News in Brief – 16/06/2020

DS Smith creates cardboard football fans to fill stadiums

Packaging company DS Smith has created a solution for football clubs facing a dearth of fans as the season restarts – a mobile cardboard fanbase.

In normal times, football supporters flock in their thousands to watch the game; England’s Premier League alone attracts an excess of 39,300 fans weekly. Whilst football clubs in the Premier League and Championship are preparing to restart their seasons post-coronavirus, social distancing remains in place leaving many concerned about the potential loss of atmosphere in stadiums.

Seeking to create a “unique atmosphere” DS Smith has developed its ‘Return to Sport’ range, a series of customisable and fully recyclable options for clubs able to withstand temperamental local climates.

Each bespoke ‘fan’ is made from recycled materials and designed to easily slip over existing stadium seating. As a result of DS Smith’s digital print capabilities, the range can be custom printed to celebrate individual fans’ faces or messages of support and represent team colours, sponsors or charitable partnerships.

James Lomax, Sales, Marketing and Innovation Director at DS Smith, commented: “DS Smith likes to see itself as a box-to-box midfielder and we’re ready to spring into action as the Premier League and Championship both get back underway. Sport is an integral part of many people’s lives and by using a versatile material like cardboard, we can support clubs across the country to create a unique atmosphere while fans stay home to support social distancing.

“Our ‘Back to Sport’ range is the ideal sustainable solution providing clubs with a blank canvas that can be fully customised, while also ensuring the material can be reused or recycled.”

You can read more about DS Smith on the company’s website.

New Head of EU Affairs appointed at European Bioplastics

European Bioplastics (EUBP), a trade association representing the bioplastics industry in Europe, has announced the appointment of Joanna Dupont-Inglis as new Head of European Public Affairs.

Joanna Dupont Inglis

Assuming her position in Brussels, Dupont-Inglis joins the association having held senior positions at EuropaBio over a period of 10 years, chaired the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel and served for several years as a board member for Suschem, the Sustainable Chemistry Platform.

Before her work at EuropaBio, Dupont-Inglis worked within the Brussels policy arena for the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General and for two renowned Brussels-based public affairs consultancies. She holds a degree in Environmental Science and European Studies from the University of Sussex and is a board member of the Women in Life Sciences Network.

EUBP is currently working to support the European Green Deal and facilitate the EU’s transition to a real resource-efficient economy with zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Commenting on her appointment, Dupont-Inglis said: “I’m delighted to take up the position as Head of EU Affairs at European Bioplastics. Being the first contact point for decision makers and other relevant political stakeholders in Brussels, I’m looking forward to highlighting the important contributions that bioplastics make towards achieving the EU’s ambitious Green agenda.”

François de Bie, Chairman of EUBP, added: “With her broad experience in the bioeconomy, we are very happy to have Joanna on board. EUBP has been working together with Joanna for many years. Besides her outstanding technical and political expertise, we also know her for being a strong team player with a remarkable social competence. This year can be considered of key importance for the bioplastics industry and Joanna entered at just the right time.”

You can read more about EUBP on its website.

Renato Zelcher re-elected as EuPC President

Renato Zelcher, CEO of Crocco SpA, has been re-elected as the European Plastics Convertors (EuPC) President for the next two years, starting his term in the “toughest” period since war times as the Covid-19 pandemic hits Europe.

Renato Zelcher

Zelcher commented that his election gives him the “strength and serenity to face these very difficult times and coming major challenges with renewed drive and determination.”

While the annual two-day conference ‘A Circular Future with Plastics’ had to be postponed by one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, the EuPC members met online for their first virtual General Assembly.

Zelcher added: “As you know, the period we are living is one of the toughest that Europe, the world, is experiencing since post-war times. Even if now, after months, we are starting to see the end and to overcome the sanitary emergency, we must be united with one European front, otherwise we risk failure.

“However, in this difficult period, the renewed awareness of the essentiality of the products that our companies produce has become evident. Thanks to the efforts of many of our members, we have managed to guarantee the availability of safely packaged products, personal protection equipment and essential products for the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

“After many negative campaigns, plastic is becoming the material of choice, reminding the world why the material we produce is so widespread and used in millions of different applications. This is where we want to start from, to relaunch our sector and our companies, continuing in the never-ending effort to continue on a virtuous path towards a true circular economy. That is why EuPC has decided to launch a communication project “#Plastics4People”

Mr Claude Clement, President and CEO Europe at Plastic Omnium Clean Energy, was also re-elected for his second term as EuPC Treasurer and third term as chair of the EuPC Automotive and Transport Division.

You can read more about EuPC initiatives and details of its membership on its website.

BPF webinar on Chemical Recycling future

The British Plastics Federation (BPF), in partnership with PlasticsEurope, will host an online seminar on chemical recycling asking what the future holds for the fast-developing technology.

Bringing together eight leading experts from across Europe in a 90-minute webinar on 30 June, BPF hopes the discussions will assist in accelerating progress towards a circular economy.

The webinar will see presentations from: James Bull, Head of Packaging at Tesco, who will talk about the role chemical recycling can play in the future for the UK’s leading supermarket; experts from Chemical Recycling Europe, who will address the current state of play of chemical recycling across Europe; PETcore Europe on PET trends in chemical recycling; and BASF on the contribution of chemical recycling to targets.

The webinar will also feature updates from some of the leading companies in chemical recycling, including Plastic Energy, Recycling Technologies and ReNew ELP.

Commenting on the webinar, Director General of the BPF Philip Law said:
“The BPF is delighted to host this forthcoming webinar on chemical recycling with PlasticsEurope. There is a great need to recycle more to advance towards the objective of a circular economy. Alongside mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, will be an essential tool in creating value out of waste fractions which have so far proven difficult to recycle.”

You can read more about BPF’s webinar on its website.