PAC NEXT reflects on fight against packaging waste, looks ahead

PAC NEXT reflects on fight against packaging waste, looks ahead

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Dec. 12, 2013

PAC NEXT has released its 2013 membership report, using the occasion to chart the growth and progress of the Packaging Association wing and identify what's "next" for the group.

According to the 2013 Membership Report, PAC NEXT has gone from its 31 founding members in August of 2011 to 129 in 2013. The report stresses its mission of finding "innovative packaging end-life solutions" has been met with support from leaders "across the value chain," including retailers, brand owners, manufacturers, recyclers and others.

Originally, PAC NEXT emerged to focus on extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs in Canada, but has since branched out to become a more globally orientated group focused on reducing packaging waste.

Highlights from 2013 include PAC NEXT's Packaging Optimization Summit held in May and the completion of a major analysis of 11 global extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs. The group says the study will be released in the coming weeks.

As PAC NEXT enters its second phase of development, known as PAC NEXT 2.0, the group has decided to refine its focus going forward, forming three technical committees to carry out expertise-specific goals: policy harmonization and consumer understanding; materials and systems optimization; and design for recovery. By identifying areas of focus, the group hopes to come up with a series of cost-effective solutions while reaching out to more non-member representatives for input and support.

Donna Dempsey, executive director of North American packaging waste group AMERIPEN, expressed her support for PAC NEXT's mission. "AMERIPEN’S mission and geography differ, but there is strong collaboration between the two organizations," Dempsey stated. Alan Blake, PAC NEXT's executive director, echoed Dempsey's notes of collaboration. "The PAC NEXT mission is 'A World Without Packaging Waste' and our focus is on transparent collaboration across the entire packaging value chain to find solutions that lead to efficient recovery of more materials to avoid landfill," Blake stated.

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