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On Friday 28th February, Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Environmental Sustainability at The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), spoke at the 19th edition of the GFSI Conference, which took place in Seattle.

Ignacio led a breakout session on the final day of the conference, entitled “Food Safety vs. Sustainability: The Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Using Recycled Materials for Food Contact”. Ignacio opened the session, sharing the various projects of the CGF on Environmental Sustainability, including the initiative’s work on plastics, food waste, deforestation and refrigeration. He then focused in on plastics and the increasing debate around the limitations of recycled material on food contact applications, an issue which presents a huge potential roadblock in the plan to scale up current recycling capacity.  

Ignacio shared the stage with Andrew Clarke, Senior Director Quality Assurance at Loblaw Companies Limited, who addressed the challenges faced by his company of delivering on their commitment to reduce plastic waste by increasing use of recycled materials for food contact purposes. At Loblaw, he said, they are tackling the very real risks to food safety that can arise. The final speaker to join the session was Ben Jordan, Director of Supplier Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company, who spoke from a manufacturer perspective about the steps that need to be taken before the industry can use recycled content in food applications. 

Over 1,200 food industry leaders from 50+ countries attend the global GFSI Conference, which has become the meeting place for decision-makers from across the supply chain and around the world, from the private and public sectors alike.

To catch up on all the highlights, quotes and key takeaway from this year’s conference, you can read the roundups on the GFSI website. To find out more about the CGF’s work on plastics and food waste, you can visit the Environmental Sustainability section of our website.