“Innovation Takes Root” is a biannual conference hosted by NatureWorks, developer of the Ingeo PLA polymer and the Vercet lactide chemistry platforms. This year marked the sixth such gathering, held in San Diego from September 10-12 with over 250 attendees from 27 countries. Major topics included the continued evolution of the Ingeo platform, circular economy principles, regulatory and legislative developments related to bio-based plastics, PLA use in additive manufacturing, and new developments in single-serve capsules (they’re not just for coffee anymore).
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Held at Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center at Ariake on Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Pack 2018 drew over 700 exhibitors from mostly Asian countries, with Japan providing the lion’s share of participants. The official total was 62,000 unique visitors over a 4-day period. Separate zones were set up for pharmaceutical packaging, mail-order and gift packaging, material handling, and package design, while a large segment of the hall was set aside for the Japan “Good Packaging” winners, an array of over 100 packages from all over the country. CMT participated with our partners from Seiko Sangyo and we entertained several customers from Japan, Korea and Thailand at our booth with full array of HYTAC plug assist materials.
The crisp autumn weather and the changing of the leaves in New England draws visitors from all over the world. From Massachusetts to Maine, people can feast their eyes on famous foliage with blazing reds, golden yellows, and burnished oranges that stretch into the White Mountains up to the Canadian border. But there are other reasons to visit the Northeast at this time of year, especially if you’re in the thermoforming industry. Here in our corner of the US, we have our own little ecosystem of thermoforming companies: machinery makers, toolmakers, die makers, and, of course, the most important element of all, the plug assist specialists!
The Circular Economy for plastics is moving forward in Europe, but challenges remain.
For the first time in recent memory, the AMI Thin Wall Packaging conference did not contain a single paper on coffee capsules. Perhaps this is because the consultancy has established a stand-alone conference to monitor the ubiquitous and troublesome pods (scheduled next in the US in Atlanta in March). There is still plenty of thermoforming in this sector, however, as the recent expansion of Phoenix Packaging in Virginia suggests. This year’s conference in Cologne, Germany featured a heavy focus on the circular economy and what it means for the plastics industry. To be sure, there are both opportunities and threats. But after two days of talks and debate, it became evident that the circular economy is not a natural phenomenon. Even as it gains momentum, it will require sustained, global efforts to truly disrupt the seemingly immovable forces of consumer demand and market capitalism.