School of Packaging Fall Seminar Series

Date: September 12, 2013
Location: Room 100 Packaging Building

The first presentation of the School of Packaging Seminar series Fall 2013 will take place on Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 2:45 to 4:00 pm in room 100 PKG building.

Refreshments will be served  from 2:45 pm to 3:00 pm

Seminar  from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.


Elizabeth Hogan, Campaign Manager for Oceans & Wildlife

World Society for the Protection of Animals

Washington, DC

Elizabeth Hogan is the Campaigns Manager for Oceans and Wildlife with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), where she focuses on issues pertaining to marine debris, illegal wildlife trade, and marine mammals in captivity.  She has previously worked with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) on protective policies for polar bears and the North Atlantic Right Whale, working with the fishing industry on conversions to whale-safe fishing gear. Elizabeth has twelve years of experience with government, corporate, and non-profit organizations, most recently as a consultant on climate change, clean energy, and deforestation policy.  She has also worked with the Camara de Industrias of Costa Rica to assist Central American businesses in adopting more sustainable business operations.

Elizabeth is a contributing author to two books on corporate social responsibility.  She has a degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a dual Master of Science in Natural Resources and Master of Science in Sustainable Development from the University for Peace in Costa Rica and American University in Washington, DC.  Elizabeth speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and has lived in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.

Title of the presentation:

UNTANGLED: The Implications of Packaging Design on Marine Wildlife


Each year, millions of the animals that live in our oceans are debilitated, mutilated and killed by marine debris. Reports from across the world indicate that hundreds of species of marine animals routinely become entangled in or ingest discarded fishing nets, monofilament line, packing bands, plastic packaging, ropes, and bags, with grave consequences for their welfare.  Research by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) indicates that between 57,000 and 135,000 pinnipeds and whales are entangled each year, in addition to the inestimable – but likely millions – of birds, turtles, fish and other species affected by entanglement in and ingestion of marine debris. 

We have reached an age where the power of the consumer is greater than at any time in history.  Not only do retailers and consumers have innumerable choices at their disposal, they also have unprecedented access to information about the products they will promote or buy.  As environmental sustainability has skyrocketed from a nice-to-have concept to a mainstay of the “triple bottom line” now commonplace in business schools and boardrooms, the inclusion of animal welfare as a production standard is only going to grow.  Therefore the design of the products and packaging that consumers use every day will eventually cater to a heightened level of consumer awareness on welfare issues.  This can already be seen in the form of design concepts such as weak link technology and end user messaging, as well as composition concepts including hydro-soluble additives. Once packaging leaves the hands of the consumer, what impact does it have on our oceans and marine wildlife?  How can packaging design take into account the impact it could have on these animals and ecosystems, while still serving its intended purpose?  Of these options already known to the industry, which are the most practical from a packaging design perspective – or is a completely new concept needed?  These questions will hopefully form an interactive discussion which will round out the presentation.