Representatives of the German and French plastic packaging industries, IK and Elipso, met yesterday to tackle these issues.
Roland Roth, chairman of IK and chief executive of RKW SE, and Dominique-Paul Vallee, chairman of Elipso and senior executive of BERICAP Group, discussed the challenges the industry faces.
Responding to the European Commission's Green Paper 'on a European strategy on Plastic Waste in the Environment', which was launched in March and is under consultation until June, both organisations said sustainability was high on their agenda.
IK and Elipso were promoting the use of life cycle analyses as the tool for the plastic packaging industry to accurately assess environmental impacts, they said.
Concerning polymer sourcing, the member companies of both associations, which use more than 6.5m tonnes of polymers, said they were worried about the degradation of the supply situation within the European polymer manufacturing industry.
Prices were too volatile and there was too much dependence on the naptha supply situation and price, they said. Ageing polymer production tools, too frequent production stops and supply rationing as a result of breakdowns in production and emergency maintenance, and insufficient investment were also problems, they added.
Robust sourcing of good quality, reasonably priced polymers in correct quantities was the key for the plastic packaging industry to remain competitive, according to the two organisations.
"For those reasons, IK and Elipso join forces to be extremely proactive on polymer sourcing from European and non-European manufacturers," they said in a statement.