The understanding of packaging sustainability has evolved and increased in complexity. Important decisions intended to further sustainable packaging can become controversial, with well developed arguments either in favor or against a particular position. At SPC Advance, we’ve designed the program with an eye for those contentious subjects and an opportunity for attendees to learn what fuels them.

Bag bans

Government mandated bans of packaging materials or formats are a prime example. Acting out of a desire to serve the public interest, bans and regulations are intended to discourage or eliminate environmentally detrimental practices or materials. But whether or not those regulations accomplish that goal quickly becomes a subjective debate. Opponents of these types of restrictions often argue that they are based on emotional responses to complex problems and can be counterproductive, resulting in unwanted trade-offs and potentially unfair consequences for industry and the public good. SPC Advance highlights this idea with a point-counterpoint session on bag bans, featuring Anna Cummins from 5 Gyres arguing for bag bans and Phil Rozenski from Novolex arguing against bag bans.

EPR

One of the more contentious issues debated in the field of sustainable packaging is extended producer responsibility (EPR), and we want attendees at SPC Advance to understand why this issue is controversial and the reasons argued in favor of or in opposition to EPR. Attendees will hear another point-counterpoint session featuring Meghan Stasz from the Grocery Manufacturers Association arguing against EPR for packaging, opposite Paul Gardner representing Recycling Reinvented, an organization that has advocated for packaging EPR with industry backing.

There is a  good reason why these hot button issues generate strong opinions — they matter. These topics have far-reaching consequences and meaningful business implications. Come to SPC Advance and further your understanding of the most relevant debates in sustainable packaging. We have not designed these sessions to convince you to choose a certain side of any argument, but we can guarantee that healthy, informed conversations will be generated and we want you to be a part of them.

Adam Gendell, SPC Project Manager