A lawyer can have two roles: he can be a legal adviser, or help settle disputes.
In my actions as a legal adviser in the packaging industry, I give consult to companies and professional organisations on certain issues. For example, “What does indirect contact mean when it comes to materials in contact with foodstuff?”. Legal disputes are far less frequent. In the business world, “bad talks are better than a good war”, unless the financial stakes are extremely high. Like in the “mandrel affair” when Eco-Emballages sued 18 companies to claim over €40 million in unpaid eco-tax.
What are your clients’ main packaging-related concerns?
I’m often asked about the ANIA-CLIFE declaration of compliance: “Is it mandatory?”, “How can we justify of our packaging’s compliance without investing significant funds into analysis?”.
In the past 18 months, I’ve been asked more and more often about the different logos which can be seen on packaging: What does the “e” stand for? Are we required to feature the Triman logo? What about the Tidyman logo?”. And so on.
I also handle files regarding ecodesign and eco-tax.
You’ve been playing an active role in the CNE’s activities (Working Groups, etc.) for a while now.
What is your takeaway from this collaboration?
Sharing so much knowledge. Friendly and capable experts. The CNE is a dynamic organisation; they never stop setting up Working Groups! Sometimes we ask ourselves strange questions with no obvious link to the packaging industry, like “Can milk be bought on a farm?”. The answer is yes, but I can’t remember why I was asked to confirm that.
According to you, what are the highlights of these Working Groups?
The effort to produce concise and to-the-point documents which reflect a unanimous consensus from all the participants. Everyone wants to see its view on packaging in the final document, but every participant accepts that it has to be consistent above all else.
Do you have any topics to suggest for the CNE’s future works?
Packaging and composting.