UK plastics should look to export markets, says BPF
By PRW Staff
Posted 19 October 2012
UK plastics companies must seek export opportunities outside of Europe – that was the message from Philip Watkins, president of the British Plastics Federation (BPF) at the organisation’s Annual Dinner in London on 18 October.
“Last year the BPF took your plastics message to trade fairs in India, China, Turkey and Poland,” he added, but this type of competitive advantage is being eroded, Watkins explained, by the government’s poor record on support for exports.
“The funding for both companies and indeed ourselves has been shrinking for some years. The UKTI must restore and increase grant-aid and be a lot faster in approving applications.”
The BPF’s president also highlighted the organisation’s continuing lobbying: “I am pleased to say that we have met directors of three Banks, the director-general of the CBI and, through our member companies, ten MPs. There are many more such meetings to come. Properly nurtured our plastics versatility and innovation can benefit the economy in job creation and exports,” he added.
The availability and cost of raw materials also attracted comment from Watkins. “The BPF is concerned at the long term availability in Europe of raw materials and additives and we have this year, with a large number of other industry organisations, called on government to strengthen its Resource Security Action Plan and create an Office for Resource Management.”
He also turned attention to Defra’s proposed targets for plastic packaging recycling, which he described as “impossible”. ”Only two English councils, out of 388, collect enough plastics to meet Defra’s recycling targets and the extra cost for industry will be £70m, undermining our plastic packaging manufacturers’ competitiveness. Let’s not forget that iconic British product HP Sauce is now made and packed in Spain and the Netherlands – not here.”
Ending on a high note, Watkins announced that next year the BPF would be celebrating its 80th anniversary “as the world’s first plastics organisation, founded in 1933 – the same year polyethylene was discovered”.
Amongst the special anniversary events will be a one-day conference in Manchester on 13th June and a gala dinner networking event for BPF members in October.
Comment on this article.
[ Back ]