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PUMA urges businesses at EU packaging exhibition to solve world’s environmental issues via holistic, innovative thinking

08-10-2019

Better, holistic and innovative thinking together with new inspiring ways to cooperate are needed to make an end to the world’s environmental issues of packaging in the coming years. This lesson was drawn at the 25th anniversary of the European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (published in 1994) that was celebrated on Tuesday 24 September 2019 at the European packaging exhibition FachPack 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany. The most important question was why 25 years after the introduction of the legislation, packaging environmental problems still are widely felt to be not (yet) addressed adequately, neither in Europe or abroad.

The anniversary especially featured a presentation of the PUMA project, that aims to make an end to packaging as an environmental issue worldwide in the coming decade. PUMA was initiated in 2016 by NVC Netherlands Packaging Centre. NVC (founded in 1953) is the association of five hundred internationally oriented companies addressing the activity of packaging throughout the supply chain of packaged products.

PUMA urges businesses at EU packaging exhibition to solve world’s environmental issues via holistic, innovative thinking

The NVC membership base is holistic in itself, as it includes retailers, manufacturers of packaged products, packaging manufacturers, design agencies, packaging printers, machine manufacturers, recycling companies and so on. With the NVC members support, PUMA has succeeded in creating a framework for environmentally friendly packaging solutions, consisting of an improved vocabulary, a worldwide accessible Live Online Learning workshop (E-STIP) and an accurate and reliable overview of environmental packaging legislation and regulations worldwide (MERGE).

PUMA strongly emphasises holistic, innovative thinking and resultingly, unconventional ways to work together. It is proposed to enhance ‘circularity’ with the concept ‘spirularity’ which better addresses the activity of packaging and actually the innovation process. Widely used but less accurate concepts like ‘recycling’ and ‘virgin materials’ have been scrutinised and redefined or repositioned. Interestingly, the PUMA insights meanwhile also have found their use in packaging application fields like (the prevention of) food waste, the development of new front-end and back-end materials technologies and the use of packaging for e-commerce.

After an inspiring 2018-2019 World Tour with sessions in Amsterdam (NL), Tokyo (J), Runnymede (UK) and Boston (USA), PUMA is now bringing all results together in the PUMA Manifesto, to be published 6 May 2020 in Dusseldorf (Germany) the day before the interpack 2020 starts there. The Manifesto will be available from the NVC stand at the North Entrance. The next (4th) annual meeting of the PUMA international working group will take place 25 March 2020 in the iconic Shark Hall of Rotterdam Blijdorp Zoo (NL).

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