Global experts meet this week to develop environmental standards

Posted in Associations, Business News, Environmental Issues, Government, Recycling, Tweets on December 10th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 8 Comments

Stockholm, Sweden — Experts from 15 countries are meeting this week to begin developing standards to cover environmental issues related to packaging such as reuse, recycling and composting.

recyclingAbout 70 delegates from China, Japan, Korea, the United States and 11 European countries are meeting in Sweden for the first gathering for the SC4 Packaging and Environment committee.

Published on 12th Dec 2009 and brought to our attention by our Twitter friend @packagindiva – thanks JoAnn! It would be good to get some consistency in this area. Well overdue. What to you think? Chris

The full article can be read here:

Notts firms lead delegation to major US pharmaceutical conference

Posted in Associations, Business News, Design, Design Cognition News, Events, Exhibitions, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Opinion, Product News, Technology on November 3rd, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 5 Comments
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NOTTINGHAM science companies will lead a delegation of UK firms pitching for business during one of the biggest events in the American pharmaceutical industry’s calendar.

Businesses from the city account for one-third of the firms in the English delegation attending a reception during the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) annual meeting in Los Angeles.

They will meet potential customers and investors next week at an event hosted on their behalf by the British Consul in LA, Dame Barbara Hey.

The Nottingham firms taking part in the 20-strong delegation are Critical Pharmaceuticals, Design Cognition, Food and Drug Analytical Services, Molecular Profiles, Pharmaceutical Development Services and R5 Pharmaceuticals.

The US pharmaceutical market is the biggest and most lucrative in the world, with companies bidding for work in a field where the biggest firms routinely outsource research, development and service work to smaller companies.

Some of the Nottingham firms will be going to link-up with existing contacts, while others, such as specialist packaging and product development firm Design Cognition, are first- timers. Chris Penfold, the company’s chief executive, said: “We are on a fact-finding mission, to learn as much as possible about the US market and assessing where and how we can add value for US pharmaceutical companies looking to export, through our understanding of packaging requirements and regulations of global markets.”

His company is working closely with Pharmaceutical Development Services, which already has an office in the US state of South Carolina, another industry hotspot.

“Making a move into the US requires a great deal of market as well as regulatory intelligence,” said managing director Michael Gamlen.

“Close working relationships and collaboration are key to success and our respective consultancy services dovetail perfectly to add potential value for US companies.”

To read the full article, click here:

Watch this space for further information as I will be following up with This is Business- East Midlands (Nottingam Evening Post) after the AAPS event.

Incpen praises impressive UK recycling effort as rate doubles

Posted in Environmental Issues, Government, Recycling on October 12th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 13 Comments

The amount of packaging used in the UK has remained at a near-constant level in the past decade, while the recycling rate more than doubled, figures published by the European Commission have revealed.

via Incpen praises impressive UK recycling effort as rate doubles |

Ireland to double plastic bag tax

Posted in Business News, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Government, Marketing, Recycling, Retailers on September 25th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 7 Comments

Josh Brooks,, 24 September 2009

Ireland’s plastic bag tax is to double under new laws expected to be published next month.

The current 22 euro cent tax on every single-use carrier distributed would double to 44 cents, around 40p, under the proposals.

Comment: It’s great to see the Irish government taking initiatives to reduce POS use of plastic bags, but I still believe  that targeting plastic bags is a political stunt that takes everyone’s eyes off the ‘bigger picture’. There are ‘bigger fish to fry’ such as the 30% food waste generated every day by most households, which used huge amounts of energy and resource to grow it, farm it, transport it, package it, take it home, store it in the fridge – only to be thrown away – let’s get a sense of perspective here! Chris Penfold

Read the full article here:

New research promises breakthrough for recycled glass

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Government, Materials, Recycling, Retailers on September 11th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 10 Comments

I’m not sure about this one, I suppose it depends on what shade of colour recycled mixed glass would give.  I mean a jar of white mayo could look a little unappetising in a light shade of greeny/brown.  Until the bottles/jars arrived how would you know if your design will work with it.  See what you think.

By Mike Stones, 11-Sep-2009

Retailer demand for recycled glass could rocket after new UK research commissioned by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

The study, conducted in partnership with Sainbury’s, found that consumers are just as likely to buy products in jars and bottles made from mixed colour recycled glass as they are to buy items in clear glass packaging.

via New research promises breakthrough for recycled glass.

Wrap upbeat as Tories plan sweeping quango reforms

Posted in Business News, Environmental Issues, Government, Recycling on July 20th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

Josh Brooks,, 17 July 2009

Wrap has given a confident response to news that the Conservatives are planning a full-scale review of the future of all quangos.

via Wrap upbeat as Tories plan sweeping quango reforms |

FSA to advise Asda traffic light is best

Posted in Food Packaging, Government, Legal, Retailers on July 17th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 5 Comments

Catherine Dawes,, 15 July 2009

The Food Standards Agency FSA is reviewing its recommendations for food traffic light labelling, to more closely resemble Asdas.

To read more just click the link FSA to advise Asda traffic light is best |

Stores told to disclose packaging

Posted in Business News, Environmental Issues, Government on July 13th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

UK supermarkets should be forced to reveal how much packaging they produce, local councils say.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said only Morrisons, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer responded to its request for details on packaging.

Scottish government urges Diageo to reconsider restructuring

Posted in Business News, Drinks Packaging, Government on July 3rd, 2009 by Jane Bear – Be the first to comment

Simeon Goldstein,, 03 July 2009

Scotland’s first minister has blasted Diageo’s decision to close its Kilmarnock packing plant and cut 900 jobs, and has pledged the government will do all it can to protect the affected workers.

To read more just click on the link

Packaging Strategy: Defra’s document – Design Cognition opinion

Posted in Environmental Issues, Government, Legal, Opinion, Recycling, Retailers, Uncategorized on June 25th, 2009 by Chris Penfold – 6 Comments

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Firstly, I must say that it’s great news that we’ve finally got a strategy being developed for packaging in a low carbon economy – it’s a huge step forward.

The report suggests a move away “from weight-based to carbon-based (packaging waste) targets” taking in to account “whole life cycle impacts.” which is a bold move – but how will this be implemented and managed in a consistent manner?

There is mention of “Treating packaging waste as a valuable resource”. Yes, we should encourage:
“• more recycling by householders; with schemes that collect all the main packaging materials” (but let’s get UK wide consistency and make it easier for consumers to differentiate & sort!). As Dick Searle points out (see Packaging News below), “recyclability is not the problem – 85% of packaging is recyclable, while just 35% of packaging is actually recycled.”
“• local authorities and businesses treating waste packaging as a resource, leading to more recycling by businesses” (Yes, most businesses will respond to cash incentives for recycling schemes but we should not lose sight of other ways of processing waste and think of latent energy recovery/capture.  Efforts should be given to an all encompassing sustainability policy/programme – i don’t see any mention of that anywhere! – or have I missed something?)

As a footnote, I’d like to say that anything that enables consumers to appreciate the benefits of packaging and stop seeing it only as ‘waste’, is a good thing. I also think that we are in dire need of a government strategy on ‘Food Waste’ = otherwise we are missing a ‘big trick’ here. Around 30% of all food purchased is thrown away. If it wasn’t packaged (to extend its shelf life) that figure would probably be over 50%.

So we will continue to work on innovation for our sustainability projects, reducing and minimising wherever we can, as consumers demand, but we must not lose sight of the need for choice and convenience.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments below….

Related articles:

Hilary Benn unveils long-awaited Packaging Strategy June 2009

If you want to read the full version of the DEFRA report, you can download it here:

Defra Packaging Strategy – full version

If you’d like to read the opinions of other packaging industry ‘experts’ you can find them here:

 Packaging News – article on Defra Strategy – Various Industry Views