Skymark Packaging’s Compliance and Accreditation Manager, Shaine Gill-Ohrt, attended the recent BPF Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons on 30th November 2021, which included several constituent MP’s from across the UK. Among those, was the Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe and surrounding villages, Holly Mumby-Croft MP, who took time out of her busy schedule to join Shaine at the event and learn more about the sector as a whole.
The aim of the event was to share the importance of this sizeable sector to the future of the UK as well as its diverse nature of products, which the Industry provides.
During the event, talks from Phillip Law, Director general of the British Plastics Federation, highlighted among other points, the flexibility which has been demonstrated by all of our Industry partners, particularly over the last 18 months.
Far from attempting to glorify the industry, a key aim was to highlight the efforts that often go unnoticed:
The industry as a whole has come together to enable a further 150,000t of recycling capacity to be generated, as well as generating £7.2 billion pounds of investments into chemical recycling systems across Europe by 2030.
The plastics industry is changing at a rapid pace of knots and deserves credit for its achievements. As a sector, the domestic plastic industry started 2020 by producing 1% of PPE (Face Masks, Visors, Surgical Aprons, etc) in the UK, which as the pandemic progressed resulted in 70% of PPE having been made in the UK by the end of 2020, practically creating an entire industry within the space of less than 1 year.
Our sector forms part of the largest Climate Change Agreement management plan of any single sector, having achieved in excess of 19% energy savings since its inception.
Within the Industry, over 350 sites, covering 65% of all materials processed in the UK now subscribe to Operation CleanSweep – an initiative aimed at preventing plastic pellet loss to the environment.
The lightweight, versatile nature of plastic make it a favourable material when considering Carbon Impacts on the Environment.
The question then of whether the plastics industry of today is still relevant in tomorrow’s world is easily summarised:
With over 180,000 jobs, a turnover of £27billion per annum, product uses in almost all areas of life, including key national infrastructure and security sectors, as well as a place in the top 10 exporting sectors in the UK, combined with its proven dynamism and sector leading initiatives, the Plastics Industry should certainly be considered as a key element of the UK’s Net Zero carbon ambitions.
The journey won’t be easy, but at Skymark, our dedicated team are relishing the opportunity to lead the way in making Plastic Packaging a more sustainable and circular product. This is why we have already taken steps to optimise our operations, reduce our consumption of energy and Virgin Raw materials (since 2018, we have recycled over 2,700mT of Packaging Waste on site) and reformulate some of our key products to make sure they are recyclable and, where the law permits, include Recycled content plastics in their formulation.Dan Richards – Sales & Marketing Director
We recently collaborated with the team at Benchmark Consulting on a game changing Carbon Calculator, whose methodology is wholly aligned with IPCC, the UK Gov Industrial De-carbonisation strategy and European initiatives requiring granularity, accuracy from a trustworthy source. The software enables independent and impartial assessments of Carbon Impacts at the SKU level, whilst factoring in variations in production efficiencies, etc. This further supports our ambitions as becoming a leader in changing the Packaging landscape to becoming more transparent and honest with our stakeholders.