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BPF calls for greater education about value of plastics

Retiring president of the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Mike Boswell has said that more needs to be done through education to boost the reputation of the plastics sector.

In his departing speech at the BPF’s annual general meeting, Boswell pressed for greater recognition in schools of the careers available in the plastics sector, while conceding concern that plastic was often presented in a negative light.

“We are challenged by initiatives to live without plastics, we need to demonstrate the importance of plastics in people’s lives.”

The federation has allocated £20,000 towards an education and training committee which Boswell hoped would lessen some of the negative perceptions around plastics.

He also called for a public fund to boost sector-relevant training, which he said was currently preventing the industry from realising its potential.

According to the BPF, 48% of plastics firms had experienced difficulties in recruiting sufficiently trained personnel.

“Funding is key to the industry, yet loans to small and medium sized firms are consistently shrinking,” he said. “We need greater clarity in the bewildering array of Government-inspired funding initiatives.”

David Hall BPF president 2015

Following his speech, David Hall, left, chief executive of pipe manufacturer Polypipe, became the new BPF president.

Honorary treasurer Paul Jukes said the BPF’s current financial situation was good, and reported a financial windfall with a payment from Barclays as a result of a mis-selling.

Jukes noted a rise in the BPF’s tangible assets from £2.1m in 2013 to £3.7m in 2014, attributed to the increase in the value of its east London headquarters.

It was later announced that the industry-wide Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan would be unveiled at the Plastics Recycling Exhibition in Telford on 16-17 June.

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