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August 2014 WRED Event
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Upstream! The Story of Retail Packaging

August 28, 2014

Over 60 attendees joined us for our retail packaging WRED event on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at the Bunzl Distribution Center in Sumner, WA. "Upstream! The Story of Retail Packaging" opened the eyes of all who attended in understanding the who, what and why of retail packaging.



After a morning of coffee and mingling, Susan Thoman of Cedar Grove and Nicole Bartruff of Willis Marketing began the event with an overview of their history, describing how a packaging sales company and composting manufacturer came together to discuss and solve the challenges of packaging throughout the waste stream. 



Phil Bjornson of Bunzl, gave our attendees an overview of Bunzl's history and described why so many different types of packaging exist. Food packaging, for example, has to be tailored to meet the needs of that individual product throughout its various life phases. Terry Grill of SealedAir/Cryovac, went more into depth to discuss how packaging is used to prevent people from getting sick and to prevent food from going to waste. According to Terry, 60% of food wasted can be prevented if properly packaged.




Following morning presentations, attendees split into two tour groups rotating between a walking tour of Bunzl's 260,000 square foot distribution center and a 'Show & Tell' packaging showcase where attendees got a hands on presentation of the various types of packaging found in the food industry. No pictures were allowed in the Bunzl warehouse, but imagine endless rows of 20+ foot shelves filled with every kind of packaging you could think of! This warehouse turns its shelves 13 times a year! 





While attendees enjoyed a delicious boxed lunch provided by Haggen, our speakers and vendors sat on a panel to answer questions from the audience. Brian Glassbrenner with NatureWorks, one of our silver sponsors, offered some clarity on global packaging distribution and where different packaging materials are being tested.



Cheryl-Ann Jones with Haggen gave an overview of Haggen's sustainability practices and their implementation of better environmental practices as one of their four company values. Following her presentation, attendees boarded a bus and headed off to the nearby Auburn Haggen to tour three of their departments that deal with packaging; Deli, Produce and Bakery. Nicole Bartruff and Cheryl-Ann Jones guided attendees through the thought process behind each style of packaging from its material, size, shape and function. 


Thank you to all who helped put this successful WRED event together including our sponsors, speakers, committee members, volunteers and attendees! 


It's Complicated
Susan Thoman, Vice President of Corporate Development, Cedar Grove

Nicole Bartruff, Vice President of Packaging, Willis Marketing, Inc.


Markets and the Packaging Supply Chain

Phil Bjornson, Sales Professional, Bunzl


Manufacturing Pioneering for a New End of Life Story 

Terry Grill, Director of Sustainability for the Americas, SealedAir/Cryovac


Steps to Sustainability -- No visuals

Cheryl-Ann Jones, Director of Food Service, Haggen



To view the photos from this event, view our Facebook page!



Silver Sponsors:


NatureWorks LLC


Willis Marketing, Inc.



 Washington State Recycling Association | 545 Andover Park W, Ste 209, Tukwila, WA 98188 | 206.244.0311 |

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