The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) is set to launch its UK branch on 4 October 2012, its first formal office to be opened outside the US.

IoPP UK director Kevin Vyse said one of the main priorities of IoPP, which brings together marketers, designers and packaging specialists, will be to develop an invaluable education programme for those thinking of joining the industry or new to it.

"IoPP works brilliantly in the US and its mix of training, member benefits, networking events plus global connections is something professionals in the UK will really benefit from," Vyse said.

More than 50 brands attended an event at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill, London to hear about plans for IoPP’s UK launch and to hear talks on the outlook of the packaging industry.

Superbrands founder Marcel Knobil said that stores were becoming more like showrooms as more customers buy online.

Knobil argued that promoting eco-friendly packaging as a sale method could become dangerous, as it will become an essential feature that consumers expect.

Freelance journalist and broadcaster Tom Heap tackled the issue of sustainability and said that the main problem of packaging waste must be overcome.

According to Heap, the UK Government will be reluctant to charge people for the waste they throw out, and a value must be put on recycling to encourage it.

The IoPP, a non-profit trade organisation for the packaging industry with over 9,000 members in 40 countries, creates networking and educational opportunities for those involved in specifying, developing or deploying packaging.