SIMON Gresty has been appointed chairman of the Can Makers, the industry trade body representing drinks can manufacturers in the UK.
Simon, who is general manager metal – beverage UK & Ireland at Ardagh Group, succeeds Marcel Arsand, head of sustainability at Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA, who has held the role since July 2018.
He has worked in the packaging industry for more than three decades and returns for a second stint as chairman of the association, having previously held the role from 2006 to 2008.
Simon said, “This is an exciting and challenging time for industry and the Can Makers. We have yet to see many of the effects that we know the pandemic will have, although the industry has already demonstrated its innovative spirit and resilience, while the Can Makers are progressing a number of new initiatives to promote the beverage can as the preferred format for drinks packaging.
“I would like to thank Marcel for his enthusiasm, hard work and commitment during the last two years. His work has been instrumental in helping the Can Makers to raise the profile of the beverage can as a sustainable packaging format and there are now a greater number and variety of drinks commonly packaged in cans than ever before. The rise of craft beers for instance has been phenomenal and all the signs are that wine in cans will see similar growth.
“At the same time, we have seen the UK recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans increasing year on year to a new high of 76%. We will continue to showcase the environmental and sustainability credentials of the beverage can and as chairman, I will continue to work in partnership with the Can Makers members and stakeholders, to address the challenges that initiatives such as DRS will bring.
“The beverage can is already the most recycled drinks pack in the world and it is critical that any DRS implemented follows best practice and that all packaging formats are included as well as a variable deposit fee based on size.”
Previously general manager at Ball Trading UK and director at Ball Packaging Europe, Simon has held commercial and general management positions in the industry including overseas assignments in Russia, Africa and more recently four years in Zurich. He has held his current role at Ardagh for five years.