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2023 The Plastic Tax and more – 2023 stability?

2022 was another year when the UK plastic packaging industry was under constant attack. The Government (Plastic tax) WRAP, (fruit and veg packaging), Greenpeace, Helen McArthur Foundation, (everything). We even had the fantacists from A Plastic Planet claiming “a million people in the 3rd world die after coming into contact with plastics”. They did not say who these people were, where they lived, or what part of plastics killed them. But these ludicrous claims highlight just how far these organisations will go to denigrate the use of plastic.

But there was also much to be pleased about, particuarly here at National Flexible.

Film prices falling:- October/November saw polymer prices falling as energy costs redued. This trend continued into 2023. So as we reduce stocks we can anticipate reducing film prices. Now is not the time to be building up your stock levels.

Plastic Packaging Recycling:- The UK hit its plastic recycling target, with some 57% (1 million tonne +) of packaging film recycled. Exports of film for recycling continued, but a record amount of plastic packaging was recycled in the UK. This trend should continue when the Government eventually decide to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles.

UK Packaging Awards:- There were 2 for National Flexible

  • Flexible Plastic Pack of The Year
  • Resource Efficient Pack of The Year

Premier Foods Paxo Pack with 60% plastic recycled content. This reduced:

  • The pack carbon footprint by 30%.
  • The pack acidification by 25%.
  • The pack eutrophication by 25%.
  • The pack water consumption by 40%.

This film demonstrates what can be achieved when the film manufacturer works together with the film supplier and the customer’s technical team.

Customer market survey:- This was the 6th year that we received 100% customer recommendations as a film supplier. From 2017-2022, every customer responding to our annual customer satisfaction survey have said they would recommend National Flexible. Full results along with all their comments (over 100) are shown on our website

As ever we appreciate our customers’ comments as they highlight where we can continue to improve our performance.


2022 was a difficult year for everyone. The logistics in the first ½ of the year were difficult (that’s an understatement). Then along came the Plastic Tax costing some £400 million, whilst film prices increased month after month.

However, we enter 2023 with greater market stability and reducing energy costs. Supply logistics have improved. We look forward to a much more stable working environment.  Or are we tempting providence? - We shall see.

As ever I welcome your views on any of the items raised and why not join me on LinkedIn for more regular updates.



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