The newly-formed Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) is urging the European Commission (EC) to legislate in order to clarify which AIP technologies and materials can be used, and how they can be applied.
AIPIA director Eef de Ferrante said: “I’ve had meetings with the Commission regarding the important issue of which materials can be used, for instance, in antimicrobial packaging.”
The 40-plus members of the association, created at the beginning of the year, include companies supplying indicators and sensors, scavengers and antimicrobials. Nestlé and Marks & Spencer are members, and AIPIA says it is talking to other international brand owners and retailers.
Radio frequency identification
Also involved are providers of intelligent options such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and those interested in the potential of Quick Response (QR) and other consumer-scannable codes.
“There are privacy issues to resolve with the Commission regarding these codes, and consumers buying products and accessing information using their mobile phones,” said de Ferrante. “That’s why we’ve seen so much interest from telecoms companies. This is very valuable marketing information.”
The diversity of AIP technologies means that the association is having to deal with different departments within the Commission. But they share a relevance to its recently-stated aim of urgently addressing the question of food waste, de Ferrante claimed.
AIPIA argues that the time is right for the full range of supply chain partners to examine – under its auspices – the commercial feasibility of the various technologies. But de Ferrante stressed that it was not itself involved in research and development work. “We are focusing on ready-to-market products and what business model could work for them,” he said.
The packaging industry remains relatively conservative, he said, but needs to embrace these added-value options as the basis of its future success.
The Dutch-based association is planning a showcase in Japan in October this year, which will include a strategy meeting to discuss future activities.