Edition 01/2001
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Edition 01/2004
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Edition 03/2004
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Edition 01/2006
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Edition 01/2008
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Edition 2/2004

17th Interpack

From 21 to 27 April 2005 Düsseldorf will be hosting the 17th Interpack, the international packaging machinery, packaging, and confectionery machinery fair. Hitherto this fair has offered a surface area of 163,913 m2 for hire by exhibitors from all over the world, and now also has a new fair hall available of 13,000 m2. For the first time companies will be exhibiting from Egypt, Bulgaria, Chile, Ireland, Pakistan, and the Philippines, as well as from Saudi-Arabia and the United Emirates.
The 15th Interpack was the venue for the agreement on the founding, on 10 May 1999, of the European Packaging Institute (EPI). The forthcoming Interpack will accordingly be a welcome opportunity for the Board of the European Packaging Institute to discuss the concepts for future development of co-operation within the Institute, and member institutes and associations will be receiving invitations in good time to the Institute's presentation.


Supplement to the European Packaging Directives comes into force

After several years of discussion, the Supplement to the European Packaging Directives was approved by the European Parliament and by the Council of the European Commission on 11 February 2004. Under the title "Directive 2004/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004, amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging Waste", the Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 18 February 2004, and so came into force.
The Supplement sets out to achieve these targets for the material recycling of packaging waste by December 2008: Paper, board, and glass 60 %, metal 50 %, plastics as plastics 22.5 %, and wood 15 %, as well as providing exception regulations for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and for the countries which joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.
Account is also taken of instructions for the use of basic terms, as well as guidelines for the avoidance of waste and for harmonized means of reporting and the management of packaging and packaging waste. In conjunction with the explanation of the terms, objects are also cited which should not be counted as packaging, which include, among other things tool boxes, tea bags, and sausage skins.


Regular Warnings from the EU Commission regarding Product Risks

The European Commission Internet site will in future be providing regular information about risks and hazards which could be associated with the use of consumer goods. The basis for these notifications will be provided by warnings from Member States of the European Union. As well as the new version of the Directive relating to General Product Safety, which has come into effect in the interim, manufacturers and dealers are now obliged to draw attention to possible risks and to advise the authorities of these. At present there are two to four warnings issued weekly, most of which relate to electrical appliances and toys. The notifications are assessed by the General Directorate of Health and Consumer Protection, while for food and animal feeds there is already a rapid warning system in place at the level of the European Union.


10 Years of the Polish Chamber of Packaging

2004 will mark the tenth anniversary of the "Krajowa Izba Opakowan", the Polish Chamber of Packaging, also known in a shortened form as "KIO". The Chamber was established in April 1994 by a number of well-known companies which were concerned with development and manufacture as well as the use of packaging. The main aim of the Chamber, which is a member of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, is to represent the economic interests of its members in relation to the authorities and official organizations.
The Chamber at present has 115 members, organized into six departments. These departments are Paper, Plastics, Glass, Metals, Packaging Machinery, and the Recycling of packaging waste.
One feature of particular value for the members is the fact that the Chamber of Packaging belongs to the most important research and development institutions for the packaging sector. Particularly worth mentioning in this respect are COBRO, the Polish Packaging Research and Development Center, METALCHEM, the Institute for Plastic Processing, IPC, the Institute for Paper and Cellulose, the Institute for Logistics and Warehouse Management, EMPAK the Research and Development Center for the Mechanization of Packaging Processes, and COBICO, the Center for Testing and Certification of Packaging. The close contact between the Polish Chamber of Packaging and COBRO, the Polish Packaging Research and Development Center, derives from the fact that the Managing Director of the Research and Development Center, Prof. Dr. S. Tkaczyk, is also the President of the Chamber of Packaging.
Most recently, the Polish Chamber of Packaging has been of service in providing information events so as to prepare its members for the European Union, by introducing "Chamber of Packaging Open Days". Current activities also include initiatives for the re-establishment of trade relations with Russia.


10 Years of Leipzig Courses for Packaging Managers and Specialists from Central and Eastern Europe

2004 marked ten years of co-operation between the Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut e.V., the German Packaging Institute, and the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce, with associates from the worlds of science and practice in providing further training for managers and specialists from the packaging sectors from the former Eastern Block countries of Central and Eastern Europe. These courses, established ten years ago, have for several years been enjoying increasing international significance and recognition and have already been attended by more than 1,500 managers and specialists from 15 European countries and two from outside Europe. As well as members of boards of directors, general managers, and directors of important companies in the sector, course participants have also included representatives from ministries and academics as well as directors of institutes.
The inspiration for the courses came about at the 4th Leipzig Packaging Seminar, at which, on 9 June 1993, the discussion turned to the opportunities and limits for achieving economies in the packaging sector. As a result of the seminar, the Director of the Kiev company Paket, Anatol Kosak, a graduate in engineering and in economics, proposed holding a two-week course for specialists from the Ukraine. This course was held from 3 to 17 March 1994 at the Management Leadership Academy of the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The aim in particular was to provide familiarization with the latest results from packaging development and to exchange details of the experiences gained in the packaging sector in Central and Eastern Germany during the transition from the planned economy to the market economy. Two courses followed in 1995, one for Ukrainian and one for Polish specialists. The experiences gained formed the basis for the extension of course activity and for inviting specialists from other countries as well, with the result that in 1996 seven courses were held, and eleven in 1998.

When the fifth course for Russian managers and specialists was opened on 23 October 2000, in conjunction with the Russian Packaging Association SOYUZUPAK, this was already the fiftieth international course to be held. As with other courses, the opportunity was taken to prepare recommendations for the further development of bilateral and multilateral co-operation.
The basis for the course programs was the state of the knowledge achieved in research and development, and experience gained from advanced practice and special problems in the packaging sector in the participants' own countries. Particular attention was paid in this context to the results achieved with the collection, sorting, and recycling of used packaging, and the setting of European goals in packaging recycling. New findings from research into the relationships between packaging and the environment have always formed the focus of attention for the programs in this situation, as well as the experiences gained with the Duales System Deutschland AG, the German Dual System. The main purpose of the lectures and seminars was the provision of incentives for course participants to consolidate their growing knowledge in the sectors of packaging and packaging recycling for use in actual practice. In line with this, the course programs have tackled topics such as packaging innovations, new developments in packaging materials, new aspects of packaging recycling, globalization and the use of packaging, as well as progress and advances in packaging technology and packaging and recycling strategies, and have themselves become records of developments in the packaging sector over the past ten years.
The events held in Leipzig have also taken account of the specific requirements of the partner countries. In 2000, for example, courses were introduced for professors, associate professors and assistant lecturers at earlier stages in their careers, while 2002 marked the first course for Chinese packaging specialists and 2003 the first seminar for European packaging publicists. This event for packaging journalists was attended by 14 publicists from twelve countries.


10 Years of the Chair of Technology and Commodity Science at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

250 scientific publications and 20 academic books are the result of the activities so far from the Chair of Technology and Commodity Science at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, which was established in 1994. The Chair, which is assigned to the Faculty of Economics, is responsible for familiarizing students with the most important technical processes and providing the knowledge needed with regard to the products and their quality. This includes taking account of technical and economic problems, so putting graduates in a position in which they can work together with specialists in the natural sciences and technical experts alike.

The Chair, which joined the European Packaging Institute at the start of the year, has a staff of eleven, one Professor, five lecturers, a reader, a junior lecturer, an engineer, and two technicians. The Chair, which is very interested in international co-operation, has access to laboratories for research into the determination of the quality of industrial and agricultural products.

The address is: Romania, "Babes-Bolyai" University, Faculty of Economics, Chair of Technology and Commodity Science, Str. Theodor Mihail, 58-60, 400591 CLUJ-NAPOCA.


EUREKA Projects at the Central Research and Development Center for Packaging in Warsaw

The Central Research and Development Center for Packaging in Warsaw, known in specialist circles as COBRO in a shortened form, has started work on a number of EUREKA projects. The subjects of two of the projects are testing methods for protecting goods during distribution in Europe, and the preparation of a method for the development of new packaging and packaging systems on the basis of ecological, logistic, and economic preconditions. The research is being co-ordinated by PACKFORSK, the Swedish Institute for Packaging and Distribution.
In conjunction with the Center for Polymer Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences, as well as a number of film manufacturers and processors, research has also been taken up on the EUREKA project "Multi-layer Packaging Material from Renewable Resources". The intention behind the research is to consider materials which consist of coated papers and biodegradable polymers, while other subjects involving the Warsaw Research and Development Center for Packaging are innovation and sustained development in packaging made from fiber materials, as well as the recycling and technical development of new packaging materials.
2003 saw the completion of the two-year research topic "Safe Metal Packaging for Foodstuffs". The aims of the project were the minimization of quality changes due to migration from the packaging into the food, and the determination of optimum conditions for the production of sheet metal cans. The research work was carried out in conjunction with PACKFORSK, Swedish can manufacturers, and manufacturers of paints and varnishes.


More than 2,300 Standards for Material Testing

According to the latest report from the Material Testing Standards Committee of DIN, the German Standards Institute, there are at present 2,302 binding Standards for material testing in force in the Federal Republic of Germany. The range of material testing Standards also includes 93 Prestandards or Technical Specifications, and 353 Draft Standards.
In 2003 a total of 234 new Standards introduced, as well as twelve Prestandards or Technical Specifications and 138 Draft Standards prepared. Some 78 % of the new Standards, Prestandards, and Draft Standards are identical to the European and international Standards.


Review of International Standards for Environmental Management

The experiences gained over the past few years with the international Standards for environmental management are currently being put to good use in the review of the ISO Standards relating to requirements for environmental management systems and environmental assessment of locations and organizations. This information comes from notifications from NAGUS, the Standards Committee for Basic Principles in Environmental Protection at DIN, the German Standards Institute.

Representatives from more than 40 countries are taking part in work on the Standard ISO 14001, with the title "Environmental Management Systems - Requirements, with an Introduction to Application", which was introduced in 1996. The aim of the review is to make application of the Standard simpler, and to establish concordance with the Standards for quality management, in particular ISO 9001.
The Standard will take into consideration environmental criteria which the organizations can monitor, and on which influence can be exerted. It is not intended that the requirements set down in the 1996 edition should be intensified or reduced.

ISO Standard 14015, with the title "Environmental Management - Environmental Assessment of Locations and Organizations" is growing in significance with regard to the economical assessment of companies and organizations. The aim of the Standard is to make the environmental assessment procedures more comparable and more transparent.


Waste Problems in the Ukraine

"Co-operation in the Solution of Problems with Waste" was the theme of a specialist conference held on 5 and 6 February 2004 in Charkov, involving representatives from both science and actual practice. The conference, which was organized by NGO Ökoinform, addressed the problems of waste in the Ukraine from the ecological and economic points of view, with particular attention being paid to the requirements of municipalities and industry, and of the packaging industry in particular.
The conference provided many valuable suggestions for rational methods of waste handling and for the closure of material cycles. An overview of the results achieved is provided by a 290-page collected volume, which is already available in printed form.


Promotional Project for Waste Collection, Transport, and Treatment in Romania

The European Commission is currently promoting a series of different projects aimed at improving environmental conditions in the new EU countries as well as in countries preparing for EU admission. Among the 30 or so projects which have now been published are a number dealing with regional waste management and special waste management in Lithuania. One project, which it is intended should be promoted in Romania, relates to the re-establishment of the collection, transport, and treatment of waste as well as waste tip procedures in the region of Dambovita.


New Critiques of Sales Packaging

Despite numerous references to difficulties in opening packaging and increasing criticism, the number of accidents when opening sales packaging with knives in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has increased by 21 % in the past four years. Last year alone, 76,000 people sought medical assistance in hospital after accidents involving packaging, with a substantial number of these accidents occurring when opening packaging made of plastic film.

Improvement in the ease of handling packaging is becoming particularly important from the point of view of the demographic changes being forecast for the next few years. Already,
27 % of households in Europe are now single-person households, with the proportion set to rise over the next decade to more than 33 %.


Lisinka-Kusnierz, M., and Ucherek, M.:
Modern Packaging, published in Polish by the Polish Association for Food Technology,
307 pages, 44 tables, and 77 illustrations. Cracow 2003

The book provides basic information for the use of packaging, which reflects the advances in technology as well as the requirements of the economy and ecology. Particular attention has been paid in this respect to the requirements arising from Poland's accession to the European Union. In this connection, the authors point out that at the present time more than 100 legal provisions for packaging are binding in the countries of the European Union.

Focal points of attention are the social and demographic framework conditions relating to the use of packaging, as well as the requirements which need to be taken into account when using packaging. The topics presented also extend to the directions of development which the packaging industry is currently pursuing.