The Basque food sector aspires to be a benchmark in sustainable packaging and presents its progress at the ‘First Meeting for Innovation in Food Containers and Packaging’


More than a hundred professionals from the food value chain and the packaging industry gathered this Wednesday in Barakaldo to participate in the ‘1st Meeting for Innovation in Containers and Packaging Alimentarios’, organized by ontzi | Basque Food Packaging Innovation Hub. The event hosted a professional conference in which leading experts addressed current aspects of packaging management, such as imminent regulatory changes, the future of recycling systems and waste management, or the latest innovations in materials. already applied in the market, among others. Likewise, it has brought together in an exhibition space the new sustainable packaging solutions developed by around twenty companies and technology centers, selected for their ability to solve the needs expressed by food companies in the Basque Country.

Since its launch at the beginning of October, ontzi, the Euskadi food packaging innovation community, has already managed to incorporate more than 315 agents from the food ecosystem and the packaging industry. Of them, 37% are food companies, 24% are knowledge agents (technology centers, universities, etc.) and 18% are materials companies. The remaining 20% ​​is divided between institutions, clusters and associations, capital goods companies and startups.

Through this platform, these agents collaborate with each other with the aim of finding new solutions that allow the Basque food chain to adapt competitively to environmental regulations and consumer demand, guaranteeing food safety and the competitiveness of the companies. companies. In addition, the community allows you to resolve the technical-legal doubts that companies, and especially SMEs, have when implementing the required changes in their packaging, and offers them an international map of agents that provide solutions in this area.
As a result of the collaboration of the agents involved in ontzi, 10 cooperative projects will be promoted that will allow the participating companies to provide solutions to their specific needs. Likewise, the aim is to launch a project with driving capacity that allows the Euskadi food chain to position itself as the spearhead of sustainability in the sector.

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Challenges, trends and solutions fair

Regarding the professional day, the first section focused on analyzing the challenges posed by the new European and state legislation regarding packaging waste in the food sector. For this, it has had the participation of Aitana de la Varga (Rovira i Virgili University), Alberto Aguilar (Embutidos Martínez), Ana Isabel Moreno (Grupo Entrepinares), María Martínez-Herrera (Asedas-Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-service and Supermarkets ), Sandra Palacín (Mahou San Miguel) and Jon Ander Egaña (Basque Food Packaging).

The second round table served to present the latest trends in new sustainable materials, led by Miriam Gallur and Carmen Sanchez (Itene), Virginia Rodríguez (Tetra Pak), María Rodríguez Cid (EMSUR), Didier Verhaert (Futamura) and Garbiñe Manterola (BRTA – Basque Research & Technology Alliance).

Finally, the future of recyclability has been addressed from waste management and the keys to promoting the circularity of packaging, thanks to the interventions of Germán Casado (Ecoembes), José María Fernández (Ihobe), Olga Martín (Aclima), Cristina Garcia-Vera de Lope (Urbaser) and Belén García (Packnet). The Innovation Director of Basque Food Packaging, Virginia Matesanz, was in charge of closing the event.

At the same time, the meeting hosted an exhibition space in which companies in the food sector were able to learn first-hand about the new sustainable packaging solutions developed by 3DS Dassault Systèmes, ADBioplastics, Aspla – Grupo Armando Álvarez, ATS-Tanner, Corplex, Embalajes Selección, Futamura, Gaiker, Grupo Lantero, Gutenbag, Hinojosa Packaging, IFCO, Itene, Plastigaur, Saizarlan, Tecnalia, Tekniker and Titán Eco Sostenible.