Award Winners Announced at Another Sold-Out BPF Annual Dinner

On 13 October, the British Plastics Federation’s (BPF) Annual Dinner took place at the Lancaster London Hotel near Hyde Park. Hundreds of industry leaders and key influencers within the plastics industry turned up for the black-tie event, which is now well-established as a key event for the industry. The event was once again sold out, with over 500 people attending.

The BPF is a trade association with over 500 member companies from across the plastics industry supply chain, representing everything from raw material suppliers to recyclers. The full range of its membership was present at its annual dinner, with representatives from every major subsector.

Opening the event, BPF Director General Philip Law stated:

“We are the second largest manufacturing sector by employment, with 162,000 employees. That’s a conservative number as it refers only to direct employees. It doesn’t include the tens of thousands who depend on plastics in their downstream industries. Even if you included just a modest multiplier to take account of dependents, you are easily looking at half a million people embraced by us.”

He was followed to the stage by BPF President Karen Drinkwater, also a founding director of JSC Rotational Limited. Drinkwater mentioned the numerous meetings the BPF had held with BEIS and the Treasury discussing the support requirements of the sector in response to unprecedented rises in energy costs, together with three submissions to the Secretary of State for BEIS. She continued:

“It is also crucial they understand, which I am sure they do now more than ever, that the plastics industry is the engine of UK manufacturing — driving the automotive sector, enabling food and drink supply, powering the construction sector and, of course, crucially, the medical sector.”

BPF members were informed that they were to receive a free copy of the soon-to-be-published ‘Net Zero for Plastics Processors:  A Practical Guide to Delivering Net Zero’. Earlier in the year, they had been sent a free copy of ‘Sustainability Management in Plastics Processing’, an in-depth work by the same author, Dr Robin Kent of Tangram Technology.

The BPF president then presented the BPF Energy Award for energy efficiency, which went to iTEC Packaging. Among other developments, the company implemented a programme of fitting automatic controls to the pump motors on all their injection moulding machines. The runner-up was Prysmian Cables and Systems.

Mike Birrell, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Horners, was then invited to the stage to present the BPF’s ‘special commendation’ award for the 2022 Horners Award for Polymer Innovation and Design. This went to Plastribution for its ‘7 Branches of Sustainability’ initiative, which aids fact-based material and design choices for plastics processors. Commenting on winning the award, Plastribution’s Managing Director Mike Boswell stated:

“Our team at Plastribution is honoured to receive this recognition. The concept of ‘7 Branches of Sustainability’ was created on the basis that we wanted to provide a full range of solutions and objective advice for each application, and so enabling stakeholders to make objective decisions. We now have a significant number of developments which are now commercial and a strong pipeline of projects which are expected to launch in the coming months. We are proud to have a leading position in this important sector.”

The coveted BPF Gold Medal winner was then announced. This is presented in recognition of services to the industry and was awarded to Barry Turner. He recently retired from the post of director of strategy: plastics and flexible packaging at the BPF. Turner was commended for his work building up the BPF’s Plastics and Flexible Packaging Group and the active role he played in communicating the case for continuing to use plastic packaging in the wake of a broad media backlash against the material.

The awards were followed by a speech from the Rt Hon. Michael Portillo, the former cabinet minister and television presenter.

The BPF Annual Dinner was made possible by the support of many companies, including platinum sponsor LG Energy; gold sponsors Engel, Interplas, S&P Global Commodity Insights and Krauss Maffei; silver sponsors Microban International, Millers Oils, Aplas, Western Union, Plastribution and K2022; and bronze sponsors Listgrove and Siemens Financial Services. It is also sponsored by BPF Energy, and the pre-dinner drinks were sponsored by Arburg.

The BPF Annual Dinner is only open to members of the trade association and invited guests. For more information about the next BPF Annual Dinner, which takes place 12 October 2023, visit bpf.co.uk/AnnualDinner.

Read more from the BPF here.

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