2022 was a big year for us in so many ways.
While most of the world woke up again after years of lockdowns and Covid chaos, the impact of the pandemic was still being felt, especially at the start of the year. Against a difficult backdrop, that means we’re even prouder of everything we achieved this year.
A year is a long time in packaging
The packaging industry of 2023 will be radically different to what it was at the start of 2022. It’s been a year of big changes not just at Parkside, but for the entire sector we’re so proud to be a part of.
The return to something like normality meant that, for the packaging industry, sustainability was back at the top of the agenda. The long-awaited UK Plastic Packaging Tax came into force, which had huge ramifications for the industry. While there are some exemptions, large-volume plastic packaging producers, importers, and business customers will be subject to a tax (at a rate of £200 per tonne) for any packaging product that does not contain at least 30% recycled content. Of the businesses that are exempt, many will still have to collect detailed information on the packaging they use to file quarterly reports. You can learn more about the specifics of this new tax in our blog.
Progress was also made on EPR reform, which now finally has an implementation date after several delays – it’s set to come into force in 2024. You can learn more about it here. Scotland’s long-awaited Deposit Return Scheme also received a date this year – 16 August 2023.
It means 2023 is going to be a big year of transition as our industry shifts towards compliance. Lightweighted flexible packaging, fibre-based packaging, and compostable solutions are going to be bigger than ever in 2023, so it’s going to be an even more exciting year at Parkside.
We’ll be evolving our approach to stay ahead in this rapidly-changing industry at the start of the year, so make sure to keep checking our website for more information.
A new-look leadership team
At the beginning of the year, we expanded our board to add fresh impetus and new perspectives to our leadership team. We added Ian Groundwell as Group Operations Director, Paul McKeown as Divisional Sales Director for Speciality, and Tim Hosking as Group Finance Director & Company Secretary. The appointments were underpinned by our strong growth across all sectors, and all have already been working hard to develop our position in the global packaging industry.
A year of innovation
2022 saw us launch a number of successful innovations. One of the most significant was our collaboration with frozen food giant Iceland on a sector-first freezer-ready paper pack for its seafood range. This sustainable solution replaced Iceland’s previous LDPE bags with a grease-resistant, ultra-durable paper pack.
Each pack features a range of water-based protective coatings that break down during the paper re-pulping process when recycled. Typically, these coatings would need to be made from plastic which would then have to be separated before recycling, severely limiting recyclability. The exterior of the pack is also treated to resist the formation of ice crystals to further improve barrier functionality.
A golden year
Our hard work on this packaging solution was rewarded when it took home a gold Technical Innovation award at the 50th annual FIAUK gala dinner. The same night, we also took home a bronze award in the Sustainably Produced Packaging category for our collaboration with Riverford Organics. This solution – an entirely home compostable film and pulp tray for soft fruits – allowed Riverford to transition all of its packaging lines away from conventional plastic-based solutions.
We were also immensely proud of our Technical Sales Manager Mark Shaw, who received another prestigious honour in 2022. Mark was appointed a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers (the Stationers’) – a historic livery company with over 600 years of history. This also enables mark to be a Freeman of the City of London!
Helping local communities
We were immensely proud to support several local causes throughout 2022. It’s impossible to discuss this year without talking about how difficult it proved to be for so many people, so we felt it was important to help our local community in any way we can.
We supported The Addy, a Knottingley children’s charity, by donating 120 Easter eggs to ensure each child under their care could receive an egg in time for Easter. We also made a donation to The Hope Centre, a charity based in Castleford that provides locals with hot food, drinks, clean clothes, and a few friendly faces when they need it the most.
2022 was a big year for football, with the men’s World Cup and women’s European Championships – where, of course, England’s Lionesses took the trophy! We played our part in supporting the next generation of Lionesses by sponsoring the new kit of Castleford Town Girls JFC, our local girls’ team.
Stellar customer survey results
Our year ended with some of the best news we could get, courtesy of our customers! We carried out our first customer satisfaction survey as part of our BRC certification process and were blown away by the positive responses we received.
100% of respondents reported they were satisfied with the service they received from us, with 75% being very satisfied – the highest possible level of satisfaction they could select. The quality of our products met with an even more positive response, with 100% answering they were satisfied with the quality of products they received, while an incredible 85% reported the highest level of satisfaction.
A huge thank you to everyone who responded – rest assured we’re aiming for even better results in 2023.
We expect 2023 to be an even bigger year for us, as we have some exciting announcements and revolutionary innovations planned throughout the course of the year.
Until then, please enjoy a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from all of us at Parkside – we’ll see you in 2023!