PKN’s latest issue for 2024 is hitting desks, full of the latest news and in-depth features, including our comprehensive review of APPEX 2024, as well as the latest developments in Labels & Labelling, Sustainability, Food & Beverage Packaging, and Design, and we also preview the upcoming mega-expo for packaging print, drupa.

Hot off the press, the PKN Packaging News March-April 2024 issue is on its way to you in the mail and available online for your convenience.

In this massive issue, we start with our review of APPEX 2024 (page 36), where thousands of visitors crowded the aisles to engage with more than 440 local and international exhibitors. The non-stop series of workshops, forums and seminars that ran throughout the expo, along with the new technology on display, revealed a packaging and processing industry that is working hard to give the nation what it needs within the expected safety, cost and time parameters of its products and services, while transitioning to a sustainable future.

We also highlight the IPPO Packaging Perspectives Forum, where sustainable packaging innovation, investment and collaboration took centre stage (page 52); the ecoporium by Ball & Doggett Live Experience, which saw key industry players speak to a packed audience on a range of sustainability topics (page 54); and the Matthews Australasia stand, which gathered a large audience for its Retailer Engagement Hub series (page 56). Finally, Packaging Europe’s Tim Sykes, who visited APPEX, breaks down why he believes why now is the best time to begin inter-continental dialogue in this space (page 58).


To this issue’s features next, and we start with our Cover Story, where PKN takes a closer look at HP Indigo’s latest product launches ahead of mega-print show drupa (page 14), and we also take a closer look at what the show's return means for the industry, following an eight-year break, and which will see packaging take centre-stage for the first time (page 18).

In Labels & Labelling, Avery Dennison and the National Test Centre Circular Plastics (NTCP) conduct a semi-industrial trial on label releasability and the quality of recycled packaging flakes (page 22); Label Power brings Primera’s AP380 labelling solution to Australia (page 23); and UPM Raflatac papers are now certified under a forest certification scheme, six years ahead of its 2030 target (page 23).

In Sustainability, we see Arnott’s, Paco and UNSW collaborate on a research program to progress recycling bioplastics and carbon capture technologies (page 24); we report on the opening of Close the Loop’s upgraded soft plastics recycling line (page 25); and bring news that around 9600 tonnes of waste will now be diverted from Victorian landfills every year, thanks to $3.4m in funding for six recycling projects (page 26).

Over to Food & Beverage Packaging, which sees Mother of Pearl Vodka purchasing Australia’s first Frugalpac paper bottle machine and starting production next year (page 30); Action Labels’ Caiden Priaulx reviews new technologies elevating food labelling and consumer engagement to a new level (page 32); Bridge Road Brewers partners with Cellr to achieve a Top 5 ranking in the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer Poll (page 33); and finalists are revealed in the packaging innovation category for The Hive Awards, developed by PKN's stablemate Food & Drink Business (page 34).

And finally, in Design, Dominique Huret from Cape Decision reports on what caught her eye during Paris Packaging Week (page 62); a Delta Global survey shows environmental awareness is on the rise and is increasingly impacting how consumers in APAC shop for luxury goods (page 62); and we look at some creative new designs hitting bottle shops’ shelves this season, and talk to the designers behind them (page 64).


Rounding out the issue are our regular sections: Industry Insight, where Smithers’ Dr Dean Smyth examines digitisation as a key theme of drupa (page 12); Tech Speak, where AIP’s Nerida Kelton breaks down the collaboration between the ARL program and Recycle Mate (page 28); People in Packaging, where we pay tribute to APPMA’s chair Mark Dingley, who steps down after 22 years on the board (page 35); and What’s On, where we highlight the upcoming industry events to mark on your calendar (page 66).

In the News: Mondelez and Amcor sign a deal to source 50% PCR plastic (page 6); Ron Delia departs Amcor (page 6); record can numbers boost Orora earnings (page 7); Visy opens $50m glass recycling facility (page 7); IVE looks to build $150m-a-year carton operation (page 8); Pact half year revenues slip (page 8); Qenos to close Australian plants (page 8); flexibles and specialty sales fall at Pro-Pac (page 9); and strong HY for Close the Loop Group (page 9).


Our regular Machinery Matters supplement, brought to you in partnership with APPMA, keeps you updated on the latest trends, technology and company news from the packaging and processing machinery sector.

Companies and organisations featured include: Abbe, Inox Australia, Foodmach, Triton Commercial Systems, Trimatt Systems, Detpak, Beckhoff Automation, Jet Technologies, AGITO, Fibre King, Paksmart, TOMRA, HRS Heat Exchangers, Open IIoT and Rockwell Automation.

Enjoy the read.

Food & Drink Business

East Forged is at the forefront of the craft tea industry with its ready-to-drink Cold Brew Nitro Tea brand, positioning tea as a sophisticated beverage suitable for social occasions.

Australia Plant Proteins was the first company in Australia to develop and commercialise a plant protein isolate powder. It is at the forefront of innovative plant-based protein solutions and plays a key role in building Australia’s reputation on the global stage in this burgeoning industry.

Don is set to revolutionise the smallgoods market with the launch of its resealable flow wrap pack for sandwich fillers and other smallgoods.