At the final meeting of this Parliament for the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Packaging Manufacturing Industry, The Packaging Federation organized a dinner in the House of Commons. A keynote speech on the ‘state of the nation’ for packaging manufacturing in the UK was given by John Durston, deputy chief executive of Amcor Flexibles Europe.
Representing the second largest packaging manufacturer in the world, he was in an excellent position to provide an insight into why packaging manufacturing is moving out of the UK in order to follow its customer base.
Labour costs were cited as the primary cause, which contribute almost 20 per cent to the total costs in the UK. He provided some startling comparisons of labour costs for flexible packaging around the globe: UK £20/hour, compared wiht USA £12/hour, Russia £7/hour, India £0.60/hour and China £0.40/hour.
However, he also levelled particular criticism at the UK’s regulatory burden and the uneven energy pricing market in Europe. Above all, he emphasized the need for a thriving packaging manufacturing industry in the UK .
In his concluding remarks, Ian Dent, chief executive of The Packaging Federation, said: “This is all about team-work, and learning to understand each other’s issues and seeking some common ground on which we can all work together. We passionately believe in the need for a strong manufacturing base in the UK, and not least a strong packaging manufacturing industry.”
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