PRW readers are well aware of the UK plastics industry's reputation as a source of innovative goods and services which benefit wide swathes of society.
It is a fact of life that this role is not more widely recognised. Then again it's easier for some mainstream news organisations to point a lazy finger at negative aspects of plastic, many of which are not of the sector's making – littering, for example – than spend time going into the good stuff.
That the UK plastics industry, like a lot of manufacturing, has an image problem isn't in doubt. But in a way this state of affairs is partly the fault of the sector itself.
Where the industry can pull its socks up is in marketing itself better. This isn't limited to championing what it makes; it can also do a better job of promoting itself as a career destination.
And as one UK plastics industry veteran – now retired – put it to me recently, one area which the sector could address is that of pay.
OK, margins are tight. The last Business Conditions Survey from the British Plastics Federation (BPF), conducted over the summer, revealed that just a fifth of respondents expected margins to rise in the next 12 months, with half predicting they would stay level.
And yes, companies are under constant pressure to keep a lid on costs, including salaries.
But it was the industry veteran's view that pay and status for domestic plastics industry workers fell well behind those of the ‘professions' in the UK, compared with similar gaps to be found among our international competitors.
I'd suggest for its next Business Conditions Survey the BPF asks members to reveal pay scales for a range of job functions. It would help set the industry in some sort of remuneration context, both internally and with other sectors.
Of course better pay isn't the only remedy to securing the skilled workforce the sector crucially needs.
But as part of a wider appeal to attract those considering the industry as a long-term career it might help.