In order for the minority Scottish Government to enable their budget bill to be passed, concessions have been made to the Scottish Green Party. These include a number of environmental measures. In a letter to the leader of the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance states (we) “agree in principle to the use of charging in relation to disposable drinks cups”. An expert panel was formed in Scotland to advise on the use of charging to reduce single use disposable drinks cups and to quote “We will consider the recommendations of the panel – which are due later this year – and bring forward proposals in 2019-20 for legislation and other measures to implement the Panel’s recommendations”. The letter also states Scotland will double the carrier bag charge (in Scotland paper and plastic) to 10p before the end of 2019-20. The stinger for both the cup levy and the additional bag revenue is that the intention is to direct the funds to local authorities with no commitment to use the funds for collection and recycling improvements and infrastructure. We will continue to campaign for funds raised from environmental measures to support waste management improvements as we believe this is what the public expects.

On Tuesday Martin attended a Scottish Government meeting in Scotland on litter. Once again there was a distinct sense of frustration at the slow pace of progress on litter and the propensity of Government reluctance to accept litter is created by the public and not business, while the majority of their litter reduction policies are directed at business. However, the meeting was highly beneficial in that it has opened dialogue with the senior civil servants in Scottish Government who are very keen to continue the dialogue with us and provide the opportunity to consult with the expert panel.  We must stick close to developments in Scotland as it tends to lead on these issues and getting closer to Scottish Government is a positive step.  As is the Glasgow Cup Movement organised by Keep Scotland Beautiful and supported by a number of FPA members and their customers – it is important the campaign succeeds, more here


Martin attended the Business Department’s (BEIS) EU Exit Business Readiness meeting on importing and exporting on Thursday. Presentations were made by BEIS and HMRC (duty and VAT) with the key UK manufacturing trade associations in attendance. Key points:

Government has accelerated its programme for a no-deal which is now the default position and whatever the outcome the UK will be treated as a third country for regulatory purposes. HMRC will simplify procedures and reduce the amount of information on declarations required so that information and duty can be deferred. There will be temporary relaxation of financial guarantees. Changes will be advised 12 months in advance. Members importing and exporting are urged to apply for an EORI number as soon as possible. You will receive it in three days if you register now, nearer the time it may take much longer.

Accounting for VAT for imports from the EU and rest of world will be postponed but you need to register and give your VAT number on declaration. Low value consignment relief will be abolished so that goods up to £135 attract VAT to be collected online. Imported samples valued at zero cost hadn’t been considered but now will be, however overseas suppliers will have to register and have an identifier. Almost all products meeting EU regulations can circulate in the UK.  EU conformity bodies will be recognised in the UK but not the reverse – if selling to the EU you may wish to switch to an EU based conformity body. EU based distributors of UK goods may become importers and vice versa noting the change in liability as a result. Importers’ names and addresses must be on packaging in the EU. The issue of accreditation doesn’t seem clear but UK based testing results will be accepted in the EU, providing testing facilities are internationally recognised.

This link brings all government exit information together

There are three more of these sessions so please advise any issues and questions as we have a forum for receiving answers.


Details of all the FPA Awards categories have now been sent to members and deadlines are fast approaching. The deadline for the Product Innovation award has been extended to 15 February for receipt of the products to be assessed and the deadline for all the other awards is 18 February.  Details can be found on the website here.


Martin is chairing the Big Plastics Debate at Packaging Innovations again this year and his session takes place on 27 February, immediately after the FPA AGM.  Members are urged to register for the show at the NEC here and attend the FPA AGM at 1.00pm followed by the Big Plastics Debate at 3.00pm.  Please also let Caroline know that you are intending to come to the AGM.

Members should also note that the Ecopack challenge is still open for entrants. This ‘dragon’s den’ style competition is seeking six companies to compete for the chance to develop their product with Marks & Spencer. The Challenge judging takes place on the first day, 27 February. Entry form is here:


The Food Standards Agency is running a workshop on bio-based materials used in food contact applications on 11 April in London. Martin will be attending for the FPA.

The workshop aims to provide an overview of the current status, barriers to adoption and gaps in current knowledge in relation to food safety.   If this event might be of interest, please register via Eventbrite here


 DEFRA has issued advice on food labelling post Brexit, which affects members producing grocery packaging. More here.

Plastics News reports on hard data in energy savings from recycling. Read here

The Scotsman reports on the raft of taxes anticipated following the Budget deal with the Greens, as reported above. Read here.

CIWM reports on a new plastics recycling plant in Durham. Read here


14 February FDA Webinar: ‘An Introduction to FDA Approval for New Food Contact Substances’. Find out more and register here.

27 February FPA Annual General Meeting at Packaging Innovations, NEC, 1.00pm.

7 March FPA Awards and Exhibition, Grand Hotel Brighton. Information and booking details have been issued to members via MailChimp. Contact Caroline for more information.

27 June FPA Golf & Activities Day, De Vere Staverton Estate – make a note of the date!




Congratulations to Tony Juniper on his appointment to head of Natural England and we wish him well in his new role.



If you are interested in becoming a member of the FPA please contact Caroline Crawford by email