IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC ON GRAPHIC PAPER AND PRINTING INKS
The increasing trend in pulp and recovered paper prices may lead to graphic paper price increases in the coming weeks. This has been confirmed by announcements made by paper suppliers, in particular on the uncoated and coated woodfree paper markets. Moreover, graphic paper suppliers are adapting to the general declining demand and are reducing capacity. This will have a further impact on prices in the future. Data on graphic paper consumption is now progressively available to show how demand has been affected by the pandemic.
The latest data produced by Eurograph, the European graphic paper association, shows that graphic paper consumption in December 2020 was at a similar level as December 2019.
The printing ink market is also experiencing cost pressure. EuPIA, the European Printing Ink Association, is reporting about the increased cost of pigment raw materials, tightening upstream petrochemical supply chains, cost increases for vegetable oil derivatives and dramatically increased freight costs due to the reduced availability of containers.
“Raw materials and freight comprise the majority of the overall cost to produce printing inks. It is therefore inevitable that these higher material costs coupled to limited availability will have a major impact on the efficiency and resilience of producing companies. EuPIA members seek to mitigate higher costs via internal process optimisation measures, alternate sourcing and increasing efficiencies.” Martin Kanert, EuPIA, February 2021
INTERGRAF GUIDELINES AVAILABLE FOR MEMBERS
With many topics ongoing at European level, Intergraf has prepared a collection of guides for our members on various subjects, including the EU Ecolabel, chromium trioxide, Brexit, STS BREF, and food contact materials.
To support Intergraf member companies we have prepared a series of guidance documents. Each gives details about a specific topic which could affect printers and explains the steps that affected companies have to take to reach a certain goal.
To date, we have published: • Intergraf Guide to the EU Ecolabel for Printed Paper • Intergraf Guide to the Authorisation of Chromium Trioxide Use for Gravure Printers • Intergraf Guide to the EUUK Trade and Cooperation Agreement Forthcoming guides include: • Intergraf and FTA Europe Guide to Applying Food Contact Materials Legislation • Intergraf Guide to the STS BREF Member companies can contact their national association for access to any of our guides.
FTA EUROPE SELECTS DIAMOND AWARD WINNERS
Judging has taken place and the winners selected for the FTA Europe Diamond Awards, where the best in flexo will be celebrated. Preparations are now well underway for the virtual event on 22 April. The finalists have been chosen for this year’s FTA Europe Diamond Awards.
On 18 February, a panel of packaging and flexo printing expert judges selected the finalists from the 180 samples submitted to the flexographic printing competition. All companies entered into the European awards have already won a gold award in their national competition and will now compete in 14 categories for a prestigious Diamond Award on 22 April. The 2021 Diamond Awards will be the only major flexo event in Europe this year. FTA Europe will use a TV crew and the latest in awards ceremony software to stream this event, which includes a sophisticated networking platform. The full list of finalists and more information about the event can be found here. Congratulations to all finalists and good luck!
TWO SIDES REMOVES 710 MISLEADING STATEMENTS
In a clear measure of the campaign's success, Two Sides has reported that 710 companies have removed misleading anti-paper statements since 2010 as a result of their AntiGreenwash Campaign. Two Sides' Anti-Greenwash Campaign directly engages companies who mislead their customers with unfounded environmental claims (e.g. "go green - go paperless").
Such claims are often made to mask the real reason for reducing paper communications: cost. According to Two Sides Managing Director Jonathan Tame: “Not only are these greenwash claims in breach of established environmental marketing rules, but they are hugely damaging to an industry which has a solid and continually improving environmental record”. Companies making misleading environmental claims have an impact on consumers' perception of paper products. Such claims feed into an unfounded negative image of the printing industry. Two Sides' work is vital for promoting the image of print and we celebrate this campaign milestone alongside colleagues across Europe.