Jan Jonker, keynote speaker at the Greener Packaging Seminar 2016!

The keynote session at the 3rd edition of the Greener Packaging Seminar will be presented this year by Jan Jonker.

Jan Jonker is working as a professor at the Nijmegen School of Management (NSM) of the Radboud University Nijmegen [RU – Holland]. He holds the chair of ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship’.

He worked for more than ten years in the wine- and food service industry before joining the university in the late eighties. His research interest lies on the crossroad of management and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in particular in relation to the development of new business strategies, value creation and -destruction and conceptualising.

A passionate speaker with an interesting vision on sustainability.

Companies are investing in greener packaging

The numerous applications submitted for the Greener Packaging Awards illustrate how strong companies are interested in the environment.

These efforts made by Belgian companies to use less and greener packaging are bearing fruit. The competition was tough for this third edition of the Greener Packaging Awards, organised by VAL-I-PAC and Fost Plus, the two Belgian companies that help Belgian organisations recycle their waste. From cleaning products that you dilute yourself to glue in cardboard boxes, companies have lots of imagination for reducing their environmental footprint.

Packaging for food products and items which are used frequently often has a poor design. However, companies go to great lengths to design environment-friendly packaging and even reduce the amount of packaging. Fost Plus and VAL-I-PAC, the two organisations responsible in our country for ensuring that companies control their packaging waste, decided to launch the Greener Packaging Awards three years ago. They use these prizes to reward companies that make innovative efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging solutions.

“Packaging is necessary to protect and preserve products, and to inform customers. The Awards aim to reward companies who make packaging greener thanks to original initiatives. Given the impressive number of applications we received, we can say that companies are paying increasing attention to this aspect.” William Vermeir, Director of Fost Plus.
A selection of nominees

Unipro wins the first prize in the “industrial packaging” category. This company no longer packs its glue in jerry cans but in bags which are packed in boxes made from recycled cardboard. The result: thanks to its ‘Cube it simple’ initiative, the company succeeded in reducing its waste by 80% and lowering the amount of glue remaining in the packaging.

In the “household packaging” category, MagiPro wins the first prize. BEVIL is the company behind the Magi Pro range and they now deliver their cleaning products as screw-cap refills with 20 ml of highly concentrated product. You dilute the product yourself, at home, in half a litre of water, and this reduces the packaging drastically.

On our website you can find the complete list of winners as well as the companies nominated in the different categories. Here is a selection:

  • The same contents in smaller spray cans. By compressing the gas and air together, Dove, AXE and Rexona have been able to make their spray cans smaller. Unilever won this prize because it succeeded in reducing the size of its packaging and in making transportation more efficient with the same contents in its spray cans.
  • Boxes made from recycled cardboard. Since recently, customers shopping at Colruyt can put their goods in an Ecobox which now replaces the plastic basket. These boxes are manufactured by VPK Packaging from 15,000 tonnes of old cardboard packages from Colruyt.
  • Compostable bread bags. The new bread bags at Carrefour are fully compostable. ACE Packaging manufactures the ink applied on the bags itself from renewable materials.
  • Vacuum-packed meat. In Delhaize stores, the plastic film for vacuum packing covers the meat directly. This means the meat can be kept twice as long, up to nine days, and contributes to reducing wasted food. The meat remains juicier and is more tender.

Strict requirements

Public authorities impose strict requirements on Belgian companies with regard to processing their packaging waste. As a result, Belgium has been a recycling pioneer in Europe for several years: 600,000 tonnes of industrial packaging waste and  680,000 tonnes of household waste were recycled last year.

“Companies are increasingly taking responsibility to fulfil their obligations when it comes to packaging. By doing this, they understand that innovative designs that also focus on the packaging life cycle are interesting from an ecological as well as an economic point of view. New packaging and transportation methods benefit people and the planet.” Johan Sneyers, Director of VAL-I-PAC

A large crop of projects from schools

At the beginning of June, the technical committee met to analyse the applications submitted by students. During this session, each member of the committee presented and defended his choice.

Five projects were nominated and the top prize will be announced during the awards ceremony on 26 November. Please join us!

Applications are open!

Fost Plus and VAL-I-PAC kick off the 2015 edition of the Greener Packaging Awards

Starting today, companies who have reduced the environmental footprint of one of their package solutions drastically (household or industrial) are eligible to participate in the Greener Packaging Awards by submitting their application on the website www.greenerpackaging.be. The awards are presented in November 2015.

A seminar on packaging to launch the Greener Packaging Awards 2015

On the occasion of the European waste reduction week, Fost Plus and VAL-I-PAC organised, on 24 November last, a seminar on the optimisation of packaging.

Thomas Rau, the founder of Turntoo, opened the seminar with an inspiring talk reminding us that in a closed system it is essential that no material is lost. He invites us to change our mentality and view every product as a reservoir of raw materials that should also be exploited when their usage is over. Companies must provide ‘services’ for which the materials are merely resources and for which manufacturers remain responsible during their life cycle. You would buy light and not a lamp… He advised participants to not only think about packaging of the future but also about packaging with a future!

Various speakers were present, including the two top winners of the 2013 edition of the Greener Packaging Awards (Colruyt and P&G), to talk about the advances made in packaging, in terms of lightness, logistics optimisation and the use of new materials such as nano-materials. All the presentations and event photos are now available on the website www.greenerpackaging.be.  

Greener Packaging Awards 2015 Kick-off

William Vermeir and Johan Sneyers, General Directors of Fost Plus and VAL-I-PAC respectively, gave the kick-off for the Greener Packaging Awards 2015, a competition open for all companies that market packaged products. The aim is to reward companies that want to highlight their efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of their packaging. These efforts may affect different aspects such as weight/volume reduction, end of life, product waste reduction and the origin of the materials. In addition, the designer/student category is for packaging design entries. The reduction of product waste is the criterion for judging these projects.

From today, companies can enter their applications on the website www.greenerpackaging.be. Applications can be entered up to 31 August 2015 for companies (30 April for students). All applications will be examined in detail by a jury of experts from the academic, scientific and political world, and from associations and companies. This jury will be assisted by a technical committee. The awards ceremony will be held in November 2015 during the European waste reduction week.