Canadian Plastics

An overview of NPE2024

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The triennial NPE event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, and excitement is building for 2024, with more than 55,000 visitors expected at the Orange County Convention Center.

Photo Credit: Plastics Industry Association/NPE

Six years is a long time – long enough to go through medical school, and a lot longer than most celebrity marriages. After a six-year hiatus, the largest plastics trade show in the Americas is preparing for a big return. NPE2024 will take place May 6-10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., three years after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the triennial show’s 2021 event.

But the show’s organizers haven’t been sitting on their hands all this time. Instead, they’ve made some additions to lead attendees on what they call a “a new immersive learning journey on key topics in the plastics industry.” First, and as usual at NPE, there will be tons – literally – of the latest machinery running on the show floor during the five-day event, cranking out a wide range of new parts and complete products for attendees to see, touch, and inspect. The exhibit floor is, in fact, sold out, with a record 1,024,462 square feet of exhibit space being occupied by more than 2,000 exhibitors, topping the previous record set by NPE2018. The latest advancements in products and services will be highlighted in six technology zones, including an advanced manufacturing zone, a bottle zone, a materials science zone, a moldmaking zone, a recycling and sustainability zone, and a packaging zone.

Second, and in keeping with the show’s theme “Made for You,” the 2024 edition will offer the expected 55,000 or so attendees the usual opportunities to network with industry experts and collaborate around some of the biggest challenges facing our sector.

Third, show organizers have put together a robust technical program hosted by plastics experts from around the world. As Matt Seaholm, the president and CEO of NPE producer Plastics Industry Association, put it: “With more than 100 sessions total and 60 industry speakers present at NPE, attendees will learn about the future of plastics, the important part they play in our evolving industry, and how plastics contribute to our daily lives and our circular economy.”


And for the first time, NPE will be offering an Expo Pass registration that will give attendees access to more than 75 education sessions located on the show floor in the all-new “Spark Stages.” Sessions will highlight topics such as artificial intelligence applications, the future of plastics, business productivity and profitability, sustainability and advancement of the circular economy, and more. Attendees are encouraged to tailor their education schedules to meet their personal business needs. The three Spark Stages are:

Bottling Stage: Attendees will discover advancements in technologies for the beverage and non-food segments.

Innovation Stage: Sponsored by the Plastics Hall of Fame, attendees will hear presentations on the latest in electrification in automotive, advancements in Industry 4.0, material science, and more.

Sustainability Stage: Sponsored by Canada’s Nova Chemicals Corp., attendees will learn how the entire plastics supply chain is developing solutions to improve efficiency, reduce material loss, use less power, and more.

Off the show floor, and for the first time in its history, NPE2024 will also give Expo Pass attendees access to industry briefings from thought leaders representing the major end markets for plastics — automotive, building and construction, consumer goods, and medical and packaging.

There will also be comprehensive industry briefings that offer insights and business updates from every market segment, including global insights on the economic impact of plastics, market trends, future forecasts on recycling, and a review of the Global Plastics Treaty. Plus, there will be market trends sessions with insights into the North American recycled plastics industry, the future of polyethylene and polypropylene, and other leading topics.

Sustainability has been a buzzword in the sector for years now, and it’s another focus of NPE2024 – not least in cleaning up after itself. The show is expected to produce many tons of plastic as part of the exhibitions, and a team of companies that includes Commercial Plastics Recycling Inc., Erema North America, and Conair Group will be handling the recycling duties, with the ambitious goal of recovering 100 per cent of the waste, which would improve on the 89 per cent that was recycled in 2018.


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