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We are looking forward to our next adventure in 2016: China!

In conjunction with the drinktec exhibition and the China Brew China Beverage show in Shanghai, we will set off for a seven months tour throughout the PET industry of China – again all by road!

Starting in March 2016, we will be exploring the Eastern parts of the most populous country worldwide with our Editourmobil. During the tour we will be visiting PET supply companies, bottle producers, bottle fillers, labellers and recyclers on site in their factories for wide-ranging interviews and discussions. In October 2016 we will finally complete the round trip by joining the China Brew China Beverage event where we showcase all results gathered on the route along with the vehicle itself.

Get ready to join us in this dynamic specialist reporting adventure which is absolutely unique in the PET sector!

September 29, 2016 | Brewing and PET

China has me under its spell again, and I am looking forward to the food, the people. This time however, there is no Editourmobil, because I had to re-arrange some appointments from our tour which for various reasons did not take place. These appointments were spread across the entire east coast, which meant a lot of extensive pre-planning to co-ordinate planes, trains and hotel bookings. Almost unheard of in these days when every trip seems to be tidily packaged. ... [ Read more ]

August 22, 2016 | Guangzhou and its surroundings

A quiet start to the week for a change, because my next appointment is not until Wednesday. This is a welcome break in the programme, because with all the interviews and meetings packed into the last week, I have got a lot of catching up to do in writing and researching. Besides, the hot, humid weather in Guangzhou makes it almost impossible to spend any amount of time outside, and you end up going from one air conditioning unit to another. Janet from the Guozhu Precision Mold Sales Team has been an absolute godsend over the past few days in all sorts of ways, whether in finding a pleasant Chinese restaurant, where only the locals go, or helping me with the correct pronunciation of the traditional Chinese mooncake, which are everywhere at the moment. The mooncake is a typical traditional pastry, which can have both sweet and savoury fillings and is given as a present (and eaten) as part of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The classic version has a sweet filling, containing seeds of the lotus plant, as well as two hard yolks that are intended to symbolise the full moon. Thanks to Janet, I have now just found and bought this cake! ... [ Read more ]

August 8, 2016 | Hong Kong, Taiwan and South China

Hong Kong is breathtaking. This vibrant city with its skyline and the nightly light show that always starts at 20:00 immediately had me under its spell. Once I had just about got over the jetlag, I took the ferry over to the island around Central. Again, this is a magnificent cityscape with a lot of greenery between the rows of houses. By chance I happen upon a beer festival, which runs through several streets, with numerous small stands displaying beers from all corners of the globe. With the mercury hitting 35C and very high humidity, however, I resist temptation and limit myself to a bottle of water (in a PET bottle, naturally). Only in the evening, with the skyline spread out before me, do I treat myself to a "Tsingtao", probably the most popular Chinese beer and my own preference when I am on the road. ... [ Read more ]

August 1, 2016 | The second part of our China tour has begun!

After the editorial journey of Alex's team and the subsequent tour break I am now virtually the lone warrior in charge of the next stage of the tour. The almost insurmountable obstacles placed in front of the Editourmobil have still not gone away. The way ahead seems to be strewn with stones if not immense boulders, all designed to hamper the overland journey between China and Hong Kong in a mobile home. I pride myself on my endless patience when it comes to organisation – but I came close to surrendering completely to the forces of authority. The authorities simply would not agree to us taking a mobile home between the Special Administrative Region and southern China. Fortunately however, there is a Plan B: take the plane, and make alternative arrangements for the PET appointments. ... [ Read more ]

June 6, 2016 | The successful completion of a first tour part

Now I am sitting in the cafe on packed suitcases. In a few hours I will be going to the airport for the flight home. It was with a heavy heart yesterday that I got out of the motorhome. Nic is taking it back to the rental company in Beijing. For my last night in Shanghai I am in a hotel. No noisy traffic to disturb me, no loud honking and no inquisitive Chinese peering through the window. I got a good night’s sleep. Last night I indulged myself on the Original Peking duck. It’s worth coming to China for the duck alone. In our three week stay we have managed to eat our way through a substantial amount of the Chinese duck stock. ... [ Read more ]

June 1, 2016 | Parking issues, traffic tickets and light beers

Our next appointment has been made and still in the greater Shanghai area. As we have previously mentioned, we are not allowed, with our Beijing number plate, to use the inner city motorways during the rush hour. This complicates the logistics a bit. Another problem was that after our departure from Ningbo, we were unable to find a suitable overnight parking spot in Shanghai, meaning that we had to drive 50km out of town desperately trying to locate a suitable motorway service station. As happened in the USA in similar circumstances, we managed to sort ourselves out. We installed ourselves on the carpark of a supermarket. ... [ Read more ]

May 30, 2016 | The first appointments in Shanghai area

We have now completed the long haul from Beijing to Shanghai. We allowed almost 3 days for this 1200km journey. Our first stop was in Qufu. Confucius was born and died here. He was active more than 2,500 years ago. His real name was Kong. Right up to the present day, this is the family tree of the Kong family. It is thus probably the oldest documented family pedigree. Our next stop was at Xuzhou, legendary resting place of the terracotta warriors. Unfortunately we arrived too late, and we got no further than the firmly closed entrance doors. The pictures in Wikipedia were scant consolation. ... [ Read more ]

May 24, 2016 | Meetings in Beijing and departure to the southeast

Beijing is behind us, and we are now on our way to Shanghai. We have visited Sidel’s factory as well as premium supplier Red Bull. While Sidel is up against a stagnating market for beverages in China, RedBull by contrast has invested in new PET lines to cope with growth in the premium sector. Between these appointments we are making good progress with our Editourmobil in the city traffic. It is impressive how well everything seems to function in such a megacity. Even more so as Chinese drivers seem to consider the rules of the road as just one of their driving options. In particular, joining the motorway or changing lanes are carried out without any prior indication. ... [ Read more ]

May 18, 2016 | The China Road Show has started!

Our China Road Tour is underway. Once again, the hurdles we faced seemed insurmountable. First among them, how do we get our Editourmobil to the Celestial Empire? We undertook intensive research. The necessary permits alone would have taken us 6 months and would have cost €30,000, and there was no guarantee at the end of it that we would be allowed in with our vehicle. ... [ Read more ]