University of Birmingham conference focuses on ‘Polymers in Packaging’

‘Polymers in Packaging – are the goals of biodegradability and sustainability achievable?’ is the topic for the Pack to the Future 6 conference on 16 March at the University of Birmingham.

Polymer HDPE

The event is hosted by East Midlands Packaging Society, The Packaging Society and The Polymer Society all affiliated to, or divisions of, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Polymers that are utilised in flexible wrapping and containers are beginning to shrug off their unsustainable and unfriendly recyclability mantle. This is because new materials that are organically derived are taking a larger share of the market. Will such new materials and processes gain traction in the future and meet with the approval of consumers and all other participants in the frame?

The Polymer and The Packaging Societies of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining are therefore inviting participants from retail, food & drink, R&D, conservation and packaging construction to join with students of the university to chart the future for polymers in packaging.


Welcome by Prof Paul Bowen, FIMMM, head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham

Chair and Introduction by Dr Alan Wood, chairman of the Polymer Society / IOM3 Dr Mike Jenkins, senior lecturer, Metallurgy and Materials – ‘Sustainability and Biodegradability in Polymers for Packaging’

Tony Hancock, chairman of the Environmental Committee of The Packaging Society – ‘Key Issues of Post Consumer Recycling’

Dr Terence Cooper, chief executive, ARGO Group International, global polymer consultants – ‘Bio-based and Biodegradable Packaging Materials’

Dr Peter Cox, Peter Cox Associates – ‘The Role of Multilayer Plastic Packaging in Sustainability’

Andy Sweetman, marketing manager Innovia Films, manufacturers of packaging films – ‘Where do biodegradable materials provide the best fit within the flexible packaging arena?’

Chris Gordon-Smith, Friends of the Earth – ‘Plastics, Packaging and a Blueprint for a Sustainable World’

Each presentation will be approx. 20mins followed by Q&A for 5 to 10 mins. There will be a Panel discussion at the end of the conference for approx. 30 mins.

Location: Lecture Theatre of the School of Metallurgy and Materials of the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham.


Company Presentations: Several Packaging suppliers will have presentation tables to show their products and members of staff will discuss how packaging companies function.

One to one expert panel sessions: Packaging issues can be discussed with several packaging experts after the presentations.

Membership of IOM3: The team from the membership department will be available to discuss the benefits of membership of IOM3 and answer any questions.

Schedule: Registration: 3.30pm start and welcome 4.00 pm break: approx. 5.30pm close: approx. 7.30 pm buffet and drinks  There will be refreshments (tea, coffee, water) at the start and during the break of the conference and refreshments and a cold buffet after the conference.

Registration Participation at the event is free of charge but registration is required.