12th packaging congress OBALKO, October 17–18, 2024

Program of the congress OBALKO 8

online, 27.–28. 1. 2021
19. 10. 2023
20. 10. 2023
8:00 – 9:00


9:00 – 12:15

Joint morning program

The opening words of the congress

Vojtěch Rosina, Avery Dennison
Ivo Benda, Greiner Packaging Slušovice
Martin Hejl, THIMM
Jeffrey Osterroth, ATOZ Group

Leap into the unknown

The entire packaging market is awaiting a tsunami of rules, regulations, technological changes and innovations. How to properly prepare for this leap into the unknown? Best with someone who has shown he can use his entire life and training to perfectly execute a jump that takes less than three seconds.

The opening speaker of the OBALKO 11 congress will be one of the most successful and charismatic athletes of our time, Aleš Valenta. He will describe how to prepare yourself mentally and physically for a big change that will turn your whole life – personal, athletic, managerial and professional – upside down. He will give you tips for being mentally prepared for a giant challenge, in our case a tsunami in the packaging industry.

Aleš Valenta

Understanding the potential impact of the packaging tsunami

The packaging industry is about to take a leap into the unknown. The proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), first presented by the European Commission last November, is currently under discussion. The figurative packaging legislative tsunami will bring big changes to both packaging suppliers and any company that packages its goods. In this expert double presentation, first David Surý, the senior director of the Environmental Protection Section of the Ministry of the Environment, will present the Czech Republic’s framework position on the draft regulation, and then Zbyněk Kozel, CEO of the authorized packaging company EKO-KOM, will summarize the problematic parts of the draft regulation that still need to be discussed.

David Surý, Ministry of the Environment
Zbyněk Kozel, EKO-KOM
10:45 – 11:15

Morning coffee break

Panel discussion: Will the packaging tsunami leave any stones unturned in the industry?

The morning panel will offer insight into the current state and future of the packaging industry. Representatives of retailers, packaging manufacturers, state administration, professional organizations and EPR organizations will sit at one table to discuss the current challenges. What regulations are coming from the European Union to the Czech Republic and Slovakia? Are the set goals realistic from an institutional, technological, economic, social and political point of view? How to involve the general public in the transformation of the packaging industry? How will the expectations of the regulators be reflected in the future shape of the packaging market? How will the relationship between industry, users of packaging solutions and consumers change? Can Czech, Slovak and European packaging companies cope with the onslaught of technological changes and innovations? Will the new legislation redefine consumers’ relationship with packaging – in terms of consumption, sustainability, marketing and product experience? How much will the “packaging tsunami” cost and who will pay for it?

The moderator of the panel will be Stanislav Břeň, editor-in-chief of the magazine Svět balení.

Thor Tummers, Unilever
Jaroslav Vodáček, Tesco Stores
David Surý, Ministry of the Environment
Zbyněk Kozel, EKO-KOM
Hana Nováková, ENVI – PAK
Ivo Benda, Greiner Packaging Slušovice
Martin Hejl, THIMM
12:15 – 13:45

Lunch break & BizPACK

13:45 – 18:00

Joint afternoon program

Innovations and best practices on the packaging market

Innovation is the key to successfully riding the tsunami that is barreling toward to Czech and Slovak packaging market. We must find ways to improve our own packaging activities in order to fulfill the vast expectations, not only of the regulators but of our clients and consumers as a whole. To help inspire and prepare for this enormous challenge, we have collected twelve successful innovations and case studies that have been implemented on the local packaging markets. These presentations will be introduced by professional moderators and will take place not in separate sections, as was the case during past editions of the OBALKO congress, but in an afternoon joint conference session. We believe that these inspiring presentations will help attendees to improve their packaging strategies and solutions and ultimately to ride the packaging tsunami all the way to the shore.

Digital printing is the recipe for small series

Packaging in small series, limited editions or packaging for seasonal events tend to be synonymous with higher costs, uniformity, haste, and sometimes ambiguous quality. That is why many companies do not want to venture into them. When the Budějovický Budvar brewery wanted to use the marketing potential of small-batch packaging, it turned to the company THIMM, which used the optimal means for the preparation of packaging in a small series: digital technology. The result is not only more attractive print motifs, but also better marketing targeting and efficiency in the supply chain. Using digital printing also eliminates the need for printing plates, which means saving time and costs for their production and energy. In their presentation, Klára Šťastná (Budějovický Budvar) and Petr Kaczor (THIMM) will use a concrete example to explain the advantages of digital printing when preparing small-batch or seasonal packaging for one of the largest breweries in the country.

Klára Šťastná, Budějovický Budvar
Petr Kaczor, THIMM

LEGO abandons plastic for paper in its packaging

LEGO wants to play a role in creating a better, more sustainable world that all children will soon be entering. While LEGO® bricks are designed to be used and passed down from generation to generation, the boxes holding the blocks and other packaging are often quickly disposed of. So recently, based on feedback from its customers, including children, the company decided to make all of its packaging paper-based. At the Kladno factory, one of LEGO’s five production sites worldwide, a research and development team has been tasked with finding a suitable solution for switching from disposable plastic packaging to paper. Michaela Horáková, who has been the general manager of the Kladno factory since early this year, will present at the OBALKO congress how the factory has dealt with such a change and what challenges they have faced in the process.

Michaela Horáková, LEGO Production

Can single-use cups at festivals be sustainable?

A big topic regarding music festivals is their sustainability. A lot of people in one place, alcohol and entertainment do not increase the possibilities of reducing waste to a minimum. In recent years, deposited plastic cups have been appearing more and more at major festivals. However, the company Greiner Packaging Slušovice came up with the idea of how even single-use plastic cups can be sustainable. It tested the pilot project at the end of June in cooperation with Karpaty fest. The solution is simple: the used PET cups are collected and later turned into cups again (rPET). In the presentation, you will learn why the so-called closed-loop solution should find its place at the Czech festival scene and more.

Marcel Zvonek, Karpaty fest
Eliška Fojtů, Greiner Packaging Slušovice
Klára Stojanovičová, Greiner Packaging Slušovice

The path to clean recycling leads through the label

This case study, which is based on the example of packaging for sandwiches and baguettes from Crocodille ČR and which will be presented in cooperation with the label manufacturer OTK printing & packaging, will focus on how the right choice of material for labels can play a key role in recycling. New labels for fast food products use Avery Dennison’s CleanFlake technology. This technology enables plastic packaging to be recycled without the need to invest in complex recycling procedures, for the label is simply removed from the PET packaging, and in the case of other plastics, it remains part of the recyclate. The technology uses a water-based adhesive that loses its stickiness during the recycling process. Thanks to the low-density upper material, the label floats together with the printing colors to the surface of the recycling tub, the PET material remains at the bottom. Due to this, it is possible to achieve the ideal state of recycling for rPET and thus close the loop of circularity of raw materials even in the area of food.

Michal Poloczek, Crocodille ČR
Aleš Paula, OTK printing & packaging
Vojtěch Rosina, Avery Dennison

A step towards sustainability in meat packaging

Visionary can take many forms. At Maso Uzeniny Polička, it has manifested itself by adopting a type of packaging that is usually used for other product categories. Flow pack was applied for packaging minced meat. Innovation and trend following is also evident in the fact that flow packs in the meat industry have become very popular in German supermarket chains in recent years, given that the German market is looking very much at the sustainability of packaging. Experience shows that up to 70% of plastic is saved compared to the original type of packaging (trays). This contributes to lower material and energy consumption, and the packaging is also more suitable for handling in group packing, which contributes to better use of logistics and transport capacities. At the same time, thanks to the protective atmosphere, it has all the prerequisites for preserving the shelf life and freshness of the product. As a bonus, it can be fully recycled, using existing types of packaging lines and printing with flexo, gravure or digital printing.

Josef Hantsch, Maso Uzeniny Polička

How the physical treatment of water saves energy and costs in the packaging industry

Did you know that the change of the amount and structure of hydrogen bonds have a significant impact on the structure of water? These changes increase the performance, efficiency and energy efficiency of the hydraulic systems where water is utilized as a heat transfer medium. And did you know that these physical, resp. chemical, coherencies are possible to utilize in the packaging industry as well? The Hippotron technology simulates the effect of the sun on liquids as it happens in nature. Flowing water is exposed to electromagnetic waves and pulses of the specific wavelengths, which causes changes in the supramolecular structure of the water and affects the amount and arrangement of the hydrogen bonds. In practice, this means that heating and cooling costs are reduced, scale formation is prevented and chemical additives (e.g., dispersants, antiscalants, biocides) do not need to be supplied to the plant. Come and hear a case study of the benefits of installing this technology in the steam production hydraulic system of Evertis Ibérica, a leading producer of food films.

Athan Bloom, Evertis Ibérica
Miroslav Danek, Boson Distribution SE

The benefits of increasing the recycled content in cans

One of the new requirements coming from the EU as part of the packaging tsunami is to increase the portion of recycled materials in packaging. This is already taking place in many areas. In this case study by Martina Vajskebrová, the production material and packaging manager at Plzeňský Prazdroj, and Attila Szabó, the general manager of the can producer CANPACK, we will look at the steps already taken to increase the content of recycled materials in cans (currently at 75% for certain brands) and what are the perspectives for the future. The speakers will discuss the current and future barriers to incorporating recycled materials, the environmental benefits, and the economic aspects that lead businesses to a circular economy. We will also look at other opportunities for innovation in the dynamic field of metal packaging for beer products.

Martina Vajskebrová, Plzeňský Prazdroj
Attila Szabó, Canpack
15:30 – 16:00

Afternoon coffee break

Fish packaging 2.0

For years it was said that it was impossible to transport and sell fish in anything other than a polystyrene box. The startup Alaskan Fisherman offers sustainably caught wild cod and salmon, so it makes it a point to control the entire supply chain, not only from the point of view of good distribution practices, but also from an ecological point of view. In cooperation with Smurfit Kappa, it started using the so-called ThermoBox 2.0, which is a packaging solution for chilled and frozen assortment based on hexacomb and corrugated cardboard. Experience to date has proved that it provides protective functions comparable to EPS packaging (above all the retention of temperature), but at the same time it eliminates the problems of polystyrene boxes associated with logistics (it is transported and stored flat) and sustainability (it is from a renewable source, so it can be recycled like paper or composted).

Kristýna Malá, Alaskan Fisherman
Jiří Rak, Smurfit Kappa

Circularity in e-commerce: Reusable packaging in Decathlon

Early this year, Decathlon launched a revolutionary pilot project for reusable packaging for online orders. In cooperation with the start-up company Packoorang, which specializes in this type of packaging for e-commerce, it designed a reusable bag produced from recycled PET bottles, branded with the Decathlon logo and made in the corporate blue color. This reusable bag is capable of replacing the single-use packaging for small and medium-sized orders sent from the central warehouse in Gliwice, Poland, to stores in the Czech Republic for pick-up by consumers. The goal was to save 65 tons of packaging material in the first year alone. How does such a project fit into the general sustainable development strategy of Decathlon? What hurdles did Decathlon need to overcome? What were the reactions of customers to reusable packaging? And what next steps is Decathlon planning in its move toward a no-packaging future? Hear the answers to these questions and more directly from the leader of Decathlon’s reusable packaging project, Oliwia Guziel, in this exclusive case study at the OBALKO 11 congress.

Oliwia Guziel, Decathlon Czech Republic

Packaging for Schneider Electric: Reusable and sustainable

DS Smith has designed innovative packaging for Schneider Electric that is not only quick and easy to assemble, but also sustainable. A set of packaging with identical dimensions but different heights and a lid that fits both sizes allows for reassembly and minimizes material consumption. The packages are simply stacked on top of each other, and the lid is added at the end, simplifying package handling. A chart on the outside of the package records how many times the package has already been shipped, up to a maximum of twenty trips. The correct folding procedure is expressed by pictograms. Multi-path minimizes waste, and the packaging is made from recyclable paper, which helps to reduce the burden on the environment. The strong and stable ER wool packaging is suitable for transporting all types of goods.

Petr Lískovec, Schneider Electric
Miroslav Bárta, DS Smith

The holy grail of packaging – closer to discovery than one might think

Each packaging professional searches for his or her own “holy grail” – the ideal packaging that fulfills all the necessary criteria. Therefore, it makes sense that one of the leading projects to support the circularity of packaging is named after this legendary chalice. Currently in its industrial testing phase, the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative is a pilot project with the objective to prove the technical viability of digital watermarks for accurate sorting of packaging waste as well as the economic viability of the business case on a large scale. In this enlightening presentation, Pavel Komůrka, the packaging innovation & sustainability coordinator at Orkla Foods, will show how one major food producer is not only cooperating on the project internationally but also taking steps to implement it on the Czech and Slovak markets. What is Holy Grail 2.0 exactly? How do digital watermarks work? What is the current status of the project and its perspective for the future? What is Orkla’s role in the project? How can digital watermarks help the Czech Republic and Slovakia, not to mention Europe as a whole, meet the ambitious targets that are being set? Hear the answers to these questions and more at the 11th OBALKO congress.

Pavel Komůrka, Orkla Foods

The future of sorting can be found in Brno today

In order to move the packaging and waste industry into the future, it is necessary to invest in the latest technologies and modernize existing sorting processes. While many cities across Europe are planning and discussing, Brno has already taken a significant step into the future of sorting. A new, state-of-the-art waste-sorting line was launched at SAKO Brno in March this year. Automated sensors, software that recognizes plastics by shape, composition and even color, ballistic separators that divide waste into 2D parts and 3D objects, a magnetic separator for ferrous metals, an induction separator for non-ferrous metals, and a powerful baler with a capacity of six tons per hour – all this is part of the most modern waste-sorting line in the Czech Republic. Come and listen to a presentation by Iveta Jurenová, SAKO Brno’s sales director, on how this project was developed, how it is currently running, and what are the possibilities for expansion in the future.

Iveta Jurenová, SAKO Brno

Panel discussion: The reality and dreams of the packaging industry

At the end of the OBALKO conference, we will focus on future developments. What will affect the packaging industry? What types of B2C and B2B packaging will be used more and more? Will the idea of returnable packaging also prevail in market segments where it is now a minority? What technological innovations can be expected? Will packaging become a fixed part of the circular economy? Will we find new materials for packaging and what will they be? Will the packaging market survive the onslaught of new regulations and directives? Can we use modern technology, including AI, to move the industry forward? Shall we open the way to packaging for young people? Will the packaging market learn to communicate with the general public about sustainability and convince them that the packaging is a positive part of the product? What interesting ideas should we copy from other fields and industries and bring into packaging?

Jana Žižková
David Hloušek, Avery Dennison
Michaela Horáková, LEGO Production
Michael Ondraschek, M.A.S. Automation
Pavel Komůrka, Orkla Foods
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.

Excursion to the central warehouse of DATART in Jirny

The presentation and reference visit will focus on packaging technology in the omnichannel solution of DATART’s central warehouse. The technology of filling-free packaging of B2C shipments and parcels on the Opera automatic packaging machine, the placement of its automatic, two single-pack and multi-pack in-feed conveyor inputs in the layout of the logistics center and their connection to conveyor technologies within the entire intralogistics of the DATART warehouse will be presented. Visitors can also look forward to a presentation of the elastic-wrapping technology of Stretch Hood pallets after palletizing stock, not to mention personal pick-ups distributed to the network of DATART’s own stores and wholesale partners.

The excursion will be led by Michal Prádl, head of the DATART central warehouse in Jirny.

Details of the excursion:

Michal Prádl, Datart / HP Tronic Zlín
9:00 – 12:00

Packaging in action excursions

Excursion to SAKO Brno: Demonstration of the first fully automatic sorting line in the Czech Republic

SAKO Brno is one of the largest waste and collection companies in the Czech Republic. It provides comprehensive services in the field of waste management and energy for municipalities, commercial companies, trading companies and the general public. It provides collection of mixed municipal and separated waste, operates the most automatic sorting line in the Czech Republic and has a modern fleet of vehicles that meet the requirements for economical operation and minimum noise. For the city of Brno, it provides all activities related to the operation of the system of collection and collection of municipal and separated waste, including the operation of waste collection centers. SAKO Brno owns one of the four waste-to-energy facilities in the Czech Republic. Thanks to this, it can produce energy from waste. Each year, it supplies approximately 60,000 MWh of electricity and 1,000,000 GJ of heat to the grid. SAKO Brno has long been one of the most stable companies in the South Moravian region, employing almost 500 people, divided into the Transport, Administration and ZEVO divisions. It is a joint-stock company wholly owned by the city of Brno.

A new waste sorting line was launched in SAKO Brno in March this year. It does not rely on the human eye, but on automatic sensors. The 330 million CZK line can sort up to four and a half tons of plastic, paper and metal by type and color per hour. The new equipment can also cope with waste stored in bags, which it tears apart so that it can be sorted loose. The software program then recognizes the plastics by shape, composition and even color. Ballistic separators will separate the waste into 2D parts (bags, films) and 3D objects (cups, trays, cans). The technology includes a magnetic separator for ferrous metals and an induction separator for non-ferrous metals, so that the line will also effectively separate metal packaging such as beverage cans, tins or aluminum lids. A powerful press with a capacity of 6 tons per hour compresses the sorted plastic and paper into bales for further processing. The line also includes a polystyrene shredder.

Take part in this comprehensive excursion and learn how state-of-the-art sorting technologies are used to manage waste, including the packaging we produce and sell.


  • 9:30–10:00: arrival at the Environmental Center of SAKO Brno, Jedovnická 2
  • 10:00–10:10: welcome by a member of the company management, brief introduction of SAKO Brno
  • 10:15: departure through the SAKO Brno premises, past the largest collection center in Moravia to the automatic sorting line at Jedovnická 4 (approx. 700 m)
  • 10:20–10:50: tour of the automatic sorting line
  • 10:55: departure for those interested back to the premises of Jedovnická 2 for a tour of ZEVO SAKO Brno
  • 11:00–11:45: tour of ZEVO
  • 11:45–12:00: coffee in the Environmental Center, answering questions on the issue, end of the event

Further details about the excursion:

  • Maximum capacity: 40 persons
  • Excursion time: from 9:30 to 12:00
  • Meeting place:
  • Parking in front of the main building at Jedovnická 4247/2, 628 00 Brno-Židenice

Visit to the production and packaging line of Vitana in Byšice

Attendees of the OBALKO congress will have the rare opportunity to visit one of the Czech Republic’s oldest and largest production facilities for food products: the Vitana factory in Byšice. Production of soup spices began in Byšice nearly 100 years ago, and since 1950 the products coming from Byšice have carried the Vitana logo. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the production and packaging facilities on the “Jíška” line, an automated packaging line that ends with automated palletization. We will also visit the warehouse for ingredients and packaging, and we will see the bottling facility, which includes four bottling lines for packaging products in both glass and plastics bottles.

The tour will be led by Ludvík Gardoň, the manager of the Byšice production facility for the company Orkla Foods Česko a Slovensko.

Details of the excursion:

  • maximum capacity of 30 people (two groups of 15)
  • the start time for both groups is 10:00, please arrive by 9:45 at the latest
  • the length of the excursion is one hour, with one hour set aside for refreshments and discussion
  • the address is Mělnická 133, 277 32 Byšice
  • map:
  • a certificate of infection-free status will be required from the participants at the start of the visit
  • jewelry, watches, etc. should not be brought into the plant, if possible, due to limited storage capacities
  • photography and use of mobile phones in production is strictly prohibited
  • participants will be equipped with disposable clothing – long pants are required when entering the production premises
  • safety shoes will be lent to participants – shoe sizes must be defined in advance
  • the number of parking spots is limited and must be arranged in advance
  • participation in the excursion is subject to the prior consent of the company Orkla Foods Česko a Slovensko

Ludvík Gardoň, Orkla Foods Europe

Tour of the CIUR recycling and production plant in Brandýs nad Labem

The CIUR production plant in Brandýs nad Labem is an ecological, modern facility for the recovery of waste from recycled paper and paper by-products. Since its foundation in 1991, the Czech family-owned company CIUR a.s. has been one of the world leaders in the production of recycled paper-based cellulose fibers. Eighty percent of its production is exported worldwide. The production plant in Brandýs nad Labem processes more than 30,000 tons of secondary raw materials annually and produces more than 60 types of products from the recycled mix.

The company strives to behave ecologically and economically in all respects. It processes secondary raw materials by machine and sorts them according to its needs. In this way, it gives back to nature what people have borrowed from it without a single tree falling. The world’s biggest planes land on their materials, the fastest cars race and brake safely. Other products live in the inferno of blast furnaces, withstand the water pressure of giant dams, protect against arctic frosts, face tropical heat, dampen noise, or are the setting for epic sagas (The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, or more than one Bond film).

The excursion will be led by three key members of CIUR management: Mojmír Urbánek (director of production and research), Ing. Jan Kühnel (manager of quality and technology) and Václav Bassetto (manager of ecology and raw materials purchasing).

Excursion details:

  • address: Pražská 1012, 250 01 Brandýs nad Labem
  • map:
  • excursion time: from 10 to 12
  • maximum number of participants: 30
  • OSH training on site
  • Safety helmets are not required, vests will be provided on site, walking shoes without heels are required (granite cobblestone roads and slippery floors may be present in traffic)