connecting comPETence THREE:18

Otto Appel, PETnology, Germany


PET — The Premium Plastic Packaging Material for Sustainability Challenges

Have the factors that made the PET bottle such a success lost their significance for the markets? Might the success story of the PET bottle even be over? Has the plastics industry in general and the PET bottle in particular come to a fork in the road? Or indeed industry, the economy and society as a whole? We might also ask what the PET packaging industry is waiting for before taking action to defend its achievements and help consumers understand PET as the premium packaging material for sustainability challenges, thanks to the ease of processing it in a cycle.

Our cover leaves things somewhat open to interpretation - the consumer's view of our industry, and the current situation of the PET packaging and filling industry. Opinions vary in different regions of the world, as do the political, technical and environmental approaches. But there is one thing that everyone agrees on. Plastics do not belong in the environment.They are reusable materials that should be collected and recycled. Best practice solutions prove that this is feasible. But investment and financing issues are still hindering sustainable solutions in many regions.

There are few signs of action on the supplier side, and it almost seems that a certain uneasiness is spreading, leaving some stakeholders reluctant to make public statements. This stands in contrast to Schwarz Gruppe's strategic decision to establish its own dual system for collecting used packaging from consumers. Converters and international brands are also publicising their environmental protection, sustainability and recycling activities in great detail - see our articles on Werner & Mertz, Alpla and Vöslauer. The right decision, and an important decision, to help consumers understand the importance of their role as partners in the cycle.

Last but not least, I would like to draw your attention to our next PETnology Europe conference, taking place November 26-27 in Paris, France, at All4Pack.