PwC report investigates sustainability in packaging

The UK packaging industry is calling for the phrase ‘sustainable packaging’ to be scrapped and is urging instead for government to get to grips with the real issues affecting the industry, according to a recently released report.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
July 03, 2012 - MMH Editorial

The UK packaging industry is calling for the phrase ‘sustainable packaging’ to be scrapped and is urging instead for government to get to grips with the real issues affecting the industry, according to a recently released report. A national shortage of packaging technicians, fears over scarcity of raw material supplies and a lack of political will to tackle the core issues were all voiced in the PwC report “Sustainable Packaging: Myth or Reality.” 

Leading retailers, manufacturers and consumer groups including the Packaging Federation, INCPEN, Diageo, Boots, P&G, Nestle and Rexam also unanimously agreed that the much used sustainable packaging phrase should be phased out and the focus should be on ensuring packaging delivers maximum sustainability throughout the entire supply chain and is recoverable after use.

PwC’s global sustainability leader, Malcolm Preston, said: “The conclusions in the report show how fast-paced the industry is in developing new technologies and the use of exciting materials but we need to stop using the phrase sustainable packaging. The industry is working towards efficient products, efficient packaging, efficient transport and efficient end of life solutions.

“Plant derived plastics from non petro-chemical sources will be part of the mix, along with intelligent packaging and the drive will be to make the entire supply chain more efficient. It is time now for Government and industry to engage in a cycle of collaboration to tackle the issues raised in our report.”

Jane Bickerstaffe, Chief Executive of INCPEN, an international packaging research organisation said a shortage of skilled packaging technicians in the UK is becoming a problem. She commented: “The industry is streets ahead of the Government in the work it is doing but politicians are only interested in packaging once its lifecycle has ended. Government needs to understand it isn’t all about recycling. Packaging only makes up around 5% of landfill waste and 2% of greenhouse gas emissions and issues such as food waste should be much bigger concerns.”

Her views were echoed by Dick Searle, who heads up the Packaging Federation. He said: “We welcome this report and it is quite a brave step for the industry to admit that sustainable packaging doesn’t actually exist.  It is no more than a red herring. The next step is for us to work to ensure we have a resource efficient economy and tackle the rise in consumption and appalling levels of food waste.”



Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth fell 0.8 percent to 52.7 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth). PMI growth has been at 50 or higher for 31 straight months (with the overall economy growing for 74 months), and the current PMI is 1.7 percent below the 12-month average of 54.4.

The current status of FedEx’ planned acquisition of Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion, which was initially announced in April, remains in flux, with continued actions being taken by the European Commission.

Panjiva said that the 1 percent sequential growth was in line with typically flat growth from May to June, as higher monthly growth typically takes hold in July and August in advance of the holiday season.

Hackett officials described this new offering as a short-term index that offers up “the sentiment for trade at a glance,” akin to other key economic metrics like the PMI and Consumer and Carrier confidence indices, while providing access to specifically see where a group of economic indicators are in relation to trade for the current month, too.

While many industry analysts contend that distribution centers near U.S. East Coast ports will see a surge of new business after the Panama Canal expansion, real estate experts say this phenomena is already underway.

Article Topics

News · Sustainability · Packaging · PwC · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.