Edward Arnold, 33
Technical Sales and Development Manager, Berry Global Group Inc.
Edward Arnold said he was "immediately drawn to the huge variety and scope of opportunity" in the plastics industry. He also "felt a drive to positively impact the way plastics are utilized and to affect the way the material is viewed by public opinion."
Arnold studied at the University of Northampton, where he received a Bachelor of Science in product design with first-class honors. Following graduation, he became an industrial designer for the Berry Global Group, then RPC Group, design team in the U.K. in 2014.
"3D printing technology is something which has always interested me. From my role as industrial designer for Berry, 3D printing has been invaluable in creating samples for our customers for proof of principle and marketing of new ideas," he said. "We have also been developing 3D printing blow mold and injection mold tooling, with the evolution of 3D printing technology playing a huge part in the progress we have made."
In November 2017, he was recognized by independent peers at the U.K. Packaging Awards and won the Rising Star category. "The awards aimed to recognize those who, in the first five years of their professional career, had a significant impact on the industry," he said. "It is an achievement I am immensely proud of."
He completed a Chartered Management Institute Level 5 certificate in management and leadership and an internal Bronze Development Program in 2020. Arnold became a technical sales and development manager for Berry in October 2021.
"My new role requires significant contact with our manufacturing facilities," he said. "The biggest challenge from the coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to travel and experience the wide variety of capabilities our company has in processing polymer. This has been countered with the use of remote calls — Teams, Zoom, etc. — but there is nothing quite like experiencing machinery running firsthand to develop your understanding of a production process."
Arnold is a member of the British Plastics Federation and attends events such as Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging Exhibitions, PPMA Show and the International Food and Drink Event.
Arnold said he is continually surprised by the industry's ability to prove its worth.
"While there is constant public scrutiny and media pressure on the plastics industry, the industry itself keeps proving that there is no realistic substitute for polymer in many cases," he said. "The advancements in polymer recycling, in the use of recycled materials and many other environmental initiatives within the industry, shows me that the plastics industry can still have a hugely positive impact on the world."
Q: What is your philosophy related to plastics and sustainability? What steps have you taken to improve plastics' sustainability, either in work, your community or personal life?
Arnold: I believe plastics have a significant role in our future. I regularly extol the virtues of plastics and seek to reassure doubters that plastics can be a fantastic resource if used and disposed of properly.
At work, I was involved in a project which now sees all of our new packaging labeled with the Recyclass Europe grading A-F, which has significantly impacted our customers' choices when commissioning new packaging. I have also visited plastics reclamation facilities (PRFs) to get a better understanding of how our choices impact the circularity of plastics.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Arnold: As my first manager in the plastics industry, Brian Lodge (Berry Global) gave me the opportunity to join the plastics industry straight after I graduated, when I had no experience or knowledge. He has positively affected my career by making sure I had the training and the opportunities available, even when I was not sure I was ready.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Arnold: My university lecturer told me on day one of my degree course: "If you're working just to earn money, you'll never be happy. But if you enjoy your work, then everything else will follow."