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New Sustainability Lounge Gives You Hands-On Access

See, feel, and hear about dissolvable packaging, compostable materials, and sustainability strategies for food and beverage packaging at WestPack 2024.

Kate Bertrand Connolly

January 17, 2024

3 Min Read
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Guacamole Airplane

At a Glance

  • Informa and Guacamole Airplane collaborate on new Sustainability Lounge at WestPack
  • The 1,200-sq-ft space will host three days of interactive events
  • All parts of the lounge, including its furniture, are made from sustainable materials — paperboard and mushrooms

Get ready for a sustainable-packaging experience unlike any other at the WestPack 2024 Sustainability Lounge.

WestPack will be held in Anaheim, CA, February 6-8, together with MD&M West, ATX West, D&M West, and Plastec West. The five expos together comprise Informa Markets Engineering (IME) West.

Attendees and exhibitors will find the Sustainability Lounge in booth 5201, near the Anaheim Convention Center’s WestPack entrance.

Informa collaborated with sustainable-packaging design firm Guacamole Airplane to create WestPack’s first-ever Sustainability Lounge.

The space “aims to provide a hub for connection, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing for attendees of WestPack 2024 interested in sustainability,” says Ian Montgomery, founder and creative director of Guacamole Airplane.

The Instagram-worthy Sustainability Lounge will host live sessions and interactive demos. It will also showcase innovative, new sustainable packaging materials, including items from Guacamole Airplane’s sustainable packaging supplier guide.

In addition to developing three days of demos for the lounge, Guacamole Airplane led the design and fabrication of the 1,200-sq ft space, including furniture and exhibition panels (see images).

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The designers created all components from environmentally friendly paperboard and mycelium (mushroom). “We’re aiming to walk the talk, down to the details,” Montgomery says. In addition, everything was designed for reuse at other events.

“We’re looking to create an exhibition space that celebrates this incredible era of material innovation we’re living in, all while looking at everything through a pragmatic lens. Really juicy questions — like ‘What are the right and wrong uses of compostable materials?’ and ‘How do we weigh plastic pollution vs. carbon footprint?’ — are being asked by everyone in the packaging community right now,” Montgomery explains.

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“We want to provide an approachable and interesting space that inspires attendees and gives context to these larger questions about sustainability,” he adds.

Hands-on demos and prototyping.

The Sustainability Lounge will host sandbox sessions and demonstrations led by the Guacamole Airplane team. Topics will include:

• Introduction to Dissolvable Packaging: A hands-on session featuring cold-water-soluble packaging materials and best practices. Attendees will create their own dissolvable packaging prototypes.

• State of Compostable Packaging: An event exploring the sustainability and performance of innovative materials such as polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), seaweed, and agricultural-waste polymers.

• Food Packaging Round Table: A session evaluating food- and beverage-packaging sustainability strategies, including compostability, carbon footprint minimization, and recyclability.

“We’re thrilled to unveil the Sustainability Lounge — a unique space designed to spark conversations about sustainable packaging,” says Linnette LaFontaine, event manager at Informa Markets.

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“This vibrant hub invites you to engage with sustainability experts, witness firsthand the evolution of eco-friendly materials through a captivating exhibit, and immerse yourself in interactive demos showcasing cutting-edge innovations,” LaFontaine adds.

“Join the conversation, gain insights, and be part of the movement towards a more sustainable future — all within the dynamic and inspiring atmosphere of the Sustainability Lounge,” she concludes.

About the Author(s)

Kate Bertrand Connolly

Freelance Writer

Kate Bertrand Connolly has been covering innovations, trends, and technologies in packaging, branding, and business since 1981.

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