Larger Hispack seeks to accelerate responsible packaging

From May 7 to 10, Spain’s largest packaging trade show will bring together more than 800 exhibitors from 28 countries and 1,250 brands at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue with the latest innovations in materials, packaging, containers, labels, wrapping, as well as processing and logistics technology and machinery adapted to the new regulatory framework of the circular economy.

Organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with Graphispack Association, Hispack is growing this year by 18% in the number of companies and 12% in exhibition space, mirroring the momentum of the packaging industry, which has an annual turnover of more than €40,400 million in Spain, according to a report by MarketAAD for the event.

Hispack will spread over 36,000m2 net in halls 2 and 3 with leading manufacturers and distributors showcasing technology, materials and packaging solutions.

It will also display the life cycle of packaging and its links with other production processes and the supply chain. This year there has also been an increase in international exhibitors, with almost a third of the total number coming from outside Spain. Turkey brings the largest number of companies, followed by Italy, China, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

60% of Hispack’s commercial offer corresponds to equipment and machinery for packaging, bottling, labelling, coding, traceability, process, automation, robotics and logistics. The remaining 40% of exhibitors focus on materials, POS and specific packaging elements for different industrial and consumer sectors, as well as distribution, e-commerce and retail.

The president of Hispack’s organising committee, Jordi Bernabeu, underlines the growing interest in the event this year as a showcase for trends and solutions in view of the need to adapt packaging to the new regulatory framework: “manufacturers and brands, mainly in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors, among others, are increasingly demanding sustainable packaging solutions in response to greater environmental awareness and commitment and also to meet the objective set by the regulations for all packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2030.”

Trends at the show will include sustainable packaging seeking to minimise environmental impact through eco-design focused on the reduction of materials, recycling, and reuse, as well as through the analysis of the life cycle of packaging from production to disposal.

Also, with a greater use of recycled or biodegradable materials, with the deployment of smart packaging that improves supply chain efficiency, traceability, and consumer experience, and with an overhaul of production processes  aimed at reducing the carbon footprint. In this sense, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence combine to drive the digital transformation and sustainability of packaging.

All of this will be clear both in Hispack’s exhibition floorspace and in its more than 80 knowledge and networking activities in which over 150 speakers will take part. The ‘Hispack Unboxing’ space stands out with a program of conferences, roundtables, and presentations, in which representatives from food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, textile and construction companies will explain their experiences in sustainable packaging, together with organisations, technology centres, clusters and suppliers of technology and materials. Among the speakers feature the packaging and sustainability managers from brands such as Almirall, Calidad Pascual, García Carrión, El Corte Inglés, Nauterra and Shiseido.

The director of Hispack, Xavier Pascual, emphasises the value of the knowledge shared at the fair: “we bring together suppliers and clients to explain achievements and experiences that help other companies to improve the sustainability of their packaging.

In addition, Hispack is also launching the “Engineers Day”, an initiative by Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya (EIC) aimed at professionals with technical and engineering profiles involved in production processes, R&D, operations and the supply chain, with talks on automation and robotics applied to intralogistics and other networking activities.

Also new are the ten themed routes around the show aimed at discovering creative and innovative materials and packaging, making packaging circular, or the latest in intralogistics, sustainable packaging technologies or plastic packaging, industry 4.0 in the packaging sector and smart packaging.

In parallel, under the title “Best in class”, Hispack will acknowledge three international success stories with packaging sustainability as protagonist. The Danish city of Aarhus has created a municipal circular system for the collection, washing and reuse of beverage and take-away food packaging. The Japanese firm Kao Corporation, with an innovative system to recycle plastic refill containers and make new containers. And AMITA Corporation’s project to use blockchain technology to trace plastic bottle cap recycling.

Hispack will promote Japan as a high-potential market in collaboration with the Japan Packaging Institute showcasing trends and experiences carried out in Japan, as well as enabling business contacts or collaboration with the Japanese delegation attending the fair.

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