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2018 news wrap: Packaging goes green

Friday, 21 December 2018
By Wayne Robinson

End of Waste: Raphael Geminder, Pact chairman and Dr Leyla Aracoglu at the launch of the company’s white paper.

The packaging industry hit the headlines in 2018 thanks to a global focus on sustainability, with plastic taking the title of enemy of the people.

At least one print business postponed its plans to establish a new flexible packaging operation as the world recoiled from plastics.

The big packaging companies made serious commitments to a sustainable future, a commitment that Rafi Geminder, majority owner of Pro-Pac and of Pact described as ‘terrifying’ as he launched the company’s End of Waste white paper.

The packaging giants were all investing, the big daddy Amcor finding $6.8bn to buy long time rival Bemis, although it did nothing for the Amcor share price which slid all year ending 15 per cent lower.

Amcor spin-off Orora was also active in the US, spending big in Texas, buying two companies for $140m to build on its US platform. Orora also installed Australia’s first EFI Nozomi corrugated digital press, and took one for its Californian operation at the same time.

Gone: Grant Harrod CEO Pro Pac

In the local market ProPac spent $177m on Integrated Packaging and Perfection, although it was not enough to save CEO Grant Harrod’s job, he was out on poor results. And in more investment Oji invested some $72m in a new cardboard factory on the Gold Coast.

The Print21 and PKN LIVE event, New Frontiers in Packaging Print, was packed with print industry professionals, the first time the print industry has had the opportunity to hear from packaging specialists in a dedicated focused forum. Packaging remains an area of high interest to printers – especially with the move against plastics potentially sending work back to cartonboard.

New Frontiers: Lindy Hughson, publisher of Print21 and PKN Packaging News, at the LIVE event

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