ECMA Congress 2018

ECMA Congress welcomes Pro Carton president

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Horst Bittermann made his debut as president of Pro Carton at the ECMA (European Carton Makers Association) Congress (September 20-21) in Riga, Latvia, this year, taking over from Roland Rex who stood down in June after eight years.

Former private banking executive Bittermann came into the packaging industry 10 years ago and is now responsible for the marketing team at MM Karton as well as for driving the company’s Key Account Management approach to the FMCG, Pharmaceutical and Retail sectors. 

Circular Economy

I am delighted to be the President of Pro Carton at this exciting time for the cartonboard industry​,” he said. 

I believe we need to communicate the sustainable nature of our products even more intensively, louder and clearer to brand owners, retailers and end consumers​.” 

Bittermann added packaging has to deliver on three main functions; Protect the product, promote the sale of the product and protect the environment and Rex was the catalyst behind the controversial “cartons don’t create plastic waste” campaign which is at the forefront of Pro Carton’s marketing.

Cartons do not leave any long lasting scars on the environment but help to protect it by reducing product damage or food waste​,” said Bittermann.

Cartonboard is made from renewable sources, is biodegradable and is virtually fully recyclable and epitomises the circular economy​.”

As such, the organisation has adopted the TICIT (Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees) educational programme launched by the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) in the US educating 8-11 year old schoolchildren about trees, cartons and the environment. 

Speaking about the programme, Tony Hitchin, GM, Pro Carton, said children are encouraged to plant their own tree saplings in a biodegradable carton, which they can take home. In the US over 100,000 children have taken part in the cause and following a trial run in the UK and the Netherlands, the TICCIT programme is now launching Europe-wide. 

TICCIT ambassadors

The association is looking for its members to appoint an ambassador to promote TICIT within their organization​,” added Hitchin. 

Pro Carton held its annual European Carton Excellence Award at the ECMA Congress, which saw over 400 entries in 12 categories. 

Carton of the Year 2018 was “Moët 6 Mini Moët pack” by Van Genechten Packaging, which contains six Mini Bottles of Moët Imperial and six Mini Golden Flutes.

The jury said: “The moment we opened the box, it was like opening a box of treasure; the way the products were presented and the way the internal carton was structured.” 

Click here​ to see all the winners.

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