New Packaging Regulation: views from the packaging supply chain

The conference organised by Amaplast and Ucima in cooperation with Confindustria Veneto Est presented the views and considerations of leading players in the supply chain and of the institutions.

At a conference entitled Packaging regulations and the impact on the packaging supply chain organised recently by AMAPLAST (Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Moulds Manufacturers’ Association) and UCIMA (Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Association), leading figures from the packaging industry and institutions discussed the critical issues arising from the New Packaging Regulations and the various strategies that have been adopted. The importance of the topic for the industry was reflected by the presence of more than 150 companies.

“We are not opposed to change,” said Riccardo Cavanna, Chairman of Ucima. “The problem is that this regulation is creating confusion. We have always played an important part in spurring the industry to achieve significant results in terms of the circular economy, but we need a concrete approach that builds on the progress made so far. Our shared goal is to protect the planet.”

“The technical feasibility of the new regulation is by no means certain and requires careful analysis,” added Dario Previero, Chairman of Amaplast. “By working together, our associations are able to voice the concerns of companies and help to find the best possible solution.”

Following the opening remarks given by institutional representatives, the speakers illustrated the key points of the New Regulation. Confindustria presented the strategies adopted to protect the sector and the entire supply chain and to ensure that the reform would be balanced and capable of strengthening the Italian packaging waste management system as a model that needs to be preserved and protected.

Marco Ravazzolo (Confindustria – Industrial and sustainability policies) said: “We are unable to accept the way the new European regulation shifts the paradigm from recycling to reuse. This approach is not supported by scientific data. Just think of the enormous quantities of water needed to enable reuse.”

Senator Luca de Carlo, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industry, Commerce, Tourism, Agriculture and Agri-Food Production, added: “We mustn’t allow ourselves to be intimidated by ideological fashions that criminalise plastic. Italy is a model in terms of recycling and must be defended.”

Francesca Stevens, Secretary General of EUROPEN (The European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment), offered a broader perspective: “In Italy, Confindustria and the government are vigorously engaged in defending the interests of the Italian packaging supply chain. The resistance in other countries is less active, but everyone needs to work together because the road ahead is fraught with risk.”

Next to speak were the business leaders, who together with Giflex (Flexible Packaging Group) discussed the critical aspects of the regulations in their respective sectors during a round table discussion.

“I believe that this regulation will slow growth rather than accelerate it,” argued Alberto Palaveri, Chairman of Giflex. “There is a risk that our companies will end up poorer and consumers will be less protected in terms of safety.”

Walter Bertin, Chairman and CEO of Labomar Spa, echoed Palaveri’s comments and pointed to the results already achieved: “There are products on the market that already have a low environmental impact thanks to recycling. It’s risky to call into question years of development.”

Alessandro Lazzarin, Chairman of Latteria del Montello (Nonno Nanni), stressed the importance of these kinds of events: “At our company we are very attentive to what is happening because the regulations have a major impact on our approach to development. At this stage we need greater clarity, so we welcome these meetings.”

The conference was strongly promoted by the two associations as an important opportunity to meet local companies, in this case those based in the Veneto region, and give them the chance to present their businesses and speak out on important issues for the sector. The event was held at the Galdi company headquarters.