Interview of Michel FONTAINE – Chairman of the French Packaging Association (CNE)

Interview of Michel FONTAINE – Chairman of the French Packaging Association (CNE)

Three questions for the chairman of the CNE:

  1. Recently, the CNE has been organizing different morning conferences called CNE PACK FOCUS. Could you tell us about this series of lectures?

PACK FOCUS mornings promote the CNE production in several ways. First, they present concrete achievements that usefully complement our work – this was the case with the first one on the use of recycled materials in packaging following the eponymous document published in February. Then, they allow us to communicate beyond the sphere of our members (with non-members and journalists) in order to better disseminate our message on packaging to the greatest number of people. Finally, when relevant, they address packaging issues that suddenly appear in the news or, on the opposite, that are never mentioned. This will be the case with our second conference morning, which will deal with machines: machines for packaging production, filling, inspection, shipping, sorting. These innovative machines that are absolutely indispensable throughout the value chain of packaging.

  1. What are the major concerns of the CNE regarding Fair Packaging (eco-design), environmental claims, etc.?

We are living in a time where emotions completely prevail over reason. The current plastic bashing does nothing to help us to understand the real stakes, but we have to deal with it. It is thus very complicated to talk about packaging, especially plastic packaging. In this context, the CNE must continue to offer reasonable and consensual solutions to issues concerning product packaging. That is why our Eco-design document should be updated for this summer. We must also be even more vigilant with environmental claims because emotions – as I mentioned earlier – sometimes encourage people to communicate on qualities that are only remotely related to reality. Our “Environmental claims” permanent Committee is therefore facing with vigilance an increase of statements that could mislead the end user. It is vital for the plastic industry to remain vigilant and not let superlatives proliferate.

  1. In February 2020, the CNE will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Emballé 5.0. Can you tell us what we can expect for the ceremony of February 5th, 2020?

Don’t expect me to reveal the details of this celebration – because it will really be a celebration. An original celebration. However, I can tell you some things that are for sure. First, our regular competitive students will present their files in a much more modern way than usual. 5.0. will actually be topical! Then, it is clear that all the stakeholders who supported us in this adventure are expecting some sort of review of the last nine years. We are working on it. Finally, you shouldn’t exclude the idea of a surprise. We are going to prospect our loyal sponsors to finalize this exceptional event with them.

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