Forest Campaign, forest protection, paper, Uncategorized

“Paper Saving – Packaging in Focus” Conference

Jan. 22 to 23, 2019 in Bremen, Germany

denkhausbremen and the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) invite you to attend the “Paper Saving – Packaging in Focus” Conference from January 22-23, 2019 in Bremen, Germany.

Paper packaging is the main driver of the persistently high paper consumption in Germany and around the world. The majority is used to support the booming online retail sector. In 2017, almost half of German paper consumption was for packaging (9.9 million tonnes). The paper that provides this packaging has negative impacts on sustainability and social justice, including forest loss, climate change, and human rights abuses.

To discuss this issue, denkhausbremen and the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) have organised the “Paper Saving – Packaging in Focus” Conference to bring together leaders from NGOs, manufacturers, and retailers. The participants will work out solutions and strategies for the responsible use of paper packaging.

1. Dialogue with the Industry
Tuesday January 22, 2019, 11.30am – 5.30pm
House of Science, Sandstraße 4/5, 28195 Bremen

  • Daniel Müsgens: Paper packaging – trends and developments
  • Olaf Dechow: Sustainable paper packaging in mail order
  • Almut Reichart: Requirements of the German Environment Agency for the (paper) packaging market
  • Lothar Hartmann: memo-Box – the environmentally friendly alternative in mail order
  • Wen Bo: Sustainable paper packaging in China – practices and trends

Daniel Müsgens from the environmental association WWF made it clear that there are no simple solutions. The question of whether plastic or paper is the more ecologically beneficial material is not that easy to answer.

Olaf Dechow from the Otto Group made a similar statement. For individual items of clothing, a film bag could be the ecological alternative to a cardboard box. Otto is also experimenting with sending already packaged goods on their way without further cardboard packaging, if possible.

Almut Reichart from the Federal Environment Agency announced plans of a new “Blue Angel” for both cardboard boxes and complete shipping systems.

Lothar Hartmann from the eco-mail order company Memo emphasized that retailers have possibilities for the reduction of paper waste. With the Memo-Box, he presented a reusable shipping system that makes paper boxes superfluous.

Another practical solution came from cosmetics manufacturer Lush from Great Britain. Ruth Andrade and Nick Kendall explained the “Going Naked” concept, in which Lush completely dispenses with outer packaging for its soaps.

37,000 parcels are dispatched every minute in China. That was one of the impressive numbers presented by Wen Bo from the Chinese Environmental Paper Network. The Chinese mail order business is also experimenting with reusable systems, Wen Bo continues.

The first day was rounded off by a panel discussion with Christoph Thies (Greenpeace), Sergio Baffoni (Environmental Paper Network), Winfried Peters (Ecological Packaging Forum) and Friederike Farsen (Consumer Center NRW).

2. NGO Strategy Day
Wednesday January 23, 2019, 9.30am – 3pm
Youth Hostel Bremen, Kalkstraße 6, 28195 Bremen

  • Mandy Haggith and Anne Pernick: Paper packaging as the main driver of global paper consumption
  • Neva Murtha: Campaigns on paper packaging in Northern America
  • Angelika Krumm: A comparison of paper packaging around the world
  • Friederike Farsen: Consumer Initiative “Angry with packaging”
  • Prof. Dr. Sina Leipold: Policies on sustainable paper packaging

Neva Murtha from the Canadian environmental organization Canopy discussed a controversial topic: She suggested that the production of paper and cardboard should not only be based on wood, but also on alternative fibers such as wheat straw as a raw material.

Angelika Krumm from Robin Wood had statistically evaluated the consumption figures of the countries of origin of all conference participants and made it clear once again the high level at which paper consumption has solidified in the industrialized nations.

What really bothers environmentally conscious consumers when it comes to paper packaging – Friederike Farsen from the consumer center in North Rhine-Westphalia, presented her campaign “Packaging annoyance”.

Sina Leipold, junior professor at the University of Freiburg, predicted that the current anti-plastic policy of the EU could possibly further increase the consumption of paper packaging.