Older readers may disagree with me, but it is possible that there has never been a better time to be in the glass packaging industry than at the present moment.
At first glance everything appears to be rosy.
Orders are substantial, market sentiment is optimistic and overall the outlook is positive, with anticipated average growth in glass packaging volumes at approximately 3 to 5% a year globally.
Glassmakers continue to invest in new, modern equipment, as evidenced in the news pages this month with Wiegand-Glas, Ardagh and Australia’s Orora Glass spending money to improve their manufacturing operations.
Glass’s main competitor, plastic, continues to get a kicking. More organisations are to stop using the material and its image is at a low.
Plastic is the new evil.
Recent groups to stop using plastic include the budget airline Ryanair - which has pledged plastic free flights by 2023 - UK broadcaster BBC and the UK Royal Family, which has told residence staff to ditch straws, eat from china plates and drink from glass bottles.
Rising disposable incomes in developing nations means more glass is being consumed than ever before in countries such as Mexico, Thailand, China and Brazil.
I cannot think of a time when glass was in such an ascendency.
Yet the pessimist in me detects all is not right. There is an uneasiness that glass is not capitalising on the moment.
There is an opportunity right now to gain market share from plastic but how much is the glass sector doing to promote itself as a healthier, greener material?
It’s a tiny survey but whenever I ask my family, friends and colleagues what they know about glass and how it is made, they all answer with a shrug and shake of the head.
It’s a longstanding problem but glass is still not attracting enough young talent to the industry.
Recent chats with engineers reveal how worried they are about the future of glassmaking and where the knowledge will go when the experienced workers retire.
Glassmakers can achieve still higher manufacturing efficiencies but eventually they will need the next generation of youngsters to do this.
Objectives such as the Glass Future project in the UK will hopefully help secure more youngsters in the industry.
My thoughts are that if the glass packaging industry seized the media landscape and put itself on the agenda, more people would both consume glass and would also seek a career in the industry, for what would be a satisfying career.
Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II has banned plastic straws from the Royal households.