BEIRUT, 6 October 2011 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Lebanese Packaging Centre, LibanPack, organized a conference on sustainable packaging in Beirut this week. Participants at the event, the first of its kind in the country, called on industry leaders to consider packaging as means to ensure both environmental sustainability and economic growth.
Participants noted that world demand for sustainable packaging is on the rise and having a “green” reputation is becoming increasingly important for businesses. By using environmentally-friendly packaging methods companies can reduce their carbon footprint considerably. This, in turn, will allow them to get a “green” reputation, as well as boost sales.
The President of LibanPack, Fady Gemayel, highlighted that sustainability should be a cornerstone in the production of any goods. He said Lebanon has been a pioneer in the recycling industry since 1929, and specifically in the process of recycling paper.
“Given the high cost of production in Lebanon, Lebanese industries should focus on increasing the quality and the innovation to increase the value of Lebanese products and their competitiveness where the role of LibanPack is of great importance,” he added.
Former State Minister, Adnan Qassar, also present at the conference, said: “In the Arab world, we remain at the beginning of the road of [environmental sustainability] in spite of the fact of sensitive natural resources. Sustainable development should form a part of strategic development in the Arab world, and not be separate from it.”
The Minister of Industry, Sabounjian, summarized the theme of the Conference with the Principle of the three "R''s - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse - of packaging materials. He also expressed his deep appreciation for the Lebanese industries in adopting the latest innovation to differentiae Lebanese products from other competitors. Moreover he acknowledged the fact that Lebanese products have added value in export market.
Around 350 people attended the conference, including ministers, representatives of the private sector, the diplomatic corps, international organizations, economic associations, and , academia. Speakers included representatives from the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), Nestle, Pepsi, and Rexam ESCWA.
LibanPack was founded by UNIDO in 2008 with funds from the Government of Switzerland and with the support of the Association of Lebanese Industrialist and the Syndicate of Packaging.
For more information, please email:
Khaled El Mekwad
Head of UNIDO Field Office in Lebanon
Tel. +961 1978699