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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Demand for green packaging on the rise

With the packaging industry preparing for a future of tighter regulations and taxes, a leading supplier of eco-friendly packaging has revealed that customer orders reached record levels last year.

With the packaging industry preparing for a future of tighter regulations and taxes, a leading supplier of eco-friendly packaging has revealed that customer orders reached record levels last year.

Pregis Ltd, supplier of green paper packaging brand Easypack, said that customer orders in 2017 saved more than 121,000 new trees from being felled, around 10 per cent higher than 2016.

Increase in demand

In a statement, the company said that businesses are being driven to source eco-friendly alternatives for packaging because “consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the damage that plastics and other non-biodegradable products are having on the environment”.

“As a provider of environmentally friendly solutions, we are seeing first-hand the increase in demand for green packaging”, added Jason Cox, operations director.

“We know that our customers enjoy showing off their [Easypack sustainability] certificates and sharing their achievements with their customers.”

Industry support

The wider packaging supply chain is clearly attempting to rise to the challenge.

The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP), which is made up of manufacturers, retailers and distributors in the supply chain and advises Defra on packaging matters, has called on the government for higher taxes on packaging through the Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system.

All producers and handlers of over 50 tonnes of packaging a year are obligated to pay a contribution to the recycling industry by purchasing PRNs. 

Currently, the system brings in around £60 million, covering approximately 10 per cent of the costs of collecting and dealing with packaging waste. The remaining 90 per cent is paid for by taxpayers. 

However, similar systems in other European countries recover 100 per cent of costs from businesses, and reforms to the UK system look likely.