Mike Baxter, the director of external affairs for the plastic film recycling and manufacturing firm BPI, has been appointed to represent the plastics sector on the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP).
Mr Baxter replaces Jonathan Short – the former managing director of plastics recycler ECO Plastics – as the ACP’s plastics industry representative, who stepped down from the role in the summer.
The ACP – which consists of a chair and 12 members – was set up by Defra to help it get advice on the development of the Packaging Waste Regulations, as well as packaging recycling from an industry perspective.
BPI is among the largest plastic manufacturing businesses in Europe with a manufacturing capacity of over 350,000 tonnes.
The company operates a number of manufacturing sites across the UK, including at Heanor in Derbyshire – where it recycles close to 95,000 tonnes of plastic films per year, producing products including refuse and recycling sacks and construction membranes.
Commenting on the appointment, Phil Conran, chair of the ACP, said: “I am pleased to announce that following an application and selection process, Mike Baxter has been appointed to the Advisory Committee on Packaging to represent the plastics recycling sector. This follows the resignation earlier this year of Jonathan Short.
“Mike is the director of external affairs at BPI, one of the UK’s largest plastics recyclers. With a long history in the sector, Mike is ideally placed to help the ACP in its role advising Defra on the key regulatory and market packaging issues faced by the UK now and in the future. As with all members of the ACP, the appointment is for a period of three years.”
Speaking to letsrecycle.com Mr Baxter said that he would seek to champion the interests of the plastics sector at a time of uncertainty for businesses.
He said: “I’m delighted to be appointed to represent our sector on the ACP. Generally speaking the plastics sector doesn’t make its true value to the economy known well enough. The UK plastics sector, including recycling, is one of the largest employers in manufacturing in the UK, with over 170,000 jobs.
“What I hope to contribute to the ACP to bring my 35 years of experience of recycling and manufacturing plastics to bear, and I also hope we can start to engage with other stakeholders. There are a lot of issues around PRN reforms, Brexit, the circular economy and extended producer responsibility that have the potential to bring big change to our sector and it is my intention to make sure that the plastics industry’s voice is heard.”
Other ACP members include Rick Hindley of Alupro, Rebecca Cocking of British Glass, Andrew Bird of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, Adrian Hawkes of Valpak and Simon Weston of CPI.
Source: letsrecycle.com Plastic