Dr John Morris, chief executive, British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA)
I have been chief executive of BAMA since March of this year. Previously, I served on BAMA’s executive committee since 2005. I joined Crown Aerosols in 2003 and was asked to join BAMA’s executive committee a couple of years later. Prior to that I was outside of the aerosol sector working in speciality chemicals.
I have been a keen supporter of BAMA since then so it didn’t take a lot of persuasion for me to accept the chief executive position. I’m a keen supporter of trade associations and think they do a lot of good work in helping to raise standards and making sure the industry has a voice in the right places. It is also important to be a part of the European picture because we’re not isolated here in the UK. We will continue to be driven by legislation from Brussels so it is important that the UK perspective is known.
In my previous role, I was sales manager at Crown Aerosols. I looked after the UK business and my brief was to maintain existing business and develop new business.
I know most of the fillers and a lot of the associated industry suppliers, many of whom are members of BAMA.
Sustainability is a key issue for our industry. Sue Rogers, the previous director, has done a splendid job over the last 18 years. She has driven the key agenda items, including sustainability, and my job is to maintain those standards.
Sustainability is going to be one of the key cornerstones taking the industry forward. The work that has already been done on recycling has been very important. It’s an immense resource to reuse metal. To get to where we are now with 83 per cent of local authorities recycling aerosols is a tremendous achievement as a result of initiatives such as the BAMA Can Do Awards for local authorities. The aim is to continue that momentum and try to get as close as possible to 100 per cent of councils offering kerbside recycling of empty aerosols. There is no reason why it can’t be done. With the help of organisations like Alupro it has been a tremendous fillip for the recovery and reuse of aerosol cans.
There are two areas in the aerosol sector that have seen particularly interesting growth. One is dry shampoo, which has seen strong growth over the last two to three years, and another is the area of sun tanning and bronzing. Although this hasn’t seen huge numbers in terms of filling it has achieved impressive year-on-year growth.
One consistent theme has been the importation of the filling business from overseas. There is a clear trend that the UK is a good place to fill aerosol cans. Consumption in the UK is probably around 600 million aerosols whereas the actual filling figures go way beyond this. Filled aerosol cans are a tremendously valuable export business.
I think plastic aerosols, although currently small in number, will be an important and growing part of the industry. There are already proposals made to make sure that plastic aerosols meet the same conditions as metal ones, and if adopted then this will permit higher volume plastic aerosols in the market.
Although BAMA doesn’t really get involved with the commercial aspect of the aerosol business, it does help to drive the issues associated with recycling and sustainability which can have a significant impact on the acceptibilty and economics of aerosol container choice.
We also have the BAMA Standard, which is in its fourth version now, containing highly detailed and useful information. It covers the full spectrum of aerosol production, from actual can manufacture right through to sending the filled products out of the door. Legislation associated with the various aspects of the aerosol supply chain is also well covered.
Overall, I think the UK aerosol industry is in a strong and healthy position. The latest aerosol filling figures that have been released by BAMA back this up.