AirPop Australasia Conference 2017

The inaugural AirPop Australasia Conference 2017 was held at Crown Promenade, Melbourne, Australia from the 1st – 3rd November 2017. The AirPop Australasia Conference offered the opportunity to engage, connect, and share ideas around the challenges facing the expanded polystyrene industry and discuss how we together can continue to develop and enhance this important and ever evolving field.

Thanks to everyone who attended and supported this event.

Presentations for Download

2017 AirPop Presentations for Download


Please note that AirPop Australasia included the AMEPS meeting which was part of a broad program of meetings, speaker sessions and social activities.


2017 Sponsors

Sponsors are recognised as keen and vital supporters of the expanded polystyrene industry. To express interest in sponsoring future Airpop Australasia please contact FontPR:



0700 – 1200 Bump in Trade Exhibition
1100 – 1200 Registration
1200 – 1300 Welcome ‘Kick Off’ Lunch
1300 – 1330 Simon Pickett – Welcome EPSA (Australia)
Welcome to AirPop Australasia
Overview of the Australian EPS Industry and Contemporary Issues
1330 – 1400 Mark Mischefski – PNZ (New Zealand)
Overview of the New Zealand EPS Industry and Contemporary Issues
1400 – 1445 Annette Schaefer – Airpop / EUMEPS (Europe)
Introduction to the Airpop brand and a European Industry perspective
1445 – 1515 Afternoon Tea
1515 – 1545 Frances Bender – HUON Aquaculture (Australia)
The success of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry and the contribution of EPS Packaging
1545 – 1615 Walter Reiter – EPS-IA Deputy Director
Challenges, development and opportunities for EPS Industry in the United States
1615 – 1645 Gregor Haverkemper – BASF (Germany)
A BASF perspective on the advanced technological NEOPOR product and applications
1645 – 1715 Michihiro Takeda – AMEPS Head (Japan)
An overview of the industry in the Asian region and an update on AMEPS
1715 – 1845 Welcome Drinks & Canapes – Trade Exhibition Area – Crown Promenade
Proudly sponsored by BASF
Dinner at delegates leisure 



0800 – 0830 Registration Desk Open
0830 – 0915 Ron Lawson – IPCA (Australia)
The Insulated Panel Industry – challenges and opportunities
0915 – 0945 John Clampett – (Australia)
Fire behaviour, it’s science and relevance to EPS
0945 – 1015 Morning Tea
1015 – 1045 Adam Shannon – Askin Performance Panels (Australia)
XFLAM ‘More Than Meets The Eye’
1045 – 1115 Gen Hosomi – Yusen Logistics (Japan)
Innovative EPS-based applications to improve logistics efficiencies for international bulk freight movements
1115 – 1145 Graham Attwood – EPSA (Australia)
Opportunities and challenges facing the EPS recycling sector in Australia
1145 – 1215 Rob Millard – MWRRG (Australia)
Resource Recovery and Recycling – A Government Perspective and the EPS challenge
1215 – 1300 Lunch
1300 – 1330 Russell Bielenberg – Foamex (Australia)
The Waffle Pod sector – Developments and Challenges
1330 – 1400 Erlenbach  – (Germany)
Innovations and Opportuniuties :  EPS moulding machine technology
1400 – 1430 Harald Kogler (Hirsch)
Innovations and Opportunities : EPS Processing technology
1430 – 1500 Afternoon Tea
1500 – 1530 Grace Han – LANXESS Deutschland GmbH  (Germany and United States)
An overview of Flame Retardant developments in the EPS industry
1530 – 1600 Gary Skinner – ICEE (Australia)
Innovation in Practice – new designs and opportunities in EPS
1600 – 1700 Panel Discussion – Moderated 
1715 – 1915 AMEPS Board Meeting – Closed session
1915 – 2015 AMEPS Annual General Meeting Closed session
Dinner at delegates leisure



0800 – 0900 Registration Desk Open
0900 – 1100 Country Reports from AMEPS Delegates
1100 – 1115 Conference Closing Session
1115 – 1130 Morning Tea

1900 – 2300



AirPop CONFERENCE DINNER – Crown Towers – River Room

Dinner presenter:
Becher Townshend – Font PR (Australia)
Public Relations, Communications and EPS
Media Relations – managing public perception in today’s social media environment


Graham Attwood (EPSA)

Graham has worked in the EPS and wider plastics and chemicals industry for 35 years including senior roles within Huntsman, Orica and RMAX.

Graham has spent several years reviewing the strategic issues facing the EPS recycling sector in Australia and will discuss current opportunities, challenges and some case studies.

Becher Townshend (Font PR)

Becher is the Managing Director of Font PR, a public relations company in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Becher and Font PR have significant, contemporary experience in managing and advising the public face of diverse organisations including local and state government, manufacturing companies and industry associations.

He will be talking through some of the critical communication imperatives that are relevant in 2017 including Social Media dynamics and the extraordinary pace of 24 hour news feeds touching on examples of our industry challenges.

Frances Bender (Huon Aquaculture Group)

Frances Bender is the Executive Director of Huon Aquaculture in Tasmania. Huon are the largest family owned and operated salmon producers in Australia and are leaders in the sustainable development of a pristine and critical industry.

EPS packaging provides a critical component to the industry helping to retain maximum quality and efficiency of such an iconic and valued product.

Frances will be discussing the industry, it’s strategic direction, the sustainability challenge and touch on how the EPS industry integrates into her organisation.

Rob Millard (MWRRG – Metropolitan Waste Resource Recovery Group)

Rob is CEO of the MWRRG in Victoria, Australia. Rob will be describing the state strategic waste management plan for Victoria specifically relating to the challenges and opportunities facing resource recovery, priorities and examples of where EPS fits into the in-resource recovery map.

Gary Skinner – (ICEE Folding Box Company)

Gary is the Managing director of the ICEE Folding Airpop Box Company. Gary will be describing the innovation journey that his company has taken to develop one of the most potentially ground-breaking and market-focussed applications.

John Clampett

John Clampett has been involved in the fire industry in Australia for over 40 years. Within that time John has been a professional fire fighter and had senior positions with the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the Australian Building Codes Board, the Building Research Association of New Zealand, CSIRO, Crown Entertainment Complex and Norman Disney and Young. He now has his own consulting company. John is also a Registered Building Surveyor. His qualifications are:  Masters of Applied Science (Building), Graduate Diploma Building Surveying and Graduate of the Institution of Fire Engineers. John is currently undertaking a Doctorate in the Fire Behaviour of Sandwich Panels.

Adam Shannon (Askin Performance Panels)

Adam is the Group Sales and Marketing Manager of Askin Performance Panels. He has many years of technical and development expertise in insulated panel manufacturing and applications. Adam will present a summary of the Askin journey and innovations Askin have brought to the sector.

Harald Kogler (Hirsch)

Innovations and Opportunities : EPS Processing technology

Annette Schaefer EUMEPS / Airpop (European Manufacturers of EPS)

Annette will be in Australia to support and co-ordinate the launch of the Airpop brand for EPSA. Annette will be touching on the European perspective of the EPS industry and the re-thinking of EPS under the banner of Airpop.

Russell Bielenberg (Foamex)

Russell has been integral to the EPS industry for over 25 years.  He has worked for RMAX and Foamex and is recognised nationally as one of the pre-eminent technical leaders in the industry. He is providing an “insiders” view and commentary on the waffle pod industry including technical developments, industry challenges and market dynamics.

Ron Lawson (IPCA)

Ron is the CEO of the Insulated Panel Council of Australia (IPCA) has been associated with the insulated panel industry for many years.  Ron will be discussing some of the current issues and the industry developments in recent years including the ground-breaking codes of practice relating to EPS cool room panel manufacture, installation and integrity.

Walter Reiter (EPS-IA Deputy Director)

Presenting well-researched and accurate information about expanded polystyrene to legislators, regulators, industry and the public for the North American expanded polystyrene industry. Walter and expanded polystyrene are a good fit. They are both versatile, efficient and cost-effective. EPS is superior building insulation, delivering unmatched energy efficiency. It is also extremely capable of protecting products during shipment. EPS’ versatility makes it the best choice for products from bicycle helmets to giant movie props.

Like EPS, Walter has a multitude of skills and experience that he uses to serve the industry well as Deputy Director and legal counsel for the EPS Industry Alliance since 2010.

Walter has undergraduate degrees in English and Biology, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland and is a member of the Maryland, U.S. Federal, and U.S. Patent & Trademark Bars. He can digest a scientific paper, herd the Technical Committee, present testimony to Congress, answer a builder’s question about material properties and keep up a lively repertoire at a trade show booth.

Mark Mischefski (Plastics NZ and EXPOL)

Mark is the President of Plastics New Zealand – EPS Group and the Principal of EXPOL New Zealand.

He will be providing a summary of the EPS industry in New Zealand, recent developments within the market and sharing observations about trends and future directions for the sector in New Zealand.

Michihiro Takeda – AMEPS (Asian Manufacturers of EPS)

Michihiro Takeda is the Secretary General of AMEPS. He will be presenting a national and regional perspective on the EPS industry developments and sustainability initiatives within the Asian region.

Gen Hosomi (Yusen Logistics)

Yusen Logistics are a global logistics and freight organisation who have developed EPS-based innovative applications to improve logistics efficiencies for bulk freight movements internationally. Gen will be describing the background and success of this unique application.

Gregor Haverkemper (BASF)

BASF have been a critical part of the EPS industry in Australia and New Zealand for as long as the industry has been in existence. Their global experience and leadership is well-recognised and the BASF innovation initiatives over decades have been instrumental in creating a sustainable and future-focused integrated supply chain. Gregor Haverkemper, Head of Global Marketing for Styropor/Neopor  (BASF) will be providing a BASF perspective on their advanced technological <em>NEOPOR </em>product and applications.

Dr. Grace Han (LANXESS Deutschland GmbH)

Grace Han has a Ph.D in material science from Beijing Institute of Technology, mainly engaged in flame retardant mechanism research. She is the Product Advocacy Manager for LANXESS Deutschland GmbH a Council member of the China Flame Retardant Society and Deputy Director of the China Association of Flame Retardant Materials. She will be describing the technology and developments associated with new generation Flame Retardant EPS.

Simon Pickett (EPSA and Polyfoam)

Simon is the President of EPSA and Director of Polyfoam.  He has had many years of experience in the EPS moulding business and leads the largest consolidated group of EPS moulders in Australia.

An ardent supporter of innovation and sustainability within the industry, Simon will be sharing views and experience about the current and future issues in the sector.

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