Birmingham City

Packaging Innovations 2024

A Reflection on Industry Trends and Optimism for the Future.

Once again, Packaging Innovations 2024 at the NEC proved to exceed expectations and reaffirmed its status as a premier packaging exhibition in the UK and across Europe. As a seasoned packaging consultant with over 26 years of experience, I can confidently say that last week’s event was truly exceptional. There was a palpable sense of enthusiasm and anticipation flooding the halls.

What sets Packaging Innovations & Empack apart, in my opinion, is not just the showcase of packaging solutions, but the people who attend. It’s a gathering of like-minded individuals who share a passion for packaging and a commitment for driving innovation in the industry. Meeting old friends and making new connections is always a highlight for me, as it reinforces the sense of community that defines our profession.

However, what struck me most this year was the shift in conversations among attendees. While there was still a keen interest in discovering new packaging solutions, there was a notable increase in discussions that surround the challenges posed by global legislation, the importance of packaging data and the need for carbon measurement.

“It’s evident that the packaging industry is evolving, and stakeholders are increasingly aware of the need to address sustainability and regulatory compliance.”

Gillian Garside-Wight

Growing recognition within the industry of the transformative power of data is especially exciting. Just as data has revolutionized other industries, such as healthcare and finance, I believe that the packaging industry is on the brink of a similar paradigm shift. By harnessing the power of data analytics, we can measure the environmental impact of packaging, optimize supply chains, and drive meaningful change towards sustainability.

As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, I am filled with optimism for the future of the packaging industry. With a renewed focus on sustainability, regulatory compliance, and data-driven decision-making, I believe that we are equipped to make real, positive change. The challenges ahead are significant, but so too are the opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

If you need support navigating the complexities of global packaging legislation, striving to reach your sustainability goals in packaging, or in need of a comprehensive programme to manage all your packaging data, Aura is here to help. Our team of packaging consultants with decades of experience, are ready to support you on your path towards sustainable packaging solutions.

Furthermore, we’re very proud of e-halo, our innovative sustainable packaging programme that gathers packaging data for some of the largest e-tailers, retailers, and brands worldwide. It can help you too, to capture, analyse, and optimise your packaging practices. Crucially it minimizes environmental impact while maximizing efficiency and compliance.

To all my old and new packaging friends, keep moving forward. Whether we meet again before Packaging Innovations 2025 or not, I look forward to sharing insights, experiences and success stories as we all continue on our journey to a more sustainable and successful future.

If you do want to learn more about how Aura can support your journey to sustainable packaging success, please get in touch.  

Together, let’s shape a brighter, more sustainable future for packaging.

Gillian Garside-Wight Consulting Director

About the Author

Gill leads our consulting offer, with over 20 years’ experience in the packaging industry, strategically developing packaging strategies, roadmaps and packaging solutions to meet the needs of clients, consumers and the planet. She has worked with many global retailers and household brands on projects spanning sustainability and innovation to supply chain optimization. With a real passion for sustainability, her quest is to educate, influence and drive a circular economy wherever possible while complementing creativity, technical functionality and commercial realities.

Gill grew up on a tiny island in Scotland and this is where her passion for sustainability started. She loves nothing more than (trying) to grow her own veg and exploring nature with her son.