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How the War on COVID-19 Is Driving Innovation In Temperature-Controlled Packaging



It has been a tough 18 months. At times, throughout 2020, it has felt like we have been facing a battle with little end in sight. Although this may seem like an overly dramatic statement, the challenges brought by COVID-19 have invoked all kinds of wartime comparisons – we talk about health professionals on the ‘front line’ in the UK lockdown, rekindling memories of the ‘blitz spirit’, news conferences speak about defeating the infection as if it is a physical opponent, with some going as far as to label the virus as an ‘invisible enemy’. And, of course, the grim reality of the tragic deaths caused by the pandemic regularly reminds us that lives are at stake.

Yet in a switch of perspective, we can also seek a more positive parallel between the last few months and times of war: the inevitable and necessary acceleration in innovation – and innovative thinking – that is driven by the need to overcome a crisis.

In this article, I want to outline how I believe the vital work being done to defeat COVID-19 is sparking innovative thinking and driving change, by looking at the pharmaceutical packaging sector both in terms of method of delivery and sustainability. It is also proving what can be done to make a change through collaboration, focus, and the will of humanity.

Of course, I am not seeking to deny or downplay the clear challenges and tragic impact on so many that COVID-19 has brought with it. However, I want to focus on what could be the postvirus positives, those takeaways that I, personally, feel are so important to keep focusing on, in times like this. We all need a potential silver lining when things feel so dark.

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Josie Morris BA (Hons) MA is Managing Director of The Wool Packaging Company Limited – Woolcool. A passionate advocate for diversity and the development of strong cultures within innovative businesses, Josie is also closely involved with organisations such as the Bio-Based Industries Association, which lobby the UK Government on the environmental problems of global packaging waste, and support pioneering companies that offer genuinely sustainable alternatives to plastic materials.
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