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16.12.2020
Latest News Wrap-Up /

That Was The Year That Was 2020

That was the year that was: From the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and our industry's response, to reinforcing the value of plastic. From spinning the wheels of the circular economy, to discovering new packaging ideas and innovations. 

In this annual wrap-up:  We look back at 2020 and forward to the future.

FOR STARTERS

Lifting the Lid on Plastic: Our “Insight” articles looked at the value of plastic, waste reduction, packaging alternatives, the circular economy, and the usage of plastics in food packaging. The series featured:

USEFUL GUIDELINES

AND VALUABLE GUIDANCE

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

There were questions …

Optimism …

Food Logistics magazine gave us reasons for some post-pandemic optimism

Hunger …

There has been a growing global appetite for ready meals during the pandemic. We helped to meet the demand with our comprehensive range of lidding films for ready meal trays.

Interesting facts …

  • The BBC found that snacking and eating with families had increased among young people. 
  • Food Safety Strategies told us demand for HPP (high-pressure processing) products spiked. And we shared our insightful article on how food remains safer and fresher for longer with HPP. 

And homework …

Wherever possible, we have worked from home to ensure the safety of our customers, suppliers, products, and staff. 

VALUE OF PLASTIC

THE ENVIRONMENT and CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Tax on plastic: The UK Government is introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax, which will see a charge of £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic.

Tax avoidance: It was reported that post-consumer plastics reprocessing capacity needs to double to avoid the tax.

Applying science: Academics found the UK plastic packaging waste management system desperately needs overhauling.

Unsustainable view: While plastics are essential to everyday life, the way we use them is unsustainable, according to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Rethinking packaging: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation released Upstream Innovation: A Guide to Packaging Solutions, "rethinking the packaging, product, and business model to prevent and design out packaging waste".

The truth will out: "The Plastics Paradox", the science-based book by Dr Chis DeArmitt, claims almost everything we have been told is untrue about plastics and the environment. 

Green shoots: The Green Alliance caused a stir with a study on the grocery sector's handling of the waste problem. And also revealed research showing that "A circular economy for all materials is the only way to solve the plastic problem".

Green shots: A UK Government watchdog set its sights on "green-washing", the use of descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be "eco-friendly", and whether they could mislead consumers.

Singling out mono-material

  • Mono-material packaging structures are the optimal solution for the flexible packaging market to hit the recycling rate and recycled content targets, according to BOPET Films Europe
  • We were in the news following launches of mono polymer structure lidding films made from all-polyester (PET) and, later, from polypropylene (PP).
  • CEFLEX published a position paper entitled "Accelerating the circular economy for flexible packaging – a recommendation for recyclable mono-materials".

Mono is singularly not enough: Going "mono" alone is not enough to build a circular economy in plastics, according to the CEO of recycling company APK AG.

Multi-purpose: Multi-layer films with nylon are recyclable, too, revealed BASF.

Hot topic of PCR: We examined the challenges of Post-Consumer Recycled material (PCR) in lidding film for high temperatures

APPLYING THE SCIENCE OF CHEMICAL RECYCLING

LOOKING AT ALTERNATIVES

Alternatives to traditional flexible and rigid plastic packaging continued to emerge this year, as we revealed in our Lifting the Lid on Plastic series. We also launched a compostable product range in partnership with Treetop Biopak

TRAYS OF MANY COLOURS (AND MATERIALS)

AROUND THE AISLES

FORWARD THINKING

A vision where plastic is valued: WRAP published their "Roadmap 2025: Creating A Circular Economy For Flexible Plastic Packaging". 

A vision on sustainability: The members of Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) agreed a vision on sustainability for the industry. 

A vision for flexible packaging: Do not hide. Do not be afraid of working for this industry. We know that we can help society and we have a role to play. These were the messages from Guido Aufdemkamp, Executive Director of FPE, in a candid interview that included the role of flexible packaging in protecting food and reducing food waste. 

Forecasting the future: The demand for food packaging has seen significant growth this year, according to research from industry analysts Smithers. And its new in-depth market and technology analysis in "The Future of Packaging: Long-term Strategic Forecasts to 2030" rates the impact of 30 trends on the packaging industry. 

GLOBAL OUTLOOK 

Laying down the law: Legislation was introduced in the US focused on reducing plastic waste and bolstering plastics recycling.

Pact agenda: The US Plastics Pact was launched in an initiative to unify stakeholders across the plastics value chain to rethink how they design, use, and reuse plastics, to create a path toward a circular economy.

Pilot success: The Flexible Packaging Association announced that a flexible plastic packaging recycling pilot programme in the US had been deemed successful ushering in a new way to recycle.

Joining forces: It was announced that an ANZPAC Plastic Pact is to be led by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). 

On a roll: The Roll 'n' Recycle scheme was launched in Australia, allowing semi-rigid plastic packaging to be placed in recycling bins for kerbside collection. 

On the road: The South African Plastics Pact launched its roadmap to maximise the benefits of plastic packaging with ambitions targets set to be achieved by 2025. 

KM CHARACTERS 1

  • A talented trio stepped up … Ann Hau to Materials Controller, Katie Puckle to Customer Service Team Leader, and Nora Volgyi-Beke to Business Support Representative.
  • We said farewell to Claire Meads as she heads into retirement after a barnstorming life and career
  • We welcomed Pete Ford, as Business Development Manager, and Konrad Webster, who joined as a Graduate Trainee in our Customer Service department.

KM CHARACTERS 2

A is for … our grading: We were awarded an AA grade in our BRC Audit. It's the second year we've gained the double-A grading and our fourth year with a successful audit. 

B is for … Brexit: We are prepared and working with all our partners across our distribution network and our customers to ensure we navigate the Brexit transition period as smoothly as possible. 

C is for ... our high-value characteristics: From Caring to Creative, we shared the characteristics that we highly value, as described by us and in the words of our customers.

AND

P is for … our purpose: To "protect, present, preserve", delivering the best solution for your packaging needs. That was the case during 2020 and will continue to be our focus as we work together in the future.

From the KM team … Stay Safe, Keep Up The Good Work, and Merry Christmas.

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