Firstly, I would like to wish you all Seasons Greetings and thank you for your continued support – I hope that 2011 will be another good year for all of us.
We were honoured to welcome the Prime Minister, David Cameron to our Witney offices earlier this month.
I first met Mr Cameron in 2009 when he was Conservative leader and MP for Witney. On that occasion he presented me with the ‘Shaw Gibbs Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award – this time our new PM presented me with the IoD New Business Director (London and South East region) award. It was a very proud moment.
The PM was keen to hear about our continued growth (despite the recent recession) and wanted to know what we had been doing to achieve such an impressive amount of industry recognition, having also finished ‘Highly Commended’ as runner-up in the UK final of the IoD Young Director of the Year and having been short listed for both EDIE’s ‘Green Corporate Initiative’ award and UK Packaging ‘SME of the Year award’.
A strong area of interest for the PM was the future of polythene in society; he was keen to find out about the latest technological improvements and up-coming industry developments. Read on for details of my Prime Ministerial briefing.
He also made a point of spending time with our Sales and Admin teams, congratulating them on their high levels of customer service which have gone a long way towards the company’s continued growth. More below.
It was a highly successful visit and one that we all thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t help but wonder if some of our ideas will shape future policies? We shall see…
The PM wanted James’s take on the future of the polythene industry – James said he thought the industry needed to adapt to meet changing governmental policy and the UK’s environmental requirements. He started by outlining Polythene UK’s exclusive product Polylite – the fact that it uses on average 20% less polymer and how the manufacturing method enables production of a 100% recyclable, multi-layered, tough, lightweight film that offers outstanding strength at lower gauges and reduces the weight of polythene consumption by up to 20%. The PM was impressed with the fact that Polylite typically enables a massive 20% reduction to a company’s carbon footprint and a 20% saving on cost.
James explained he had set the sales team an annual target of saving 1000 tonnes of LDPE across the UK this year, by selling Polylite as an alternative to regular polythene. He also told the PM about his intention to contact WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) to propose that they might further encourage companies to make these savings by issuing official CO2 emission reduction/tonne certificates to companies buying this improved product. In turn this would enable end-customers to identify and choose suppliers with this Government-backed certification, thus enhancing their own green credentials.
When the PM asked James about polymer free alternatives, James told him about Polycomp – our 100% compostable material made from corn and potato starch and how Polythene UK is the first company in the country to stock supermarket checkout bags made from this material – the idea being that supermarket customers can reuse the bags for food waste collection and composting. The PM thought this idea was ingenious… we all wonder if this will finally lead to a Governmental ban on cheap, but typically HD bags imported from the Far East that end up clogging up our landfill? Watch this space…
Going forward, James informed the PM of the latest innovation that will be hitting the market in the next few years – sugar-based polythene! The plan is to make ethylene from sugar cane instead of oil. The process uses ALCHEMx production platforms to convert sugar-cane based ethanol to ethylene, which will then be converted into low density polyethylene. Existing manufacturing infrastructure used to produce petroleum-based ethylene can be used to produce this new product.
The PM spent time with the Polythene UK sales team, who were all very excited to meet him. He wanted to understand the reasons for our massive growth over such a short space of time and find out what key products were our best sellers and why.
The team explained that we are the exclusive distributor of Polylite films and that this has become our best seller due to the financial savings it offers and the feel good factor gained by a 20% saving in carbon footprint. They went on to explain that our Polylite alternative is available as bags, covers, mailing film, spiral wrap, machine stretch film, and pallet wraps.
The PM was impressed with some of the ‘forward thinking’ special offers we have developed to help build sales. The team told him about our plain and printed shrink pallet covers which are backed-up up by our exclusive offer of a FREE Shrink Pro 010 shrink gun. Additionally our cast machine films, (which are available in widths up to 500mm) and are backed by our Panasonic stretchwrap turntables – are available for purchase at what is guaranteed to be the lowest price in the UK; for hire or completely FREE of charge (when ordering certain quantities of our films).
All this – supported by our GUARANTEED delivery promise – keeps us growing.