Pitch Your Circular Product

PITCH YOUR circular developments FROM the packaging industry

The packaging industry is in full swing, with a stronger focus than ever on more sustainable solutions. It’s the perfect time to take action. We see numerous sustainable initiatives being presented in the news. To inform you as a packaging professional about these innovations, we are organizing the second edition of Pitch Your Product during Empack Gorinchem. This time the theme is circularity and is led by Cradle to Cradle.

What makes this even more interesting is that your company will have the opportunity to pitch to the Cradle to Cradle jury members on Wednesday, April 10th. This offers a unique opportunity to present your sustainable packaging ideas and receive advice on sustainability certifications. Seize this opportunity to take your innovations to the next level and have a positive impact on the future of the packaging industry.

About cradle to cradle

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute helps companies to innovate and optimize their materials and products according to a standard based on the Cradle to Cradle principle: the raw materials you use can be fully reused without losing their value. This is not always immediately feasible, but continue to challenge your products, company and value chain to achieve the maximum. For this reason, Cradle to Cradle will judge the pitches and certify them where possible.

How far along are you with your product?

Are you a pioneer in the field of circular solutions? Participate in “Pitch Your Product on Circularity”.
The Cradle to Cradle Institute has been certifying products for circularity for many years in 3 focus areas:

Circular purchasing

Less need for 'virgin' materials

Circular design

For long-term (re)use, recycling or composting, ..

Circular systems

Preparation, or demonstration of active recycling. Instructions for greater user involvement in end-of-use

Registering for the pitch offers these benefits and opportunities to take your sustainable packaging solutions to the next level. What does your company get in return?

  • Visibility at Empack 2024: the pitch offers an opportunity to showcase your sustainable packaging solutions to industry experts, which can lead to recognition and visibility.
  • Improvement in product offering: receive valuable feedback to improve your products.
  • Networking opportunities: Connect with potential partners, investors and like-minded professionals at Empack 2024.
  • Road to certification: you will receive advice in the field of Cradle to Cradle certifications. You also contribute to a more sustainable and greener future.
  • Contestant for the Pitch Your Circular Product Award: the presentation will take place at Empack 2024 on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024.

Participate? Please complete the contact form at the bottom of this page!



Do you want to demonstrate in 10 minutes what you have achieved with a specific product?

Register now to give your pitch on Wednesday, April 10th!


Wednesday April 5th

Kickstart Day 1

Kickstart by Vereniging Nederlandse Verpakkingsdeskundigen

Led by moderator Lucy van Keulen, a round table discussion will be held about the use of plastic and cardboard in packaging. With speakers such as Ulpart Thoden van Velzen (Senior Scientist Recycling), Rob Verhagen (Sustainability Director of Oerlemans Packaging Group), Sanne Westra (Sr. Policy Officer Circular Economy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) and Tom Ligthart (TNO).

Alternatives to paper and cardboard are increasingly being considered for plastic packaging. But is this the right move? Is the perception of both materials equal to reality? And when do we apply it right, or wrong?

During the kickstart of the Empack 2023 on April 5th, we will measure with the two materials.

Watch the kickstart here.


Lucy van Keulen


Rob Verhagen
 Sustainability Director van Oerlemans Packaging Group


Sanne Westra
Senior Beleidsmedewerker Circulaire Economie bij het Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat

Empack fotokader (9)

Tom Lighthart

Empack fotokader (15)

Ulphard Thoden
van Velzen
Senior Scientist Recycling

Pitch Your Product Day 1

Led by jury members Charles van Reij (Cradle to Cradle) and Nienke Steen (Cradle to Cradle). The Cradle to Cradle certificate (Cradle to Cradle Certified™) is an international certification for raw materials and products that can be fully reused in a way that keeps their value intact or even increases. After every pitch, companies receive free advice from Cradle to Cradle and have a chance to win the 2023 Innovation Award.

“Cradle 2 Cradle Products Innovation Institute” is an independent non-profit organization that certifies products for safety, circularity and sustainability of production. Innovations will be assessed according to the C2C innovation principle: the ’tilting’ of thinking, design and transformation of the existing system.

Gert-Jan van Baardwijk | General Manager Flexpak

The sustainability issue is more topical than ever and as a Sustainable Innovator, OPACKGROUP is happy to help their clients make their packaging more sustainable. Design for recycling is important, but at the same time the film must provide the right protection for the packaged product. They would like to share the successes they have achieved so far with you.

Watch the pitch here.

Judith Kolmans | HAS Green Academy

With little effort and just a few high-quality ingredients, you can put a fantastic meal on the table in no time. The latest culinary social media trend ‘Butter Board’ – seen on both TikTok and Instagram – fits perfectly here. Do you already know the popular butter board TikTok trend? Generation Z has certainly not missed this trendy new snack board. That’s why it’s high time for packaging that makes it easy to put an Instagrammable butter board on the table. Judith Kolmans, 4th year student at HAS Green Academy, is a concept developer and has a passion for graphic design.

Watch the pitch here.

Caroli Buitenhuis | Bioplastics Expert for Packaging & Products

Using concrete examples, Caroli Buitenhuis shows a number of innovative fossil-free packaging materials and talks about topics such as recyclable bioplastics, prevention of microplastics and tree-free fibers for packaging. The Bioplastics Hub in Amsterdam is an info & expo center for free independent information about bioplastics.

The Bioplastics Hub is an initiative of Green Serendipity and ‘Powered by ChemistryNL’.

Watch the pitch here.


spreker foto pitchKees Kok | Project Manager & Marketing Manager

Planting trees sustainably is a compensation initiative from the packaging chain. Together we can contribute to stopping the enormous loss of forests that is taking place on our planet. Are you participating?

Kees has been active in the packaging sector for over 20 years and has fulfilled an account manager and marketing role at several companies in the packaging chain. The rapidly increasing demand for sustainable packaging and the importance of CSR brought him into contact with Trees for All. She quickly convinced him that we must act now, before it is too late. Together with many other partners, he set up an independent packaging initiative, not for profit and with VETO rights.

Watch the pitch here.

Marleen Roelofs | Packaging Innovator

The One Stop Packaging Shop overcomes the biggest obstacles in the packaging industry. This means they do not have high start-up costs such as die cutting costs, printed circuit boards or foil and embossing stamps. They also have low minimum order quantities and short delivery times.

After completing her Food & Packaging Design education, Marleen started working at Brand & Packaging innovation acency Now New Next. Within this company she is involved in innovating the 3D design of packaging for food & cosmetics customers.

Watch the pitch here.

Roy Schoemaker | Packaging Solutions Manager Benelux

When using labels, the liner is a waste stream that is easily overlooked. While you as a company can easily make a positive impact here. UPM Raflatac offers the solution that ensures that your liner is recycled into… liner again! Using concrete examples, Roy shows how this process works and how you can contribute to a circular economy.

                                               Watch the pitch here.

Thursday April 6th

Kickstart Day 2

Kickstart Empack & Packaging Innovations led by Lucy van Keulen

Join the second kickstart of Empack & Packaging Innovations. With round table speakers Diede Vendrig, Team lead behavior at Unravel Research, Rolf van Sprang, Senior Packaging Expert at KIDV, Rik Hennink, CEO of Van Hordijk and Joanna Olszanska, CEO of Yoyo Boost Reuse.

Every part of the packaging chain must change drastically to achieve sustainability goals. There must be a system change, because continuing on the current path is too slow. How do we achieve this? The government imposes stricter rules regarding consumer packaging. The market requires more time to meet this demand. The rules also raise many questions because they are not clear. In addition, consumers say in surveys that they want less packaging. But when they are offered that opportunity, they hardly change their behavior.

We enter into discussions with various players in the packaging chain. We look at the future of consumer packaging from multiple perspectives.

Topics covered:

  • How will consumers change packaging? Will it be re-use, refuse, recycle or rethink?
  • Is the consumer guided by marketing, or does his choice force the market to change?
  • Does the government guide the market with rules, or does the market guide the government by innovating itself?

Watch the kickstart here.


Lucy van Keulen


Diede Vendrig
Team Lead Behavior bij Unravel Behavior


Rik Hennink
CEO van Hordijk Verpakkingen


Rolf van Sprang
Senior Packaging Expert bij KIDV


Joanna Olszanska Oprichter van YoYo.BoostReuse

Pitch Your Product Day 2

“Cradle 2 Cradle Products Innovation Institute” is an independent non-profit organization that certifies products for safety, circularity and sustainability of production. Innovations will be assessed according to the C2C innovation principle: the ’tilting’ of thinking, design and transformation of the existing system.

Jan Kraaijeveld | Sales Director

How do you ensure that you have the right products in stock in the right quantities? In this session, Jan Kraaijeveld takes you along for a short introduction to the use and benefits of inventory management software Slim4. Discover how you can improve the availability of your stock with Slim4 and make the ordering process more efficient.

kennistheaterPatrick van Soelen | Regional Sales Manager Benelux

During this session you will gain insight into how a Smart Barcode Label Management Software System, as an integrated part of Business Software, makes an important contribution to digital transformation to Industry 4.0.

We would like to invite you to an interactive workshop session with Impact Hub Amsterdam. Under their guidance, we hone the sustainability challenge(s) for your company and look at how we can solve them with innovation through strategic collaboration.

Why participate in the session?
During the session there is the opportunity to exchange experiences with other entrepreneurs and to think together about what is needed to build a future-proof company.

What we will do?
At the end of the workshop you will walk away with:
• Overview of the most important developments in the sector in the field of sustainability
• Input from fellow entrepreneurs about their plans and ambitions for sustainability
• First ideas on how you and your company can prepare for the upcoming
sustainability developments

– Introduction
– Future Scenario Thinking
– Trend mapping
– Shaping an objective
– Challenge definition
– Next steps (explanation of next steps in innovation process)

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