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TAPPI Member D. Rob Hammond Moderates Converting Panel At 2019 Global Pouch Forum in Chicago
Innovation and collaboration key to future industry success

TAPPI, the leading association for the pulp, paper, packaging, converting and allied industries, and its International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division (IFPED), recently hosted a panel discussion on “Making Converting Innovation a Reality” at BNP Media Packaging Group’s Global Pouch Forum in Chicago, IL.

TAPPI member and Technical Sales Director for Mica Corporation, D. Robert Hammond, served as moderator. Joining him as panelists were:

•    Evan Arnold, Director Product Development and Engineering, Glenroy
•    Richard Berry, VP & CTO, CelluForce
•    Scott Romenesko, Director of Innovation & Intellectual Property, Hudson-Sharp

The Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare was filled nearly to capacity to hear the panel discuss the technological requirements needed to reach the goal of 100 percent recyclable packaging as pledged by the industry in the 2025 Sustainability Initiative. The participating panelists represented a broad spectrum of the packaging supply chain.

Mr. Hammond opened the session by noting how a consumer driven economy means the entire packaging supply chain must meet growing demand for recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging products. He noted that collaboration is, and will continue to be, key to the industry’s success. Representing the converter side, Mr. Arnold said that as the film experts, “we need to bring together the entire supply chain to find solutions for the end customer.” The next step, he said, will be refining the recycling stream.

Rob Hammond moderates TAPPI panel at Global Pouch Forum

Calling the public’s perception of the industry “painful,” Mr. Berry stated that enhanced functionality was the answer and that cellulosic nanocrystals (CNC) could help achieve it. “Good science can overcome the court of public opinion,” he stated. With 25 times the barrier properties, using CNC materials in bio-packaging makes it fully compostable, enhances functionality and reduces the amount of packaging. Keying off that, Mr. Romenesko shared how public perception of polyethylene (PE) was terrible and that consumers care about the materials used in the coating process.  He called on suppliers, equipment manufacturers and entrepreneurs to work together to find innovative alternatives to the materials used in making future flexible packaging.

The discussion was followed by a spirited and lengthy question and answer session.

About TAPPI’s International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division
TAPPI is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging and converting industries and publisher of Paper360°, Tissue360° and TAPPI Journal. Its International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division helps members elevate performance through information exchange, events, trusted content and networking opportunities in a sales-free environment. It provides a focus on technology, applications and innovation across the entire flexible packaging supply chain – from suppliers and converters to brand owners. For more information, visit the Division’s website.