Lionel Spack, Ph.D

Senior Food Contact Materials Expert NQAC EMENA

Nestle Suisse SA


53 years old, married with three children (currently teenagers and adults)

Graduated in chemistry in 1989, then undertook a Master’s in Environmental Sciences from 1989 to 1991,and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in the field of ecotoxicology at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne.

Scientific collaborator within the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne for four years.

He joined the Nestlé Research Center in June 1998, working on packaging safety and compliance: project management, analytical method development and set-up of an organic chemistry analysis laboratory for packaging chemicals.

From 2007 to 2010, he worked at Nestlé Switzerland for the implementation of the packaging safety and compliance strategy of the Nestlé Group.

In 2011, he moved back to the Nestlé Research Center to manage a project on adhesives.

Since the beginning of 2014 he has been the Senior Packaging Safety & Compliance Expert for the European Zone.

Presentation Abstract

Adhesives for food contact packaging: New challenges for recyclability

Packaging plays a key role in protecting food, preventing waste and ensuring the quality and safety of products until they are consumed. Despite this important contribution to sustainable development, packaging is regularly singled out as being representative of the wasteful squandering of natural resources and generation of waste. 

The vision of Nestlé is that none of the packaging (including plastics) ends up in landfill or as litter, with the ambition to target 100% of packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. In order to achieve this, the roadmap is based on three main pillars:

I. Develop packaging for the future

II. Help shape a waste-free future, founded on neutrality

III. Drive new behaviour and understanding

In the majority of packaging designs, the adhesives represent only a small part by weight. This means that the recyclability of adhesives themselves is most likely not critical. However, the chemical substances used to formulate the adhesives may be absorbed or adsorbed by the substrates and consequently represent a potential for migration when using the recycled materials.

An excellent example of how a decision by adhesive manufacturers affected the quality of recycled materials concerns the ban of ortho-phthalates in glue for corrugated board in 2007. A few years later, a strong decrease of these compounds in recycled boards was observed, contributing to less ortho-phthalates migrating from transport cases or boxes into food products.

The future for adhesives for food contact packaging in the framework of Nestlé’s vision and ambition is to have less compounds representing a safety concern, which are easier to eliminate during the recycling processes and contribute to improved recyclability.

This presentation will present various programmes of Nestlé related to its vision, ambition and roadmap for packaging, together with the safety and compliance assessment programme. Some example of adhesives used for food contact packaging will be provided to illustrate the potential contribution to recyclability.

Presentation Time

Business Forum

Thursday, 12 September 2019, 11:20 - 12:00

FEICA Conference