Interview with Kevin Vyse from Marks and Spencer

Kevin Vyse discusses the circular economy challenges faced by Marks & Spencer

Why do you think it is important to attend the Sustainability in Packaging conference?

 Sustainable packaging is now the watchword for how business has to be done now and in the future. Marks & Spencer has led in this field for a decade and we feel it’s vital to keep abreast of the latest thinking, network with key thinkers and providers and to share our experience.

 

How do you foresee the future of packaging sustainability over the next 5 years?

With the adoption of the EU Circular Economy package there will be tremendous emphasis being put on the use of materials and their suitability for recovery and recycling. Sustainable design practice will be expected as a given and M&S has already put in place actions to ensure we meet this objective over the next 5 years

 

What are the main challenges the industry is facing and how do you think this conference can overcome them?

 The main challenge for the industry is to ensure that that circularity of materials is a reality and not a stated objective. If we are going to design to a sustainable model everyone in the supply chain needs to play their part, not least at the back end where there needs to be a definite demand for materials from the circular economy. The biggest challenge is for polymers to be treated by consumer and industry in the same way we treat glass metal and cardboard, no confusion, simple recovery and easy assimilation into new product. Once again M&S has placed a focus on reducing the number of polymers used in packaging to ensure the consumer message is always ‘widely recycled’. This conference programme certainly seems to address many of these key issues

 

What are you most looking forward to at the Sustainability in Packaging conference in Barcelona?

We always find these events great for networking and have often had very valuable conversations ‘off programme’. Obviously the topic brings the right people together and so it is a great place to share learnings.

 

Can you provide a brief summary of what your presentation will cover and why it’s important for delegates interested in Sustainability in Packaging to attend?

 As a retailer who has a reputation for leadership in the area of sustainable business practice (Plan A) the presentation will outline how we are taking on the circular economy challenge, the issues we have met and the practical outworking of our new packaging strategy.