EDITORIAL
01/2018

WE NEED TO STOP THE DEMONIZATION OF PLASTICS PACKAGING THROUGH GOOD WORKS

I wonder if we are at a tipping point in the history of plastics packaging. Our industry today risks becoming a victim of its own success, as solutions are sought to bring an end to a global waste problem, long in the making and which has been largely out of our hands to control. I believe it is vital that a circular economy is implemented as quickly as possible. Without it, the levels of plastics packaging re-use will not be enough for a full sustainable packaging sector. Later on, in this edition of SIPA MAGAZINE, we discuss the circular economy and SIPA’s important role in making it come to pass. I hope and trust that our actions will provide an important boost in making PET packaging sufficiently sustainable for its future success. Arguments are raging around the world about the damage that single-use plastics packaging is doing to our environment. I would like to say that people are talking about the irresponsible way in which so many of us deal with plastics packaging after it has reached the end of its first useful life – but many are not. It is not bad behavior that gets the blame, it is plastics. The call for cuts, even bans, on plastics packaging is getting louder. Plastics and the plastics packaging industry are the enemies. Where did it all go wrong? We have long grown used to throwing things away. Somehow, we have to gain control of how plastics packaging is used and re-used. We must help institute a strong culture of sensible use, of recovery and recycling. Consumers need to be given a complete picture of the roles we all play in making this happen. There is too little understanding about how plastics packaging, used intelligently, sustain the lifestyles that so many of us aspire to. Yes, plastics can pollute, but only when we make it so. As I have said before, SIPA is working in many ways to make PET packaging even better for the environment. Elsewhere in this magazine, we talk about Xtreme Renew, the world's first integrated system for producing preforms from 100% recycled post-consumer PET, but with the same quality as preforms made from virgin PET. We are very proud of that development, made together with recycling technology specialist EREMA. We are also helping drinks companies operate more energy-efficiently by expanding our range of Sincro Bloc integrated bottle blowing and filling systems. There are numerous other examples I could provide of work we are doing to reduce the carbon footprint of PET packaging producers and users. We will continue to work on developments that help make PET the best, most cost-effective AND environment-friendly option for liquid packaging. Repeat orders that we continue to receive – and which we highlight in these pages – are a clear sign that packaging companies appreciate what we are doing to promote sustainable packaging. For example, in South Africa, we are helping Little Green Beverages save energy and be more sustainable, thanks to its acquisition of other integrated bottle production and filling lines of the latest generation. In Germany, PET-Verpackungen is once again trusting in SIPA technology, this time our ECS SP single-stage injection-stretch-blow molding technology for miniatures for spirits, enabling it to take a lot of weight off each little bottle. SIPA is engaged in Japan with major coffee maker UCC, which has just invested in another highly energy-efficient XFORM preform injection molding system. In Italy, Sangemini (Acque Minerali d’Italia) has bought its second XTRA – the latest generation of rotary stretch blow molding technology – in just a few months. And all around the world, companies are turning to SIPA for more sustainable packaging: Mega Empack in Mexico is one of the latest, with its new project for refillable bottles. An ECS SP system very similar to the one installed at PET-Verpackungen is running on the SIPA stand at NPE2018 in Orlando, FL in May. We will be very happy to have you come by and let us explain the advantages of this and other examples of cutting-edge SIPA technology. Technology that we know will be an important part of the future circular economy.