monicacommentI recently heard from Anheuser-Busch’s former packaging chief Norm Nieder who, after reading my comment in a previous issue of the magazine, encouraged me to keep writing about the risk the canmaking industry faces in missing needed representation in future legislation.

Nieder believes that it is time for the canmaking industry to step up and reinvigorate a new form of its trade organisations, and look out for the consumer.

So it was encouraging to hear last month of the establishment of Brussels-based Metal Packaging Europe through the merger of canmaking bodies Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME) and European Metal Packaging (Empac). The new structure is said to combine the best of both former associations, creating a more efficient and powerful organisation.

With packaging and packaging waste directives currently under revision in Europe in order to align them with the objective to move towards a Circular Economy, the new structure of the region’s canmaking industry body aims to avoid duplication and confront the regulatory arena more cohesively.

It was precisely the need to participate in the discussion on harmonised legislation for food contact materials in Europe which was the reason why SEFEL, Europe’s original canmaking association, was established in 1959.

Metal Packaging Europe says on its new website that it communicates the benefits of metal packaging in a consistent and dynamic way to brand owners, retailers and consumers across Europe, and that it proactively positions and supports the positive attributes and image of metal packaging through joint marketing, environmental and technical initiatives.

I was surprised to learn that at this year’s Interpack, the association won’t be hosting a Metal Packaging Plaza as its predecessor did previously – which seems a missed opportunity.

Hopefully the new structure of Metal Packaging Europe will help it make its communications strategy a success.

Monica Higuera