Production of toilet paper and food packaging “could be threatened by soaring energy costs”

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Industry bosses have warned that toilet paper and food packaging could be affected by soaring energy costs.

To protect their finances, companies may have to restrict the production of paper-based products.

The head of the Confederation of Paper Industries called for a “temporary winter cost containment measure” to help production drive up the costs of the sector “up”.

Likewise, the UK ceramics industry has said high energy costs could force companies to shut down production.

READ MORE:Gas and electricity bills “could increase by 30% next year”

It comes after wholesale gas prices hit an all-time high on Wednesday, although they fell after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country would stabilize the market.

Andrew Large, director general of the Confederation of Paper Industries, said its members were “very, very seriously affected” by the cost increases.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “They are seeing their costs skyrocket.

“This affects their profitability and in some cases it leads them to manage their production rates so as not to be exposed to very, very high costs.”

He said there was no cap on energy costs for businesses and called for a “temporary winter cost containment measure to try and keep those costs down so that these industries are very, very important to British society. can continue to function “.

Mr Large said rising costs were negatively impacting a wide range of important UK sectors, including food packaging, toilet paper and the production of sterile medical packaging.

Laura Cohen, chief executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, told the BBC that energy prices affect the viability of businesses.

She said: “As high prices spread, more and more members are likely to be forced to stop production due to higher non-economic energy costs.

“But we are also concerned that the prices reflect the market opinion on the physical availability of gas during the winter.

“In the event of a national supply shortage, our members are leading the way to be forced to leave the gas network while households are last, and this can happen very quickly.

“A forced quick shutdown poses a very high risk of serious damage to brick kilns, which can be 100 meters long, operate at over 1000 ° C, and which can threaten the viability of the business. “

It’s not just businesses that will be affected – Brits could be hit with bills rising 30% next year.

Research agency Cornwall Insight has predicted further volatility in gas prices and the potential collapse of even more suppliers could push the energy price cap to around £ 1,660 in the summer.

The forecast is about 30% above the record price cap of £ 1,277 set for winter 2021/22, which began in early October.

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