Mrs. Luciana Pellegrino, President of WPO World Packaging Organisation and many guests attended ASD Packaging Congress 2023 – II. The International Packaging Industry Congress hosted by Zeki Sarıbekir, President of ASD. Zeki Sarıbekir, Bahar Koyuncu, Senior Policy Officer of Ellen MacArtur Foundation, Prof. Dr. Selçuk Yıldırım, head of Research Group Food Packaging, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zürich University and Aslıhan Arıkan, General Secretary of ASD took part as speakers in the closing session held within the scope of the congress. Delivering evaluations about the 2-day congress, Zeki Sarıbekir said, “In our congress, for sustainable, cyclical, value-added production and export; we evaluated the innovations in the packaging industry, the aims and future of the sector together. We are happy to bring our industry together by organizing such a congress in 2023, when we proudly celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Republic.”
“Not only our machines, but also our way of doing business is becoming digital”
Zeki Sarıbekir, President of ASD stated that environmental, social and cultural conversion should be targeted for sustainable growth in the packaging industry. Emphasizing that production processes should be built on the basis of a circular economy, which is a sustainable production model that keeps resource efficiency at the highest level, Zeki Sarıbekir said, “Customer demands are changing, not only our machines but also our way of doing business are becoming digital. Our industry needs to keep up with all this. We must set our goals correctly and move forward with the lessons we have learned from the past. We follow the change and conversion closely and continue our work to ensure that our industry catches up with this change and conversion. As ASD, we aim to contribute to the development of the packaging industry and related industries, which is a common area for all industries in the world. As a country, we are in a very strong position in the packaging industry worldwide. Considering the current conditions, we see that we have a much greater potential when our country’s geographical location, production capacity, qualified manpower and competitive structure are added. Concerns for the future are increasing in the changing world order. As the packaging industry, we aim to reduce these concerns to minimum levels. That’s why we determined the main theme of our congress as ‘Sustainability Roadmap of the Packaging Industry’.”
“We must embrace reuse and recycling”
Bahar Koyuncu, Senior Policy Officer of Ellen MacArtur Foundation, who also attended the closing session of the congress, said, “As the Foundation, we called for a ‘Reuse Era’. Because the latest findings in our ‘Five Years of Global Commitment’ report show that, without a significant shift towards reuse, worldwide use of virgin plastic in packaging is unlikely to fall below today’s levels before 2050. Embracing reuse gives us the opportunity to tackle plastic pollution, ease the pressure on our natural resources and take steps towards net zero. Of course, no organization can achieve the necessary change alone; this requires a joint effort from businesses, policy makers and financial institutions.”
Prof. Dr. Selçuk Yıldırım, head of Research Group Food Packaging, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zürich University stated that they are working to shorten the destruction time of bio-based materials and emphasized, “Those that will contribute to the economy are biodegradable. If we collect them correctly and recycle them, then we will contribute to the economy. Their disappearance before they cause further negative effects may make sense for countries that do not have collection systems or whose systems are not yet fully streamlined.”
ASD Packaging Congress 2023 brought together the packaging industry and the production branches, researchers and non-governmental organizations that support the sector. With the aim of contributing to the development of the packaging sector and related industries, the congress will respectively; Circular Economy and Recycling, Packaging Printing Technologies, Packaging Materials and Sustainable Production, Innovations in Food Packaging, Quality and Current Legislation in Packaging, New Studies in the Packaging Industry, Packaging Industry in Türkiye and the World, Sustainable Packaging Design and Marketing, Industry 4.0 and Digitalization, Packaging Waste Recycling sessions were held.
“Packaged products contribute to the environment and the country’s economy”
Emphasizing that packaging is a tool that provides information about the product it contains, protects the product, carries it and delivers it to the consumer, ASD argues that all stakeholders should act with a holistic approach. It is claimed that the entire world population can be fed with the food wasted in North American and European countries. Considering the limitations of our resources; Packaged products that provide full protection from production to the end user make it possible for food to reach the consumer in a hygienic manner. The packaging we need must be produced considering its impact on the environment. When the packaged product is included in the recycling process after use, it contributes to the environment and the country’s economy. ASD emphasizes that focusing on recyclable, environmentally friendly packaging with the support of all stakeholders of the sector is important for the sustainability of the world.