UK industry leaders, MPs and senior government officials at the recent AGM and Luncheon of the Packaging and Films Association (PAFA) heard that a year of winning battles for the £2B industry should not mean complacency for the future and that it is the interest of all UK sector companies to maintain and develop a robust trade association.
Addressing the newly combined PIFA and FPA membership, PAFA chairman Barry Turner, managing director of Britton Group’s Security, Mailing and Retail businesses, said: “The business climate for our industry has been characterized by slow growth, excess capacity in a number of sectors and growing downward pressure on prices for finished product at a time of continuing high prices for raw material and unpredictable energy costs.”
But he referred to many significant ‘wins’ by the trade association over the last year, including securing a Climate Change Agreement with DEFRA which now enables 36 UK manufacturing sites to reclaim around £2M in rebates on Climate Change Levies in return for energy reductions. He also pointed to the defeat of the proposed Scottish Parliament Bill which would have taxed all plastics retail carrier bags.
Following the Bill’s defeat, a voluntary code aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of all bags, including paper, has been signed with targeted reductions of 25 per cent of bag impacts by 2008.
He also described how the association had helped negotiate a number of important changes including a lowering of the proposed 2008 recovery targets for plastics to a more realistic level; influencing the drafting of legislation such as the REACH proposals on the registration of chemicals; and supplying statistical evidence to the EC anti-dumping and subsidy investigation into plastics bags originating from China, Malaysia and Thailand.
For the future, the PAFA chairman promised radical changes in the way that the new association will work and keep its members informed. “We now represent a far broader cross-section of industry and it is our intention to provide better information on trends, technical developments and legislation. We also resolve to continue to lobby in the interests of our members.”
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