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Day One | March 12

Conference Day One

Registration & Exhibit Hall Opens

  1. Registration Opens & Continental Breakfast

  2. Welcome & Opening Remarks

    Brittany Onslow, Conference Producer, Smithers

Session I: Sustainability Initiatives – Where Do We Go From Here?

Brands will re-share their 2020 initiatives, what their initiatives are for 2025 and 2030 – what has been a struggle and what has been a success. Brands will then give an update on where they stand toward meeting those goals.

  1. Sustainability and Working to Eliminate Single Use Plastics

    Duane Neidert | Vice President, Americas - Information Division of Smithers

    Abstract coming soon!

  2. Keynote | Sustainability: a Transformational Journey

    Shannon Moore | Lead Packaging Engineer of Kashi

    *Presented via Video

    From the beginning, sustainability and wellness have been at the core of our values at Kashi, from both a food and materials perspective. As one of the leading brands in the natural and organic category, we will share learnings from our sustainability journey including opportunities, case studies and challenges in the rapidly changing world of packaging sustainability.

  3. Panel – Retailer Commitments to a Circular Economy with Sustainable E-Commerce Packaging and Brands Creating Packaging That’s Sustainable, Refillable, Plastic-Free or even Package Free

    Panelist Include: Kind2, Vera Bradley, and Fuseneo

    This panel will cover design challenges and innovations for e-commerce packaging, how on demand production has changed the way packaging is designed and where the future of packaging is moving as more consumers move to online purchasing. What changes are retailers making to accommodate the challenges that e-commerce purchases bring? How are retailers working towards a circular economy as e-commerce grows?

    Moderator: Tom Egan, Packaging World, PMMI

    Panelist Include:

    • Sue Campbell, Founder, Kind2
    • Joe Fernandez, Packaging Engineer, Vera Bradley
    • Brent Lindberg, Owner, Fuseneo
  4. Networking Break and Coffee

Session II: Design for Environment – End of Life Challenges

This session will cover the issues, challenges and innovations within designing packaging, keeping circularity in mind and reducing waste.

  1. Revolutionizing Materials

    Brad Lich | Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer of Eastman

    Many major brands now have established goals for recycled, sustainable solutions for their products and packaging. But how will they make the transition? Traditional mechanical recycling is insuffient. Most chemical recycling solutions are still several years out. Until now. Eastman is a leader in today’s circular economy. We have reimagined our material production process and developed a way to replace the coal and natural gas used for feedstocks with plastic waste currently destined for the landfill. Our presentation will cover how we create materials made from waste plastic that can be used to craft packaging and products right now — not in the distant future.

  2. Designing with Circularity in Mind: The Impact of Design Choices on Overall Sustainability

    Scott Byrne | Market Sustainability Manager US/Canada of Tetra Pak

    With recent shifts in sustainability demands, innovative packaging solutions are on the rise, helping brands deliver on their commitments to the environment. With the realization that there is no perfect package, we will discuss the long-term effects of packaging design decisions and how to create beneficial change across the entire value chain. Join us for an eye-opening look beyond the product’s end-of-life stage as we explore other key factors that impact overall sustainability within the industry. While recyclability remains an important attribute, how can we ensure design choices to facilitate end-of-life recovery do not have other, unintended consequences along the value chain? Join us to learn more on how packaging can meet today’s needs without compromising the future for generations to come.

  3. Designing Sustainability into the Production Process to Accelerate a Circular Economy

    Mark Ushpol | Managing Director- North America Packaging and Paper Division of DS Smith

    One of Europe’s leading packaging and recycling leaders, DS Smith, is expanding in North America and opened its US headquarters in Atlanta earlier this year. As the company propels sustainability in the US, DS Smith is also setting precedent for integrating corrugated into a circular economy. In addition to its growing market leadership with its proprietary, fully recyclable corrugated wax alternative, DS Smith also recently entered into an exclusive relationship with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as the organization’s only packaging partner. In his address, Alex Manisty, Group Head of Strategy for DS Smith, will outline best practices brands and manufacturers can employ to advance their role in the circular economy, principles for circular packaging design, and practical methods to reduce e-commerce waste.

  4. Networking Lunch

Break Out Track One

Session III: Regulations for Single-use Plastics and Packaging

  1. U.S Packaging Policy Trends

    Dan Felton | Executive Director of AMERIPEN

    It could turn out to be a landmark year for state’s enacting new laws related to packaging and the environment. Join AMERIPEN Executive Director Dan Felton for an active discussion about current hot packaging issues and policies state legislatures and Congress are (or are not) considering. We’ll also look into what the future may hold for addressing packaging recycling and solid waste management needs throughout the U.S. via sound policy and research.

  2. Panel: Should we ban single use plastics and packaging and what does this mean for the future of packaging/plastics?

    Moderator: Jennifer MacCraken, Director of Sustainability, Havi

    Panelist Include:

    • Jean-Cyril Walker, Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP 
    • Adam Peer, Senior Director, Packaging, American Chemistry Council
    • More Coming Soon!
  3. Don’t Get Blind-Sided By The Next “Straw” Ban: How To Better Monitor Sustainability

    Chelsey Quick | VP Client Success of Industry Intelligence

    Sustainability is complex to navigate. Social media can shift the market landscape with spontaneous, public discussions. Hashtags can go viral, incite the next outcry and influence lawmakers’ priorities. So, what’s the next ban or movement? What’s the next “straw”? With today’s consumers expecting companies to engage in holistic social responsibilities, business leaders should also ask themselves: “Do I know what sustainability is aside from using less plastic?” Industry Intelligence Inc. will show a new way of monitoring sustainability so business decision makers will see the big picture, including early warning signs, emerging innovations and lessons from cross-industry collaborations.

  4. The Inconvenient Truth About the End-of-Life of Single-Use Packaging

    Kelly Williams | Sustainability Strategist of Futamura Group

    The benefits of flexible packaging are as undeniable as they are essential to sustaining a population of 9 billion people. As such it is hard to imagine a world without packaged consumer goods. What has become alarmingly clear is that single-use plastics will outlive multiple generations, and the attempt to recycle them is the definition of a Fool’s Errand. They are also not recycled, they are repurposed. A granola bar wrapper will never be turned into another granola bar wrapper. The true circular economy for flexible packaging is to make it from materials that once discarded can be composted and safely digested by the earth's natural processes.

  5. Panel: Driving Public Policy and Market Change for Sustainable Packaging

    Panel Includes American Sustainable Business Council, Seventh Generation, Green America, and BPI

    Public policy can play a very important role in creating large scale change for sustainable packaging. In this session we will explore: How shifts in business practices, new innovations and catalyzing our power as businesses can help shape, change at the national, state and local level. What the public policy opportunities are to incentivize the reduction of packaging waste, and encourage the use of reusable, post-consumer and biodegradable materials? What campaigns are presently underway and are different businesses doing to support these efforts ? And, how can we work collaboratively to influence the change we need?

    Moderator: Thomas Oppel, Executive Vice President, American Sustainable Business Council

    Panelists include:

    • Brad Jeffrey, CEO and Co-Founder, Causegear


  6. Networking & Coffee Break

Session IV: Waste Management

Moderator: Kelly Helein, Footprint

Waste management has been a constant struggle in the United States – from residential to commercial. This session will address recycle rates, how companies are working towards helping waste management throughout the US and highlight the work towards a circular economy.

  1. Recycling Rates in the U.S.

    Ron Vance | Chief of the Resource Conservation Branch in the Office of Land and Emergency Management of US EPA

    Different definitions and recycling rate methodologies across the country create challenges to setting goals and tracking progress. Stakeholders across the recycling system agree that more consistent measurement methodologies are needed for waste management. Standardizing and aligning measurement, as well as tracking recyclable materials, will help better inform policy decisions and investments, and help determine whether progress is being made in improving recyclable materials management in the United States. It will also help promote cross-jurisdictional learning by providing more transparent and comparable data sets. Join us for a conversation around the latest efforts to align efforts to measure and report recycling.

  2. Is EPR getting the attention it deserves?

    Michelle Carvell | Chief Operating Officer of Lorax Compliance

    The EU circular economy package and SUP directive are forcing change for the future of EPR reporting. As the actual costs of recycling need to be incorporated into EPR schemes there are movements to add more eco-modulated fees that would give producers credit for using recycled content and penalties for disruptive packaging designs. Such fees also highlight the requirement to understand what is considered “recyclable” in each country. this session will discuss why companies must have an in-depth understanding of EPR data and fees in order to integrate them into the cost of goods and reflect them in their design protocol and how they can also be used to support corporate sustainability goals

  3. Panel Title to be Determined

    Panel of Chicago Municipalities

    Panelists include:

    • Commissioner Bridget Degnen (12th District of Chicago) 
    • Alderman Daniel La Spata (1st Ward of Chicago)
    • Alderman Matt Martin (47th Ward of Chicago)
  4. Evening Welcome Reception

Break Out Track Two

Session III: Circular Economy – Embracing Imperfect Practices and Thinking Outside the Box

Moderator: Brett Stevens, Global VP Material Sales & Procurement, TerraCycle

  1. Using circular economy and LCA in sustainable packaging design

    Tim Grant | Director of Lifecycles, Australia

    Many companies are examining packaging with a view to circularity and reducing the prevalence and impacts from marine litter - one of the most visible signs of the linear economy in action. However, there are a number of environmental impacts which are less visible, such as climate change, water use and land use which need to be taken into account when designing circular solutions. To achieve this, it’s imperative that we assess packaging design using both life cycle metrics as well as circularity. The Packaging Quick Evaluation Tool, (PIQET) has recently included circularity scores, marine litter impacts and product protection measures to sit beside the traditional LCA indicators.

  2. Panel: Cross-Industry Insights for Cracking the Code on Essential Packaging and Circularity

    Panelist Include: TerraCycle, Dell, Stora Enso and Grove Collaborative

    While many companies see the circular economy as a call to manage waste and materials within their own operations, there are opportunities to take a collaborative approach to help capture waste that would otherwise not be and create (circular) economies of scale. NextWave Plastics member companies are willing to embrace imperfect practices and walk through change outside their comfort zones - together. 

    Panelists will discuss the practicalities and benefits of collaborating with both market competitors and cross-industry thought leaders to develop ocean-bound plastics supply chains and drive innovation in essential packaging applications. Following the discussion, we will welcome to the stage other companies (to be confirmed) who are working to reinvent their packaging for an expanded audience Q&A on dealing with the challenges and surprises of striving for circular packaging strategies.

    Moderator: Brett Stevens, VP Procurement and Material Sales, TerraCycle

    Panelists Include:

    • Oliver Campbell, Packaging Engineering Director, Dell
    • Joyce Gagnon, Director, Packaging, Grove Collaborative
    • Natasha Chorlton, Sustainability Sales Support Manager, Stora Enso


  3. Navigating the Sustainability Ecosystem

    Andrew Kern | Fiber Procurement Manager of Smurfit Kappa

    Typically questions about sustainability are not limited to simple black or white answers.  There is an abundance of gray or partial truths in terms of how packaging lifecycles fit in the sustainability ecosystem.  Established circular economies currently exist.  My presentation intends to highlight these established economies, there advantages, shortcomings and dispel fact from myth in regards to what exists in terms of sustainable packaging and what happens at the end of packaging life cycles.  Better education and understanding in how these economies currently operate will lead to more sustainable packaging choices for the benefit of the entire ecosystem, the environment and the world.

  4. Sustainable flexible packaging for the circular economy

    Charles David Mathieu-Poulin | Senior Advisor – Circular Economy of TC Transcontinental

    The transition to a circular economy requires collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure plastic is effectively managed from sourcing to end-of-life. As a North American leader in flexible packaging and a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, TC Transcontinental shares the vision that plastic should never become waste.

    We are innovating and designing packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable. Several core technologies are under development, which will address current productivity and end-of-life issues. We will discuss sustainable packaging solutions developed for food and non-food packaging applications and how we are overcoming sustainability challenges.

  5. Networking & Coffee Break

  6. Domestic Recycling Market Development: Key to Building a Circular U.S. Economy

    Betsy Dorn | Principal of Circular Matters, LLC

    In this session Betsy Dorn, a national expert on recycling market development, will discuss the role of recycling market development in circular economy building, means of accelerating increased use and demand for recyclable materials, what U.S. companies and organizations can do to grow demand for recovered materials.  A brief history of domestic recycling market development and examples of current initiatives will also be presented.

Session IV: Push for Demand Champions – Working Together to Reduce Waste and Increase the Use of Recycled Plastic

Moderator: Brett Stevens, Global VP Material Sales & Procurement, TerraCycle

  1. Recycling Demand Champions – Collectively Creating an Impact

    Kara Pochiro | VP, Communications & Public Affairs of Association of Plastic Recyclers

    Abstract Coming Soon!

  2. Panel: Demand is a Key to Recycling Sustainability

    Panelists Include: QRS, APR, Cascade Cart Solutions and more!

    Panelists Include:

    • Greg Janson, Co-Founder of Evertrak LLC and CEO of QRS Recycling and Re-Poly
    • Jo-Anne Perkins,  Vice President of Environmental Systems and Services of Cascade Cart Solutions, a Cascade Engineering company
    • Kara Pochiro, VP, Communications & Public Affairs, APR
  3. Evening Welcome Reception