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Packaging industry seeks to transform via printable electronics


The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) and PAC, Packaging Consortium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore how printable and organic electronics can help Canada’s packaging industry.

“This partnership with PAC is a tremendous stride forward in our commitment to our members, to forge the linkages that will help them create compelling new products and applications that meet the pressing needs of key end users,” says Peter Kallai, executive director of the CPEIA. “With their vast reach throughout Canada’s packaging and retail industry supply chains, PAC and its members are the ideal partners with whom to develop intelligent packaging applications powered by printable electronics that can meet key PAC objectives such as reducing food and packaging waste.”

PAC’s 2,200 members come from all sectors of the packaging value chain, from start of life to next life. These include retailers, consumer brands, package manufacturers and services, waste management and government.

With printable and organic electronics (PE), the packaging industry is definitely thinking outside the box. PE is powering new ways to manage inventory, track items as they are shipped, better maintain product freshness, monitor medication usage, identify packing materials for re-cycling and turn consumer packaging into an interactive platform.

For PAC, a key priority is to address waste. For example, a full third of the world’s food goes to waste. The PAC Food Waste initiative is investigating waste in the supply chain and looking at ways to extend product shelf life through innovations in packaging. PAC NEXT, meanwhile, is looking at ways to identify sustainable solutions that can lead to zero packaging waste.

“A key aspect of our mandate is to drive progressive change in the packaging value chain through leadership, collaboration and knowledge sharing,” adds James D. Downham, president and CEO of PAC. “Intelligent packaging enabled by printable electronics could drive one of the greatest advances to reduce waste in the packaging industry since the widespread adoption of recycling programs. We are excited to explore with the CPEIA and its Members how PE can help our industry overcome its greatest challenges.”

The MOU is a non-financial commitment between the two organizations to collaborate on a number of initiatives over the next two years. These include participation in technical working groups and educational events such as webinars, technical seminars and trade shows.