And packaging hit the headlines again after a press release from two government departments called for the industry to do more to reduce packaging over Christmas.
All of these things seemed somewhat bizarre. On Cameron’s use of the veto, several heads of UK packaging businesses have expressed to me their concerns that now, when dealing with their European counterparts, they will be seen as just another bloodyminded Brit.
The continental European economies are our closest neighbours and biggest partners. Surely we must work with them? As for recycling, Defra has set very ambitious targets in its new packaging recycling consultation, especially for the plastics sector where a 5% yearly increase in recycling rates has been suggested.
Given that the 2010 rate was 24.1%, it’s hard to imagine that 57% in 2017 will be anything other than a struggle. It’s a nice idea, but is it possible? Or, given where we are today, even plausible? Equally hard to fathom was the press release issued just before Christmas in which housing minister Grant Shapps called on the supply chain to cut packaging over Christmas.
What got me was that the statement bemoaned the fact that the packaging of ten million “trussed-up” turkeys will need to be dealt with after the festivities. But was Shapps seriously suggesting that British people shouldn’t eat turkey this Christmas? It was weird.
Finally, I didn’t say it last month, so I’ll say it now: all of us at PN wish you a very happy, very prosperous and, we hope, sensible 2012.
Josh Brooks is editor of Packaging News