Merry Christmas!

Dear readers, Well what a year and first and foremost may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! It’s also a time to reflect and I’d again like to pass on my personal thanks to everybody within the carton and cartonboard industry for their conscientiousness and diligence in maintaining essential supplies to the key industries during the pandemic. Our colleagues and employees sometimes do not get the full credit or praise they deserve but be assured that you all are really appreciated. I’d also like to thank all the members of the Steering Group for their continued support and invaluable input during my term as Honorary President. The industry has shown tremendous resilience over the last nine months and our product is also resilient. It is system-relevant and sustainable. We need products and packaging that don’t deplete the Earth’s resources, and don’t harm the environment at the end of life, more than ever. It’s pleasing to see so many brands and retailers making cartonboard their packaging material of choice and this has resulted in market growth despite the hit that the industry took from the weakening of the fast food and luxury sectors. The European Commission is pressing ahead with its Green Deal and their objective to move to a more circular economy aligns well with our own. Developing Europe wide legislation is a complex and time consuming job and requires specialist advice as the politicians cannot be expected to be product experts. The importance of organisations such as Cepi, 4evergreen, CITPA and our associations to represent the interests of our industry and to lobby policy makers, in an effort to ensure that EU policy fully considers our position, the green circular packaging position, has never been more vital. Ultimately, I am sure that the Commission will be a strong supporter and benefit to our industry. Before Corona will not be after Corona. There are historical moments when the future changes direction. Those times are now. Through Corona we will adjust our entire attitude towards life - in the sense of our existence as living beings in the midst of other forms of life. Striving for a circular economy and activities to fight climate change have not been stopped, indeed they will accelerate and the fibre-based packaging industry holds the trump cards to emerge as a winner out of it. Enjoy the Christmas break with your loved ones and have a healthy, prosperous and happy 2021. Horst Bittermann President Pro Carton