The summit, which showcased industry experts and keynote speakers across diverse industries, was hosted by BillerudKorsnäs, whose mission is to challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. The company’s president and CEO, Petra Einarsson, shared insights on the company’s commitment to sustainability, and unveiled new packaging innovations and solutions.
The oceanographic researchers from the Tara Foundation (the Tara Expeditions schooner sailed into New York Harbor for the event) presented evidence showing that the real threat of ocean pollution is not from large floating islands of plastic, but from tiny micro-plastics that saturate our seas like clouds of confetti. Although much smaller than grains of rice, these micro-particles interact with marine organisms and represent a potential danger for the entire marine food chain—including what ends up on our plates.
“Each day, our ocean is being ravaged by tremendous amounts of waste being carelessly dumped or washed into our waterways,” said Romain Troublé, executive director of Tara Expeditions Foundation, who has been coordinating the oceanic research voyages since 2004. “In sharing our discoveries with a global audience, we hope to inspire others to participate in sustainable business practices for our future generations. The problem is on land – we must turn off the tap.”
“Our team, with assistance from our partners at Tara, has been able to utilize research and innovation to take our packaging to an entirely new caliber,” said Einarsson. “We’re able to provide solutions to one of the world’s most urgent problems at a time where many feel they are powerless.”
Summit attendees got to see and hear about a paper bottle for carbonated beverages such as beer, soft drinks and water: the first ever biodegradable and 100% recyclable solution to one of the most common containers of disposable waste – the plastic bottle. In addition, BillerudKorsnäs debuted the D-Sack – a unique paper cement sack that is never opened but instead, the bag and contents are tossed into cement mixers – like detergent pods tossed into washing machines. This innovation essentially eliminates packaging waste, litter, and minimizes handling time while creating a cleaner and safer workplace.
BillerudKorsnäs also discussed their newest product still in development – a battery made of paper which is designed to power smart packaging and other applications. The paper battery opens multiple possibilities for packaging that is both smart and more sustainable.
The summit also showcased keynote speakers across diverse industries, all whom had news to share about how sustainability initiatives are playing a key role in their company’s growth. Danielle Azoulay, the head of CSR & Sustainability for L’Oréal USA, gave an inside look at L’Oréal’s sustainability initiatives for 2020 “Sharing Beauty with All.” She also touched on the crucial role corporations play in supporting the well-being of our planet.
Jamil Ahmad, director of the United Nations Environment Program in New York, delivered insight on the United Nation’s sustainable development goals – the framework, development and next steps forward. As the head of the Intergovernmental Affairs, Ahmad leads work on sustainable development and the environment in support of the organization’s policies and program.
Nina Goodrich, the director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and executive director of GreenBlue, presented on the need for more sustainable packaging so consumers can make more responsible purchasing decisions at the shelf. Because every piece of waste, no matter how small or large, impacts the health of our environment.
In addition, nearly 100 c-suite executives representing top consumer brands, including Chanel, Pepsi Co., David Yurman, L’Oréal, J Crew, Estée Lauder and more, were in attendance to learn about new packaging technologies, share ideas and discuss ways on how they can become more sustainably viable for the future.
PHOTO: Summit presenters Petra Einarsson, CEO and president, BillerudKorsnäs (R); Danielle Azoulay, head of Sustainability & CSR, L’Oréal.