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Interview with UPM Specialty Papers

Ahead of next week's Sustainability in Packaging Asia 2022 hybrid event, we spoke with Derrick Tay, Senior Sales Manager at UPM Specialty Papers APAC. He gave us a sneak peek of what we can expect from his presentation, on day one of the conference, in our 'Sustainable Packaging Materials' session. Here's what he had to say...

Q. You are going to be delivering a presentation on "Innovate with fiber based packaging materials", why do you think this is an important topic now?
Our purpose is to create a future beyond fossils. It is very important to reduce the use non-renewable materials and replace them with sustainable materials (e.g paper)

Q. What do you think will be the biggest challenges to packaging sustainability in the next 12-24 months? How is your company/organization dealing with this challenge?

One of the biggest challenges is to match sustainability with practicality and functionality. That means the sustainable packing material also has to offer adequate protection and costs viability at the same time. We are constantly working with partners in the value chain to learn more and working on product development to innovate new grades that can match these requirements.
Q. What does your company/organization hope to achieve over the next 5 years with regards to the future of packaging industry?

We hope to seek sustainable growth by enabling our customers and consumers to make more sustainable choices.

Q. As consumers and end-users continue to push for more sustainable/greener solutions, what do you think is the biggest concern regarding packaging?

Consumers and end-users are very knowledgeable and exposed to a lot of information. I think they want to know what they are getting.  Credibility comes with transparency and a big concern is to be able to explain and show what comes with the packaging.
Q. What do you think will be some of the most interesting advancements in materials or packaging types in the near future?

In addition to material sustainability, we could see more innovative designs to reduce actual packaging material. This means going with lower basis weight substrate and even reducing total area/volume of packaging material with new form designs.
Q. What sort of partnerships and collaborations do you think will be necessary to drive the industry forward on sustainability?

Co-creation is key for different stake holders in this industry. For example, it takes different players in the packaging value chain to put together the end packaging product/material that can fulfill the needs of the brand owner.

Q. Why do you feel it's important for companies to attend the Sustainability in Packaging Asia? 

Companies can check out latest trends and developments in the Packaging industry. IT is also a good opportunity to meet up with like-minded companies and maybe even developing some joint projects in the near future!
Q. What are you most looking forward to about attending the Sustainability in Packaging Asia 2022 conference?

Definitely hoping to learn from different experts and everyone in the industry! Also hope to share what UPM has to offer and uncover cocreation opportunities.