An ambitious diversification strategy and a strong commitment to quality were key factors in APPE being named Processor of the Year in the 2011 Plastics Industry Awards.

Known as the Oscars of the UK plastic industry, the Plastics Industry Awards offer an insight into current developments in materials usage, product design and innovative manufacturing as well as identifying excellence in training and environmental performance. Almost 800 plastic professionals and their guests attended this year’s awards ceremony.

APPE, a division of LSB, is Europe’s leading convertor and manufacturer of PET preforms and bottles and has long enjoyed an unsurpassed reputation for both design and technical innovation, particularly in the CSD, juices and mineral water markets. More recently, the company has focused on extending this expertise into additional market sectors such as food, wine, personal care and household goods.

Key to this strategy has been an emphasis on bringing added value to these new areas. APPE is not taking a ‘me too’ approach in the introduction of its PET containers but instead is using its know how to offer a point of differentiation that in turn enables its customers to offer a USP in their packaging. Recent innovations have included investment in new printing techniques for enhanced decoration options, a new breakthrough barrier technology that combines extended shelf-life with excellent clarity and no impediment to the recycling process, and new Deep Grip bottles with recessed hand holds that offer a radical alternative to extrusion blow moulded HDPE bottles with integrated handles.

At the same time, APPE has continued to focus on quality systems as it has expanded its product portfolio and customer offerings. As an indication of the success of this approach, earlier this year the company became the first leading PET producer to gain the BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials across all of its European plants

It was APPE’s ability to effectively combine these two equally vital performance criteria that led it its Processor the Year award.

APPE was also shortlisted in two other Plastics Industry Awards categories – Best Business Initiative and Best Training and Development Programme.

“To be recognised in three different categories underlines the tremendous amount of work that everyone at APPE has put into being the best in the industry,” comments Chris Brown, UK Business Unit Director of APPE.

“Taking home the Processor of the Year title is a wonderful accolade and it is an honour to be recognised and rewarded by our peers. We have exciting plans for the future and this award is a major milestone in our ongoing growth plan.”

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