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Focal Point 2018 program announced
A bright future (and a note of caution) for paper-based food packaging and serviceware
Paul Fowler Paul Fowler, WIST Executive Director

Current sentiment towards single-use plastics in food packaging and serviceware shines a bright light on the issues facing manufacturers, brand owners and, indeed, their entire value chains.

As we have predicted, opportunities abound for paper-based alternatives while the plastics' feeding frenzy continues. However, caution must be exercised at this time.

Responsible sourcing of raw materials, chain of custody, uncompromising performance attributes and exemplary end-of-life management options must all be evidenced and validated if long-term, step-change increases in paper-based food-packaging and serviceware applications are to prevail. In the rush to substitute, let's not forget to substantiate and justify.

We must also be on the lookout for red herrings. While a number of high profile substitutions of plastic-based serviceware items have emerged in the marketplace in evident response to the plastic hysteria, we must look to the bigger picture of how paper-based products can bring meaningful change in behavior and values. Much more is at stake than a few billion drinking straws.

Paper and plastics (and aluminum and steel and glass) all play essential roles in protecting, packaging and presenting food products for consumers. There's a balance to be struck but the case for high performance specialty packaging papers and paperboard is extremely strong.

Thoughtful consideration and laser-focus on food-contact applications, along with world-class innovation, at this moment in time, puts us on the brink of a transformation in the use of paper and paper board in food packaging and serviceware. Let us seize the opportunities.

Check out this Focal Point 2018 conference schedule:

8:15 - 8:55
Registration and buffet breakfast - sponsored by Expera Specialty Solutions
8:55 - 9:00
Opening remarks, Paul Fowler, Wisconsin Institute for
Sustainable Technology

9:00 - 9:30
The future of food and foodservice packaging, Daniel Ahern, Graphic Packaging International
9:30 - 10:00
Advancing fiber usage in the beer industry, Darin McKnight, MillerCoors
10:00 - 10:30
What food quality assurance managers need for approval under FSMA, Bryan Armentrout, The Food Leadership Group
10:30 - 11:00
Morning break - sponsored by Domtar
11:00 - 11:30
New Ingeo technology to boost manufacturing process efficiency for sustainable paper cups, Nicole Whiteman, NatureWorks
11:30 - 12:00
Challenges in the marketplace to replace PFOA and PFOC technology in single-use packaging, Mark Jones, JainChem
12:00 - 1:30
12:45 - 1:30
Optional tour: UW-Stevens Point pilot paper machine and pilot coating and laminating line
1:30 - 2:00
Pros and cons of composting food waste, mixed paper and compostable serviceware, Patrick Geraty, St. Louis Composting
2:00 - 2:30
The 'whys', 'whats', and 'hows' of compostability testing, Paul Fowler, WIST
2:30 - 2:45
Closing remarks, afternoon refreshments sponsored by Twin Rivers Paper Company, adjourn
Early registration savings! 
Save $100 off the full registration fee by
registering online today for the seventh annual 
Focal Point conference, set for October 9 
at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. 
Early bird registration is $300.

Focal Point 2018 Sponsors





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