11th packaging congress OBALKO, October 19–20, 2023


Current topics, inspiring presentations, top speakers...

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13. 10. 2022
14. 10. 2022
8:00 – 9:00


9:00 – 12:30

Joint morning program

The opening words of the congress

Ivo Benda, greiner packaging Slušovice
Martin Hejl, THIMM pack’n’display
Jeffrey Osterroth, ATOZ Group

Introductory presentations: Four threats, four experts, four perspectives

The packaging industry has not yet fully recovered from the coronavirus crisis (and for that matter it is not clear whether we are really at the end of it) and has immediately been exposed to new threats: 1) the shortage and high prices of materials, including recycled materials; 2) rising energy prices; 3) the unavailability of personnel in all positions and related pressure on wage growth; 4) the decreasing purchasing power of consumers. To fully understand these four threats, we have invited four experts to share their expert opinions:

  1. Jake Weighell, an analyst from Smithers, will highlight current and future trends in the packaging industry, focusing on new opportunities, challenges and risks for each key packaging type. His outlook will cover hot topics such as sustainability, e-commerce, supply chain disruption, consumer demands and more. It will also provide an exclusive analysis of the cost and availability of different types of packaging materials, as this affects not only every other trend in the packaging industry, but every single aspect of the industry at present.
  2. Josef Kotrba, who led the energy consulting team and served as chairman of the Czech branch of Deloitte until August 2022, will speak about the development of the energy market. He now deals with consultations for large projects in the electricity industry, mainly in the field of optimization of production and consumption, transformation, renewable sources and distribution.
  3. The present and future of human resources will be discussed by Jaroslava Rezlerová, who has led the company ManpowerGroup with a turnover of four billion CZK for more than two decades. She is a founding member and president of the Association of Personnel Service Providers. Since 2018, she has also served on the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce.
  4. The impact of inflation on consumers and their purchasing power and preferences will be examined by Linda Straková of NielsenIQ, the world’s leading information services company, based on exclusive new research. What can producers of packaged goods and their suppliers expect from consumers in the upcoming months and years? Where will they be shopping? What sorts of packaging will they reach for while in the stores? Will they turn away from more expensive sustainable solutions in favor of cheaper, less-sustainable alternatives?
Jake Weighell, Smithers
Josef Kotrba
Jaroslava Rezlerová, ManpowerGroup
Linda Straková, NielsenIQ
10:50 – 11:30

Morning coffee break

Panel discussion: Current threats, future opportunities?

The morning panel discussion is usually one of the highlights of the OBALKO congress program. It won’t be any different in October, either. This year’s panel will follow up on the opening block of presentations, with the panelists focusing more on current and future threats to the Czech and Slovak packaging market. They will discuss not only the problems but also the possible ways out and solutions. And this from the point of view of human resources, energy consumption, purchase of input raw materials, consolidation of supply chains and the expected development in the national and European economies with related impacts on the purchasing power of the population. The panel will feature representatives of packaging solution suppliers as well as representatives of major manufacturing companies that package large quantities of goods and are therefore affected by potential threats to the packaging market as a whole.

Martin Kincl, Alimpex Food
Petr Sloup, ŠKODA AUTO
Alessandro Pasquale, Mattoni 1873
Jana Stránská, Ryor
Ivo Benda, greiner packaging Slušovice
Martin Hejl, THIMM pack’n’display
12:30 – 14:00

Lunch break & BizPACK

14:00 – 15:20

Design & innovation session

FuturePack is being created today

When the paths of the company THIMM pack’n’display and the start-up Refork joined, it was clear that a sustainable and interesting futurePack would be created. THIMM designed packaging and displays for Refork that meet three key aspects: environmental friendliness, a high level of creativity and an unusual customer experience thanks to augmented reality. During the presentation of this case study, we will also hear more about sales stands, sales boxes and party sets. Congress participants will learn how futurePack can be created today with the use of digital technologies.

Josef Žádník, Refork
Martin Hejl, THIMM pack’n’display

The challenges of packaging design for online private labels

The leading online food retailer in the Czech Republic,, has recently launched a number of high-end private-label products in various categories from coffee to deli products to paper products. Rohlik’s private label brands face the challenge of having to attract consumers to click and buy without one of the main benefits of selling a new product in a bricks-and-mortar store: the possibility for the consumer to take the new package in his or her hands and get to know the product before buying. How is designing packaging for online private labels different from designing products that are meant for sale in stores? What attributes are necessary in order to attract consumers to purchase? And how did the own-brand team at Rohlik cooperate with the packaging design supplier of many of its newest and most successful brands, the design and innovation agency Cocoon? Hear the inside story of the development of’s online private labels from two people who were at the helm of several successful projects, Petr Chvojka from and Jiří Votruba from Cocoon Prague, in this exclusive case study.

Petr Chvojka, Rohlik Group
Jiří Votruba, Cocoon

Goodbye, filler material!

In e-commerce, one of the prerequisites for success is constant innovation. The area on which the people at PRIM have focused is packaging and filling material. The development has resulted in two packaging solutions that completely eliminated the filling. PRIM and Smurfit Kappa come with monomaterial corrugated packaging labeled VoidFill Killer and All-In-Fix. They securely fix the product in the box without the need to fill the free space, with no need for bubble wrap or air cushions.

Lucie Martinková, PRIM
David Malina, Smurfit Kappa

How to create packaging that fundamentally changes the consumer perception of a brand

Stará žitná myslivecká is a legendary Czech brand with a rich tradition and high aided brand awareness. However, these initial positive parameters also brought negative associations to the life of the brand. At times, the end consumer even placed the product in the wrong alcohol category. The brand is now profiling itself in a completely different way with a preference for new values understandable to the target consumer. Learn how it all started and what role the development of new packaging played in building the brand in this exclusive case study.

Boris Rajdl, Palírna U Zeleného stromu
14:00 – 15:40

Technology & materials session

Packaging materials: trends, examples and strategies

The revolution caused by two megatrends – sustainability and digitization – is unprecedented in the packaging industry. As a result of this pressure, we are now seeing enormous interest in the commercialization of packaging innovations. Innovative products must not only be more sustainable, but also cheaper, so packaging manufacturers include new materials in their portfolio. The presentation will present new material trends in flexible, glass, metal, paper and plastic packaging. The latest production technologies and the phenomenon called smart packaging will also be discussed.

Ladislav Hurdálek

The pitfalls and benefits of automating group packing into cartons

The trend is increasingly towards requirements for shelf or “display-ready” packaging. At the same time, it is necessary to increase efficiency in production and reduce not only costs but also environmental impact. The presentation of the joint project of HÜGLI and M.A.S. Automation will show you the advantages of packaging automation, how to successfully implement a challenging project together, what pitfalls you may encounter along the way, and what benefits and savings automation has brought.

Pavel Coufal, Hügli Food
Michael Ondraschek, M.A.S. Automation

Cans – today’s packaging for customers large and small

Cans have taken over the drink market thanks to their convenience, their sustainability and, with the entry of new players to the market, their availability. Until now, however, cans were mainly an option for large producers ordering enormous volumes. In this presentation, hear how CanPack Czech Republic has invested in its production facilities at its Stříbro facility and developed a new concept of customer service in order to be able to supply cans to customers of all sizes. Hear the experiences of two breweries, the medium-sized Pivovar Svijany and the microbrewery Vinohradský Pivovar, and see how they are able to package their beer in the most modern cans almost without limitations.

Jitka Froydová, Vinohradský Pivovar
Michal Matys, Pivovar Svijany
Attila Szabó, Canpack

Panel discussion: Touching forbidden, automating allowed

In many galleries, it is not forbidden to touch the works of art; on the contrary, the artists count on this, and visitors get a visual and tactile experience. The packaging industry is going in the opposite direction: the packaged product is simply not “touched”. In many cases, production and packaging lines do not allow this at all, which is related not only to hygiene requirements, but above all to the fact that production, packaging and logistics are moving towards a greater degree of automation and robotization.

The panel discussion of the afternoon technological section will feature representatives from two companies that deliver automated solutions and two producers of packaged goods who are true believers in automation. They will discuss whether the human hand still has any role in the packaging process, what are the current possibilities and implementation capacities of suppliers in relation to the requirements of clients, how to finance complex investments, how much can be saved thanks to advanced equipment and technologies, whether automation is really a means of speeding up packaging and improving prediction of production performance, or how to look at profitability and return on investment in packaging.

Matěj Gala, Plzeňský Prazdroj
Pavel Hrdina, Europasta
Michael Ondraschek, M.A.S. Automation
Paweł Juras, Balluff
15:40 – 16:00

Afternoon coffee break

16:00 – 18:15

Sustainability session

The future of sustainability: insight, reporting, verification and compliance

Boarding the sustainability train is an absolute must for companies today. They must recognize the future face of sustainability and incorporate four things into their business strategy:

  1. insight, meaning the ability to understand their impact on the environment;
  2. reporting, meaning the ability to inform others of the level of a company’s sustainability;
  3. verification, meaning not only reporting but also providing concrete proof that the sustainability is actual;
  4. compliance, meaning meeting regulations regarding sustainability.

The opening presentation to this year’s sustainability section will first introduce the new environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulations coming from Brussels. The speakers will show how the upcoming ESG legislation will affect the packaging industry and what it will mean for producers, users and consumers. A new online environmental assessment tool for packaging, called Envisketch, will also be presented, which compares different packaging and packaging materials and offers the user the most environmentally friendly options for specific packaging applications.

Vladimír Kočí, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague
Jan Kulhánek, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague

Ecodesign on the horizon – how to understand it and how to prepare

The new rules and changes in the regulations of the upcoming European legislation in the field of ecodesign will affect all products without distinction – whether they are manufactured in the EU or imported from third countries. The proposal of the European Commission in the form of a regulation addresses, for example, easy repairability of products, their greater durability, lower energy consumption for production and the use of recycled materials. The goal is to reduce the negative effects of the life cycle of products on the environment, strengthening the supply of sustainable products and the demand for them, achieving the goal of sustainable production. In terms of packaging, all packaging placed on the EU market should be reusable or recyclable. What must producers and distributors of packaged goods, not to mention their suppliers, do in order to comply with these regulations? What are some examples of packaging that have already been adapted and brought into compliance?

Hana Nováková, ENVI – PAK

What are the attitudes of customers towards packaging, its recyclability and littering

The contribution focuses primarily on the evaluation of the declared behavior of the interviewed sample of the Czech population when purchasing daily consumption products in packaging. The presentation provides information on selected forms of purchase decision-making and on the attitudinal accents of customers. Attention is also paid to the recyclability of packaging and how respondents perceive the importance of this characteristic. A separate part of the presentation focuses on littering. In addition to the identification of social groups whose representatives are most likely to litter, attention is also focused on the effectiveness of selected measures aimed at minimizing this phenomenon.

Jiří Remr, Markent

Greenwashing forbidden – Four sustainable packaging solutions

The market is flooded with packaging solutions that claim to be ecological, but are they really the best in terms of sustainability? What recent projects have actually helped to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment? As part of the Sustainability section of the 10th OBALKO congress, we are pleased to present four truly sustainable packaging solutions. Furthermore, we have enlisted the help of Professor Vladimír Kočí, the head of the Institute of Sustainability and Product Ecology of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and one of the leading experts in LCA studies, which try to reveal/calculate the actual environmental impacts of a given solution. Professor Kočí will not only approve the projects before they are added to the conference program, but he himself will moderate the section and provide his insight on the projects by means of a discussion with the presenters.

1. Lenka Nejedlová from Unilever will present a system of reusable bottles with a pump made of 100% PCR together with a refill bag for the Dove brand, which has saved 5.2 tons of packaging material over the last year.

2. Martin Krystián (Olma) and Ivo Benda (Greiner Packaging) will present a new cup for the Olma Pierot product made by molding with significant savings in PP and a reduction in the carbon footprint.

3. Jiří Klíma from Avery Dennison and Ewa Mlynarczyk from Gold Drop will present the new AD Circular service, which deals with the collection and subsequent use of carrier pads from self-adhesive labels.

4. Michaela Bernatová (Nestlé Česko), Martin Němec and Jan Karlík (both DS Smith Packaging) will talk about the benefits of circular display design not only for the environment, but also for business.

Ewa Mlynarczyk, Gold Drop
Michaela Bernatová, Nestlé Česko
Martin Němec, DS Smith Packaging
Jan Karlík, DS Smith Packaging
Jiří Klíma, Avery Dennison
Lenka Nejedlová, Unilever CR
Vladimír Kočí, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague
Martin Krystián, Olma
Ivo Benda, greiner packaging Slušovice
18:15 ‒ 23:00

Evening program

Obal roku ceremony

Award ceremony and awarding of trophies and certificates. The gold, silver and bronze prize winners will be announced at the end of the ceremony by the chair of the jury.

Obal roku is the only certified packaging competition designed for Czech and foreign companies with innovative packaging solutions. The aim of the competition is to highlight and then promote the best ideas, innovations and technologies in the packaging that appear on the market.

Packaging Business Mixer

The ideal mix of business and entertainment

After the full-day conference, the traditional Packaging Business Mixer is ready for the delegates. It is a VIP meeting of packaging specialists in a pleasant informal atmosphere with a special program. Its main goal is networking among packaging professionals who regularly participate in this important social event and users of packaging solutions. You can continue your discussions from the day or even start new ones over a drink or a plate of tasty food.

This year, the Packaging Business Mixer will take place in the restaurant next to the congress venue. We start right after the completion of the Obal roku awards ceremony at 20:00.

10:00 – 14:00

Packaging in action

10:00 – 14:00

Northwestern route

Excursion to the Greiner packaging plant in Louka near Litvínov

The Greiner packaging s.r.o. plant, which is located in Louka near Litvínov, was founded in 2003 and is part of the company Greiner packaging GmbH Austria, which falls under the international holding company Greiner AG. The plant specializes in the production of plastic cups marked K1, which it supplies to its customers in a neutral form (white, transparent) or in a printed form, which is used exclusively for dairy products. Plastic cups are produced using two production technologies – shaping (inline) and printing (cup decoration). The entire process is ISO 9001/2015, ISO 14001/2015 certified, including the BRC/IoP food packaging standard. The plant continues to be modernly developed within the framework of automated systems, where internal transport is ensured by autonomous AGV trucks and robotic lines are an integral part of the production processes. As the Greiner AG holding actively focuses on the Circular Economy, our plant is also active in this issue and all processes are gradually adjusted within this trend.

If you are interested in taking part in the trip, please write us at:

Miroslava Břicháčová, Greiner packaging

Visit to the pyrolysis test unit in Chempark Záluží near Litvínov

ORLEN Unipetrol RPA’s plant, located in Záluží near Litvínov, is the only place in the Czech Republic producing primary polymers on an ethylene unit. Thanks to this, this plant is gradually becoming a hotspot of activity in the field of chemical recycling, a process which transforms waste plastic packaging and more into liquids (e.g., using various thermal decomposition technologies), which can in turn serve as raw materials for the production of recycled polymers of the same quality as virgin polymers.

It is therefore logical that ORLEN Unipetrol RPA has been engaged in research and development in this area for a long time, and the test pyrolysis unit, which we will visit together as part of the excursion, is one of the main pillars of that research. You will be able to familiarize yourself with how such a unit can look and also how integrating waste plastics into the chemical industry’s raw material portfolio can contribute to developing circular economy principles in Czech Republic.

If you are interested in taking part in the trip, please write us at:

Robert Suchopa, ORLEN Unipetrol
10:00 – 12:00

Southwestern route

Trip to the CANPACK plant in Stříbro

The sales of cans boomed during the pandemic. In particular, breweries had to switch from kegs to this packaging format within a few days. As part of Packaging in Action, we will go to the CANPACK plant in Stříbro near Tachov, where they experienced this rebirth just at the time when they started a new factory for 100 million euros. It is capable of producing up to a billion beverage cans per year. In the plant, we get acquainted with the entire process of production of a beverage can, from the delivery of aluminum rolls, through stamping the base of the can, shaping its body, cleaning, internal coating, external decoration, inspection to palletizing and storage. CANPACK’s largest customer is Plzeňský Prazdroj, which it supplies just-in-time.

If you are interested in taking part in the trip, please write us at:

Attila Szabó, Canpack
10:00 – 12:00

Northeastern route

Visit to the Svijany brewery

Pivovar Svijany is a medium-sized brewery that relies on supplying unpasteurized beer to the market. In Svijany, they bottle alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers in a diverse range of packaging intended for retail and the HoReCa segment. In 2018, the company commissioned a new automatic line for filling cans. In recent years, the company innovated its packaging of multipacks, as was described in the presentation at last year’s OBALKO congress. The excursion at the Svijany brewery will be led by Michaela Laube, a longtime employee of the brewery, who will guide you through the entire operation of the brewery, including a tasting from a traditional copper tankard. Bottling-plant master František Kněbort will guide you through the technical part of the tour: the bottling and packaging areas.

If you are interested in taking part in the trip, please write us at:

You can find a preview of the excursion here:

Na návštěvě ve společnosti Pivovar Svijany

František Kněbort, Pivovar Svijany