1st National Conference on Food and Beverage Packaging

The major packaging event in Greece during 2008 was the 1st National Conference on Food and Beverage Packaging, organized by the Association of the Greek Manufacturers of Packaging and Materials (AGMPM). The Conference took place in the grounds of the 11th Biennial Packaging Exhibition (SYSKEYASIA) and was supported by the Exhibition organizing authority.

The 300 participants from industry and academia had the opportunity to attend the two plenary sessions and any of the four focused parallel sessions:

  • The role of packaging in the developing and production of the final product.
  • Packaging designing and the retail-chains requirements.
  • Novel packaging technologies.
  • Packaging materials and packaging operations.

More than 100 research papers were given as oral presentations or posters. The speakers in the plenary sessions were coming from the leading retail chains, food industry, ECR, and heads of food processing research groups. There were also two invited speakers from WPO members: Lemia Thabet and Dogan Erberk.

The following round table discussions created interesting and hot debates:

  • Conception and designing of a product: (a) what is coming first? The aesthetic or the functional designing? And (b) the environmental parameter starts from the product designing and not from its waste management stage.
  • Developments in the retail packaging: (a) Packaging and demographic trends. And (2) Packaging, the retail store, and the consumer.

Support to students doing research on food packaging.

The AGMPM has set up prizes to be given each year to the graduate students who have presented the best research papers in scientific conferences. In 2008 were given three €1000 prizes to the following Ph.D. students:

  • Th. Tsironi, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) , "Development of mathematical models for selecting the optimum modified atmosphere for packaging of fish filets"
  • A. Karagiannaki, Athens University of Economics and Business, "RFID on various steps of packaging. Effects and interactions"
  • E. Chouliara, University of Ioannina, Combined effect of irradiation and modified atmospheres for the extension of shelf life of fresh poultry"

Discussion forum on waste management.

AGMPM organized in May a discussion forum entitled "Biodegradable and OXO- biodegradable plastics. Their effect in municipal waste management". Major issue was the adoption by major retail chains of OXO-biodegradable shopping bags.

Another discussion forum is planned for the 3rd of December. Its subject being: "Municipal solid waste management and packaging waste. Exploring more effective and more efficient ways".

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