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Annual Conference Agenda

Wednesday, October 4th

12:00 – 1:00 PM
1:00 – 4:30 PM
3:00 – 6:00 PM
6:00 – 7:30 PM

Board Lunch
Board meeting
Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 5th

7:30 – 8:15 AM
8:30 – 9:00 AM

Registration / Breakfast
Conference Opening Remarks
Welcome address

9:00 – 10:00 AM
Global Capacity Outlook for Type 3 Molded Fiber Packaging

In response to growing demand, newly announced capacity expansions and capital investments in molded fiber have been seen, with more are expected in the near future. Since molded fiber production is dominated by small and fragmented producers, visibility to global capacity development is limited. In this presentation, we will examine the drivers for growth and discuss the expectations for capacity developments in response to continued growth. We will also discuss how technical challenges in meeting certain end-use performance requirements may limit growth potential, especially in food service applications, and discuss how these may be overcome.


Alexander Koukoulas, AFRY

10:00 – 10:30 AM


10:30 – 11:30 AM

Breakout Session 1:


Steve Kelley NCState, LCA

Breakout Session 2:


Alexander Koukoulas, AFRY

11:30 – 1:00 PM


1:00 – 2:30 PM
Microfibrillated Cellulose - Advantages and Opportunities in Molded Fiber Products

Workshop description coming soon!


Otto Soidinsalo, Business Development Manager, Borregaard

The Relevance of Molded Fiber Lamination in a Plastic-Restrictive Framework

The molded fiber industry is becoming increasingly significant while the growing the regulatory landscape limits the use of plastics in single-use packaging. However, certain functions still require a specific amount of plastic to be incorporated. Although basic barrier requirements can be met by adjusting the fiber mixture composition, high barrier properties can only be attained by laminating with a thin layer of plastic, complying with the most recent legal standards.


Salvador Diaz, Sales Director, Hamer Packaging Technology
Pol Casado, Ecological Business Unit Manager, Hamer Packaging Technology

New Technology for Thin Film Lamination of Molded Fiber Products

Over the past several years, public pressure combined with new governmental regulations has led to an increased interest in non-fossil-based packaging materials. As such, paper-based materials including cardboard and molded fiber are being explored for a wider range of packaging applications. The functional benefits of polymeric materials, however, can be difficult to replicate in their cellulosic counterparts, especially with regard to shelf life and barrier properties, e.g., oxygen, water, and greases.  Furthermore, legislation regarding PFAS chemicals, previously used in many coatings, has forced converters to find alternative pathways to sustainable package designs. New developments in plant-based or other bio-based films combined with existing pulp manufacturing techniques offer a potential new substrate structure that meets market needs.  In 2022, ILLIG developed a new modular machine concept for laminating pulp and cardboard packaging with very thin-film bio-based materials. In May 2023, the new PLU40 was introduced at Interpack in Dusseldorf. This “pulp laminating unit” will be explored in greater detail at IMFA 2023.


Conor Carlin, Managing Director, ILLIG North America LP

Ingeo Biopolymer Advances in Molded Fiber Applications

NatureWorks is a world-leading company that invents and manufactures more-responsible, high performing PLA-based biomaterials and applications under the brand name Ingeo™️. In this session, NatureWorks will present on the novel Ingeo™️ PLA formulations developed for food serviceware and food packaging applications that enable faster composting rates, retain high levels of renewable biobased content, and improve processability and mechanical properties of both biaxially oriented & blown films.


Koen Bastiaens, Strategic Market Manager, NatureWorks

2:30 – 3:00 PM


3:00 – 4:00 PM

Breakout Session 3:


Otto Soidinsalo, Borregaard

Breakout Session 4:


Pol Casado, Ecological Business Unit Manager, Hamer Packaging Technology

Conor Carlin, Managing Director, ILLIG North America LP

4:00 – 5:00 PM

Breakout Session 5: Manufacturing 101


Gary Visser, IMFA Chairman
Paul Carter,

5:00 – 5:30 PM

Members Only Meeting

6:00 – 8:30 PM


Reception & Dinner


Friday, October 6th

7:30 – 8:15 AM
8:30 – 9:15 AM
Packaging Megatrends – Sustainability and Opportunities in Molded Fiber

Sustainability in packaging has finally hit a tipping point globally, regulations are accelerating and consumer preferences are shifting as their understanding of sustainability evolves. Molded fiber is emerging as an alternate packaging substrate for various applications and has witnessed significant investment and growth recently. In this session we will share our latest thinking on the key mega-trends affecting the $1Trillion Global Packaging Industry, including trends in molded fiber space and opportunities ahead.


Abhinav Goel, Partner, McKinsey & Company
Daniel Nordigaarden, Partner, McKinsey & Company
9:15 – 10:15 AM
4evergreen Alliance: Fibre-based Packaging Industry in Action for a Circular Future

4evergreen is a unique alliance bringing together more than 100 companies from the entire value chain, all committed to perfecting fibre-based packaging circularity for a greener world. Their goal is to increase the recycling rate of fibre-based packaging up to 90& by 2023. Together, they are working in four key areas with exceptional intensity: evaluating packaging recyclability, designing for circularity, advising effective collection and sorting, and exploring innovative recycling and sorting technologies and techniques. For each area, they are developing a series of guidelines and protocols that will help the industry develop increasingly sustainable packaging solutions.


Huqiu Zhang, SME
Susanne Haase, 4Evergreen

9:15 – 10:15 AM
Regulatory Compliance: Access to the Market

The presentation will briefly introduce global regulations on paper food packaging and food contact materials with a focus on the US, EU, China, and other markets. Discuss strategies how to ensure safety and regulatory compliance, manage safety perceptions and keep up with the regulatory landscape changes, play ahead of the game to access global markets.


Huqiu Zhang, SME

10:45 – 11:45 AM

Breakout Session 6:

Daniel Nordigaarden, McKinsey & Company 

11:45 – 1:00 PM

Awards & Closing Remarks

1:30 PM

Golf Outing *
18-Hole, Par-3

All times are subject to change.

What is a Breakout Session?

A breakout session is a continued conversation following its speaker session. There will be a moderator in each breakout session to start and lead the conversation, and panelists will participate in the conversation. All registrants may ask questions during these sessions.

*Registration required

$125pp, includes cart rental

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