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KIDV launches PackForward, the European knowledge base for sustainable packaging

Publication date: September 17, 2020

Today, the Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV) launched PackForward, a European knowledge base for sustainable packaging. This new platform brings international parties in the field of sustainable packaging together in order to help various stakeholders in the European packaging chain make their packaging materials more sustainable. PackForward was announced during a major online event organised by the KIDV, which was attended by more than five hundred packaging professionals from more than forty countries all over the world.

KIDV launches PackForward, the European knowledge base for sustainable packaging

“In recent years, the KIDV has built a solid knowledge base to support initiatives from businesses and governments centred around making the packaging chain more sustainable. Knowledge organisations in various countries are working on this issue, mostly at national level. Achieving our goals with regard to sustainable packaging will require international knowledge sharing and collaboration. All that comes together in PackForward,” says KIDV director Chris Bruijnes. In addition to the KIDV itself, Grønt Punkt Norge from Norway and Valipac and Fost Plus from Belgium also form part of this network.

PackForward's website contains an overview of important themes that affect the sustainability of packaging materials: from the design and production of product-packaging combinations to the disposal of packaging materials and the processing of packaging waste into new resources. The network page also contains a growing overview of European research institutions and other important network organisations, their areas of expertise, publications and ongoing projects. PackForward's partners can share their projects here to give parties all over the world insight into the ongoing activities with regard to sustainable packaging. Other partners can join PackForward. The platform explicitly encourages new partnerships to help resolve packaging dilemmas together.

The State of Sustainable Packaging

For the KIDV, the launch of PackForward forms the first stage of the implementation of the eponymous innovation strategy outlined in The State of Sustainable Packaging. In this publication (released in July 2020), the KIDV presents a strategic perspective on the collaboration and innovations needed to realise intrinsically sustainable packaging - i.e. packaging that does not harm people or the environment - through recycling and circularity. Bruijnes: “In The State of Sustainable Packaging, we identify the issues that stand in the way of sustainable packaging. To resolve these issues, we have developed a strategy that consists of three innovation tracks: one for recycling, one for circularity and one for intrinsic sustainability. Together, these tracks outline the path we have to take together with our many stakeholders and partners.”

In the webcast Beyond closing the loops: PackForward - Join the future of sustainable packaging that the KIDV launched earlier today, experts from the packaging chain discussed these strategies in detail. The panel's participants were Robbert de Vreede (Executive Vice President Global Food Unilever), Tom Szaky (CEO TerraCycle, US), Hildagarde McCarville (CEO Veolia Netherlands) and Roland ten Klooster (professor of Packaging Design and Management at the University of Twente). Packaging expert Tracy Sutton (Root International) chaired the discussions and webcast.

International interest

The webcast was followed by more than five hundred participants, circa half of whom come from other countries, including the United States, India, Australia, Colombia, Singapore and Nigeria. “This illustrates the international nature of The State of Sustainable Packaging and PackForward and the strong need for knowledge,” Bruijnes says. “It encourages us to continue the work we have done in recent years in the Netherlands as a knowledge institution in the field of sustainable packaging, together with many partners from the worlds of business and science. The State of Sustainable Packaging and PackForward are the next major steps on this path.”

You can watch the webcast here. Click here for more information about The State of Sustainable Packaging. Click here to go to PackForward.

Webcast PackForward