Over 250 Attendees Gathered in Portland, Oregon To Learn How To Advance Sustainable Packaging in Their Organization

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Capping off a very successful year for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition was the 2016 SPC Advance conference. Held in downtown Portland, Oregon, this year’s conference saw the largest fall conference ever in SPC history. It was also the first time that we invited a reporter to join our meeting and help tell the stories of the innovations and ideas presented at our conference.

A few highlight sessions of the conference were the Panel Discussion: The New Plastics Economy with Unilever, Dow Chemical Company, Amcor, Sealed Air, NatureWorks, and Coca-Cola; Advancing Sustainable Materials Management in Oregon session with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; the Nike Corporate Campus Tour, and the presentation by CalRecycle on California’s latest packaging regulation updates.

There were also three surprise announcements from the SPC during the 3-day meeting. First, was the brand new partnership between the SPC and The Recycling Partnership, what has been titled ASTRX (Applying Systems Thinking to Recycling). The two nonprofit organizations will study a range of factors affecting the infrastructure of materials recovery, including packaging design and materials processing. The initiative is geared toward identifying barriers and opportunities within the system and then making recommendations on how to make the system stronger and more connected.

“Recycling exists to deliver material feedstocks back into the manufacturing process,” says Sustainable Packaging Coalition Executive Director Nina Goodrich. “Through ASTRX we will analyze the entire system and identify the most effective areas for improvement and intervention. In turn, this will lay the strategic foundation for bolstering supply and reaping both the environmental and economic benefits.”

The second announcement came from the SPC and the American Forest Foundation.  The two organizations are leading a multi-stakeholder process to build a new model for evaluating sustainable forestry in the United States.

In the composting collaborative track, GreenBlue Senior Manager Anne Bedarf announced the debut of the Composting Collaborative project. The Composting Collaborative was created to drive sustainable materials management of organics and all compostables. The Collaborative will be lead by GreenBlue, BioCycle Magazine, and the U.S. Composting Council. 

Collaboration is at the core of the SPC, and we look forward to continuing to bring stakeholders together across the spectrum of sustainable packaging. Join us in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 24-27 for SustPack 2017!