Dilemmas in sustainable packaging

Plastic Packaging is in the focus of attention. New legislation, extended producer responsibility programs as well as new voluntary commitments are being published every month. At the same time there is an overload of information and new initiatives that is daunting for a lot of producers, politicians and scientists. On top of that consumers get a lot of conflicting messages – emotion is defining the public opinion and the debate is lacking facts and figures. This leads to suboptimal solutions, unintended consequences and dilemmas in sustainable packaging.

In this high energy presentation Rob Verhagen highlights key developments in the field of sustainable packaging.
• What are the key drivers for a focus on sustainability
o Legislation
o Branche & voluntary commitments
o Customer requirements
o consumer trends

What are the dilemmas and friction points between the various goals and commitments. Think about sustainable design, recycled content, CO2 footprint, safety, (food) waste, different recycling technologies and what are the key benefits.

A presentation by Rob Verhagen, Sustainability Director of the OPACKGROUP.

He states that the speed of transition towards a more sustainable future is too slow. We need more innovation, more partherships and more action. Rob believes that by strong collaboration we can drive the change.

On short term Rob thinks that new technologies drive circular design and recycling, but on the long term we need Carbon capture!

What drives you?
After years of working with Material Science and Polymer Chemistry in a range of industries and countries (Repsol – ES, Eurecat – ES, LIST – LU, Atos – KR), Dr. Acerina Trejo Machin found her true purpose in using her technical background to drive systematic change in one of the most polluting industries on the planet: fashion.

About Rob Verhagen
Rob Verhagen is the Sustainability Director of the OPACKGROUP. The OPACKGROUP produces customer-specific, flexible high quality packaging and films from plastic and paper. The OPACKGROUP consists of 7 subsidiaries and 10 production locations. With 760 associates they deliver more than 80.000 tonnes of films & foils and prize winning innovations. Rob’s expertise to translate external trends to internal strategy is a key enabler for driving the sustainability strategy.

Rob has a multidisciplinary background and is actively engaged in various sustainability initiatives, both professionally as well as privately. He has a Masters Degree in Food Science and Technology from Wageningen University. In his international career he has worked and lived in the Netherlands, Asia, Belgium and the United Kingdom for i.e. Mars Incorporated.

Rob is an enthusiastic and passionate TEDx speaker.
Memberships & functions:
– NRK Verpakkingen (Dutch plastic packaging branch organisation) President
– Dutch Plastic Pact Steering committee
– EUPC (European Plastic Convertors) – Steering committee
– StiMO (Stichting Materiaal Organisations) – President
– MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) advisory council (Raad van Partners)
– Afvalfonds (Dutch EPR organisation) – Board advisor
– NRK Verpakkingen working group policy & legislation
– NRK Rethink working group
– Wageningen University (Food-Technology & Food-Safety) advisory board
– Co-owner food Forest Langsteeg – Veghel

OPACKGROUP produces customer-specific, flexible high quality plastic packaging and films. New packaging concepts are constantly under development at the 10 OPACKGROUP production sites. We can print your packaging up to and including 10 colours, screen 54. Besides the customer-specific packaging products, OPACKGORUP also has an extensive range of stock.

The OPACKGROUP consists of 7 subsidiaries. Each company has its own specialities. As a producer, OPACKGROUP can offer a complete product portfolio of flexible plastic or paper packaging. The head office of Oerlemans Packaging is located in Genderen (North Brabant).

To drive innovation our OPACKGROUP Technology Centre has excellent facilites with a fully equiped laboratory. Furthermore, our OPACKGROUP Repro Centre supports a Right First Time approach to get the right artwork on your packaging.

Rob Verhagen is speaker at the 2023 edition of the Circular Chemistry Conference which takes place at the Center Court of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus.

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