Recycling Today is pleased to announce that Tom Stigers, executive vice president of WestRock, Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker for the 2019 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference, which is scheduled for Oct. 23-25 in Chicago. Taking place Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m., The Importance of Packaging keynote focuses on the role recycled materials will play in the future of packaging and how packaging is evolving to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Stigers has served as executive vice president of WestRock since July 2015. Previously, he served as executive vice president for mill operations at RockTenn. In his presentation, he will address how packaging grades have become a primary driver for the paper recycling industry in recent years. Stigers will speak about how supply and demand for packaging grades will align given China’s import restrictions for recyclables and will also look at how moves by various Chinese papermakers to establish recycled fiber pulp and possibly containerboard capacity in North America will affect North American producers.
Additionally, the keynote will examine the shift in old corrugated container (OCC) generation from retail outlets to consumers, or the “Amazon Effect,” and how it will affect box production and the quality and amount of OCC collected for recycling. Stigers will look at whether open-face corrugated can replace flexible plastic packaging in home delivery applications. He will also address whether sustainability initiatives by consumer product companies will contribute to the growth of paper packaging.
Registration rates for the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference are designed to be cost-effective, with special discounts available for multiple attendees from the same company. Those who attend both the conference and the co-located MRF Operations Forum Oct. 22 benefit from even greater discounts.