Sustainability Is the Buzz at PLACE Conference

ALBUQUERQUE, NM | The TAPPI PLACE Conference, held April 18-21 at the Marriott Hotel, attracted members from around the globe, and while attendees from Europe found it impossible to attend due to volcanic eruptions, attendance nevertheless was strong. “We are really pleased with the attendance at this year's event,” commented Kelly Frey of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., who served as chair of the PLACE technical program committee.

TAPPI's Converting Div. manager, Kristi Ledbetter, confirmed that nearly 300 attendees registered and attended this year. That number represents not only suppliers but an increased number of brand managers and converters as well. While everyone enjoyed the networking opportunities that included golf outings and dinners, the true draw for the event was the quality speakers and research they presented. The event boasted three tracks and more than 95 papers.

Sustainability was at the forefront of conference topics. Keynote presenter, Tony Knoerzer, VP, packaging and sustainability compostable food packaging for Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, discussed how his company is taking a leadership role in creating environmentally friendly packaging for its products. In fact, Frito-Lay's SunChips brand bags, made with an outer layer of plant-based polylactic acid (PLA), are in stores now. Knoerzer gave conference attendees fresh insights into compostable food packaging and its future in consumer packaging markets. Other “green” topics ranged from how to meet sustainability objectives without compromising performance to sugarcane-based polyethylene and more.

PLACE Div. awards were presented to a select group of TAPPI members including: Beth M. Foederer, Div. Technical Award and Rohm and Haas Prize; Bruce W. Foster, Div. Leadership and IPE Service Award and Andreas Ahlbrandt Prize; Barry A. Morris, 2008 PLACE Conference Best Paper Award and Dragan Djordjevic Award for the Best Paper Related to Cast Film and Extrusion Coating; Jerome Pascal and Gunter Schubert, 2008 PLACE Conference Best Paper Honorable Mentions; James F. Macnamara, 2008 PLACE Conference Al Davis Best Session Developer Award; and Marc Kullberg, 2008 PLACE Conference Best Session Honorable Mention.

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