By Conal O’Neill
A panel discussion on day two of the AIP Conference put the spotlight on women in the packaging industry. Three packaging professionals were given the opportunity to share their stories as immigrant women working in packaging design.
Production Packaging Innovation structural packaging designer Azadeh Yousefi, Sustainability for Kids founder Anhely Millán and Mondelēz International packaging technologist Maria Becerril Roman all spoke of the barriers they have faced as women in packaging and as immigrants in Australia.
While optimistic about the prospects of developing a more sustainable culture around packaging and consumer attitudes towards recycling, Millan stated that “if we don’t act now, the future will look terrible”. The key to finding and implementing solutions was collaboration between not only industry, government and academia, but primary and secondary schools as well, Millán said.
Yousefi was also optimistic but said that collaboration, education and incentives were “not enough” and that consumers needed to develop a better understanding of why sustainability was important.
Great progress had been made, Roman said, through initiatives such as the Australasian Recycling Label Program (ARL) and even the controversial REDCycle soft plastics program in terms of educating consumers, but more needs to be done.