NEC Birmingham to host Packaging Innovations and Empack 2022

Packaging Innovations and Empack 2022 will bring the packaging community together when it returns to NEC Birmingham on 25 and 26 May. The event will feature suppliers from across the entire packaging process, from the initial design and product development stages through to packing, filling, and fulfilment. This broad range of sectors makes the event unmissable for all visitors across the food and drink industry, no matter where they work in the supply chain.

New Innovations

Many exhibitors will be using the event to launch their latest innovations and concepts to the UK market, with an array of products designed specifically for the food and drink community. 

Notably, Lactips will launch its Plastic Free Paper – a fully recyclable and compostable solution. It can be used for industrial food applications, as the coating provides a barrier to oxygen, fats, and mineral oils. 

The Label Makers will display its wide range of sustainable label solutions, including those for recyclable bottles. The bespoke service is aimed at delivering the strongest on-pack message, to ensure maximum shelf stand-out. 

Colorlites will promote its latest range of glass bottles and jars. The products can be used to package a variety of foods including oils, spices, and preserves.

Damati Plastic will present its range of recyclable and reusable plastic food takeaway containers, including two and three partition containers and bowls, as well as hinged varieties. 

New Vision Packaging will showcase its range of novelty, seasonal, and limited-edition packaging solutions designed to add additional consumer value to limited-life products. 

Seminar Sessions

The Packaging Innovations and Empack seminar programme will take place across three stages, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the latest challenges and solutions from a range of expert speakers. The Empack Technology stage will feature content specifically for manufacturing, processing, and logistics professionals. Meanwhile, the Innovation and Design stage and Ecopack stage will highlight the latest developments in packaging design and technology. 

Lubna Edwards, Sustainability and Marketing Manager at Robinson PLC, will discuss circularity in plastic packaging during her Ecopack stage session on ‘the challenge in balancing sustainable growth with external influence’. Whilst plastic circularity is an important factor, Lubna will also consider how it must be factored against circumstances such as inflation, supply chain issues, the pandemic and new legislation. 

Neil Farmer, Founder and Chairman of the Institute of Packaging and NF Associates, will lead an Innovation and Design stage session on ‘Global Markets, Innovations and Materials Post-Pandemic’ where he will showcase the status of the global packaging market, and the key influencing factors in 2022. Focus on eco-friendly packaging, material innovation, and new pack launches will inform Neil’s discussion of where he envisages the sector to be by 2025.

LEIPA’s MD, Sarah Lesting, will speak on the Ecopack stage, and look at the benefits of paper and discuss how it is leading the way for sustainable packaging. Sarah will also consider how companies are increasingly turning to paper as their primary choice of packaging solution to reach net zero, owing to the ease and convenience of recyclability. The session will focus on case studies in different markets and examine the latest paper-based solutions.

The Cambridge Design Partnership will also feature on the Ecopack stage, and lead a co-hosted session to assess trends and innovation in sustainable packaging. During the session, Planning and Innovation Strategy Leader, James Harmer, and Sustainability Lead, Matt Morris, will provide guests with their view on the future challenges for packaging sustainability. The session will cover the important elements of innovation and technology, and will map the critical role both aspects will have in the development of future packaging solutions. 

Robert Fell, Chief Executive of the Metal Packaging Manufacturers’ Association, will take to the Ecopack stage on the event’s second day to consider the packaging waste hierarchy. Currently, the process fails to encapsulate packaging’s full sustainability attributes and contribution to the circular economy. Robert will consider how policy decisions have become fundamentally flawed, owing to over-simplification of waste processing, and will make a case for a new approach, specifically adapted to meet the needs of the packaging sector. 

The Ecopack stage will also present a brand-new panel session, hosted by Jude Allen, Chair of IOM3 Packaging Society, focusing on the future of packaging materials. As the industry continues to adopt a more sustainable approach, discussions will explore what materials packaging will be derived from in 30 years’ time. The panel will voice their opinions and insight on what they envisage packaging material demand to resemble by 2050, the infrastructure required to make the necessary changes, and how a transition of this scale would take place. 

Event Features

Alongside innovation, sustainability will be a key focus at the event. The Ecopack Challenge will return and see sustainability innovators pitch their solutions before a panel of experienced judges, including Ocado.  Also, The Big Debate will tackle the latest challenges in packaging regulations and look at whether these guidelines will have a positive impact on reducing waste and improving recyclability. 

Elsewhere, 12 exhibitors will compete for the title of ‘Most Innovative Pack’, as the Innovation Showcase returns. This interactive area of the event allows visitors to get up close to some of the most innovative packaging on the market and vote for their favourite. The winner will be announced live on the event floor.

Renan Joel, Divisional Director at Easyfairs, concludes: “We can’t wait for the doors to open after such a long time away. We have a vast selection of exciting new innovation and event features this year, which we can’t wait to share with you all. It has been too long without an event in Birmingham. We can’t wait to see everyone on 25th May.”

To register to attend Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022, please visit the registration page. For any further information, please visit the Packaging Innovations and Empack NEC 2022 website or contact the event team on +44 (0)20 196 4300 or

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