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Edition 3/2004

Five Years of the European Packaging Institute

The European Packaging Institute e.V. can now look back on five years of existence. The decision to found an official association of benefit to the public, taken on the occasion of the 15th Interpack in 1999 in Düsseldorf, became a reality on 26 October 1999 with its entry in the Register of societies and associations at the District Court of Leipzig under Registration Number VR 3255. The starting point for its establishment was the recognition that the tasks facing the European packaging sectors can only be tackled successfully if there is close co-operation between the packaging institutes and associations, and by the combining of forces. It seemed important in this context that an influence should be exerted on the development of packaging that was based on the latest state of the art and sciences, as well as being oriented towards ecology and the economy, as well as exploiting to the full the research and development potentials which exist in the individual countries concerned. The European Packaging Institute has become well-known beyond the particular professional circles alone, thanks to its publications and its involvement in significant specialist and technical events as well as due to its initiatives towards the further and advanced training of experts in the packaging field. Since 2001 regular notifications have been issued by the Institute, initially in German and English. So far, eight issues have appeared with more than 90 contributions, under the title "Reports, News, Notifications". These publications provide information in particular about important events such as public presentations and plans, and the results of work, which are of general interest. The European Packaging Institute e.V. has at present 18 member institutes and associations in 12 countries, and accordingly has the very comprehensive know-how required to take part in decisions at the European level. The Board of Management is preparing an anthology on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Institute, which is intended to provide a more detailed look at the activities so far.

 
 

University Teachers from Seven Countries Attend Advanced Training in Leipzig

In July 2004 two international courses were held at the Educational Centre of the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce for university teachers and leading personalities from the packaging sector from seven countries. The courses were prepared by the Leipzig Educational Centre in close co-operation with DSD AG, the German and European Packaging Institute, the Leipzig University for applied Science, and with universities, technical colleges, and packaging associations from the partner countries. During the courses many questions were answered which have come up during the development of the packaging sector and packaging recycling in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Russia, and the Ukraine. The courses focussed on the latest studies in the development of product ranges and the use of packaging, advances in development of packaging materials and packagings, the new demands on packaging, and the contribution by Duales System Deutschland AG towards the development of the recycling sector, as well as other experiences gained in Europe and the world in general. In conjunction with the lecture events, the course participants also had the opportunity of studying the significance of the knowledge and experiences being presented for actual practice in advanced German companies, such as at the Quelle dispatch centre in Leipzig and at SERO Leipzig GmbH, where the most modern automatic sorting system for lightweight packaging in the world at the present time is now in operation. During the discussion sessions, the course participants were familiarised with the initiatives by the European Packaging Institute e.V. in the promotion of co-operation among packaging specialists throughout Europe. At the same time, emphasis was given to the part played by exchanges and advanced training in the fulfilment of the tasks which are to be resolved for the further development of the packaging sector. In support of training and advanced training at universities and colleges in the partner countries, the delegations were provided with the very latest in teaching materials, which were developed in Leipzig, such as teaching texts and presentations for overhead projection films, as well as new copies of videos.

 
 

Incentives for the Packaging of Gift Articles

The role of packaging in the presentation of gift articles was the subject of three seminars held within the framework of the most recent specialist trade fair for gift and lifestyle ideas, CADEAUX, held from 11 to 13 September 2004 in the halls of the Leipzig Fair. At a "Packaging Action Forum" seminar participants were provided with incentives and ideas for attractive packaging and a high-quality product presentation, such as the use of special papers and films and ready-prepared gift wrappings, as well as the use of suitable accessories for packaging media. Presentations were also given at the same time showing how packaging can be adapted to suit the occasion for the gift or the time of year (such as summer and autumn) or the festivals (such as Easter or Christmas). The Fair was the 25th of its kind in Leipzig, with 490 exhibitors from 16 countries taking part, among them suppliers of packaging for foodstuffs and other consumer articles. From the point of view of the person receiving the gift the packaging has a value which counts more than the effort and expenditure for the materials many times over. Comparisons at the German Packaging Institute e.V. between the costs of the packaging and the part played by the packaging in the quality features of foodstuffs and other products for daily requirement have shown that, from the consumer's point of view, the value of the packaging can be many times greater than its cost.

 
 

Activities for Implementing European Directives and Standards in Lithuania

The Lithuanian Packaging Association has elected UAB General Director "Baltgin" Faustas Kersys as President. At the same time, Dr. Alis Lebedys has been appointed as Vice President for European Integration and Packaging Ecology. With the accession of Lithuania to the European Union, the packaging associations of the Baltic republic see the main focus of their work as being on the implementation of the European Packaging Directive 94/62/EC in conjunction with Directive 2004/12/EC. A second key issue is the adoption of European packaging standards within the Lithuanian standards framework. Other current topics are the avoidance of damage to goods, the testing of packaging, and the assessment and evaluation of quality in packaging.

The address is: Lithuanian Packaging Association, Karaliaus Mindaugo pr. 21, 44295 Kaunas, LITHUANIA, telephone/fax 0037037323775, E-mail: paketch@org.ktn.lt linda@packing.lt

 
 

Majority of Latvian Citizens in Favour of Sorting Packaging Waste

The overwhelming majority of Latvian citizens are basically prepared to fulfil the requirements of the European Packaging Directive to the separate collection of packaging waste. This was the result of a survey carried out on instructions from the Latvian Green Dot Organization (Latoijas Zalais Punkts). The survey revealed that in 2004 20 % of the residents sorted packaging waste, and 60 % of them would be happy to do so if the containers required were to be provided. Only 10 % admitted that they did not want to support separate collection and sorting of waste. Packaging waste accounts for a significant proportion of household refuse, of which 200 kg is generated per citizen per year. According to a notification from Riga, 64 % of waste in Latvia comes from domestic households and community facilities, 18 % from the construction sector, and 17 % from industry.

 
 

Further Developments with the British Packaging Institute

At the British Institute of Packaging (Sysonby Lodge, Nottingham Road, Melton Mowbray. Leicestershire LE 13 ONU), four departments have been formed which will be concentrating on current issues, and at the same time are intended to contribute to the even greater effectiveness of the Institute. The first department, designated the Packaging Industry Awarding Body (PIABC) will be developing a system of qualifying measures for the packaging industry and teaching materials, as well as accrediting suitable centres. The second department will be dedicated to the commercial activities of the Institute on a broad front. Under the title of the Packaging Industry Commercial Service (PICS), the department will be concentrating on services for members. The third department is styled Packaging Industry Development Services (PIDS), and will be offering a wide selection of teaching possibilities, setting out quality measures, and establishing professional standards. The fourth department will be concentrating on services for members, as is expressed by its title, Packaging Industry Membership Services (PIMS). The organizational changes are intended to contribute to the Institute being better able to meet the new demands of actual practice, while at the same time strengthening the Institute's position.

 
 

Wider Range of Teaching Materials for Packaging on the Internet

The teaching materials developed in Leipzig for packaging services, for packaging recycling, and for packaging development will in future be available to interested persons free of charge on the Internet. This is the result of an agreement between the German Packaging Institute e.V. and the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
The new teaching materials are anthologies which were published by the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce at the 18th, 19th, and 20th Leipzig Packaging Seminars, with the seminar lectures and the documentation generated at the seminars. The objects of the seminars were "Research and services for the packaging sector in the Free State of Saxony - possibilities, problems, uses", "Material recycling and the requirements for packaging. Current status, perspectives, and points of departure for the future", and "New packaging - opportunities, possibilities, and problems". The volumes available on the Internet are the second supplemented edition of the collected volumes, with a detailed presentation of the course of the seminars and the contents of the most important discussion contributions and the recommendations arising from them. The anthologies from the packaging college held at the University of Leipzig, and from 17 packaging seminars, have already been accessible on the Internet for three years, as well as two volumes with manuscripts relating to questions involving packaging. This means that anyone interested can make recourse at any time to 23 volumes with contributions from research and from actual practice.
Available at www.leipzig.ihk.de, key word: Verpackung (packaging).

 
 

Packaging Exhibition at the Budapest Museum of Arts and Crafts

Under the title of "The Magic of the Box - Family Recollections Treasured in Boxes", the Budapest Museum of Arts and Crafts has been hosting an exhibition on development in the packaging sector. The exhibition shows, on the basis of boxes and other packagings, the importance of the packaging of cultural items, with the example of packagings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The most striking exhibits come from the collection owned by medical professor Dr. Gyula Janny, who lived from 1842 to 1942 and collected boxes made of wood, cardboard, and sheet metal, as well as egg-shaped packaging. At the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries packaging materials were already being produced in Hungary on an industrial scale. For example, the Karoly David and Son carton factory, with 400 personnel, was manufacturing 300,000 boxes of different kinds annually. The role of packaging design in promoting the sale of brandname products was recognised at an early stage, by way of the packaging for confectionary and long-life baked goods as well as for cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, together with packaging for tobacco and tobacco products and articles of clothing and writing materials. Boxes for cigars and cigarettes have been manufactured in Hungary since 1868, and during this period gift packaging has had an important part to play, as shown by the examples of egg-shaped packagings with diameters of between 4 and 24 cm.

 
 

Effective Trademark Protection

The European Union has deposited the accession documentation to the Madrid Protocol on the international registration of trademarks to the WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, in Geneva. The accession allows for simple and cheap registration and effective international protection for trademarks, and came into effect on 1 October 2004. 60 countries have already acceded to the Madrid Protocol, including China, Japan, Russia, and the USA. The consequence of accession is that, after application for the trademark at the Harmonization Office for the Single Market (HOSM) in Alicante, application can also be made for international registration in accordance with the Madrid Protocol. After registration of what is referred to as the Community trademark, the office in Alicante will forward the application for extension of protection to the countries which are members of WIPO to the World Intellectual Property Organization, so that publication can be carried out in the International Trademark Gazette.

 
 

New Study of the Development of Packaging for Consumer Goods

Under the title "Packaging: a global marketplace. Myth or Reality?", the organizers of the international packaging exhibition "EMBALLAGE" in Paris-Nord Villepinte are presenting a study of the development of packaging for consumer goods with the focus on the packaging strategies of major brands with regard to the globalization of the markets. The basis of the study, which has been prepared by the consultancy firm LOEB INNOVATION, was the evaluation of the latest publications and the international trade fairs mounted in recent times, as well as interviews with specialists and staff of design agencies. During the investigations, the activities of world-wide concerns were taken into account, including the different organizational arrangements in the globalization of brand products, as well as cultural peculiarities which act as a filter for globalization. Among the differences in the use of brand products, which correspond to the international "megabrands", as well as the adaptation of individual brands to individual markets, contradictory trends became apparent, which are reflected in the use of packaging. For example, there are luxury products which are offered in all countries in the same packaging, such as Lancôme products, which even appear on the Asiatic market in the packaging known from Europe only with French and English text. At the same time, there are a good number of products for which the packaging has been adapted to the different target markets. Among beverages, the packaging size varies from country to country. It is accordingly not only important to be familiar with the factors which drive globalization forwards, but also to take account of the factors with which consideration can be given to local circumstances, especially when reversion to traditional products in some economic areas is a particularly current issue. Exploitation of the incentives which different cultures have to offer is a source of product ideas which at the present time still remains untapped. Finally, it should not be overlooked that the manufacturers of packaging materials primarily serve regional markets.


 
 

Study of the Requirements on Packaging in Armenia

The new demands being made on packaging which have arisen with the transition to the market economy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been the subject of a number of recent studies. The latest survey was carried out by the Armenian Packaging Association, ARMENPAK, and the results compiled by the President of the Association, Prof. Dr. Suren Chiboukhchyan (Yerevan) in a 40-page brochure printed in Armenian and English.
The basis of the presentations was a series of questionnaires, in which 138 men and 287 women answered 17 questions, ranging from purchasing habits to consumer requirements with regard to packaging. The replies show that Armenian consumers place great significance on the packaging of foodstuffs and other consumer goods. For example, consumers in Armenia expect the labels and packaging to provide not only information about the characteristics, use, and validity of the packed goods. 31.9 % of the men questioned and 39.4 % of the women were concerned by the ecological criteria, 52.3 % to 61.8 % of those asked wanted the information on labels and packaging to be in the Armenian language, 20.3% to 28.9 % in Russian, and only 5.2 % to 5.8 % wanted it to be in English.