NEWS & INSIGHT FROM THE FPA
WEBINAR 15 OCTOBER
The next FPA webinar on Thursday 15 October 3.30pm focuses on sandwich packs in the light of the recent BBC ‘War on Plastics’ programme with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. We’re delighted to welcome speakers Simon Ellin, Managing Director of the Recycling Association, who appeared in the BBC programme, and Kevin Vyse of Rapid Action Packaging who has a long history of dealing with sandwich packaging. We are looking forward to a lively conversation.
To register for the webinar please click here
PACKAGING INNOVATIONS 2020
Packaging Innovations has repositioned itself this year with an online ‘discovery day’ taking place online on 15 October.
Martin is chairing the Big Carbon Debate on 15 October with Jane Bevis of OPRL, which as usual will be an interesting and engaging debate. It takes place 4.30pm – 5.30pm, so members will have time to participate in our webinar and swiftly teleport to the Packaging Innovations event. Speakers include Julian Hunt (Coca-Cola European Partners), Robin Clark (Just Eat), Helen McFarlane (McDonald’s Restaurants), Iain Ferguson (Co-Op) and Will King (King of Shaves).
OPPOSITION TO 10pm CURFEW GROWS
The Caterer has launched a campaign to remove the 10pm curfew threatening the viability of the hospitality sector. Read and sign the petition here. With the prospect of further measures there is a growing feeling of hospitality being unfairly singled out as the coronavirus contributor. UK Hospitality has also expressed its opposition to the curfew with CEO Kate Nicholls saying earlier this week: ‘‘The introduction of the curfew has had a severe and devastating impact. Businesses are feeling the cumulative impact of all the restrictions placed on them, but they have really suffered since the introduction of the curfew”. Read the press release here, note that the debate in Parliament has been pushed back until next week.
Last Friday’s Digest talked about the FPA’s opposition to the new British Standards Institute standard for biodegradability introduced as a PAS (Publicly Available Specification – a fast track process based on expert consultation). We have probed BSI to understand more about why the views of those organisations responding to the PAS consultation expressing concerns have not been recognised. The response so far is highly unsatisfactory. We are also concerned government will not follow the EU in banning oxo-biodegradables. Far from solving problems, we believe oxo-biodegradables and derivatives using biodegradable in a misleading way, give licence to litter. A joint letter from a wide range of organisations calling for their banning will soon be published.
DEFRA RESOURCE & WASTE STRATEGY ADVISORY GROUP
This group provides oversight to the overall strategy guiding the three Defra reforms. The meeting covered a wide range of topics including EU exit end of transition readiness, the Environment Bill and delivery of the reforms. Some publishable snippets:
EU environment legislation will transfer into UK law on 1 January. We trust this includes all current food contact legislation but are probing Defra further to ensure this will be the case. Please let us know if you have any EU exit readiness issues, as we are able to pursue these directly with the Defra officer responsible.
The report from the call for evidence on biodegradable, compostable and bio-based products should be published before the end of the year.
The provisions of the Single Use Plastics directive are within Defra’s sights however Defra’s priorities are EU exit and the development of the three proposed reforms. We believe issues such as product bans and product marking will follow the usual procedures of stakeholder round tables, calls for evidence and consultation. This procedure can often take place over 9-12 months.
Currently scenarios surrounding the financial and other implications are being reviewed by the Policy Regulatory Committee. This committee decides on the fitness for purpose of the proposals. We find this confusing and feel the second round of consultations should take place before the PRC process. Of concern is that the second round will not offer options.
It is our intention to provide forums for explaining the content of each of the three consultations. The FPA seminar is most likely to take place online and will feature the consultations.
WRAP CLEAR ON PLASTICS
The WRAP Citizen Engagement Group revealed that the messaging surrounding the Plastics Pact campaign, Clear on Plastics, has led some to revise their views of plastic packaging. A typical response from the research being ‘I didn’t know this’ and ‘I hadn’t thought about plastic in that way’. That said, there are many who refuse to accept the messaging, underlying the need to ensure the public understand this site is based in science and is coming from a highly responsible and objective organisation and not the plastics sector. The site, https://clearonplastics.com, explains the benefits of each plastic, why they are needed and the citizen’s role in reducing pollution. As well as getting the message to adults, it would be good to see this site used extensively by schools so students are given a more balanced overview.
WRAP has also been named as a Global Alliance Partner for the new, prestigious Earthshot environment prize, launched yesterday by Prince William and Sir David Attenborough.
Foodservice Footprint reports how foodservice business leaders are continuing to pressurise government to take further action to support the sector. Read here. Footprint also reports on the new Future British Standards Coalition challenging government over food standards. Read here.
MoneyWeek reports that for decades consumers have been told that recycling plastic saves on waste – but that’s not true, says Simon Wilson. Read here.
Recycling & Waste World reports that a new report from Greenredeem has called for Defra to reconsider rolling out a deposit return scheme (DRS) in favour of other plastic bottle recycling models. Read here.
Plastics Today reports on research from the US that turns plastic waste into biodegradable silk. Read here.
Food Packaging Forum reports on a new positioning paper on protecting consumers from hazardous chemicals in food packaging. Read here.
Let’s Recycle reports the need for the UK and other European countries to increase infrastructure for the recycling of plastics, signalled in a review from the European Court of Auditors. Read here.
National Geographic reports that plastic pollution is a huge problem but it’s not too late to fix it. Read here.