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Ecopack Challenge: Packaging Innovations Birmingham and M&S Join Forces to Discover the Latest Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2020, which brings the whole packaging industry together under one roof, from design, marketing and branding, through to engineering and logistics, returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 26 & 27 February.

The two-day event returns at a time when concern around climate change has piqued, with the focus shifting from plastics scrutiny to looking at overall carbon emissions. With this in mind, the show is once again searching for cutting-edge sustainable packaging solutions to take part in its hotly anticipated Ecopack Challenge, which will run in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

The competition offers companies that are creating innovative and environmentally responsible products the chance to develop an idea with Marks & Spencer, as well as being crowned sustainable champions. The Dragons’ Den style session will see six shortlisted companies pitch their idea to an expert industry panel, as well as a voting audience. The shortlisted entries will also be assessed by the OPRL PREP tool, which analyses whether consumers can readily recycle a product.

Entry to the challenge is open to anyone in the market, and not confined to those exhibiting at the show. Sustainable products from any category are invited to enter, from materials, software and structural design, through to logistics and more. The deadline for all Ecopack Challenge entries is Friday 31st January and submissions can be completed by filling out the online application form.

All entries must be unique and have clear intellectual property rights. The design can be in the form of a concept or a prototype and should be covered by copyright or design right as the 'pitch' to the judges will be in public forum.

At Packaging Innovations Birmingham last year, there was strong competition between the six finalists. Crowned the overall the winner was Flexi-Hex, founded by two Cornish entrepreneurs. The company showcased its recyclable and biodegradable packaging sleeves as an alternative to plastic bubble wrap, featuring a patented design and distinctive honeycomb structure. The product was created by brothers Will and Sam Boex who recognised the impact that single-use plastic was having on the marine environment.

Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2020 takes place at the NEC, on the 26th and 27th February.