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Sustainability, plastics and Brexit among topics being discussed at PPMA Total Show 2019

Experts from IKEA, the British Plastics Federation and The Sunday Times set to create a forum for education, knowledge-sharing and debate

Keynote speakers at PPMA include Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainable & healthy living at IKEA, and Peter Conradi, Europe editor for The Sunday Times.

The PPMA Total Show 2019, which is currently taking place at the NEC in Birmingham until 3 October, has a first-class, industry-responsive conference programme devised to focus on some of the key issues facing modern manufacturing, including Brexit, serialisation and packaging design, as well as tackling the debate surrounding sustainability and the circular economy.

The free-to-attend conference is running over the first two days of the show and offer visitors a focal point for discovery and live debate. The conference programme includes insightful keynotes courtesy of high profile and respected industry experts, who will provide information on the latest challenges facing the packaging and processing industry.

Case studies, panel discussions and presentations will provide visitors with real examples of best practice manufacturing and excellence in processing and packaging production, aiming to motivate and inspire visitors to develop their businesses.

With over 400 exhibitors and 1,600 brands, PPMA Total Show 2019 encompasses the breadth of the packaging and processing industry

Headlining the programme today will be a keynote address from Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainable & healthy living at IKEA, who will be sharing insights from her 20-year career helping to mainstream sustainable living. Joanna will look to address the sector’s shift toward sustainability and circular consumption, including the evolution of the flatpack as a driver for resource efficiency in terms of materials, transportation, cost reduction and innovations.

The second keynote, taking place tomorrow, will be held by a veteran observer of the European scene, Peter Conradi – Europe editor for The Sunday Times. He will be presenting his views on the political and business climate from the other side of the channel, while forecasting the UK’s political and business relationship with the continent and how Brexit could impact on businesses within the packaging and processing industry.

Also tomorrow, Barry Turner, plastic and flexible packaging group director for the British Plastics Federation, will be giving a talk about the challenges in delivering a circular economy for plastics packaging.

At the Enterprise Zone visitors can learn about the latest topics dominating the packaging and processing industry.

During this address, Turner will touch on the benefits of plastics, how to deliver a full circle approach and what challenges plastics will continue to face. There will then be an opportunity for attendees at the keynote to partake in a Q&A and discuss plastic’s presence in the packaging industry.

'The Enterprise Zone is the place to be for visitors who want to learn about the latest topics dominating the packaging and processing industry,' says David Harrison, acting chief operating officer of PPMA Group of Associations. 'It provides the perfect platform for them to take away ideas and inspiration to enhance their own business.

'Our programme is designed to be hard-hitting and provide visitors with insight into the latest developments in the sector through informative debate and thought-provoking presentations.'

Presentation highlights will include:


  • Welcome and introduction by Tim Paul, PPMA Chairman & Domino Printing Sciences.
  • KEYNOTE ADDRESS: On a mission to make sustainability the new normal delivered by Joanna Yarrow, Ingka Group (IKEA)
  • Panel Discussion: widening the scope of serialisation to meet the needs of today’s demanding consumer featuring Craig Stobie, Domino; Alastair Crooks, EMVO; Mark Davison, RFXCEL; Fredrik Holmberg, B&R Industrial Automation.
  • AMRC Factory 2050 – Empowering the UK for the fourth industrial revolution by Kieran Edge, AMRC 
  • Talk and case study: How manufacturing is helping to shift the possibilities by Elisabeth Olafsdottir, Cognizant Consulting, Microsoft
  • Talk: The role of shelf life extension in food waste reduction with Chris Holland, Holmach Ltd


  • Panel Discussion: Thermal processing – addressing challenges to food safety for today and tomorrow featuring Danny Bayliss and Anna Flowska of Campden BRI
  • KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Forecasting the UK’s political and business relationship with the continent – come what May? By Peter Conradi, The Sunday Times
  • Talk: The challenges in delivering a circular economy for plastics packaging with Barry Turner, British Plastics Federation
  • Talk: Five disruptive technologies that will fundamentally change the future of packaging with Martin Walder, Schneider Electric

The first day of the conference started at 11am and will run until 3.30pm. Day two begins at 10am and ends at 3.40pm. Day three will be dedicated to addressing another significant challenge facing the sector – the skills gap – which will be hosted by the PPMA’s BEST, (Business, Education, Skills and Training) initiative, established to introduce students to the potential career opportunities available within the processing equipment packaging machinery and automation industry.

As part of the extended learning opportunities at the show, Bloodhound SSC Education is displaying a carbon fibre model of an exciting feat of British engineering, the Bloodhound SSC, a supersonic, rocket and jet engine powered car that can reach speeds of up to 1,050mph. Visitors can learn about how it was made and, through virtual reality, can experience what it’s like to be behind the wheel.

A full up-to-date PPMA Total Show 2019 conference schedule can be viewed at

'We’re really excited to offer such an exciting line-up of speakers, who will be covering topics that will have a real impact on our sector,' adds Harrison. 'The PPMA Total Show conference programme will provide visitors with insightful commentary and thought-provoking content.' 

To obtain a FREE visitor badge to the PPMA Total Show 2019 visit the PPMA Total Show website at:

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