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Edition 1/2001

On the first issue

The decision to found the European Packaging Institute was made on May 10, 2000 on the occasion of the Interpack in Düsseldorf. At the same time, the statutes of the institute were agreed upon, in which the promotion of exchange and co-operation in all matters connected with research and development in the sector of packaging was established as the first aim of the institute. Moreover, the statutes include the task of imparting new findings and experiences from European and non-European countries to its members.

The first issue of our newsletter is a first step in the promotion of exchange; it is aimed at EPI members as well as institutes and organisations which are interested in co-operating with the EPI.

The newsletter is published at least twice a year and if necessary. The newsletter will provide information on plans of the institute, suggestions and offers concerning the development of co-operation, events of international importance, notifications of the board, reports on the work of member institutes and organisation, and publications of European significance.

The newsletter is accessible via the homepage of the EPI (www.euvi.de).

Promotion of Packaging Matters in the reform countries of Central and Eastern Europe

In 2000, the German Packaging Institute (Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut e.V.) could look back on 50 successful courses for packaging experts and managers from the reform states of Central and Eastern Europe. The courses were organised by the Arbeitsstelle Leipzig and the chamber of commerce of Leipzig in connection with the DSD AG, packaging institutes and organisations, and universities of the partner countries with the intention of promoting packaging matters, the education, and the further education in the packaging sector in the reform countries.

The lectures and seminars dealt with the latest developments in packaging, packaging innovations and advances in recycling used packages because of the specific need of information. Moreover, the topic 'Packaging and Environment', new findings in product analysis, and experiences in the development of a packaging industry under the conditions of the market economy were discussed. Here, the latest findings in research and practical experience were at the centre of interest. As an example, the publication of the 'Dictionary of Product Damages', which aroused considerable national and international attention, served as a starting point for the discussion of the role of research into product damage for the packaging industry. Likewise, the course participants, coming from ten Eastern and Central European countries, discussed the effects of globalisation on the national economies and on the packaging industries in particular on their visit to the EXPO 2000.

By now, the courses have led not only to well-established relationships between experts, but also to economic contacts and to suggestions to further increase the co-operation within the framework of the EPI. So far, experts, lecturers, and managers from 17 countries have attended the courses in Leipzig.

The courses provided the participants with important information on the development of the packaging industry and the recycling of used packages in their countries. One result is the introduction of the Green Point in Latvia, another is the decision to introduce the Green Point in the Czech Republic. The participants of a course that was completed in September went home with the suggestion that the German experiences in collecting, sorting and recycling used packages should first be tested on the Crimea. The discussions, which were the basis of these suggestions, also led to deeper insights into the packaging industries of the reform countries. This made possible the publication of a study on "The developments in the packaging industry and in the use of packages and approaches to a package circulation in selected countries in Central and Eastern Europe".

The stimuli for the international courses came from the packaging seminars in Leipzig, which are organised for executives and the young people in the economy. Experts from abroad repeatedly took part in these seminars. By now, the results of these events are mirrored by 30 volumes of selected publications each of which can be purchased at the chamber of commerce of Leipzig.

New series of courses in 2001

At the moment, the Arbeitsstelle Leipzig (a department of the German Packaging Institute), the chamber of commerce of Leipzig and the Duales System Deutschland AG prepare for a new series of events in further education in connection with institutes and practice partners from Germany and abroad. The main emphasis will be on the possibilities of improving the quality of packages and the completion of the cycle of packages. The courses, which will take place at the executive academy of the chamber of commerce of Leipzig, are targeted at packaging experts and people in leading positions in the packaging industries of the reform countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

The topic of the new series of courses, which will be based on the courses on "Globalisation, Package Development, Package Recyling and European Co-operation", is "New Requirements of Package and Environment Quality". The courses will especially consider trends in the product and package development as well as packaging innovations, services, and the ten-year experience of the Duales System Deutschland AG. A special focus will also be on new issues in the packaging economy and in international co-operation.

11th Packaging Conference in Dresden

The Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Fördertechnik und Verpackung e.V. Dresden organises the 11th Packaging Conference on December 6 and 7, 2001. It has "Finding Reserves in the Packaging Process" as its motto. On the first day, the topic "Packaging in a bag - Tendencies and New Possibilities" will be in the centre of interest.

On the second day, there will be a Eastern Europe workshop, which will be organised in connection with the German Packaging Institute. In the course of the workshop there will be the possibility of discussing matters of economic development, the situation of the packaging industry, and the special requirements of packages resulting from national and regional peculiarities.

Invitations can be obtained from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Großmann, Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Fördertechnik und Verpackung e.V. Dresden, Zschierbachstraße 7, D-01259 Dresden.

10th Anniversary of the German Packaging Institute

The German Packaging Institute proudly looks back on ten years of successful work. The statutes of the Institute were handed over to the county court of Leipzig for official registration on August 30, 1990 after the heads of the departments of packaging technology of the TFH Berlin and the Institute for Product Research of the Handelshochschule Leipzig had thoroughly discussed the tasks and aims of the institute. The county court of Leipzig entered the German Packaging Institute into the official register of societies and organisations under the registration number 646 on September 27, 1990.

According to the revised statutes of 1997 the institute pursues the following aims:

  • the promotion of research and the development in the packaging sector
  • imparting findings and experiences on interested people inside and outside the country
  • the promotion of co-operation between the institutes inside and outside the country and the exchange of information between organisations in Germany and from abroad which have the same or similar aims
  • informing the public of new developments in the packaging sector

By now, the German Packaging Institute has become well-known even beyond the circle of experts owing to its notable further education courses, the activities of its work teams, its publications, and sponsoring and organising the German Packaging Competition. The institute established work teams for education and further education, packaging and the environment, public relations, and standards and regulations in order to promote the exchange of information and to develop viewpoints on issues in packaging. Additionally, six regional groups were founded, which intensified the exchange of technical information on a regional level after an agreement of co-operation between the German Packaging Institute and the Association of German Packaging Engineers (BDVI) came into force in 1994.

The work of the institute is mirrored in numerous essays, reports, comments, and reviews that have been published in journals in Germany and from abroad. The further education courses alone have resulted in 21 volumes of publications. These publications show that the German Packaging Institute is well-prepared for the scientific, technical and economic challenges to come.

Developments in Packaging and the Use of Packages and Approaches to a Circulation of Packages in Selected States in Central and Eastern Europe.

An Inventory. Published by the German Packaging Institute in co-operation with the European Packaging Institute. 2000.

This volume comprising 104 pages is the result of investigations carried out in connection with courses for packaging experts and packaging managers from the reform countries in Central and Eastern Europe during 1994 to 2000. The findings are based on the analysis of literature (more than 100 sources), a systematic exchange of information with packaging experts and packaging managers as well as with the packaging institutes and associations of these countries. In addition, the findings are based on discussions and surveys conducted in over 40 courses that were organised in Leipzig for participants from 16 countries.

The most space of the volume has been devoted to the topic "Packaging under the conditions of market economy". The focus is on the new conditions for the packaging industries, related problems, and the preconditions of meeting the requirements of the European Packaging Directive (Directive 94/63/EG of the European Parliament and the European Council on packages and package waste from December 20th, 1994)

The starting point of the report is the conditions for the development of the economy and the measures taken to promote the economic development during the period of transformation from planned economy to market economy.

The significance of the report results from the developments of the last decade: After the political turn and the end of the Cold War the proximity and the significance of the reform countries became increasingly the focus of attention of Western European economic circles. It is a common fact that these formerly socialist countries, which cover 18 percent of the world's surface and have a population of 350 million, belong, along with the People's Republic of China; to the most important growing markets of the world. Thus, the knowledge of the developments in these countries are important not only for politicians, but also for economists. The book is especially aimed at companies which are interested in the export to these countries. The report is amplified by 43 illustrations and 13 tables; it also includes three supplements. Interested people may ask for the report at the Arbeitsstelle Leipzig of the German Packaging Institute.

The Green Point in Europe. Published by Duales System Deutschland AG, Köln.

This brochure (63 pages) offers an overview of the measures that have been taken to collect, sort, and recycle commercial packages in nine European countries. The brochure also provides information on the tasks and perspectives of the Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe (PRO EUROPE). Here the focus is on the legislative foundations, the organisational and financial aspects and the results of a European waste policy and how European countries put it into practice.

So far, organisations in ten countries have decided to make use of the German experiences with the result that the Green Point has been introduced in 11 countries. Thus, Wolfram Brück mentions in the preface that the Green Point is the brand used most frequently worldwide because 460 billion packaging units are recycled every year.

The last section of the brochure informs the reader on the tasks and perspectives of the PACKGING RECOVERY ORGANISATION EUROPE (a.k.a. PRO EUROPE). This organisation allocates the right to use the brand "The Green Point" to nationally accepted systems. Moreover, PRO EUROPE develops and controls allocation conditions for the "Green Point" in co-operation with the European anti-trust commissions.

Orders can be sent to Duales System Deutschland AG, D-51145 Köln.