Post Scanpack Pop-up – what do we take away from it?

On 17 November, Scanpack Pop-up took place at the Swedish Exhibition Centre in Gothenburg and it was an exciting day and evening. Awareness that the packaging industry needs to undergo major changes created movement and energy in the premises. Many wise conversations were conducted and lessons were shared – but what do we take away with us? We have posed the question to Annika Persson and Magdalena Rönström, who were at the Swedish Exhibition Centre.


What visitors, exhibitors and partners take away from a trade fair is important. The industry fairs serve as meeting places where everyone from suppliers to decision-makers meet and exchange lessons and experiences. Over the years, the trade fairs have become important pillars for the development of the sectors.


”There is a common thread going straight from COP26 in Glasgow to Scanpack that concerns the role of the business sector in the transition. It is clear that business is taking the lead and putting pressure on politicians, and we see that this is increasing the pace. The idea and ambition of the trade fairs is to take opinion and legislation with us,” says Magdalena Rönström, Business Manager at the Swedish Exhibition Centre.


Representatives from the industry, academia, sustainability experts and many others participated in Scanpack Pop-up. The purpose of the event is to gather the industry, take the temperature and share future research.


”Scanpack takes place in October 2022. But we felt we couldn’t wait and decided to arrange Scanpack Pop-up. The reason for this is that we, along with everyone else in the industry, see the rapid societal change in industry, where changing consumer patterns is one of the effects. This in turn creates a great need to maintain close contact,” says Annika Persson, Business Development Manager at the Swedish Exhibition Centre.


The good conversation in focus


”The main topics of conversation at Scanpack Pop-up were sustainability and increasing the degree of digitisation. During the panel discussion, it was agreed that the industry has so far worked a lot in silos between different constellations. Which is something we cannot continue to do. Instead, we need to create a common playing field going forward. There is a need for ongoing dialogue between suppliers, brand owners, legislation and authorities, says Annika.


Another burning issue at Scanpack Pop-up was sustainability and how to satisfy requirements. And in the packaging industry there are many different factors to consider.


”The packaging industry is more involved in circularity than many other industries, which is why the concept of sustainability can mean so many different things in this particular industry. A material that is sustainable in one segment may be harmful in another. Therefore, the circularity and traceability of a package is more relevant when it comes to sustainability, says Magdalena.


Of course, much of the conversation focused on what is needed in the packaging industry to adapt to the changing demands of consumers and to work more climate-smart along the whole value chain.


”The industry in general needs to work more on anchoring sustainability work more deeply in business and development strategy, increasing traceability and increasing digitisation. The conversation around this was very enthusiastic. We left Scanpack Pop-up with confidence, but also with a sense of urgency, says Annika.


– The realisation is that we cannot continue as we have done so far, we must now bring about change. Sustainability and circularity are on the table for everyone. How do we do this? How do we ensure that we have what is required, such as energy supply, for example. How do we monitor emissions? There are a lot of issues that need to be discussed and clarified, but as Annika says, the industry knows that there is urgency and it will create a lot of productivity, Magdalena concludes.