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Curated Collection: Packaging Innovations 2023

Cocoa Paper Moulds by Ecopack / Source: Ecopack
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Yasmin Ahmed

The annual Packaging Innovations trade show is the UK's leading gathering of primary and secondary packaging suppliers for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The networking event features the latest packaging materials and innovations catering to the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical, personal care, and household sectors.

This year's edition, held on 15-16 February in Birmingham, UK, hosted over 340 exhibitors and 6,000 visitors. The event boasted a cohort of inspirational speakers on its trio of themed stages: Innovation and Design, Circular Economy, and Supply Chain. A stand-out address from keynote speaker Steve Honour, Design Leader at Diageo, encapsulated the considerations required to "design waste out", advocating for a 'design backwards' approach so products don't "become obsolete" at the end of their life.

Disappointingly, it was a hard task to unearth plastic-free solutions – of the 10 hero products featured on the Innovations Showcase, only two were free from plastic. The packaging sector has a long way to go before it can meet increasing market demand, and support businesses as they respond to incoming plastic tax and legislation. The event also highlighted the need to rewrite the narrative around bioplastics, with many exhibitors touting 'green' solutions made from sugarcane and other chemically modified materials, a confusing message for both the industry and consumers.

Despite the work that still needs to be done, there are always pioneers to champion, and the following five innovations are helping to rewrite everything from e-commerce delivery packaging to the fashion retail space. Discover small yet mighty innovations that are already moving us away from plastic.


We’ve selected the world’s most INNOVATIVE makers of plastic free materials to work with us. Connect with global brands and designers to CREATE WHAT’S NEXT.