German plastics packaging industry starts 2017 with 'optimism'

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German manufacturers of plastics packaging are expecting positive economic growth for 2017, following a “successful” 2016, according to a survey by the German plastics packaging association, IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V.

A 70 percent majority of companies questioned for the IK economic survey, rated the general economic situation as good while the remaining 30 percent rated it “satisfactory”.

There was also an optimistic assessment of turnover and export development for companies in the first three months of 2017, said IK.

More than 50 percent of those questioned expected a rise in raw material costs over the next few weeks, which they believe would lead to corresponding price increases in packaging.

Another key contributor in 2017 will be the plastic packaging industry’s efforts with regards to sustainability.

Some 80 percent of the companies questioned said they would be making further investments in energy efficiency this year and will be improving their carbon footprint among other things.

Among concerns in 2017 will be the continuing rise in energy taxes, which according to IK will not be cushioned by the above-said efforts.

This, said IK, mainly concerns the EEG — renewable energies law — surcharge to finance renewable energy sources which will reach the new record rate of 6.88 cents/kWh this year.

The association’s general manager Ulf Kelterborn has criticized “insufficient action” by the federal government, urging for “the planned economy subsidy model for renewable energies to be replaced by a market-oriented policy.”

“The renewable energies law (EEG) would then be superfluous,” he added.