60 seconds interview with NINE

Ahead of Sustainability in Packaging Europe we caught up with Sebastian Tarkowski, Innovation Catalyst from NINE to discuss the future of the packaging industry, challenges faced by a material supplier and more about his presentation on 'Designing packaging for a sustainable future'.

Hear more from Sebastian Tarkowski in Barcelona this month at Sustainability in Pac - 

Why do you think it is important to attend the Sustainability in Packaging conference? 
Creating real sustainability is not a one man show, we need to use every available tool available across many touchpoints to really make a difference. With that said, that also means that there are great business opportunities for agile players preparing to walk that extra mile. I believe this conference is a great meeting point for all those who are interested in shaping a business landscape for a sustainable future. After all, it’s about doing what’s right. If we are to solve the environmental challenges we are facing collectively, then we need to collaborate.

How do you foresee the future of packaging sustainability over the next 5 years?
I see two things. Primarily, we will see a lot of sustainable packaging propositions, meaning less plastic or less material in general, easier to recycle or biodegradable. Simultaneously we will witness an increasing consumer pull for sustainability in packaging as environmental awareness increases. Still, it is our responsibility as producers to offer better and more sustainable solutions.
Secondly, we will be seeing a lot more of smart packaging, that is- digitally communicating packaging. For example, packaging that can minimize food waste by knowing and reporting its temperature. Packaging that knows where it has been, where it is, and where it is heading. And, packaging that replaces traditional media in creating consumer interaction.

What are the main challenges the industry is facing from a material supplier perspective and how do you think this conference can overcome them?
There are many challenges we can discuss, especially environmental. Take for instance plastic, I don’t think we can get rid of plastic, but we can definitely make an effort to minimize its usage, or to make sure that whatever plastic components we do use get recycled. It’s the broad mix of competences attending this conference that makes it the perfect melting pot for initiating the kinds of projects that tackle industry challenges like these. Again, we talk about a process that requires collaboration and establishing new standards together. 

What are you most looking forward to at the Sustainability in Packaging conference in Barcelona?
Meeting people that can teach you something is always the best way to stretch your thinking. I look forward to making new friends and creating opportunities together to stay ahead of the transition we are facing, together.

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?
My motto is: Let’s make making right a delight. If we want to change consumer behaviour, we need to design propositions that meet consumer needs. Solutions that help the buyer make sustainable choices can naturally influence a change in behaviour. The key word, along with sustainability, is seamlessness. And, to deliver true seamlessness we need to understand the users, their needs and their behaviours. I will talk about insight-based innovation as a tool when designing sustainable solutions, and in doing so I will also cover trends, future visions, and share insights from the industry.

Why should delegates attend Sustainability in Packaging and what are the top 3 over riding takeaways they will receive?
All of us working in the packaging industry play a key role in shaping a sustainable future, we should act like the potential super heroes we are. To me this is a super heroes’ convention, where we can share our powers and wisdom to build strong alliances to help save the world. With great powers comes great responsibilities, but also great opportunities. I believe that attendees of the Sustainability in Packaging Conference will leave smarter, stronger and better prepared to face current and future challenges.