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Circular plastics
30 January 2024
Wholesale Task Force: Together, you really get further!

Last Wednesday, 25 members from the currently 9 participating wholesalers – members of the Fedet sections ETG & TGF – of the Packaging Sector Plan gathered at the Kras Stadium for an inspiring workshop on shared challenges related to the use of sustainable carriers in the logistics chain on the supplier side. The workshop was facilitated by the supporting party Circular Plastics Alliance.

Shortly after the start of the Packaging Sector Plan, there was a need among the 4 participating wholesalers to share knowledge and insights in packaging domains. This led to the formation of the Wholesale Task Force. From this foundation, it became apparent over time that each organization was trying to make progress in its own way, but if everyone takes a step in a different direction, no collective progress is made.

Over the past year, the Wholesale Task Force has significantly expanded, creating a foundation to collectively address some shared challenges in the supply chain on the supplying side. These challenges are too large or risky to be achieved solely within the market, and they are complex in terms of individually involving suppliers in the chain. Collaboration also involves building trust; talking about successes is always enjoyable, but discussing failed initiatives and learning from each other’s challenges takes time. However, it has led to the realization that some things can still become possible if we move forward together as a chain.

Within the Circular Plastics Alliance, several innovative carrier solutions based on fully recycled plastics have been developed over the past year. After an initial introduction to Henk Kras, everyone was enthusiastic to see that some ideas from the Task Force already existed in practice. This led to the desire to attend an inspiration workshop with the Alliance together. To ensure broad support for further actions, multiple stakeholders from each organization were present.

Henk Kras opened the morning with an introduction to the Circular Plastics Alliance, emphasizing the importance of achieving “closed loops” in the chain, the sustainable innovation power available with alliance partners, existing solutions, and some concrete chain successes in other sectors as examples of collaboration in the chain. Sebastiaan Scheers of Fedet then provided a brief summary to the participants and Alliance partners about the Packaging Sector Plan, the complexity of the (international) logistics chain, and interim insights within the Task Force.

Following this, a session covering 5 topics necessary for acceleration took place:

  1. Recycling & closed loops
  2. Production with PCR certified raw materials
  3. Reusable packaging
  4. Loading carriers
  5. Data

Two exercises were conducted for each topic:

  1. Chain opportunities & barriers
  2. Impact & effort matrix

Afterwards, the insights from the groups were shared, and finally, a group photo was taken in the stadium. Collaboration also involves gaining trust; talking about successes is fun, but discussing failed initiatives and learning from each other’s challenges has led to new opportunities as we move forward together as a chain. It’s great to see solutions that could be implemented as early as tomorrow, but we are also aware of the conditions required for a closed logistics (return) chain and the availability of an integral chain registration system. Without this foundation, carriers do not return, leading to costly losses.

The participants look back on an excellent inspirational session, and unfortunately, some innovations cannot be shown (yet). In the coming period, a report will be prepared, and several evaluations will follow, after which we can collectively determine the next steps to work towards the use of sustainable carriers.

Want to know more about the Packaging Sector Plan? Visit https://www.brancheplanverpakkingen.nl/. The Packaging Sector Plan is an initiative of Techniek Nederland and Fedet (Federation of Electrotechnics) in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, supported by 2BHonest.


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