Packaging Industry

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 5th July 2011.

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Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby 11:00 am, 5th July 2011

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point about the use of recycled materials. We need to be careful about products that come into contact with food. I shall speak later about a recycling project with which I am familiar, but the recycled products are not for food use.

I referred to recent developments in food packaging. The speciality coffee sector is another case; the producers of better-quality coffee are able to distinguish their products by presenting them in board, rather than the less expensive plastic or expanded polystyrene foam. Throughout my time in business, I saw catering disposables and packaging being used as a marketing medium—a device on which to print a name, logo or marketing message to convey the nature of the business. My experience of the catering disposable sector has given me such a knowledge of its products that I often joke with friends that I could speak for more than an hour on the various methods of packing a hamburger, but I shall not inflict that on the House. However, like sandwiches, hamburger packaging represents a good example of development. We moved from the paper bag to wrapping in foil, and then went from expanded polystyrene to the folded and glued board carton with which we are familiar today.

One thing that encouraged me, as a new Member, to apply for this debate was the fact that I have joined the all-party group on the packaging manufacturing industry, and I am pleased to see a number of its members here today. I was encouraged to join the group not only because of my experience in the packaging sector, but because a substantial manufacturer is based in my

constituency of Rugby. Ball Packaging manufactures one-piece aluminium drink cans, and I was pleased to visit its highly automated high-tech plant only last summer.