The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has cited five areas in which the new Government can help the sector develop with sustained manufacturing growth.
The organisation’s five key policy concerns for the future of paper-making are on Brexit, manufacturing, skills, energy and the circular economy (CE).
The industry body says UK paper-making boosted its productivity by nearly 240% between 1992 and 2016, and that resource efficiency has also improved.
”Official 2016 emissions data shows the downward trend in carbon emissions from the sector has continued, with 2016 emissions being 3.4% lower than those in 2015 and an impressive 48.5% lower than in 2008.” it says in a policy paper.
The CPI asserts that paper-based industries are essential to the operations of other sectors, such as the supply of packaging into the food and drink industry, in which paper and board has a market share of more than 33%.
”Without that packaging, manufactured and supplied in the UK to UK food and drink manufacturers, UK exports of food and drink would be significantly reduced and the rate of spoiled and wasted food would dramatically increase. Just as digitalisation is an important part of the automotive sector, so paper-based packaging is integral to the success of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry,” the policy paper said.
The CPI policy concerns are:
- Brexit: ”We urge the Government to pursue an economically rational Brexit policy that puts no new barriers in the way of vital existing commercial links.”
- Manufacturing: “We are keen to work with the Government to agree a deal that enables the sector to remove barriers to growth, including unlocking research funding for innovation.”
- Skills: “We would welcome further opportunities to work with the Government to grow participation in the existing paper-making apprenticeship and establish new apprenticeship standards in areas such as corrugating and packaging.”
- Energy: ”Urgent action is required to establish a level playing field on energy costs across Europe, to ensure that our success in decarbonisation is rewarded by investment in the UK.”
- Packaging, the CE and bio-economy: ”The UK is already a leader in paper recovery and recycling, but policy change in collection systems and investment is needed to promote quality over quantity to drive downstream growth.”
The CPI represents paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, makers of soft tissue papers, and collectors of paper for recycling in the UK, with 25,000 direct and more than 100,000 indirect employees.