Vanston to take over INCPEN reins

The Industry Council for research on Packaging & the Environment (INCPEN) has appointed former Kent Resource Partnership manager Paul Vanston as its new CEO.

Vanston will succeed Jane Bickerstaffe, who announced last year that she would be retiring after 17 years in the role and 27 years at the organisation.

Vanston to take over INCPEN reinsVanston will formally take over on 19 May, but his selection as the group’s next CEO has been announced today to allow him to serve as CEO-designate until May, working alongside Bickerstaffe to plan future activities on behalf of the INCPEN membership, which includes British and international packaging producers, suppliers and retailers.

Vanston has spent the last 15 years working in the resource efficiency sector, and most recently has worked in local government, leading the Kent Resource Partnership, the county-wide joint waste partnership between all 12 district councils and Kent County Council, for over seven years before leaving in February last year to establish the waste partnership between South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City councils.

At the KRP, Vanston worked with INCPEN and packaging companies to implement a number of recycling campaigns across the county including MetalMatters and Pledge4Plastics.

Commenting on the choice of successor, Bickerstaffe said: “Paul is very well-known across the whole industry for his passion and genuine commitment to resource and product efficiency. His supply chain work with retailers, brands, recyclers and others puts him in good stead to lead INCPEN into the future. I am pleased to hand over to him.”

Supply chain experience

INCPEN carries out research to understand the environmental and social effects of packaging and its stated aim is to ‘promote responsible packaging for resource-efficient sustainable supply chains’.

In recent years, the group has focused on litter and has supported sustainability behaviour change charity Hubbub in testing initiatives to reduce littering and encourage people to have more pride in their surroundings.

As part of the conversation around littering, INCPEN, and Bickerstaffe in particular, has been outspoken in opposition to deposit-return systems, particularly in Scotland and Wales, as a way of reducing litter.

Earlier this month, INCPEN reiterated its stance that behaviour change initiatives, rather than added charges on drinks packaging (which under a DRS would then be paid back when the bottle is returned to a shop for recycling) are the way forward.

Looking forward to Vanston taking over the running of INCPEN, Chairman David Baker said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul as our new CEO. We interviewed a number of very high calibre candidates and Paul’s personal strengths, governmental expertise, and experience of the supply chain were key factors in his appointment. 

“We are confident he will consolidate and build on Jane’s fantastic work over many years to ensure INCPEN is at the heart of shaping a post-Brexit UK that supports the supply chain’s needs.”

Ray Georgeson MBE, CEO of the Resource Association, added: “I’m delighted for Paul Vanston and for INCPEN with this superb appointment. Paul has a long record of achievement in local government and with the wider value chain. He has served as an elected director of the association with distinction, and his passion and leadership for collaboration towards shared goals is well known. I’m confident Paul will continue to be successful in his new role at INCPEN.”

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