There are a number of exhibitions featuring packaging coming up this year, which should be noted in your diary. From 6-9 April, there is Foodex Meatex, run by Meat Trade Journal's publisher William Reed Business Media, at the NEC in Birmingham. This will feature a number of packaging innovations. Later in the month, from 24-29 April, Interpack, one of the biggest packaging shows, will be held in Düsseldorf.

Look out for Packaging Automation's new patented tray-sealing machine at Foodex Meatex, which claims not only to bring cost savings to food manufacturers, but will also help the environment. It reduces the level of film packaging waste created during the operation by up to 33%. As well as its green credentials, the company says the "eco-cut", which seals reel-fed film to plastic board or foil trays, has the potential to increase productivity by up to 20%. The machine is currently undergoing production trials prior to its official launch at Foodex Meatex.

Interpack's offerings will include 'Bioplastics in Packaging', where international exhibitors active in sectors such as polymers and granulates, additives, finishing, plastics processing and packaging production - among them big names such as BASF, DuPont Packaging and Nature Works - will ensure that the topic of bioplastics packaging is covered thoroughly. The showcase will feature all material classes. Interpack visitors will also be able to brush up on developments in other material classes - such as enhanced barrier properties, heat resistance and easier processing.