Containers Printers: No Shortage of Challenges, but CP Has Sustainability Issue Wrapped

The environmental effects of packaging once went unnoticed by consumers, but that has changed — and Containers Printers is all for it.

Containers Printers

In a world increasingly aware of sustainability and responsibility for the environment, consumers and businesses are steering towards positive territory.

Customers want sustainable products and carbon-neutral processes to back their purchases — and that includes packaging. There is governmental encouragement to adapt; in the UK, the Plastics Packaging Tax now affects packaging with less than 30 percent recycled content.

Singapore-based Containers Printers (CP) is ahead of the game in that regard. It has been conducting research with partners looking into advanced tech, including chemical recycling and digital solutions to support Lifecycle Assessments.

But that does not mean a lack of hurdles, admits CEO Amy Chung. “Customers’ priorities are now on ESG parameters and principles, but that increases business costs and staff requirements, including new skills sets.”

“The trajectory leads directly to carbon-neutrality and a circular economy — and CP is committed to supporting that.”

Chung says she is confident that the company can operate profitably on a sustainable basis. “But there’s a need for market demand to substantially grow,” she says, “and the industry must be recognised as an essential value-add, not as a cost item.”

Legislation needs more clarity and alignment, she believes, to be less burdensome for the packaging industry. “Perseverance and patience are necessary,” she adds. “Mid- to long-term challenges include manpower and cost.”

During the pandemic, CP faced challenges in material availability, shipping routes, and pricing. Covid 19 brought workforce shortages, reduced visitor access to the CP site, and disruption to the supply chain. CP overcame those challenges, says Chung, remaining operational throughout.

“But if the Covid situation continues, demand will be impacted. This will further burden companies and affect profitability prospects. More M&A transactions are being observed, which makes it tougher for smaller companies like Containers Printers.”

Initiatives such as remote audits, combined with safe distancing, have prompted CP to embrace a new way of working. “Adopting the changes prepares us to work this way,” she says. “It has accelerated some trends and projects, including in digitalisation of our factories.”

Containers Printers was founded in Singapore back in 1981 with one humble product: a square cooking oil tin. The firm’s portfolio has diversified to include metal and flexible laminate packaging solutions for a global market. Sustainability is firmly front and centre for the company.

CP supports customers in meeting new legislation guidelines and sustainability targets, Chung says. Singapore’s Mandatory Packaging Reporting (MPR) legislation requires companies to provide packaging data to the government.

The island state is promoting the 2030 Green Plan to establish national sustainability agenda. The trajectory leads directly to carbon-neutrality and a circular economy — and CP is committed to supporting that.

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