Jean Martin Interview, Chief Executive of the Plastics Processing industry and Composite Materials Federation

Michel FONTAINE, CNE President, interview
Sep 2015
Practical information: Packaging for the benefit of society
Sep 2015

Jean Martin Interview, Chief Executive of the Plastics Processing industry and Composite Materials Federation

Photo Jean MartinCould you tell us a briefly about your federation?

Our federation is about 1,800 members strong and represents the entire industry.

In France, the plastics industry employs about 215,000 people and generates €51 billion in revenue.

It is involved in every field: packaging, of course, but also transportation, health, construction, etc.

It has huge potential for innovation. In the future, all but a few products will be made of plastic or composite materials.

This year, the federation became a member of the French Packaging Council’s (CNE) ninth grouping. Could you explain your motivations for supporting the CNE and its activities?

We are lucky to have regional unions from every part of France among our members in the federation. These unions represent a number of packaging companies, mostly in the food processing, cosmetics, and health industries. Our involvement in the CNE was motivated by these organisations.

What are your main concerns when it comes to packaging? Can the CNE legitimately document these concerns?

Packaging is a big part of what we do.

It is a very prominent field, in direct interaction with the consumer; as such, it has a strong influence on the public image of the plastics industry.

We are certain that by giving packaging the attention it deserves, the CNE also grants value to the materials used.

The federation actively contributes to the CNE’s collaborative intelligence through its working groups. In your opinion, what aspects of your relationship with the CNE are the most helpful in improving packaging practices?

The CNE and our federation are both very flexible organisations.

This is why we are willing to take part in short-term projects leading to real actions with measurable results within the CNE network.

What kind of day-to-day cooperation can we expect from this CNE/FDP partnership?

We want to share with the CNE our hands-on experience of dealing with our partners. These include our industrial partners, our network of technical institutions (Technical Centre for Plastics Engineering, Institut Supérieur de Plasturgie d’Alençon, Technical Institute for Industries, etc.), and our network of educational organisations dedicated to training and educating the executives and operators of the plastic packaging companies of tomorrow.

In exchange, the Federation hopes to have access to the CNE network in order to be in direct contact with big plastic packaging users and players using other types of packaging.

You actively contributed to the CNE’s “Packaging and Traceability” document. Can you tell us a bit about how the federation viewed the organisation of the working group (leadership, network, report, etc.)?

Marc Madec was involved in this working group on our behalf.

He was particularly satisfied with its efficiency.

The CNE handled the project very well (meeting short deadlines, sending regular updates, etc.).

Furthermore, the quality and variety of contributors resulted in a well-drafted document which is now a reference in the field.

Do you have any suggestions for developing the CNE’s activities and reputation?

We feel it is necessary for the CNE to speak out, on behalf of the packaging industry, in the fight against global warming at the COP 21.

We are very much in favour of the CNE taking part in certain events, such as the French Circular Economy institute’s Convention.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

We feel the media representation of littering on land or at sea should be monitored closely, as plastic is often labelled as the culprit.

Our job is to work together to make sure this tendency is reversed.