James Drake-Brockman, Easyfairs’ divisional director – packaging talks to EN about the EN Award-winning feature at Packaging Innovations.
Describe the feature
It was a showcase of packaging that was plastic free. It was displayed much like a shopping aisle, with shelves of products/packaging displayed on cardboard shelves, with the feature walls built of reboard (so the feature was plastic free as well).
Where did the idea come from?
It was an idea that came after hearing about Dutch supermarket Ecoplaza introducing the first ever plastic free aisle in one of their Amsterdam stores. The plastic debate had proved popular at our February event and this seemed like a creative way to improve our offering and focus on solutions.
What was the process of creating it?
This was delivered through our partnership with A Plastic Planet, who are campaigners against the use of plastic. They work with brands and retailers to remove plastic so are familiar with the most cutting-edge alternatives out there. Working with them and our current exhibitor base we were able to select relevant plastic free solutions that were presented on the feature.
How did the feature complement the show as a whole?
Plastic pollution is a key area of discussion at the moment, with the ‘Blue Planet effect’ stirring up strong sentiment in consumers, the media and subsequently government. Much of this debate is focused on the issue but not solutions and by presenting the Plastic Free Aisle, it allowed those buyers whose priority is to go plastic free, to see the viable alternatives available to them.
What has been the impact?
The feature had over 780 smart badge scans, about seven times the average for exhibitors. We know anecdotally that as a result of attending the show a number of major brands and retailers have implemented new ranges of packaging that are plastic free.
It has allowed us to showcase the most cutting-edge packaging solutions and it has provided a focal point for buyers whose priority is plastic free packaging.