is in the process of articulating the ‘Program for Country Partnership’, enabling to address - among other subjects - the government’s concerns related to the ‘Packaging Cluster’, in line with the National Industrial Development plan’s objectives.

17 Scanstars were awarded at Emballasjedagene in Norway

From left to right, the Scanstar 2022 jury: Antro Säliä, SPA observer, Lars Lavrsen, Toms Gruppen, Danmark, Ole Anton Bakke, Jotun.Norway, Lars Windeman, Pacudo, Sverige, Oona.casalegno, Senior Lecturer in LAB University of Applied Sciences (Finland). Per Øyvind Nordberg, Emballasjeforeningen lead the jury meeting.

From a total of 29 entries, there were picked 17 winners of Scanstar 2022 in the jury meeting at Emballasjeforeningen, in Oslo, last August. The winners were invited by The Norwegian Packaging Association (, a WPO member, to the Award Ceremony at Emballasjedagene in Sandefjord.

Winners of Scanstar are eligible to WorldStar, the global packaging competition organized by WPO and which ceremony is planned to May 2023, during Interpack, in Germany. For more information, visit

Conferences of the Club of Packagers of Ukraine

WPO member in Ukraine, the Club Packagers ( held two conferences at the end of 2022. The first was the webinar "Ukrainian packagers add to Victory", on October 26, that gathered more than 40 participants. It was attended by members like Evotek, Univest Marketing, PackGroup, Vesna and Goracio Branding Agency.

The focus was the state of the packaging production after eight months of war. Participants presented their view of what packaging should be like during the war, how its assortment was renewed, indicated the problems for producing packaging materials and packaging in general, logistics problems, possible solutions and future plans.

The webinar was summed up by Veronika Khalaydzhi, President of the Club Packagers that also reported the participation of Ukrainian companies in packaging exhibitions and conferences in Cologne, Poznan and Warsaw, as well as the close cooperation with packaging associations in Poland, the Netherlands, Latvia, the European EPIC and the world WPO.

On November 15, a scientific and practical student conference was held with the participation of more than 50 students and teachers from Ukrainian universities. The 09 winners of the ‘Golden Chestnut-22’ research competition were presented; 24 scientific works participated in the competition, performed by students of 12 Ukrainian universities.

Winners had their works published in the Ukrainian magazine ‘Packaging’. The participants, awarded with medals and diplomas, were greeted by representatives of partner companies like DOW Europe, Windmöller & Hölscher and Univest Marketing.

For more information send an e-mail to Veronika Khalaydzhi [email protected].

CNNE at FIHAV 2022

In the photo Miriela Valle, director of the CNEE, Nelly Toirac,
director of the Envametal Company and other company officials.

The National Center for Packaging (CNEE), from Cuba, a WPO member, proudly participated at the 38th edition of the Havana International Fair (FIHAV – Nov 14-18). The event at Expocuba fairgrounds was visited by government and business representatives from 62 countries and 35 Chambers of Commerce. 402 Cuban professionals participated as exhibitors, including more than 300 state companies, around 70 micro, medium and small companies (MSMEs), and 03 non-agricultural cooperatives.

The CNEE officials had the chance to visit some companies booths - Confecciones Boga, Puntex, Gempil, Empresa de Periódicos Soygraf, Muebles Dujo, Geominsal, Granlac, among others – and to present its service portfolio, highlighting the training services, like ‘Technical Regulations for Containers and Packaging’, and the laboratory tests offered by the Center.

The next edition of FIHAV is scheduled to November 13-17, 2023. For more information, visit

Total Productive Maintenance and Neuro-packaging are discussed in Greece  

WPO member in Greece, AGMPM, reported the participation in some interesting and valuable events in the recent months. One of them, within the framework of the 'Packaging 2022’ exhibition, was focused on the ‘The role of packaging in sustainable development and food safety’. Speakers presented trends and developments in the field of food and beverage packaging, emphasizing sustainable development tools and new legislative requirements.  

Another important initiative was the webinar ‘Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)’ in which the presenter developed the toolbox of total productive maintenance (TPM), which aims to create a production environment without mechanical breakdowns and technical disturbances and is achieved by introducing systematic methods to improve its equipment and human resources.  

The models of autonomous, planned, and quality maintenance, focused improvements (kaizen), timely equipment management, education/training, health and safety, and finally the application of TPM in management were developed.  

And certainly ‘Neuro-packaging: taking off sales through emotion’, organized in collaboration with the company Brand Aviators, was perfect to end the year. The presenter developed the theoretical background of the 'the wheel of motives' model, which based on neurobiology makes the packaging speak to the conscious and unconscious by incorporating biological truths. 

The packaging does not exist simply to protect the product but is now an integral part of it. The brain automatically certifies the product when the main brand message, colors, shapes, graphics and fonts are coordinated.

For more information, contact AGMPM Executive, Dimitris Mandis, by e-mail [email protected].

IIP announces IndiaStar 2022 winners

The Indian Institute of Packaging (, a WPO member, announced the winners of its packaging competition, IndiaStar. The 2022 received 353 entries and innumerable sample packages for each entry. The Jury consisted of professionals from various institutions, government bodies and industry experts.

IndiaStar Awards is endorsed by the Asian Packaging Federation (APF –, also a WPO member, and by WPO itself. Due to this recognition, winners are eligible to WorldStar, the global packaging competition. For more information, visit

The sucess of Gold Pack and Afristar Awards

The Polyoak Packaging team  receiving the award.

The Gold Pack Awards hosted by the Institute of Packaging South Africa (IPSA –, a WPO member, now includes the AfriStar Awards, organized by another WPO member, APO (African Packaging Organisation –

Tetra Pak East Africa was awarded with the AfriStar Gold Medal for their promotional Tetra Prisma Aseptic.

The Gold Pack Awards has it origins in a modest packaging competition that started in 1973. Since then, it has grown into a prestigious awards programme with an international reputation. These awards are designed to showcase the very best of the packaging industry in South Africa and throughout Africa and to benchmark the region's packaging industry against global technological developments.

The ceremonies for this year's award were held in three venues. The first two have taken place during November, in South Africa, as a combined Gold Pack and AfriStar ceremony; the second was held in Nigeria as the AfriStar Awards. And the third AfriStar Award ceremony will be held in Nairobi in March 2023. 

The winner of the Gold Pack Trophy this year was Polyoak Packaging with their entry, the Contan Multilayer PCR Bucket. This injection moulded bucket uses post consumer recycle for the middle layer, totalling 42% of the total bucket weight advancing circular economy practises.

The AfriStar Gold Medal was awarded to Tetra Pak East Africa for their promotional Tetra Prisma Aseptic pack promoting sustainable packaging awareness. For more information

All winners are eligible to WorldStar, the global packaging competition organized by WPO. For more information visit

A world without packaging... is it possible?

Have questions – have answers. This time, the answer to this important question was sought at the specialized conference, which took place on November 4, in Riga (Latvia), within the framework of the international exhibition Furniture & Design Isle 2022. The packaging conference was held in cooperation with the Latvian Designers’ Society (LDS), a member of the World Design Organization (WDO –, and the Packaging Association of Latvia (PAL), a WPO member, was the main partner.   

During the conference, answers to different questions about packaging and its life cycle were sought: is ecological, environmentally friendly, innovative packaging possible reality or just a fantasy and maybe even a utopia? What can we do to change and improve the current situation?

Iveta Krauja, the Chairman of the Board of PAL, opened the conference with an insight into the global trends of the packaging industry, as well as gave a report on sustainable packaging and participated in an hour-long discussion with other conference speakers. The conference audience consisted of exhibition visitors - designers, students, art and design teachers, etc.

Moreover, at the Design Isle exhibition with 152 participants from 8 countries, PAL's exposition stood out with packaging works of Latvia, awarded with WorldStar, the global packaging award organized WPO. It was a retrospective exhibition that, for the first time, jointly demonstrated the high international recognition of packaging of Latvia to a wide audience.

For more information, send an e-mail to Iveta Krauja [email protected].

AIP becomes a Supporting Signatory to the Australian Food Pact

WPO member, AIP (Australian Institute of Packaging – has become a Supporting Signatory to the Australian Food Pact, a powerful partnership of organisations who operate along the farm-to-fork food supply chain and represents a major step towards the country reaching its food waste reduction goal of 50% going to landfill by 2030.

The Australian Food Pact is a voluntary agreement that follows a proven international way of reducing food waste, focusing on prevention, reuse (donation), and food chain transformation and innovation. The Pact has four work programs:

  • Target 1: Making the most of every scrap – by donating any surplus food or transforming it to create new business or societal value.
  • Target 2: Designing and sourcing more sustainable products in the first place, with waste prevention in mind.
  • Target 3: Producing more with less – making farming and manufacturing more efficient. Encouraging the whole supply chain to collaborate.
  • Target 4: Raising awareness and changing the culture around food waste in businesses. Helping consumers to reduce food waste.

Mark Barthel, Chief Operating Officer Stop Food Waste Australia, completes: “The Australian Food Pact is a voluntary agreement program that brings signatory companies, policymakers and industry bodies together to help tackle Australia’s annual $36.6 billion food waste challenge. We look forward to working closely with the AIP and their members as Supporting Signatories, recognising the important role packaging plays in reducing food waste and food insecurity.” he said.

For more information, visit

From the Board

WPO in preparation to Interpack 2023

No other industry trade fair can compare when it comes to representing the global market in its entire variety and scope. Next year, Interpack (May 04-10 – Düsseldorf, Germany – will again offer the packaging and related process industry the biggest international overview of the market, thereby earning its motto “simply unique”. At the same event, WPO team is getting ready to participate and welcome its members.

To help visitors not get lost in 18 trade fair halls, the show organizer, Messe Düsseldorf, announced the halls feature a custom concept based on the core target groups food, beverages, confectionery and baked goods, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods. Nearly 2,700 companies from around the world will present cutting edge technologies and packaging trends along the entire value chain, demonstrate chances for growth and respond to the challenges of the industry.

If you are planning to attend Interpack, get ready to focus on halls 7 and 7a, 8a, 9 and 10 where visitors can view at least a third of all exhibitors with all their materials and their finished packaging products. Exhibitors in this area are numerous and international – among others, you can visit Sappi Europe, Sonoco, Mayr Melnhof Packaging, Berry Global, Schütz GmbH, the S.I.T. Group or Seda International Packaging.

To make it even more special, the WPO´s first Board Meeting of 2023, as well as WorldStar Award ceremony, will be held during the show. For more information about WPO activities in Düsseldorf, please send an e-mail to WPO Secretariat [email protected].

WPO welcomes APECI as a new Voting Member

On October 13th, the Association of Packaging Professionals in Côte d’Ivoire (APECI) was admitted as a new full Member. The decision was confirmed after APECI received its official accreditation from the Ministry of Home Affairs on August 2022.

With a population of over 28 million of inhabitants growing at 2.5% annually, the local packaging industry annual turnover is estimated in 77 million Euros. The GDP growth stands at 6% (one of the highest in Francophone sub-Saharan West Africa ) and the country is well equipped to become the hub of packaging best practices and expertise for the region.

APECI Members share the same passion of increasing packaging knowledge and awareness in Côte d’Ivoire via education, support to industries, sustainable packaging research, exhibitions and local competitions. As described by Suzanne Mouelle, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Association, “a world filled with beautiful and sustainable packaging is like an African woman clothed with her most elegant and sustainable attire”.


WorldStar 2023 register a new record: 488 entries from 41 countries

WorldStar Awards (, the global packaging competition organized by WPO, has plenty to celebrate. The 2023 edition registered a record number of 488 entries, from 41 countries. In the previous edition (2022) there were 440 competitors from 37 countries. “These numbers confirm that WorldStar is the most prestigious and important packaging award in the globe”, celebrates Soha Atallah, WorldStar Coordinator and WPO Vice President responsible for Exhibitions and Conferences.

The excitement of the WorldStar 2023 edition is for the first time that the Arab Region has entered with 27 entries. “This participation of countries like Lebanon (13 entries), Jordan (05), Tunisia (04), Egypt (03), UAE (01) and Saudi Arabia (01), sends a clear message to the world: WPO is a unique organization whose mission is to contribute to the development of a sustainable global packaging community. In the WorldStar award program, we go beyond our vision: ‘Better quality of life, through better packaging, for more people’”, says WPO President, Pierre Pienaar.

Pierre adds, “This is the reason why we encourage every WPO member across the globe to promote the largest and most prestigious global packaging award among their own members. The participation in WorldStar gives the chance to showcase the best packaging in each country, globally, This means an incredible contribution to the sustainable and continuous development of the packaging industry”.

The 2023 edition is also special due to the introduction of two new main Categories - Gift Packaging and Digital Packaging - and one new Special Category - Accessible Packaging. Regarding this, WPO Senior Vice President Marketing, Luciana Pellegrino, states: “With these and all the other categories, WorldStar echoes the importance of packaging innovation on a global level, fostering science, technology and innovation, recognizing and encouraging packaging professionals to go beyond the normal of fro greater possibilities.”  

Packages eligible for WorldStar Awards are those that have already received a national or regional packaging award from a packaging competition that is recognised by WPO, over the last 2 years. “As always, our aim is to promote packaging innovation in various sectors, proving that a good package can be an essential solution to many of the modern problems, especially sustainability, food waste and extending shelf life of food and agricultural products. That´s why we encourage all the companies from around the world to benefit from this global opportunity to promote their packaging by competing with the best of the best packaging innovation on a global scale”, explains Soha Atallah.

The 2023 WorldStar judging process is taking place during November 2022 and the announcement of winners is scheduled to 09 January 2023. The Awards Ceremony and Gala Evening will be held during Interpack 2023, in Düsseldorf (Germany). For general enquiries on WorldStar contact Soha Atallah by e-mail [email protected] or visit


A busy end of 2022 for WPO Packaging Education Training programs

WPO virtual training in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), during the latter half of November 2022, was under the guidance of Executive Director of Riyadh Polytech Institute, a WPO member. WPO Global Ambassador, Kishan Singh, conducted training online that traced the impact of the Industrial Revolution regarding Globalization and Supply Chains. This included packaging functions and principles as well as global packaging trends and statistics. A strong focus on food safety management, food safety legal requirements and pack / product stability testing as well as barrier properties which underpins this training program.

In early December (Dec 06-09), Kishan Singh also conducted a training program in Tbilisi, Georgia, organized by local WPO member, PMAG (Packaging Manufacturers Association of Georgia), which mission is to support the Georgian packaging industry to enhance global competitiveness through synergies of collaboration across the value chain.

In addition to an introduction to packaging substrates and global packaging trends post COVID-19, the Georgia program focused on environmental sustainability, circular economies, sustainable development, Extended Producer Responsibility principles, and countries that have implemented EPR. The training used case studies as well as audio visual aids to reinforce classroom learnings.

Another physical training (Dec 10-13) was conducted by the Iranian Institute of Packaging (IRIP), a WPO member, in Teheran. Kishan Singh´s approach on this occasion was the brand reinforcement through packaging. The content covered branding techniques, active marketing of Iranian brands for global attraction and packaging for supply chain efficiency. The messaging of sustainable packaging and design for recycling also underpined this training. The target audience was converters and brand-owners, packaging design studios, university academics and government representatives.

WPO continues to offer its members a wide range of training topics in the pursuit of packaging education. Cutting edge packaging technology, modern supply chain management, environment sustainability, quality management, lean six sigma, business process re-engineering and related subjects all for part of the WPO training offering. Members interested in such training, can get more information through WPO Executives: Pierre Pienaar (WPO President) [email protected]; Henky Wibawa (WPO Vice President Education) [email protected]; and Kishan Singh (WPO Global Ambassador) [email protected] or visit

AIP launch ARL education campaign for SME’s

WPO member, AIP (Australian Institute of Packaging – announced that a new education campaign has been launched to help small and medium sized businesses (SME’s) to make the switch to sustainable packaging and adopt the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on-pack.

The campaign will raise awareness among SME’s about the benefits of adopting the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) and taking action to improve the sustainability of their packaging.

The initiative will be delivered by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the National Retail Association (NRA), the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and aims to educate 20,000 small businesses about the benefits of using the ARL on-pack.

The ARL is an on-pack label that provides easy-to-understand instructions to consumers about how to correctly dispose of all parts of a product’s packaging. Providing consumers with accessible on-pack recycling information will make it easier for households to recycle, increasing resource recovery and reducing waste stream contamination. The education campaign is the first part of a series of initiatives under the SME ARL Program to support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt the ARL on their packaging.

Through the campaign, SMEs will receive access to a range of free educational tools, resources and events designed to cut through confusion and empower them to take action to improve the sustainability of their packaging. Topics explored in the campaign include sustainable packaging options, the benefits of using the ARL for businesses, consumers and the environment, and important steps organisations can take to reach the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

A series of free online training topics will also be available, developed by the AIP, Australia’s peak packaging training and education body. The training modules, along with a range of other action guides, fact sheets and toolkits will be housed on a new dedicated educational website – the ARL Marketplace – a one-stop-shop for resources and information about the ARL and sustainable packaging. Over the next two years, the SME ARL Program will deliver streamlined processes and tools to make it easier for SMEs to assess the recyclability of their packaging and apply the ARL.

The collaboration understands that sustainability is an important issue for small businesses, but with so many competing priorities, getting started can be difficult. Through this campaign, tools and resources will be provided to Australia’s small businesses that are looking to start improving the sustainability of their packaging today.

By helping SME’s get the ARL on-pack and start working towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets, this campaign can provide a powerful step forward in Australia’s collective journey towards a more sustainable and circular packaging future.

According to Nerida Kelton, Executive Director AIP, “The ARL is an effective and intuitive on-pack labelling program that can help guide all Australians to accurately dispose of the materials and packaging into the right bins every time. Consumer engagement in the process is critical to improve collection and recycling rates in the region. We look forward to working with as many small businesses as possible to help train and educate them to see the true value that the ARL can offer their business and in turn their customers.”

The project received grant funding from the Australian Government to support SMEs to improve the sustainability of their packaging and to adopt the ARL on their packaging. To find out more visit

Country Report

The post Covid packaging market in Italy

By Alessandra Alessi*

The 2021 proved to be the year of post-covid recovery for the Italian economy. All the macroeconomic indicators for Italy showed a positive trend that meant the expected physiological rebound arrived on time. The GDP ended the year with +7.5% and the Industrial Production +11.8%.

The real protagonist was the manufacturing activity, closely linked to the packaging sector that ended 2021 with a 16% increase. It is important to highlight the 12.2% increase for domestic demand, which demonstrated the recovery of Italian consumption. So, in 2021 the Italian packaging sector represented 3.4% of the turnover of the manufacturing industry, and accounted for 2% of GDP.

The production (including MSW bags) - expressed in weight - was 18,189,000 tons, marking a growth of +7% compared to 2020. The turnover amounted to 35,216 million euros, up by +5.9% on the previous year. The foreign trade also showed a positive trend, both for exports and for imports, which grow by 5.9% for the export and by a relevant 17.2% for the import. The trade balance remained positive with 565 t/000 of exported packaging more than what imported, but with a decrease of the same balance of 25%. The main market for Italian exports remained the EU.

The correlation between the packaging sector performance and the manufacturing activity remained unchanged, even if for 2021 the growth of manufacturing activity is higher than that of the packaging industry. One possible explanation to this positive trend in packaging production should be the inventory movement.

In the two-year period – 2020-2021 - given the anomalous performance of many packaging users sectors, warehouse stocks were crucial to deal with the market demands. In 2020, packaging manufacturers and brand owners coped with the increase in product requests, especially packaged food, and had to draw on their warehouse stocks, which were promptly restored in 2021, thus contributing to +7 % of total packaging production. This phenomenon mainly concerned some types of packaging such as glass and metal.

Monographic fact sheet of the packaging sector in Italy




Turnover (Milion €)



Companies (estimate)


Employees (estimate)


Production (tons/000)



Export (tons/000)



Import (tons/000)



Consumption (tons/000)



*Alessandra Alessi is Communication Manager of Istituto Italiano Imballaggio, a WPO member. For more information, contact her by e-mail [email protected] or visit

News From Corporate Partner

Congratulations to Golden Manufacturers!

APR (Association of Plastic Recyclers – is pleased to recognize Golden Manufacturers ( BOPP film pressure sensitive labels, with UV wash-off adhesive, for meeting or exceeding the strictest APR PET Critical Guidance criteria. The labels are being used in FIJI® water bottles and this APR recognition is based on the technical recyclability of the label innovation with PET bottles.

The PET Critical Guidance documents that were used to evaluate the printed extruded Golden Manufacturers BOPP film pressure sensitive labels are the product of a multi-industry consensus process. It identifies and addresses certain key technical considerations related to the recycling of postconsumer PET bottles. The Documents direct innovators to conduct specific testing to established testing procedures and then provide the innovator with guidance to interpret the results.

The protocols are intended to help improve the quality of the recycled bottle stream by aiding innovators to make informed decisions about the consequences of packaging innovations. The impact of these protocols is beneficial to world-wide recycling efforts.

Special Article

Incorporating renewable materials in packaging

By Nerida Kelton*

Incorporating Renewable Materials is just one of the ten principles within the ‘Sustainable Packaging Design Guidelines’ that help companies and packaging technologists to design sustainable packaging that will meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

So what are Renewable Materials? Well, they are materials made of natural resources, composed of a biomass from a living source that can be sustainably grown and replenished continuously. There are a number of renewable materials available for packaging including sugarcane, bagasse, corn starch, wood fibres, bamboo, cotton, straw or biopolymers from a sustainable source.

Renewable materials, if sustainably grown and certified in the country in which the packaging is sold, can potentially offer lower environmental impacts than non-renewable alternatives. Undertaking a Lifecycle Assessment before you shift your packaging to renewable materials is paramount to ensure that the choice of material is an appropriate alternative. Another important factor in selecting renewable materials is the End of Use (EoU) of the packaging.  i.e., will the packaging be able to be reused, recycled, or composted?

In addition, it is recommended that all renewable material packaging is verified to local and international certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) for timber/cellulose-based materials.  Other renewable fibre and biobased materials will need to be certified either home compostable AS5810-2010 or commercially compostable AS4736-2006.  It is also important that renewable fibre-based packaging is certified to have ‘no added PFAS’, as this treatment is commonly used for water and grease proofing. Packaging that is certified to these standards will confirm to consumers that there are no forever chemicals or potential toxins in the material and that the pack can be reused, recycled, and/or composted in the correct environmental conditions.

Some of the recent winners of the Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design (PIDA) Awards are using renewable materials in the packaging including Australia's Most Sustainable Milk Cartons (Brownes Dairy) and FSC Rectangle Paper Containers (BioPak).

Australia's most sustainable milk cartons (Brownes Dairy)

With consumers becoming ever more conscious about their impact of the environment, the Brownes Dairy 1L milk in Tetra Rex® Plant-Based Craft cartons stands like a beacon of hope in the middle of the white milk supermarket shelf. The eye-catching packaging is a natural brown colour, fully renewable and made with renewable energy. The recent move to Tetra Rex Craft Plant Based drove a further weight reduction of just under 4%, taking further packaging out of the supply chain. Less packaging material is required to protect the same amount of nutritious milk, further enhancing the sustainability credentials of the carton.

To help, Brownes Dairy have incorporated the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) into the pack design. The on-pack artwork provides clear information about its renewable source to aid consumer understanding and awareness of these unique cartons. This education is further amplified through the School Tours programme, which sees 10,000 primary aged school children come through Brownes Dairy's doors each year.

Drawing attention to both the sustainability credentials of the cartons, but also to the great partnership Brownes Dairy has established with Trillion Trees, one that will support the reforestration of used farmland across Western Australia. With 90% of Australian consumers concerned about sustainability and believing that brands should be most responsible for the impact on the environment, this carton and design will drive standout against the competitive set and allow consumers the opportunity to support more sustainable packaging solutions as well as the reforestation initiatives via the Trillion Trees partnership. The community-based organisation has been active since 1979 in Western Australia and has planted more than 15 million trees.

FSC rectangle paper containers (BioPak)

Plastic takeaway containers that are contaminated with food (think greasy curry, pasta and other oily foods) cannot be recycled and putting them in your recycling bin can jeopardise the entire bin of recycling.

The FSC certified rectangular paper containers have been created to replace the humble plastic container. They are renewable material PLA bioplastic lined, allowing them to carry hot, greasy foods without spoiling/ breaking. The PLA bioplastic lining is made from rapidly renewable materials. The footprint of these renewable materials is smaller than that of traditional plastics derived from fossil resources – Ingeo™ bioplastic for instance, has a footprint up to 80% lower.

Until now, using bioboard they have only been able to manufacture round paper bowls, however with new machinery and tooling, BioPak have been able to achieve the rectangular shape with the performance of a round paper bowl.

An average cafe using these containers will be able to avoid 455 kg of plastic a year using these alternatives BioPak FSC™ paper containers and lids. Industrially compostable to Australian AS4736 standards they are independently tested and verified to completely biodegrade within 120 days in a commercial compost facility, the end product is a non-toxic, nutrient-rich compost. BioPak has created a new brand-agnostic network called Compost Connect that connects foodservice businesses to industrial composters to help compost all certified compostable packaging and food scraps. So far, Compost Connect has diverted over 1,500 tonnes of waste from landfill, equivalent to taking 1,100 cars off the 975 cars off the road.

Not only are we seeing an increase in entries in the PIDA awards that incorporate renewable materials in their packaging, but more companies are ensuring that the material is certificated to the appropriate standards and the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is included on-pack. All of these changes are positive steps to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets and to design packaging that can assist the circular economy.

*Nerida Kelton is Executive Director of AIP (Australian Institute of Packaging), a WPO member, and WPO Vice President Sustainability & Save Food. To contact her, send an e-mail to [email protected].



Electronic publication from WPO – World Packaging Organisation –

Coordination: WPO’s President: Mr. Pierre Pienaar / WPO’s General Secretary: Mr. Johannes Bergmair / ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association: Mrs. Luciana Pellegrino / Miss Isabella Salibe

Contribution: WPO Members

Publishing: ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association –

Responsible Editor: IPPO Member Liliam Benzi - Journalist Mtb 19.352 – Brazil – [email protected]

Diagramming: Formato Editoração e Design - Mr. Saulo Pacheco

Photos: Contribution of WPO members