Page 11 - Packaging News Magazine May-June 2019
P. 11

May-June 2019
Crowded house: the conference attracted over 300 delegates.
Friends and colleagues: PKN publisher Lindy Hughson with keynote speaker from the US, Dr Michael Okoroafor.
Stephen Koukoulas, Market Economics.
(L-R) Dick Heintz, Helen Souness, Liza Nelson, and Amanda Green talk about e-commerce risks and rewards.
and successful
Green responded that companies should instead be leaders in this field.
“It comes back to the company itself to drive this and not wait for the younger generation to push it,” she said.
As an expert in brand protection, Nelson spoke about various ways it could be implemented for e-commerce; her own company, Systech (represented by Foodmach in Australia), uses brand pro- tection features embedded in the packag- ing itself for what she says is a cheaper and greener way to stop counterfeiting.
“We’re all used to today’s approaches to brand protection – they’re all additive and expensive,” she said, giving RFID chips as an example.
Souness and Green also discussed the integration of artificial intelligence into e-commerce, as well as the possibilities afforded by augmented reality.
“You can have incredibly targeted personalisation engines driven by AI,” said Souness, who talked about how AI- driven apps are reshaping the field of cosmetics, allowing customers to see what their faces will look like made up. “We’re seeing AI beating cancer surgeons for spotting problem cells. It’s not the future – it’s right now.
“The ability to experience a purchase before you actually make it really transforms retail,” she said.
Green added that online and brick-and- mortar retail are converging, with many web stores opening physical demo locations.
“No longer are customers going to a store and expecting to walk away with an item straight off. If you can get it to their house before they get home, so much the better,” she said.
Green also stressed that e-commerce operators need to focus on their supply chain and fulfilment before anything else.
Three key takeaways:
• The worlds of online and physical shop- ping are converging.
• Companies need to set an example for sustainable e-commerce packaging.
• Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are revolutionary technologies for e-commerce.
than it was originally – glass bottles, for example, can be used to make silicon chips, and other materials such as plastics can be mixed with asphalt for roads.
“It’s not always like for like,” he said.
Lapidge drew attention to best-before and use-by dates on packaging, saying they needed to be more conservatively applied.
“We need some regulation in this area – often it is just a marketing tool to get more stock rotation. It results in a lot of perfectly good food being thrown out,” he said.
Lastly, Reucassel himself noted that more investment is needed in waste man- agement here in Australia, particularly in the wake of China’s foreign waste ban.
“I kind of expected the China crisis in recycling to lead to more investment in recycling in Australia, and I’m surprised how little there’s been,” he said.
Three key takeaways:
• The shift to sustainable packaging is no longer a matter of if, but when and how.
• Unnecessary packaging should be
eliminated before companies think of
what can be recycled or composted.
• Waste management in Australia needs more investment to ensure a transition
to a circular economy.
E-commerce offers a broad range of oppor- tunities and challenges for the packaging sector, according to an expert panel.
MarketKnowledge director Dick Heintz facilitated an otherwise all- female panel comprising Amanda Green, e-commerce expert and former director for e-commerce at L’Oreal Australia; Helen Souness, CEO of RMIT Online; and Liza Nelson, regional account manager at Systech, who flew to Melbourne to attend the conference.
Sustainable e-commerce packaging was one area the panel touched on, with Souness encouraging companies to follow the expectations of millennials and Generation Z for greener packs; however,

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