IFST Panel: Challenges of Sustainable Packaging

Organised by IFST Food Regulatory SIG and Sponsored by Reiser


Food uses a wide range of different types of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging to transport and deliver food to consumers which protects product safety and integrity, supports shelf life, avoids food waste, and permits practical product placement on shelf for sale.

Switching to using less packaging and selecting more sustainable packaging materials that avoid negative environmental impacts is both a critical and urgent need for the food sector. 

The challenge we face is making wise choices of alternative food packaging materials and formats. Food packaging needs to remain safe and legal as food contact materials and fit for their intended functional purpose to protect the food product for the entirety of its shelf life. Supply of alternative packaging materials and formats needs to be available to meet demand, both now and in the future, and at a price that is affordable. Coordinated systems for collection, recycling and reuse of food packaging need to be available.

This webinar will offer an expert panel to share their technical expertise and practical experience around to the challenges of moving to environmental sustainable packaging whilst ensuring safe and legal and fit for purpose food contact materials and formats. There may even be some suggested solutions and approaches on offer. One not to be missed!

What participants will learn about: Food contact materials and formats for use as more sustainable food packaging and the challenges faced in moving towards switching from current food packaging to more sustainable packaging materials that avoid negative environmental impacts. 

Target audience: IFST members and non-members, food packaging businesses technical managers and new product developers, government and NGO regulatory policy developers, students.

Chair: Professor Julian M Cooper - CChem, FRSC, CSci, FIFST, 342 Consulting

Professor Julian Cooper is an internationally renowned sugar and carbohydrate expert. During his 35 year career with British Sugar and AB Sugar he developed extensive experience in process and product development, carbohydrate chemistry, product reformulation and research and development in the food sector. He has recently retired and set up 342 Consulting Ltd. He has written many scientific papers and is the inventor on several patents. He has worked with many major food companies, research associations and universities in Europe, North America and Japan and has presented papers at many major symposia.  He was Chief Scientist at the British Sugar Technical Centre up to 2001 and then Head of Food Science for both British Sugar & AB Sugar with responsibility for new product/technology development, external scientific research, health & nutrition and food law.

He was media spokesperson for AB Sugar and has a wide media experience including the Radio 4 Food programme, adviser on Bang Goes the Theory (BBC1) and advised and appeared on Kew on a Plate (BBC2). He was also principal scientific adviser on the Making Sense of Sugar. Dr Julian Cooper is a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Chartered Chemist, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. He studied at Birmingham University where he was awarded a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Carbohydrate Chemistry.  

Panelist: Katie Lynch, Packaging Technical Manager, Sainsbury’s

Katie joined the packaging team at Sainsbury’s in 2020, having previously worked in Product Development and Product Technology. Katie primarily works with the food teams at Sainsbury’s to support them with implementing our packaging strategy, as well as working on broader projects such as in-store recycling and packaging data analysis.

Panelist: Paul East, Head of Packaging Recycling & Design, RECOUP

Paul is a member of the Institute of Packaging and has extensive knowledge of packaging materials and processes as a result of over 20 years of experience dealing with packaging from within the food industry as Packaging Buyer, Packaging Technologist and Packaging Innovation Manager. For RECOUP, Paul has written and compiled many versions of RECOUP’s Recyclability by Design publications and provides assessment and guidance for the recycling of packaging for RECOUP Members and a range of clients. 

Panelist: Susan Jay, Sector Specialist for UK Plastics Pact, WRAP UK

Sue is part of the UK Plastics Pact technical team with a focus on the delivery of Target 3 (70% effective recycling) and the development of UK based collection, sorting and reprocessing capacity for plastic packaging. She has many years’ experience working with the resource management sector and manufacturers, driving circular economy initiatives across a wide range of sectors.  Prior to joining WRAP Susan lectured on environmental management, air and water pollution, she has an MBA, PG Dip in Sustainability, Planning & Environmental Policy, and a BSc in Environmental Science 1st class (Hons).

IFST member - Free
Non-IFST member - £25.00
If you are an IFST member, please ensure that you are logged into the IFST website before completing your booking so you can access member rates for events. Published events fees will apply to non-members and members can only gain preferential rates by logging in to their IFST account. 

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Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, click here and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions via info@ifst.org.

Please note: IFST is a registered charity with the mission of ‘recognising and empowering food professionals by promoting excellence in science and its application throughout the food chain’. During 2021 we were proud to have run over 60 events, including webinars and workshops and engaged with thousands of food professionals worldwide from over 50 countries. IFST members attend all webinars free of charge. All non-members who would like to attend our events will be charged a small fee and all attendees will receive a certificate of attendance. You can find details of our membership packages here.