4-Part Workshop: Flexible Packaging Fundamentals: Design for Sustainability

Flexible Packaging Fundamentals: Design for Sustainability


Flexible Packaging Fundamentals: Design for Sustainability



All workshop days are from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT.

May 13, 2024
May 14, 2024
May 15, 2024
May 16, 2024

Registration Information

SPE Premium Member $360
SPE Members $400
Nonmembers $600

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Flexible packaging has rapidly grown over the last half-century due to its ability to meet packaging needs at the lowest cost and with the least amount of material usage. Yet it faces challenges due to its single-use, poor recycle rates, and leakage into the environment. To deal with these challenges the industry will need to undergo tremendous change. This workshop presents a science-based introduction to the technology of flexible packaging with a focus on design for sustainability. We will begin with a discussion of how the industry evolved to the multi-layer, multi-material film structures in use today that are difficult to recycle. This is followed by a survey of materials currently in use and why they may be challenging to downgauge, remove or recycle. Finally, we will investigate approaches to more sustainable package design. Sustainability has many definitions. We will focus on four areas: 1) incorporating recycle into packaging, 2) design for the PE-recycle stream, 3) design with biobased or compostable polymers, and 4) what is on the horizon in advanced recycling technologies.

The workshop is based on the comprehensive book by the author, BA Morris, The Science and Technology of Flexible Packaging, 2nd ed., Elsevier, 800 pages, https://shop.elsevier.com/books/the-science-and-technology-of-flexible-packaging/morris/978-0-323-85435-1

Target Audience

Professionals, technicians, and operators at brand owners, film converters, resin suppliers, equipment suppliers, NGO’s, and other entities interested in expanding their knowledge of flexible packaging technology and approaches to more sustainable design.


Barry Morris, Ph.D.
R&D Fellow
Dow Chemical Company

Barry Morris is an industry thought leader in plastics and packaging technology. He retired from Dow in 2021 as R&D Fellow after over 35 years at Dow and DuPont supporting new product and application development for Dow’s (and previously DuPont’s) ethylene copolymer business. He is an authority on translating application needs and applying scientific principles for optimal material selection and a passionate and engaging teacher with the ability to explain difficult concepts in simple terms for technical and non-technical audiences. In 2022 he formed BA Morris Consulting LLC to continue to offer his expertise to the packaging and plastics industries. In 2022 he also assumed the role of Chief Technology Advisor at VOID Technologies, a company developing solutions for more sustainable packaging.

Barry is the author of over 125 book chapters, journal articles, conference papers, and magazine articles, including the definitive book The Science and Technology of Flexible Packaging, whose second edition was published in 2022. A holder of 12 U.S. patents, Barry has many years of experience in packaging technology and developing resins for the film and coating markets. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He also has an MBA from the University of Delaware. He is a Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), a long-time board member of the SPE Extrusion and Flexible Packaging Divisions, and a frequent presenter at SPE and TAPPI conferences. He is the recipient of several industry awards including the SPE’s Bruce Maddock Award (2018) for significant contributions to the advancement of single-screw extrusion technology, and TAPPI’s Rohm and Haas Prize (2005) for outstanding technical contributions to the flexible packaging industry.

Why Should You Attend?

The flexible packaging industry is under pressure to become more sustainable, which is driving change in packaging materials, processes, and structures. Change brings opportunities for those who can develop new solutions. Understanding the current technology and the science behind it will help researchers and practitioners develop these solutions more quickly. Unfortunately, the science and technology of flexible packaging is only taught at a handful of universities and most professionals servicing this market come from other disciplines. This workshop is designed to specifically address this knowledge gap. Building upon the author’s 35-year experience in the industry and his compressive book on the subject, the workshop will explore the current state of the industry (materials and processes) and the approaches for moving to a more sustainable future.

Questions? Contact:

For questions, contact Iván D. López.

This educational program is provided as a service of SPE. The views and opinions expressed on this or any SPE educational program are those of the Speaker(s) and/or the persons appearing with the Speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc. (SPE) or its officials, employees or designees. To comment or to present an opposing or supporting opinion, please contact us at info@4SPE.org.

Refund Policy

Full Refunds, minus a $50 processing fee will be granted until April 25, 2024. No refunds will be granted after April 25, 2024. Registration may be transferred before April 25, 2024. No transfers after April 25, 2024. Please contact customerrelations@4spe.org for assistance in transferring a registration.

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SPE may take photographs and audio/video recordings during the event, pre-event meetings and receptions that may include attendees within sessions, networking areas, exhibition areas, and other areas associated with the event both inside and outside of the venue. By registering for this event, all attendees are providing permission for SPE to use this material at its discretion on SPE's websites, marketing materials, and publications. SPE retains ownership of copyright to all photographs and audio/video recording obtained at this event and attendees may request copies of any material in which they are included.

Refund Policy for Events

  1. No discussion among members, volunteers, or staff, which attempts to arrive at any agreement regarding prices, terms or conditions of sale, distribution, volume, territories, or customers;
  2. No activity or communication which might be construed as an attempt to prevent any person or business entity from gaining access to any market or customer for goods or services or any business entity from obtaining services or a supply of goods;
  3. No activity or communication which might be construed as an agreement to refrain from purchasing or using any materials, equipment, services or supplies of or from any supplier; or
  4. No other activity which violates anti-trust or applicable laws aimed at preventing unfair competition.

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