connecting compPETence THREE:16

Otto Appel, Chief editor


Reliable, competent, exacting, organised

Dear Readers,

reliable, competent, exacting, organised – these are the sorts of compliments we’ve come to expect from you. Or perhaps just: cool app!

We are both pleased and honoured by this feedback as it reflects our diverse readership across digital and print media and also pushes us to do more. The call to take on the topic of marine littering and thus the responsibility of the PET industry as a whole represented a particular challenge. As one of our readers asked, “If not you, who can put the issue of responsibility on the agenda?” This was quite a feat, because, as the saying goes, those in glass houses should not throw stones.

We have accepted the challenge and taken small steps to address this topic.  We started at our own doorstep. Well, almost: We travelled from Regensburg to the coast of the North Sea to get an idea of the situation and meet with Jennifer Timrott, whose organization “Küste gegen Plastik” (Coasts Against Plastic) is working to stop the pollution of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The topic was also front and centre during our trip to India to visit Nissei ASB. Some would call it culture shock. Others are simply horrified by the litter that covers the streets, and the beaches of Mumbai. And what if, in the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, what is essential – namely ocean dumping and corruption – is invisible to the eye? What unreasonable burdens are being placed on the oceans and the environment worldwide? 

We soon realized that this is a sensitive topic that sets off alarm bells and stirs emotions. But we want to approach this issue as you’ve come to expect: as technicians with cool heads, open eyes and respect. Emotions can help drive the creation of a better world. But in addition to a strong will, we also need strict legislation that creates the capacity for waste management companies to act in countries, regions and cities, as well as a PET industry that is prepared to take on this issue. The technologies are available. 

Along with marine littering, digitalisation represents another important topic, and not just for the PET packaging and beverage industry. I see these topics as future industry issues which can only be addressed if suppliers and users along the entire value-added chain work together. Both of these issues require connecting comPETence. The “Digitalisation” round table at the PETnology Conference, with participants Dr Stefan Seiss (Coca-Cola), German Reichert (Hansa Heemann), Dr Peter Stelter (KHS), Christoph Klenk (Krones) and Michael Thomas (Siemens) invites further discussion. You can also look forward to a digitalisation workshop led by Dr Menzel (Siemens). As you can see, there is a lot in store for us.

We wish you an enjoyable read. See you soon at PETnology Europe 2016.


Otto Appel