What You Missed from the NPE Show: Innovations and Insights

by Avalon Miller

The NPE Plastics Show is the largest plastics trade show in the Americas and only occurs every three years. This year there were more than 50,000 attendees from across the globe to learn about the latest advancements and trends in the plastics industry. Don’t worry if you missed it, we attended and will give you the run down. Here are the two most talked about topics we heard at the show!


One of the most prominent topics at this year’s NPE was sustainability. Exhibitors and speakers alike emphasized the importance of developing eco-friendly materials and processes. Exhibitors had sustainable solutions, offerings, or promotional items which included cutting edge technologies. During the show some sustainable offerings we saw included resins, different packaging types, improvements in machines/equipment, rPP, rPET, and many options promoted through rigid packaging, flexible packaging, bottles, and transportation/logistic options. However, in order for these options to be effective, they still require additional capital or rely on significant changes within the industry. From small to large exhibitors and attendees, everyone recognized that sustainability is not a trend, but a goal that everyone is dedicated to supporting.


Automation and related technologies are always at the forefront of NPE. With modern packaging machines there is no shortage of sensors that are constantly collecting data. Historically, it has been difficult to access this data and put it to good use! With advancements in machine learning, it has become easier to interpret and use this data for real time quality control, error correction, and more. Another way automation is making an impact in the industry is to help balance continued labor shortages across North America. Automation and AI are being integrated and explored wherever possible within the industry and it showed at NPE!

Key Takeaways

The 2024 NPE Show highlighted many critical takeaways for the plastic industry. From the packaging aspect, there is a focus on light weighting, consolidation of supply, increasing throughput & cycle times, recycled options, and automation to drive goals for the packaging industry. As unique and cutting-edge products are being offered on the market, the larger question is, ‘how will they be adopted by the market?’. As regulations and standards evolve, they are guiding brand owners and companies toward successful, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions.


Overall, the 2024 NPE Plastics Show was another great industry event! We were happy to see many of our customers, suppliers, and industry partners as well as meet many new faces.