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Anna Paola Cavanna, President and first Ambassador of the Carta Etica del Packaging Foundation, talks about the project and its aims. It also tells about the path already taken, the objectives to be shared, the projects in place and those that will be launched.

Chiara Bezzi

22 marzo 2021


From the Ethical Packaging Charter to the Foundation, why?
The Ethical Packaging Charter was born in 2015 from a shared reflection between the Politecnico di Milano and Edizioni Dativo.
Since its inception, the Italian Packaging Institute had strongly believed in the values ​​set forth by the Charter as a tool for developing a new “system culture” for the packaging supply chain.
In 2019 it was decided to acquire the rights. The natural choice was to create a Foundation, a completely independent and super partes body, with the aim of disseminating and sharing the profound values ​​of the Charter.
At my side I wanted a team strongly involved and in continuity with the governance of the Institute: Ciro Sinagra and Alessandra Fazio as vice presidents, the councilors Chiara Faenza and Antonio Feola (past president of the Institute) and the director Francesco Legrenzi.
The birth of the Charter told of a vision, the task of the Foundation now is to give life to concrete projects and initiatives.

What objectives does it propose?
The Foundation is a non-profit organization and pursues exclusively civic, solidarity and utility purposes for the promotion and dissemination of packaging as an instrument of progress and civilization through the dissemination of the science that regulates its functions.

We want to be an institutional voice able to stimulate authoritative visions and reflections on the ethical design of packaging.
We all know that packaging is experiencing a phase of full maturity, our goal is to create something new in a new way. For example, talking about ethics and not just about sustainability broadens the vision, forces us to reflect in terms of circular economy and eco-design.

But to do this we want to network and create a network of Ambassadors who share our challenge to give life to a new business culture and look at the faces of the same problem from different angles. Of course, all this cannot be separated from a careful analysis of “project and corporate sustainability”.
New horizons therefore and, why not, even beyond national borders with an eye to young people.

You spoke of Ambassadors and you are officially the first one …
I have been appointed President of the Foundation. I therefore have the honor and the burden of this office in addition to the others, but it is a commitment that I care a lot about and from which I did not want to exempt myself.

The Ambassadors of the Ethical Packaging Charter are legal entities that undertake to operate in accordance with the ten points of the Charter, to disseminate it appropriately, to promote its values ​​and contents.

Companies, companies, organizations, associations, consortia, foundations operating in any capacity in the market in the production and distribution of raw materials for the packaging industry, in the production or distribution of packaging, whether they are users of packaging or deal with their reuse or recycling or transformation or who carry out service activities for the packaging supply chain, even post-consumer.

The title of Ambassador will be represented by the trademark granted by the Foundation to signify the attestation of the sharing of the values ​​of the Charter.

Research, training and culture are the basis of your projects. Which ones have you activated and which ones are still in an embryonic state?
Although the Foundation is very young, we are proud to have already set up ambitious projects in a short time.

To begin, the Foundation sponsored the Advanced Training Course in Packaging Management, in collaboration with the La Sapienza University of Rome, and offered 10 scholarships.
The course, which started on 25 March and is the only one of its kind, is aimed at graduates already employed in companies in the sector. This first edition is attended by 21 members who are employed in leading companies in the sector. Already an excellent result that makes us confident for the next appointments. The Italian Packaging Institute and Sapienza will take turns in training.
The second project is an aid to companies which, today more than ever, are faced with a ferment of solutions, experiments, research and development of new materials and solutions to support environmental protection. For this reason, the Foundation’s Algorithm is being studied, a tool and a dossier edited by the Sustainability Commission of the Italian Packaging Institute and now “in the belly” of the Foundation, useful for testing whether its solution complies with the eco-design criteria. and the challenges of the 2030 Agenda.
Finally, we sponsored the Packaging Oscar, Best Packaging 2021 with Focus on Ethics and the Future. This year’s edition is dedicated to enhancing solutions that stand out for being inspired by the 10 values ​​of the Packaging Ethics Charter.

But there are still many dreams in the drawer before my term expires in 2022: a book and an international award on innovative research projects.

What are the values ​​that an “ideal” packaging cannot ignore today?
The perfect packaging does not exist but let’s remember its fundamental role: it is an artifact that brings “functional beauty” in everyday life.

Personally, I believe that the ideal packaging must be consistent with the function for which it was designed, it must be transparent and a source of information for the consumer. Environmental labeling has placed attention on the aspect of managing the end of life of the packaging, consequently the packaging must communicate with the consumer in an increasingly direct and clear way.
Packaging must make its purpose understood: to protect the product, protect the consumer, be emotional and know how to convey the shopping experience and can only do so if it is shown transparently.
The goals of the United Nations 2030 agenda will put us in front of forced choices. The circular economy has upset everything and around the packaging that becomes waste there is a complex mechanism of responsibility.
The Packaging Ethics Charter reiterates that we are all subjects involved in a system of packaging design, production, use, consumption and reuse and reminds us that, while respecting the role of each subject, it is essential to put the consumer at the center.