ALL4PACK conference area combines eco design and transition solutions
Although eco design was introduced into the packaging world many years ago, the approach is more relevant than ever
The conference area welcomed experts to better define the current approach to eco-design, and the sustainable solutions in the field. The introduction by the coordinator of the conference series, Emmanuel Taillardat, sets the tone on the subject of environmental constraints in the sector. The terms are clear and the discourse committed: “The eco-design of packaging has become a must”.
Eco-design defined by experts at ALL4PACK Emballage Paris
According to Nicolas Salah, Managing Director of the company Inelia, “it is, first of all, a lot of good farming sense, a bit of methodology […] and going through functionality studies”.
This involves adapting the company’s design functions to the new environmental criteria, more commonly known as eco-design. An approach that has given its name to the term eco-design in the global sense.
Inelia’s team tries to accompany its clients and prospects in this eco-responsible approach, in order to define their objectives together and provide eco-design solutions that can be implemented in the field.
Christophe Morin, packaging expert and founder of the company Pack Agile, has made it his main mission to support the eco-design of marketers. But also to carry out applied research to improve the recyclability of packaging – in partnership with Citeo, in particular.
A speaker who defines eco-design as “taking into account the environmental impact in the design of products” in order to better “identify where we are starting from and where we want to go, towards a solution […] that is ever more respectful of the environment”.
Without forgetting to add, in conclusion, that consumers are also the leaders of the eco-design approach, with high expectations on this subject.
Thierry Varlet, Managing Director of Innovons à 360° and President of Pack en transition, recalled that the packaging industry was the first to initiate and apply this eco-design approach, which has existed for 30 years now.
The aim is to “create packaging that respects our lives; more than our environment, it is now our lives” – taking all stakeholders into consideration, with collective intelligence as the basic measure.
The ultimate goal is to integrate packaging manufacturers, or marketers, as well as local authorities and waste professionals, but also consumers – notably, future generations.
In conclusion, our expert shared his forward-looking vision:
“Building the packaging of the future requires a systemic approach to eco-design.
The balance between the economic and ecological challenges of eco-design
Nicolas Salah indicated that in the past the discourse was more like: “If we can integrate a bit of eco-design, that’s fine […] whereas today, it’s part of the criteria that are increasing in priority in the functional specifications.
As Christophe Morin pointed out, the major challenge is to know how to harmonise economic and environmental issues, in order to propose transition solutions that are compatible with the specifications.
“The economic solution must be accompanied as a whole”, because the most virtuous solutions also turn out to be the most expensive.
The priority remains to take into consideration the evolution of costs and their assumption of responsibility, while respecting the safeguards of pro-environmental regulations, relating to eco-design.
“We are looking for balance, that is the very principle of sustainable development. Eco-design yes, but without denying the company’s costs and margins. In short, there must be harmony between “the right impact and the right cost”.
An economic challenge with a predominantly ecological variable that Nicolas Salah has called “eco-design”, and which highlights the multi-criteria approach, within the current economic context.
Recycling channels at the heart of eco-design
“If we had thought of the recycling chain first, we wouldn’t be here.
This introduction by Thierry Varlet leaves no room for doubt. Eco-design must take into consideration the end of the loop – i.e. recycling – to be an integral part of the circular economy.
Thinking about recycling channels at the same time as products and packaging are (eco-)designed means favouring sustainable materials.
The aim is to recover materials in the final phase of the product-packaging life cycle through recycling.
The experts also recalled in detail the consequences of sustainable solutions in short or long circuits, to satisfy both consumer needs and pro-environmental requirements.
The analysis of the life cycle of products, the choice of upstream material recovery, the different options offered by recycling channels, the regulatory deadlines to be met, etc.
These are all criteria to be developed in the cross-cutting eco-design approaches for the industrial sectors.
You are a player in the packaging and intralogistics eco-system and wish to participate in the next ALL4PACK Emballage Paris exhibition which will take place from 4 to 7 November 2024? Join us, and register now !
Watch the replay of the conference:
Discover the interview of the conference speaker: