By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
The UK’s upper tier of Parliament – the House of Lords, has just passed a bill to bring in regulations governing the packaging of tobacco products, becoming the second EU government to take this step. The members of the House of Lords agreed new regulations after debating the benefits of introducing plain packaging, including reducing the attractiveness of the packets and making health warnings more visible.
At present only Australia and Ireland have similar laws in place although France, Norway and Turkey are also looking very closely at reducing the rates of smoking among their populations and benefiting from reducing healthcare costs of looking after those who suffer from the ill-effects of smoking.
I am sure this sounds like a very good move and their Lordships have laudable reasons for taking this step, but it does beg the question of where else packaging legislation might be implemented for the benefit of nation’s citizens.
Initially the cigarette packets carried simply a health warning, but gradually repulsive pictures of smoker’s lungs acquired after post-mortems appeared on the side of the packs to accompany the health warnings. Now the remaining branding will be removed and all manufacturers will supply products in the UK in the same standardised cartons, but still carrying the health warnings and pictures. Perhaps the next step will be to put a time-lock on the packet to restrict access?
Non-branded, plain packaging cigarette boxes with warnings and graphic photos
per new legislation in Australia, Ireland and UK
You wonder where it will end. We are already being warned that we are consuming too much alcohol for our own good. Despite evidence that a glass of white wine a night actually has health benefits, according to my wife and her friends, perhaps we will also see the day when labelling of beer and wine will take the same form as tobacco.
We already have “drink aware” messages on UK alcohol packaging, so perhaps if their Lordships get involved, the next step will be pictures of livers with advanced stages of cirrhosis alongside the description of the bouquet and grape variety used in fermentation, before we get standardised plain labels for beer, wine and spirits bottles?
We are also in an age of increasing obesity, so perhaps could even see MacDonald’s and Burger King having to put health warnings on burger boxes, alongside pictures of gastric bands and Coke and Pepsi using the same standardised labels to warn of their sugar content?
Constantly Changing Packaging Legislation Requires Aligned Printing Capabilities
Packaging converters already have a lot of legislation governing the manufacture of their products and at Landa Digital Printing we have a team of scientists following developments around the world as we continue to develop Nanographic Printing® technology.
150 pages of legislation regarding food packaging
We are spending a considerable amount of time and resources to ensure that our customers can meet their obligations to food packaging legislation when the Landa S10 press is installed at carton manufacturers in Europe and the USA. Landa’s R&D team know that it is not just the messaging on the label that has to conform – the Landa NanoInk® formulation that conveys it, also has to meet strict government health regulation.