Packaging will be reinvented to minimize the negative impact on the planet

Hernán Braberman, lecturer at the third Latin American Summit on Innovation in Plastic Packaging, talked to Plastic Technology about the impact of new requirements on sustainability in packaging and the challenges of the packaging industry today. Brabermann is Partner and Executive Design Director of the prestigious agency Tridimage, and participated with two conferences in what was the most relevant academic event of the year for the Mexican packaging sector.


How should brand owners respond to the demands of plastic packaging in terms of sustainability?

Single-use plastics have been the big ecological issue of 2018. The impetus for this change is the growing awareness that “buy and throw” consumerism is a dead end for the planet. The 2018 campaign against single-use plastics is a sign of a wider turning point in the global consciousness of millions of consumers.
This means that more and more consumers will adopt consumer experiences through re-imagined or redesigned packaging to minimise the negative impact on the planet – or even to have a positive impact.

As far as design is concerned, second uses should be proposed, thinking of packaging beyond its function of containing, communicating and transporting, designing a second life so that it is not discarded. Business models must also change. In some cases, we are returning to the concept of a container that has a long useful life and, through recharges that minimize its environmental impact, is more environmentally friendly.

What do you consider to be the main challenges for players in the packaging industry today?

Our biggest challenge is to be able to keep up with the pace of change of new consumers, with their demands for brand experience taking into account the impact of digitization. Increasingly, we face new challenges related to new customer and consumer expectations, which translate into new skills for designers. Differentiation, sustainability and innovation focused on human needs and desires are the three key ingredients. Without these, the brands will not survive in a highly competitive global market.

In terms of innovation, how do you see the behavior of the packaging industry in Latin America?

The industry is taking steps to channel the creativity and intuition that characterizes us Latin Americans to advance in the field of packaging innovation in the right direction.