Hopefully you are aware of the major activities that Pro Carton undertake as part of our task to promote the benefits of cartons and cartonboard but you may not be aware of some of the other activities that Pro Carton get involved in and we thought it might be interesting to share some of these with you.

Last year the major activities we undertook included the launch of the TICCIT schools’ education programme across Europe, a consumer research project interviewing 7,000 shoppers, publication of both the Pro Carton magazine and the Comparison of Plastics and Cartons study and, of course, running the European Carton Excellence Awards and the Pro Carton Young Designers Awards. If you’re not aware of any of these please check out our website to find out more.

Additionally, Pro Carton are regularly invited to speak at Conferences and Exhibitions across Europe. Last year we spoke at events held in Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Latvia, France, Sweden and the UK. One of the highlights was Horst Bittermann’s presentation at the Smithers Pira Sustainability in Packaging Conference in October attended by over 200 senior brand owners and retailers in Barcelona. Some of these events are organised by the ECMA National Associations. Pro Carton co-operates with the National Associations on a variety of projects (including exhibitions, advertising and event sponsorship) providing financial and practical support. One of the biggest is the annual Fachpack exhibition in Nuremburg which attracts around 45,000 visitors each year. FFI (the German carton association) and Pro Carton will have a joint stand again in 2019.

The winning’ packs from the Excellence Awards get further exposure at a variety of other fairs across Europe, even if we are not exhibiting at the fair ourselves, as we will send the products and display material to be featured at the show. A spin off from the main Young Designers Award are the national level Young Designers’ competitions which we are looking to run in five countries this year.

Pro Carton liaises with other trade associations ensuring members’ interests are well represented and we keep close to what’s happening politically that may affect our industry. Of course, Pro Carton works very closely with ECMA but also with other international associations such as CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries), CITPA (International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe), Two Sides (who campaign on behalf of the whole paper industry) and Pack2Go as well as organisations further afield such as the Paper Packaging Council in the USA (who originated the TICCIT programme).

Pro Carton has an active public relations campaign promoting the benefits of cartons and cartonboard. In traditional media, last year we obtained nearly 200 pieces of coverage in 17 different countries and that’s only the articles we are aware of. Members can find examples of some of the features and news items in the Members Area of our website. You’ll also find us regularly posting on social media particularly Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Did you know we also have a site dedicated to the Young Designers Award too? Whilst our numbers of followers have increased dramatically we want to encourage everybody to follow and share the messages that Pro Carton are putting out and we’re undertaking a specific social media campaign to further build our reach in 2019.

Our website is a mine of information and is regularly updated with news from within the industry as well as with the articles from our newsletters and all the reports and studies, which can be downloaded from the Publications section. The information held there is for everyone to use and we’ve tried to provide it in formats that are easy to view and access – there’s flipbooks and now jpgs of the infographics so that you can use them in your communications.

In 2019 we will complete the update of our Environmental Data report, one output from which will be a revised carbon footprint which will I’m sure reflect the positive moves that the industry is making to be even more environmentally-friendly.

Our main task is however to continue to broadcast our message that cartonboard is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable – truly sustainable – and the perfect example of the circular economy in practice and in doing so encourage brand owners and retailers to choose cartonboard whenever and wherever possible. Pro Carton – Packaging for a better world.