Just a very short week ago today, I formally started working at Plastics News Europe as the new editor, replacing David Eldridge who, dauntingly, spent the past thirteen years fulfilling the role with creativity and skill. A tough act to follow!
However, having given myself these past few days to find my feet, the time has come to introduce myself to you properly.
My name is Karen Laird and I am an American who was transplanted at an early age to Europe – first the UK, then the Netherlands. I have been writing about plastics and the plastics industry for various publications for the past two decades, covering topics from tooling to bioplastics, and everything in between.
I cannot count the number of times people around me, who, admittedly unfamiliar with the branch, have asked just how much there can be to write about plastics. And that does not begin to include those who reprovingly have commented on the evils of plastics, ranging from adverse health effects to litter. My reply has always been that the field of plastics is an unbelievably rich source of innovation and developments, and a dynamic one that is continually in flux.
And although a relatively young industry, plastics have not only been an enabler, but also an equaliser. Plastics have brought huge benefits in terms of the affordability of products, hygiene and sanitation, safety, health, food preservation, energy efficiency and much more. Plastics, I usually add, are also important for a more sustainable future.
But of course, you, my readers, know all that. Here, at Plastics News Europe, it's our task to keep you abreast of all these goings on in the industry, providing coverage on what's new and what's happening - in Europe and the rest of the world.
For me, it's an exciting new challenge. But, having already done it for a whole week, I can tell it's going to be a rewarding job, with plenty of opportunity to interact with the players in this industry, large and small. Which is something I'm very much looking forward to doing.