Corrugated packaging gets smarter and greener at FEFCO’s Lyon Technical Seminar

Some 1,150 representatives from the corrugated board industry and its suppliers heard about the latest innovations and process optimisation at the FEFCO Technical Seminar in Lyon on October 25-27, where ideas, policies and new technologies in the sector were debated.

Sustainability improvements, optimised energy consumption, production of lighter and stronger board systems and other smart technologies were showcased at Lyon’s Centre de Congrès which this year had the headline, “Shaping our future through innovations.”

This event brought together dynamic representatives of the corrugated sector, suppliers, customers, and industry visionaries to debate how intelligence and digitalisation can transform manufacturing processes, enhance supply chain management, and drive overall efficiency. The conference included specific sessions on energy efficiency and energy reduction, light paper grammages, artificial intelligence (AI), digital printing, logistics flows, bio-based coatings, cybersecurity, and EU legislation. For more interactivity, the programme was built around four panel discussions with leaders and experts from the industry and the sector.

On the exhibition floor, 165 stands and 110 exhibitors from 41 countries showed off their products and services. The 2023 event set an attendance record and all numbers are up from the previous FEFCO events in Copenhagen (2021) and Geneva (2019).

The FEFCO Technical Seminar kicked off after a key European Parliament Environment Committee vote on the EU’s proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which aims to reduce packaging waste across the entire economy.

FEFCO President, Fady Gemayel said the corrugated industry was already in line with the EU’s Green Deal objectives. “Our product has proven to be essential to the well-being of the economy and for society. It has demonstrated its unique role in the distribution value chain. Corrugated cardboard is recyclable and recycled” he said. “Let us not forget that our boxes, once used, are recovered, repulped, and made into paper and then into a new box. This is real circularity. Corrugated boxes are using the same fibre repeatedly, as 89% of paper packaging is made from recovered paper.”

FEFCO’s Director General Eleni Despotou said the event showed how the corrugated cardboard sector is fit for the future. “Our world faces challenges as we move to become more sustainable while continuing to improve customer service and excellence. We are creating smart and sustainable packaging solutions that can adapt to these changing demands and help the planet become greener.”