The United Kingdom has particularly draconian packaging regulations. All UK companies with a turnover of more than $2.7 million must assess how much packaging they have placed onto the UK Market. If the volume exceeds 50 metric tons per year, then the companies must pay a levy to be used to fund recycling of packaging waste. It seems many UK companies do not know about these rules (or turn a deaf ear) and the unlucky ones subsequently get fined. This particularly affects the label industry, as Britain, unlike most continental European countries, considers liner an integral part of packaging. Ecology is a hot political potato everywhere in Europe, with packaging often at the heart of the debate. Whether a post-Brexit Britain will be more pro- or anti-packaging is an open question.
THE RINGS OF SATURN
What is not an open question is that when many Brits hear the word Brussels they suffer a rush of blood to the head.This antipathy was not helped when two weeks ago the baggage handlers at Brussels airport went on strike.The chaos, according to a baggage-deprived eyewitness, was indescribable. A vast mountain of baggage (18,000 pieces if you believe the Belgian press) was piled to the ceiling. The technology to stop strikes has not yet been invented, but it raises the question whether airline baggage identification can be improved with new technology. Today's baggage tags, which use the good old bar code, can be torn off or rendered unreadable; several attempts have been made to replace them with RFID tags, described by their proponents as "100% reliable" (and if you believe that...). RFID does, however, offer one big advantage: it does not require line-of-sight scanning, so a pallet of a hundred cases (but not, perhaps, 18,000) can be scanned instantaneously. Qatar Airways, for example, now invites its passengers to track their luggage themselves through an app. Other companies are also helping to smooth the baggage path. It is far from certain that all this advanced technology will put an end to the old joke alleging that the rings of Saturn are entirely composed of lost airline baggage.
WEST AFRICAN SALES SUCCESS
For a small country, Denmark is remarkably present on the world label scene. Label press manufacturer Nilpeter has a worldwide sales network, but not every day can it report a sale in the Ivory Coast. Socipack, a packaging producer in the capital Abidjan, has recently installed a Nilpeter FA-6* flexo label press. Managing director of...