08 August 2019

 

Summer holidays are almost behind us and it is now time to focus on the second half of 2019. Before focusing on the coming fall, a couple of words about Amerplast’s first half-year in 2019 and also about plastics.

 

From the Sales, R&D and Marketing point of view, we have succeeded very well. Sales is in good speed due to satisfied customers and new innovative solutions and R&D has been able to push multiple, next generation materials and packaging concepts to the market with great support from Marketing. Our pipeline is in good shape pushing new solution to the market. We even have an internal competition going on between new solutions, which will be the next one to be launched.
We, at Amerplast, have continued the strong development of recycled and renewable based new applications. I can guarantee that this will continue with an even higher ambition than ever before.

 

The biggest plastic news for me during the summer, was the decision of Sweden to introduce a tax for plastic bags. In their proposal, there is at least one positive point. All the plastics are belonging to the same category, whether the material is recycled, renewable, biodegradable etc.. Plastic is plastic. This has to be acknowledged.
On the other hand there are multiple questionable topics. This tax is not based on any LCA analyses. The purpose is just to reduce usage. Environment will lose as paper and multiuse bag consumption will increase instead of recycled or renewable based plastics. Instead of plastic bags, people will buy garbage bags in addition to paper and multiuse bags, which will lead to the increase of the total material consumption. Garbage bags are not included within the tax, same as paper bags which is a clear mistake. Conversion of the consumption will take away the calculated tax incomes.

 

When it comes to fruit and vegetable bags’ taxation, this will lead to prepacked products. In those cases nobody needs a separate bag. Will this decrease plastic consumption? I doubt it. Positive effect of this can be that products are packed in the right way, which will extend the shelf life of the products thus reducing food waste. Due to this, this part of taxation turns to positive from an environmental perspective. Anyway, in Sweden the paper bags’ price has been lower than of plastic bags’. Now the gap is just bigger.

 

At least there is one clear winner in this case. The retailer. Plastic bags can be extra charged as price anyway moves to such a high level and paper bag price can be easily increased as the gap to plastic bags increases, as well as the multi-use bag. Free fruit and vegetable bags will disappear and the retailer can push the packaging costs to the packers and brand owners. Just to mention a couple of points. Hopefully this is just a draft proposal and it will be corrected soon after the targets are re-evaluated.

Written by:

 

Ari Pekka Pietilä

Ari-Pekka Pietilä

Chief Marketing Officer

 

 

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