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Meeting the 'tough and competitive' challenges of flexible packaging

  • Industry expert Alan shares views in his new role
  • Need to be clear about the value plastic delivers
  • Not just down-gauging but using more recycled content

The flexible packaging industry today is tough, competitive, and under the microscope – unfairly at times, by people who do not appreciate or understand why they need plastics.

That’s the view of industry expert Alan Hewitt who has recently become Business Development Manager at global flexible packaging and lidding films supplier KM Packaging.

But Alan is optimistic about meeting the challenges and opportunities that exist within the industry. He said: “We need to be clear about the value plastic delivers to everyday lives and prove our credentials that show sustainability and responsibility.”

In his new role with KM, Alan will be responsible for sales of lidding film and flexible packaging in the UK and Ireland. He said: “My objectives are to find new markets with my contacts in the industry, introduce the company to areas that, perhaps, have not been fully investigated, and ensure a profitable and stable relationship with prospects.”

Alan will be using a wealth of experience spanning nearly 50 years that includes successful periods as Business Development Manager of both Sappi Rockwell Solutions and, earlier, Americk Packaging Group (now Saica Flex), and UK Sales Manager of Vacmet.

Future of the industry

Graham Holding, Commercial Director of KM Packaging, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for KM to utilise Alan’s experience in the UK and Irish flexible packaging market.  

“I worked with Alan during our time together at Lawson Mardon Packaging and, therefore, I know of the contribution he can make to the development of our business.  We’re very pleased to welcome him to the KM team!”

Alan added: “I have always heard good things about KM and the opportunity to give something to the company with my experience and contacts makes sense.”

Many changes have taken placed during Alan’s years in the business. His view on the long-term future development of the flexible packaging industry is: “We should have more recycling stations and take the lead from European countries that reward consumers when they recycle.

“And we need to be ‘greener’ with plastic – not just down-gauging but using recycled content wherever possible as long as it’s approved for food contact.”

Alan is a well-respected voice within the industry, and communication is a key attribute that he brings to the role with KM. Alan said: “To ensure everyone is aware of the ‘state of play’ with new opportunities so that customers will flourish and stay with KM for the long term.

“I am part of a team – I am the striker, but we have defenders and goalkeepers to help in winning, too!”

While Alan has used a football analogy, he is also something of an all-rounder. He was a director of Whitehaven Rugby League Club – helping to save them from bankruptcy when he was on the board – and is an ECB qualified cricket umpire.

Based on his professional batting average, KM Packaging are looking forward to strong winning margins with Alan on the team.

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