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Plastics sector's voice is heard in Whitehall

Leaders of the plastics industry have praised ministers for listening more to the needs of their sector than the previous Labour Government.

The observation came as the British Plastics Federation was unveiling its latest Business Confidence survey and plans for events to mark its 80th anniversary.

Director-general Peter Davis noted that Business Secretary Vince Cable had established a series of manufacturing summits to bring policy-makers and industrialists together.

These include the automotive sector for which plastics companies are key suppliers. Overall, plastics companies turn over £18bn a year and employ 180,000 people.

Davis said Labour ministers had tended to speak to bigger organisations, such as the Confederation of British Industry and EEF, but the BPF had established good contacts in Whitehall.

“Now we feel there is an opportunity to have our voice heard,” he said.

Cable paid tribute to the federation in a message to mark the anniversary. He wrote: “The BPF represents a sector that continues to be of strategic importance to the economy of the UK. Plastics are essential to much of our manufacturing and distributive sectors and underpin the success of many sectors.”

He said a “highly innovative and successful” plastics sector was key to achieving an ambition for the UK to achieve a competitive advantage.


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