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Focal Point 2014 conference report
Opportunities for sustainability gains in food and beverage packaging exist from the supply chain through end-use and end-of-product-life solutions, speakers at Focal Point 2014 told conference delegates.
The conference was held at the Dreyfus University Center on the UW-Stevens Point campus October 14.
The agenda ranged from a panel discussion on sustainable sourcing of fibers to presentations on compostability and recycling solutions. News coverage of the event by WSAW television of Wausau, WI, highlighted how the packaging industry is working to improve sustainability.
The conference opened with a keynote address from Craig Culver, cofounder and CEO of Culver’s. The restaurant chain has grown in 30 years from a single family-owned restaurant in Sauk City to more than 500 locations in 22 states. Culver described sustainability initiatives undertaken by the company including recycling in the restaurants, use of packaging made from recycled material, and construction of a LEED-certified restaurant in Baraboo. Following his presentation, Culver stayed for a lively question-and-answer session of nearly half an hour.
Other presentations were: “Waste prevention and recycling: the correct manufacturing strategy,” Tim Haggerty, Ocean Spray; “Food waste: science, solutions and perceptions,” Daniel Daggett, Sealed Air; “Sustainably sourced biobased polyethylene,” James Kahn, Braskem; “Responsible fiber sourcing: a panel conversation,” Panelists: Robyn Buma, Global Procurement Director-Paper, Avery Dennison; Ian Lifshitz, North American Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations, Asia Pulp & Paper; Scott Peplinski, Director of Sustainability and Product Stewardship, NewPage Corporation; “Where food packaging and FDA regulation and enforcement collide: how to package your risk on the new food safety battleground,” Shawn Stevens, Gass Weber Mullins; “Barrier coatings and laminates for paperboard,” Paul Corcoran, Asia Pulp & Paper; “Ecostar: challenges and successes with closing the loop,” Nicole Bookhout and Megan Moore, Placon; “Compostable packaging: food for thought,” Michele Riggs, Cedar Grove.
The conference concluded with a tour of UW-Stevens Point’s new Faustel Coating and Laminating Pilot Line.