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Issue 02/2020

  • Text
  • Use
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture
  • Thermoforming
  • Packaging
  • Films
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Packaging
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Agri-/Horticulture Thermoforming Rigid Packaging Basics Land use (update)

Automotive 10 ago

Automotive 10 ago MAGAZINE Years Published in bioplastics Politics Biodegradable Packaging in Poland Article contributed by Dr. Hanna zakowska, Head of Packaging and Environment Department, MA Grzegorz Ganczewski, Specialist from Packaging and Environment Department, Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre, Warsaw, Poland Fig 4. Certified compostable carrier bag from BioErg P ackaging is a very broad topic that impacts on multiple business disciplines such as marketing, logistics, legislation and strategic management. in addition technological innovation and environmental protection are quite important, especially when it comes to biodegradable plastic packaging. The Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre conducted market research to assess the willingness and readiness of Polish packaging producers and users to support biodegradable plastics. The Packaging industry in Poland, as in the rest of Europe, is driven by the demands of its citizens and there is no denying that the disparities in Polish and EU figures are understandable from an economic point of view. According to the latest data they are expected to come into line within the next 7-9 years. it is therefore understandable that Polish packaging producers and users are more cautious than their Western-European counterparts about introducing biodegradable materials. The questionnaire A short e-mail questionnaire was sent to more than 2000 Polish packaging producers and users, over 120 of which came back to be evaluated. The companies were categorised by size in terms of their number of employees (small, medium and large enterprises) and their attitude towards biodegradable packaging (fig 1). Questions were based on the various factors that affect packaging decisions (marketing, logistics (operations), legislation, environmental protection and strategic management) and their relevance to the various aspects of biodegradable packaging (such as cost, availability, value adding opportunities etc.). The following questions appeared to be the most interesting: • Are biodegradable packaging materials attractive for the Polish packaging producers / users? (results: see fig 2.) • is the possible higher cost associated with the production/ usage of biodegradable packaging discouraging Polish companies from the sector (fig 2.) Fig 1. Attitude towards next generation packaging • With regard to the biodegradable packaging, which packaging business sectors are most important for the Polish plastic packaging producers / users? (fig 3.) Attractiveness and costs it is encouraging that more than 60% of all companies that responded are planning to use biodegradable materials in the near future - or already use them. Larger companies find those materials to be more attractive than do medium and small companies. The reason behind this may be explained by the industry structure of plastic packaging producer/users in Poland, where small and medium companies tend to be locally based and concentrated and therefore less concerned with the new technologies. There is also a lack funds to invest in new packaging materials, especially given the fact than many of the big packaging producers/users have a large amount of foreign capital employed or are direct Polish subsidiaries of foreign packaging conglomerates. it can also be reported that companies which already use biodegradable packaging are satisfied with their investment in the new technology. The responses concerning biodegradable material costs with respect to company size show an interesting relationship. it appears that medium and large companies rank the importance of costs as very high, but small companies find it less important. This can be linked to the competitive advantage theory of Michael Porter, where firms can compete on either price or differentiation. it is impossible for small companies to compete on price, especially given the costs of biodegradable polymers; however the companies understand that a potential investment in such materials could contributes to their competitive niche market or differentiation strategies. Marketing, legislation and strategic advantages With regards to company size and business sector, the results show that the marketing value of biodegradable packaging is most important for small companies and least Fig 2. Mean responses - perceived market attractiveness and importance of cost in business decisions regarding biodegradable packaging - categorised by company size 4,50 4,00 3,50 2,00 1,50 1,00 3,25 3,69 4,18 3,91 4,43 4,43 60% 50% 56% 0,50 0,00 small medium llarge Attractivness small medium llarge Costs 40% 30% 27% 20% 10% 0% 11% 6% Plant using Uses already is not interested in using Does not have a clear opinion Fig 5. Compostable PLA Cup from Coffee Heaven 46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/10] Vol. 5 52 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/20] Vol. 15

Automotive In March 2020, Wojciech Pawlikowski, Editor-in-Chief bioplastics MAGAZINE Polska wrote: “It was the hottest 10 years in the industry when almost everything changed… 4,50 4,00 3,50 2,00 1,50 1,00 0,50 0,00 4,19 3,67 3,39 Marketing 3,63 3,55 3,46 Logistics small medium large 4,03 3,40 3,32 Politics important for large ones, which supports the previous point concerning the significance of cost related to company size. Due to the fact that small companies can choose the competitive strategy of differentiation it is important for them to express differentiated features through marketing activities. Legislation is also considered less important for medium and large companies. The reasons for that remain to be explored by future research, however, according to informal interviews with industry specialists, small companies are more concerned with legislation due to the potential penalties for not conforming to packaging law. Those penalties are easier to avoid and are less financially burdensome for larger companies - hence the observed trend. in terms of strategic management the trend is reversed. Large companies rank this of the highest importance. Considering the structure of the Polish packaging industry, with many small and medium regional companies, this result supports the observation that large companies have a more formalised long-term view of their business endeavours. Conclusion From the above discussion of the results of the questionnaire it can be concluded that the Polish packaging industry is ready and willing to use biodegradable packaging. Furthermore, Polish end consumers are already beginning to see such packaging – for instance in the form of carrier bags or beverage cups (figs 4, 5). Nevertheless it is very important to add at this point that other stakeholders and external forces need to be evaluated for their readiness to support such materials before concluding whether Poland as a nation is ready for such a solution. This is especially important with regard to the waste collection systems – namely the organic recycling infrastructure and the awareness of end consumers about how to treat with packaging waste. ekopack@cobro.org.pl Fig 3. Mean responses - importance of biodegradable packaging in different sectors of business - categorised by company size Legislation 3,59 3,52 3,61 Environment protection 3,84 4,21 4,54 Strategy bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/10] Vol. 5 47 In 2010, the macroeconomic situation of Poland (the only member state of EU that recorded GDP growth in 2009) and the resulting favourable situation on the domestic plastics market were creating conditions for production growth in the sector. At the same time, however, the importance and the scale of the waste management problem was being accelerated by these positive developments, additionally stimulated by the growing ecological awareness, legal requirements, low level of recycling and underdevelopment of the sector of incinerator and composting plants in the country. The abovementioned circumstances were creating a perfect opportunity for sales of bioplastics to take off in Poland. Back when we were among the first to talk about it, nobody wanted to listen to us. And today, 10 years later, we live in a completely different reality. In 2010, Poland led the new (!) member states of the EU in terms of the volume of plastics processed. In Poland, ca. 2.55 million tonnes of plastics were processed. Czech Republic came second, processing ca. 1.05 million tonnes. The PlasticsEurope report of the year 2010 predicted that over the coming years, plastics processing levels in those member states would ultimately grow to exceed the average for the EU. According to the abovementioned report, Polish post-consumer plastic waste recycling rates lagged behind those of the countries of Western Europe. Poland’s material recovery was 16 %. While landfilling was gradually being abandoned, solutions for the Polish recycling system (waste segregation, incinerator/composting plants etc.) were lacking. The disconnect between the rapid growth of the plastic processing industry and the inefficient attempts to increase the efficacy of the Polish recycling system led us to wonder about the future of the country’s waste management system. It seemed to provide the perfect backdrop for the launch of a communications offensive, directed at pointing out the need for alternative, effective solutions to support the hitherto ineffective recycling system. We lobbied long and hard in favour of biodegradation, working to get the message out. These efforts turned out to be relatively important as that year, a draft of a new Bill on packaging and packaging waste was to be announced in Poland. The Bill on packaging waste management was supposed to be published in 2007 – the Department for the Environment presented 3 drafts, none of which reached the lower house of the Polish parliament. And then came a new version of the bill. The previous draft had been rejected by Prime Minister Donald Tusk (!), who accepted the arguments against the idea of charging for foil bags as inconsistent with the EU EN 13432 standard. In the bill draft compostable packagings were specified. In December 2009, assumptions for the new bill were presented. So far not a single word about specifying biodegradable and compostable packaging has been heard. Wasted years?“ www.bioplasticsmagazine.pl tinyurl.com/2010-Poland

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