The 2015 Flexible Packaging Association Annual Meeting was held March 3-5, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples FL. Over three-hundred FPA members and guests participated in content-rich general sessions that focused on the flexible packaging industry.
Presentations and video recordings may be viewed at www.flexpack.org, please visit 2015 Annual Meeting Presentations in the members-only section.
LEADING AHEAD OF WHAT’S NEXT
Featured presenter, Geoff Colvin, Editor at Large, Fortune Magazine, and an award winning thinker, author, and broadcaster spoke about today’s most significant trends in business. Colvin suggested that companies need to expand their imagination about who the competition is. He said that in surveys of leaders of successful companies they all want the same thing, to have a sustainable competitive advantage, and what overlays everything is ‘the importance of culture’ – what people are doing when nobody is telling them what to do. He said that the best companies have four common traits: they keep innovating the business model; they integrate, brining all parts of the enterprise together to create great customer experiences; they never stop building human capital – people, culture, relationships; and, they are customer centric.
FPA members may view Geoff Colvin’s entire recorded presentation by visiting www.flexpack.org and linking to the 2015 Annual Meeting Presentations in the members-only section.
FPA STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT
Ken Swanson, CEO and President of Liqui-Box and FPA Chairman presented the State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report. The total revenue of the U.S. Packaging Industry is $162 Billion with Flexible Packaging at $30.9 billion or 19% of that total. Flexible Packaging revenue grew at 4.1% between 2013 and 2014. Swanson presented data on the flexible packaging market, growth, revenue, and costs, imports and exports, and mergers and acquisitions.
Swanson predicts the “road ahead” shows an uptick of 5.9% in flexible packaging revenue in 2015.
EUROPEAN FLEXIBLE PACKAGING UPDATE
Jan Homan, a member of the Supervisory Board of Constantia Flexible Group GMBH and Chairman of Flexible Packaging Europe, and FPE Chief Executive Director Stefan Glimm provided an overview of the European flexible packaging industry, which is facing uncertainty surrounding the existing European economic and political outlook. Between 2013 and 2014, the total European flexible packaging growth was 1.4%. FPE is undertaking a campaign to communicate the resource efficiency of flexible packaging to achieve European waste management targets.
UNDERSTANDING PYROLYSIS AND NEXT STEPS FOR THE ENERGY BAG
Jeff Wooster, Global Sustainability Director for The Dow Chemical Company provided an overview of the results of the Energy Bag Plastics-to-Energy Pilot program which was a partnership between Dow, FPA, the City of Citrus Heights, CA, Republic Services, and Agilyx. The pilot showed that flexible packaging can be collected, sorted, and recycled through energy recovery. “Pyrolysis is the most viable method of energy recovery because it creates a higher value output than other energy recovery options,” according to Wooster. Wooster illustrated through comparison that pyrolysis complements mechanical recycling and captures the value from packaging materials that are not currently recyclable.
TRANSPARENCY: WHAT YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN WILL BE ASKING TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FLEXIBLE PACKAGES
Tony Kingsbury, President and Founder of TKingsbury Consulting, discussed the type of questions the supply chain (retailers, brand owners, consumers) will be asking about packaging. Kingsbury explained that “we now talk mainly about base materials, but we will increasingly talk about additives, inks, dyes, glues, coatings, residuals, etc., in packaging.” He listed organizations that track and rate product ingredients that retailers are referencing when selecting products.
THE POLYOLEFIN MARKET UPDATE
Nick Vafiadis, Senior Director, Global Polyolefins and Plastics, IHS Chemical provided an update of the costs and availability of flexible packaging materials. Polyethylene producer margins moved off of 2014 highs, but remain strong, while supply and demand are expected to remain tight. Polypropylene producers are widely successful in increasing margins for the third year in a row due to supply constraints. Lack of margin in the market resulted in delays of expected Polypropylene projects. Operational reliability is a major factor as assets are aging with minimal reinvestment.
ONE OCEAN, ONE PEOPLE
Ocean explorers and aquanauts Jean-Michel and Fabien Cousteau, son and grandson of famed explorer Jacque Cousteau, guided the Annual Meeting attendees on an underwater voyage of exploration.
Jean-Michel spoke about the Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, and the soon-to-be-released film Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D which will be in IMAX and 3D theatres around the globe.
Fabien described the scientific work and exploration of Mission 31, the longest science expedition to take place at Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine laboratory located nine miles off the coast of the Florida Keys, and 63 feet beneath the sea. Fabien’s Mission 31 broke new ground in ocean exploration and honored the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s original underwater living experiment. Fabien is currently working on a feature documentary film and book documenting the adventures of Mission 31, as well as establishing the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center in South Florida.
To learn more about the Ocean Futures Society, please visit www.oceanfutures.org and www.secretocean-thefilm.com. Please visit www.fabiencousteau.org and
www.mission-31.com to learn about the Cousteau’s environmental endeavors.