Has getting hot under the collar about global warming become less of a pastime since the coming of a cool economic climate with its icy effect on global growth? It seems so, particularly in some areas of the world, among them China and the USA, according to Nielsen’s 2011 Global Online Environmental & Sustainability Survey. From the views of more than 25,000 on-line respondents in 51 countries, the report concludes that 69% are concerned about climate change/global warming, which is a drop from 72% in a 2007 survey. But we have other things to worry about. Three quarters of the poll rated air pollution (77%) and water pollution (75%) as top concerns: up six percentage points compared to 2009. Included in the fastest growing concerns are packaging waste and water shortages, cited by 73% of respondents and an increase of 14% and 13%, respectively.
Our Big Interview this month with Dr Wilfried Haensel, PlasticsEurope executive director, underlines the urgency of tackling the incidence of too much waste and too little water. He says at current rates, plastics being landfilled in Europe will represent the equivalent of “needlessly burying around €80 billion in crude oil between now and 2020”. Concerted action is focused on reducing landfilled plastics waste to zero by 2020. And to help combat marine littering, PlasticsEurope is one of 54 plastics associations from around the globe that this year signed a declaration to put their combined muscle behind that massive problem.
Converters are at the technical end of ensuring the basic substrate and printed finished product is fit for use and does all that it must for downstream users all the way to the end-consumer. Users set great store by the capability of their equipment. But it also must be frugal with its use of resources – energy, water and so on. With your marketing, where do you aim? High is the answer. At the International Converting Exhibition (ICE) show, which we preview, the buying market will find out just how high the marketer’s arrow has to fly to hit the bulls-eye. From our overview of exhibitors, yes there are references to ‘energy optimisation’ and reduced energy consumption; but underlined too is the ‘competitive price’. ‘economy’ and ‘high customer value’ of the product in question. Today, it pays to have it all.