The week was dominated by the announcement of the four Consultations by Defra and HMT, more Brexit meetings and judging for the FPA Awards.

The huge amount of work relating to the consultations for the Resource & Waste Strategy is becoming clearer as we work our way through the content and get to grips with the implications. The required response time has increased from six weeks to twelve, following industry lobbying which included the FPA, but there is still as vast amount of work to be done with almost 500 pages of consultation.

We are working closely with other packaging associations, industry bodies, the food and drink organisations and retailers to further understanding and coordinate responses and will be attending a meeting organised by the Packaging Federation on 6 March.

The Treasury contacted us on Monday and we highlighted our key concerns particularly that the liability for a plastics tax on plastics containing less than 30% recycled content will fall directly on packaging converters and importers. It will not work like VAT, so the charge is not legally required to be passed on to retailers and packer fillers. The Government does not wish to be seen to be adding to the public’s food and drink costs. Please also note imported filled packaging will be exempted so it is not a level playing field. There could be a de minimus which we have strongly argued goes against the direction of travel.   Early calculations indicate the costs to business of the EPR proposals will be huge.

Our aim is for the FPA Sustainability and Government Affairs Committee to spend the next five weeks working through the document and attending sector meetings with a view to calling FPA members together around the second week of April.  We believe it will take this time to form our responses and full views.

The next few months are unlikely to provide too much fun but we are determined to celebrate the achievements of our members at the Awards on 7 March.


Judging for the FPA Product Innovation award (sponsored by CMC Daymark) took place last Tuesday. There were some fantastic entries this year, with a greater emphasis on genuine environmental improvements. Judging is currently taking place on the CSR Award (sponsored by Faerch) and Sustainability Award (sponsored by NCCO International). All members taking part should be congratulated and it’s plain to see a huge amount of work has gone into developing the entries, which can be viewed here.

We are grateful to our judges who have given up their time to support the Awards:

Karen Graley, Waitrose; Phil Chadwick, Packaging News; Robin Clark, Just Eat; Helen McFarlane, McDonald’s Restaurants; Dick Searle, Packaging Federation; Mike Hanson, BaxterStorey.

Iain Ferguson, Co-op; Paul Rhodes, Greggs; Derek Robertson, Keep Scotland Beautiful; Paula Chin, WWF; Paul Vanston, INCPEN; Kevin Vyse, Marks and Spencer.


Ano-deal Brexit is the Government’s official default position. This week Martin attended a BEIS meeting on workforce and representatives attended from the Home Office. While good to see 100,000 EU nationals have been granted leave to remain under the current test, there is a very long way to go. We asked for Government to reiterate to national media that EU nationals are very welcome in the UK. Currently 18% of the UK workforce are non UK citizens rising to 38% in London (Migration Observatory).  Many members have clicked the link we provided last week. Businesses can use the Triage Tool to find out what their business may need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU.
Questions have been raised about labelling and country of origin, importing samples and machine parts. Government is providing more information and we will aim to provide more links and documentation next week.


As reported in the Digest two weeks ago, as part of a political deal, a cup charge is under consideration in Scotland.  BBC Scotland reported on this yesterday – read here.

Derek Robertson of Keep Scotland Beautiful, which is leading the Glasgow Cup Movement, recently met with the Cabinet Secretary for Scotland who reiterated that the deal with the Greens is an ‘in principle’ one and the detail of any levy has yet to be worked out. Derek has a meeting with Dame Sue Bruce, chair of the Expert Panel, and will talk about the need to educate the public that cups can be recycled and highlight the work being done by campaigns such as the Glasgow Cup Movement.

It is critical that the potential of the Glasgow Cup Movement is fulfilled and can be shown to make an impact.  Keep Scotland Beautiful is seeking a further £35 000 to reach budget. A number of FPA members are already funding the project but if it’s relevant for you and you would like to find out more please contact Martin.

The FPA AGM takes place next week on 27 February at the Packaging Innovations Show at the NEC and we would urge as many members to attend as possible.  The FPA Executive will set out the future direction of the FPA and key activities and budgets for the coming year.

The Big Plastics Debate chaired by Martin Kersh takes place at 15:00, following the AGM. It will begin with the judging of the Ecopack challenge  – good luck to those members who have entered.


 Packaging News carried our comments on Monday about the various forthcoming consultations link here.

Plastics Today according to a survey by BP, banning single use plastics could lead to higher carbon emissions and increased food waste. Read here.

The Daily Mail reports on a campaign by Greenpeace to call out companies for using single use plastic using the hashtag #isthisyours read here.

The BBC reports on the success of the #Leedsbyexample coffee cup recycling scheme and that the scheme will be rolling out to other cities. Read here

27 February FPA Annual General Meeting at Packaging Innovations, NEC, 1.00pm.  For booking details email Caroline.

7 March FPA Awards and Exhibition, Grand Hotel Brighton For booking details email Caroline more

27 June FPA Golf & Activities Day, De Vere Staverton Estate