Mike Ridgway, who has headed the packaging industry’s fight against a move to plain tobacco packaging, has launched the Consumer Packaging Manufacturer’s Alliance (CPMA).
The subscriber service will offer advice and updates on regulatory reform, EU proposals and parliamentary debates as well as regular newsletters targeted specifically at the packaging industry and brand owners.
“This has evolved out of the work I have been doing on behalf of Weidenhammer Packaging Group, Essentra Packaging, Parkside Flexibles and API Group in relation to tobacco packaging regulations,” Ridgway said.
“I wanted to do this to protect the packaging industry primarily from the onslaught of regulation that we are facing so it is really for packaging producers and particularly for brand owners who are looking at increasing regulatory directives that are going to affect them, not just on tobacco but alcohol, foods and drinks,” he added.
Ridgway, former managing director of Weidenhammer, said that he aimed not only to provide an accesible source of regulatory information but that he would also act as a spokesperson for companies within and related to the packaging industry.
Ridgway said: “I am alerting people to the potential new regulations they are facing. It starts with NGOs that want to increase regulation, and I will provide a response service on behalf of those that it will affect. There hasn’t been a voice on the side of packaging so far.
“I don’t have a problem with regulation, some of it is necessary, but I do have a problem when it is excessive and isn’t necessarily doing any good.”
So far eleven companies have signed up to the service, which can be accessed at www.cpm-alliance.co.uk.
One of the first to back the new entity is Essentra Packaging. The company's head of marketing and regulatory matters, Simon Wildash, said it was a natural progression following recent lobbying on plain tobacco packaging.
"We found that through Mike's representation, as a group of companies we were having more impact and getting more people listening. So for us it made sense to join the CPMA on that basis."
He added: "We feel an association like this will provide the industry with a greater understanding of legislation, an overview of trends and a stronger voice to represent a number of companies rather than just one of us responding to issues and consultations."