Narrow Web Europe


  • Cherishing plastic

    Cherishing plastic

    In this column, your correspondent recently reported the death of IPEX, the packaging show that for many years was billed as Britain’s answer to drupa. Now another UK show is aiming to rise up and take over the mantle. The combined Packaging In…
    John Penhallow 05.31.19

  • Norway looking up

    When was the last time you read an article about Norway in the label trade press? Could be some time ago, so here is a quick briefing on one of Europe’s most discreet – and most successful – countries. A mere thousand years ago this…
    John Penhallow 04.05.19

  • A royal flush for recycling

    A royal flush for recycling

    This month’s article contains subject matter you may find hard to stomach, so if you’re reading this over lunch, better put it aside until later. Still there? OK, what is the least savory type of paper you would expect to see recycled? W…
    John Penhallow 03.14.19

  • Recycling dilemmas

    Recycling dilemmas

    In India, Egypt and other developing countries, the very poor can earn a small pittance by collecting and helping to recycle the used cans and plastic bottles that richer folk have thrown away. Not so in Germany, where the returnable PET bottle is n…
    John Penhallow 02.01.19

  • Green beer

    Green beer

    It is well known that in Germany they like their beer to be pure and free from all harmful ingredients (apart from alcohol). It is maybe less well known internationally that a lot of German beer comes in returnable glass bottles. This means the beer…
    John Penhallow 11.16.18

  • Suitable statistics

    Suitable statistics

    We all know how Winston Churchill viewed statistics – “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” He, like some other heads of government, was not averse to picking out the statistics that suited him. But when European label association FIN…
    John Penhallow 10.12.18

  • Sticks and carrots

    Sticks and carrots

    In the July/August issue of L&NW, Calvin Frost, author of Letters from the Earth, took a hard look at sustainability and recycling. He concluded that to get from here to there America needs markets, technology and education. Much the same appli…
    John Penhallow 09.10.18

  • Old Wine in Old Bottles

    Old Wine in Old Bottles

    A couple of thousand years ago, the Greek colony of Antipolis, now Antibes on the French Riviera, was an important trading post. Amber, tin, slaves and wood went south in exchange for Mediterranean specialties like olive oil and wine. In the Antibes…
    John Penhallow 07.13.18

  • Now is the month of Maying…

    Now is the month of Maying…

    When merry lads are playing. And here in France they had lots of time for it this month. The first (Mayday), eighth (VE Day), 10th (Ascension Day) and 21st (Whit-Monday) were all public holidays. Then we have the tradition of the “Pont,”…
    John Penhallow 05.25.18

  • Viva Italia!

    Viva Italia!

    Readers who remember the Converflex and Grafitalia shows in Italy will be surprised not to find them this year. Along with the Inprinting show, they have all been amalgamated into Print4All (they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,…
    John Penhallow 04.09.18

  • Roll-to-roll solar energy

    Roll-to-roll solar energy

    The name of Count Lev Perovski may not be familiar to all readers of this column, but it was he who, in 1839, discovered and named perovskite, a compound of calcium, oxygen and titanium. This remained a geological curiosity until 10 years ago when a…
    John Penhallow 03.09.18

  • Good news in unexpected corners of Europe

    Good news in unexpected corners of Europe

    The fourth quarter returns for 2017 are not in yet, but Europe’s economy is at last looking up, with 2.2% year-on-year GDP growth for the Euro area (running neck-and-neck with the US), and industrial production (a better indicator for label dem…
    John Penhallow 01.26.18

  •  A toast to Champagne and Labelexpo

    A toast to Champagne and Labelexpo

    There will be just two topics in this edition of Narrow Web Europe: Labelexpo (which will not surprise you), and champagne (which will probably not surprise you either). With 600+ exhibitors at Labelexpo Europe, not all of them could get the press…
    John Penhallow 11.17.17

  • Heavy Levy

    The United Kingdom has particularly draconian packaging regulations. All UK companies with a turnover of more than $2.7 million must assess how much packaging they have placed onto the UK Market. If the volume exceeds 50 metric tons per year, then th…
    John Penhallow 10.06.17

  • ...and brew it mein way

    Many readers of L&NW may have forgotten the Great Beer Battle, which inflamed the drinking classes of Europe in the 1960s. An ancient German law called the Reinheitsgebot, dating back to the 16th century, laid down the only ingredients allowed fo…
    John Penhallow 09.11.17

  • Rule the data, rock the world

    Rule the data, rock the world

    The Internet of Things has become a buzzword, but not everyone can explain it as well as Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder of the organization EVRYTHNG (this is not a misprint). He foresees that the Amazons of this world will make serious inroads into retail…
    John Penhallow 07.14.17

  • English eccentrics

    English eccentrics

    Your correspondent was visiting central London a few years back, when round the corner came two cyclists. What’s so special, you say? What was special is that they were both totally naked. They were followed by some 50 other cyclists, also as n…
    John Penhallow 05.30.17

  • Decline and fall

    Decline and fall

    It is said that the decline of the Roman Empire began when the emperor and his court started spending more time in-fighting than on running the show. Much the same thing seems to have happened, on a rather smaller scale, with the Ecocis reprocessing…
    John Penhallow 04.07.17

  • Landa Hoy!

    Landa Hoy!

    The business press is generally loud in its praise and soft in its criticism. If a product fails to live up to the bleeding edge quantum-leap technological breakthrough promised by its PR people, the business press will say it “needs time to fu…
    John Penhallow 03.13.17

  • Why Belgium?

    Why Belgium?

    Readers of L&NW, who are mostly a well-traveled lot, will not need to be told about Belgium. It is that small, flat, triangular shaped country awkwardly placed between France, Germany and Holland. Because it is so flat it gets invaded regularly a…
    John Penhallow 01.20.17