By Barry Copping, Plastics & Rubber Weekly
London -- The British Plastics Federation is surveying its member companies this month to find out how they are faring in the recession and how they view business conditions in 2010. The findings will be discussed at a meeting with the Bank of England.
BPF director general Peter Davis said in a New Year message: "As we enter a new decade we all hope the worst of the recession has passed, but it will be quite some time until business returns to the levels reached in late 2007/early 2008.
"Although the Copenhagen climate change summit failed to achieve a binding agreement, the BPF's Climate Change Agreement means that this year we shall achieve carbon savings of 152 257 tonnes from 267 company sites… a great environmental achievement.
"There are opportunities for plastics [to mitigate carbon emissions] in the construction of more homes; utilities, pipework and water storage; food and drink packaging; and agriculture.
"The last decade ended on a positive note for plastics innovation. In December the Boeing 787 Dreamliner made a successful maiden flight. 50 percent of the aircraft is made from plastic composites, giving a 20 percent fuel consumption saving.
"Also in December, the first manned solar-powered aircraft, "Solar Impulse", made its historic maiden flight in Switzerland. The aircraft makes extensive use of high-performance plastic products including a polyurethane-foam-based cockpit and polymer lithium batteries.
"The UK government has published strategy papers on composites and plastic Electronics. The BPF will play a full part in both [strategies].
"I hope we are entering a decade in which UK plastics manufacturing is valued and encouraged by government, and plastics are recognised as making a huge contribution to our daily lives, providing solutions to the challenge of climate change."