Packaging change: how far we’ve come

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Ralph Moyle, national president at the AIP, says happy birthday to the APPMA and reflects on 30 years of change in Australia's packaging industry.

Congratulations to the APPMA from the AIP on reaching 30 years. The value the APPMA has brought to the Australian packaging industry over these years is immense and nothing displays this better than the quality of AUSPACK PLUS. 

Thirty years ago, Australia was a very different place. In 1983, Malcolm Fraser was PM until replaced by Bob Hawke in a landslide; Ash Wednesday bush fires claimed 71 people, Australia II won the America's cup and the Australian dollar was floated; and Hawthorn defeated Essendon for the VFL premiership. Yes, it was a while ago.

Packaging in Australia 1983 was predominantly cans, glass and corrugated cardboard. Cartons did not yet have to have barcodes and plastics were in their infancy. Materials were simple mono-based and environmental/sustainable factors were not prominent. Today, the range of packaging formats is vast. The materials are composite and are designed to suit a purpose.

A packaging technologist today has to ensure packaging is not only 'fit for purpose', but is also lighter, sustainable, environmentally friendly and accessible to all ages, while meeting the rigors of a fast and extensive supply chain. Packing lines run faster than ever and inventory movements are smaller and express.

APPMA and the AIP have shared many links over this period. The Foundation Treasurer of the APPMA was also a Fellow of the AIP – Robert Brook. We continue this fine tradition of sharing today.

Knowledge is the core to working successfully in this fast changing world and "Packaging Education" is the mantra of the AIP. We believe in training our members in the latest trends and technical developments from around the world.

Through improved packaging education, Australian packaging technologists can continue to make significant commercial and social impacts.

The AIP applauds the APPMA's 30th year milestone and we look forward to working together for another 30 years.