Sustainability will be the focus of the new PlasticFreeLand feature at Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London later this week.
Created by A Plastic Planet, an independent, non-profit organisation which debuted the first ever plastic-free aisle at last year’s London event, PlasticFreeLand will debut at the Olympia on Wednesday and Thursday (11 and 12 September).
The area, which is dedicated to showcasing the latest developments in plastic-free materials and packaging, will feature eight exhibitors and has been curated to enable visitors to discover the possibilities of biomaterials and experience them first hand.
The structure of the area will be printed and built by Swanline Paper and Board using Cygnus Ecoboard and will also be plastic free.
Exhibitors within PlasticFreeLand will include Tipa, which will demonstrate the capabilities of its fully compostable flexible packaging, and Reel Brands, which will showcase its range of cardboard-based packaging for traditionally non-recyclable goods.
AB Packaging, which is dedicated to carbon-neutral manufacturing, will display its range of paper bags for use in the retail and fashion, grocery, food-to-go, e-commerce and industrial sectors, while Flexi-Hex will demonstrate its cardboard designs for bottles, board sports and industrial uses.
Natural plastics developer Biome Bioplastics will meanwhile showcase its range of bio-resin-based packaging, while international certification body Control Union will discuss its partnership with A Plastic Planet, including their collaboration on the further rollout of the latter’s Plastic Free Trust Mark for packaging and materials.
A Plastic Planet co-founder Siân Sutherland said: “Three years ago myself and my co-founder launched a very different kind of global social movement to ignite and inspire the world to turn off the plastic tap, and everything we do supports that.
“We are very solutions focused, not problems focused. There are enough people talking about the amount of plastic in the ocean – we don’t need to talk about that, we need to talk about what else we can do.”
She added: “Last year Easyfairs asked us to bring the plastic-free aisle, with all of the examples of solutions, to Packaging Innovations London. We did and they told us that we had seven times the footfall of any other stand at the fair.
“We repeated that at the NEC [Packaging Innovations show] in February but this year we wanted to push it even further and almost create a Willy Wonka world where you enter it and feel like you’re in tomorrow, but this is the future and it’s actually possible today.
“We also wanted to champion some of the manufacturers and suppliers of new solutions in the right way.”
Sutherland said PlasticFreeLand will also offer the first glimpse of A Plastic Planet’s plastic-free resource library, which is “a free access, highly informative [look at] the pros and cons of every material that is plastic free”.
“The question that we get asked every single day by brands, retailers and packaging designers is ‘what else can I use?’. We recognise that there is a real lack of information out there,” she added.
“There are some incredible biomaterials that are starting to be introduced, so I’m really positive that this is not about the death of the plastic industry, it should be about the birth of an entirely new industry which is based on creating materials that nature can handle.”