Speaker interview: David Clark, Amcor

In the first of our speaker interview series we spoke to David Clark, Vice President of sustainability at Amcor, who will be speaking at this year's Plastics Recycling World Expo in North America.

David's key focus areas and responsibilities include reducing the footprint of Amcor's operations and products; using more sustainable materials including more post-consumer recycled plastics; working with the organisation's innovation teams, customers, and others to develop Amcor's packaging to be recyclable or reusable, and working with industry coalitions to deliver solutions to plastic waste.


What are the biggest challenges facing the market today and how can this be overcome?

Our biggest challenge is poor waste management infrastructure and recycling.  CPG companies and the packaging industry are making great progress toward making all packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable.  But many consumers don’t have access to recycling that accepts those products that are proven to be recyclable in other regions.


In your opinion, what do you consider to be the greatest development in your industry in the
last decade?

The greatest development is the alignment we’re seeing across consumer brands, retailers, and the rest of the value chain to solve the plastic waste issue.  Examples include recent work by the Consumer Goods Forum to introduce “Golden Design Rules” to make plastic packaging more recyclable, and work by CGF and EMF to align industry to support good producer responsibility legislation to fund recycling. 


How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?

Continued alignment and progress along the lines of product design for better end-of-life (recyclability, reuse, and compostability), and collaboration to increase recycling infrastructure and consumer participation in recycling. 


You will be speaking at AMI’s plastics industry expos in Cleveland in November, could you give
us a preview on what you will be talking about?

I’m looking forward to a good “debate” about whether industry-wide collaboration can help solve the plastics packaging challenge.  I think the answer will be yes, up to a point.  We’ll have some good examples of what has been done and what can be done, but industry can’t solve the problem in a vacuum.  We’ll need collaboration from governments, and consumer participation too.  

David will be contributing to the industry debate, 'Confronting the plastics packing challenge head-on: can solutions be found through industry-wide collaboration', on day one at the Plastics Recycling World Expo conference. View the program here.