Canadian Packaging

PPEC generates conversation about the future of sustainability

The program took place on Nov. 8 at the Islington golf course

November 8, 2018
Alanna Fairey

With sustainability increasingly becoming a hot-button issue, the Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) hosted their annual year-end event with a group of key speakers to talk about the initiatives they are taking to promote sustainability.

The program, fittingly named “Environmental facts and fiction: what’s the real story?” took place on Nov. 8 at the Islington golf course. The key note speakers included Bob Chant, senior vice-president, corporate affairs and communication of Loblaw Companies Limited, Gulnara Gabidullina, head of global product stewardship at Procter & Gamble, Laura Rowell, global sustainability manager at Sonoco and Keith Brooks, programs director at Environmental Defence Canada.

Loblaw, which is Canada’s largest retailer, has made a plethora of commitments and improvements to becoming more sustainable. These such initiatives include having sustainably sourced seafood and palm oil,  reducing their carbon footprint and using 10 billion fewer plastic bags, which is a result of charging customers 5 cents a bag at the register and offering other alternative methods of bagging.

“When it comes to reduction and recyclability, you have to keep in mind that packaging plays an essential role in protecting our products so they can reach our customers in the best possible condition,” Chant said in his key note speech, which gave details on how they influence the Canadian marketplace.

Chant further elaborated on Loblaw’s commitment to promoting sustainability by discussing their reusable grocery bags that are made from 99 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic from water and soft drink bottles, in addition to their President’s Choice water bottle which is also made from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled content.

“(Loblaw) believes that we have the opportunity to transition responsibly to the producer to those who are creating the waste,” Chant said. “In doing so, we will create a dynamic that’s almost circular in and of itself if you make we were collectively made responsible for solving this challenge, I think we’re up to the task.”

Gabidullina’s presentation focused on Procter & Gamble’s long-term plans to reduce their plastic consumption, noting that they have started to reduce packaging by 20 per cent for consumer use. This has proven to be a task that is not always easy, as sometimes Procter & Gamble is asked to make a smaller product that requires more packaging.

“By 2030, all of our packaging will be 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable,” Gabidullina said. “And 50 per cent of the packaging content will be recycled.”

Gabidullina’s key note also addressed Procter & Gamble’s four pillars of their 2030 responsible consumption framework. The four pillars were dedicated to their brands, supply chain, society and employees.

While thorough in their goals and action plan moving forward, Gabidullina also acknowledged that it will be a work in progress to be completed over time.

“It’s not a one day project – it’s a journey,” Gabidullina explained. “It’s a journey that Procter & Gamble started decades ago. We are committed to our long-term vision and our Ambition 2030 goals will get us closer to that vision.”





Category Captains 2020