The FLiP Files is a blog series spotlighting young professionals that are active in SPI’s Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP), a group for plastics professionals under the age of 40. For our next FLiP File, we spoke to FLiP member Jennifer Cioffi of Jarden Home Brands.
-Where do you work and what’s your title? I’m the product compliance manager for Jarden Home Brands, a subsidiary of Newell Brands.
-Tell us a little about what your company does.
Newell Brands is a global consumer goods company with a portfolio of well-known brands, including Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Coleman®, Oster®, Sunbeam®, Graco®, Calphalon®, Rubbermaid®, Goody® and Yankee Candle® to name a few!
-How did you find yourself working in the plastics industry?
When I graduated college, I was offered an opportunity to work in business development for a global consulting firm. My first exposure to plastics was working with companies that were seeking regulatory support in complying with global plastics regulations. I immediately knew that my passion was in ensuring that companies manufactured safe and compliant products.
-Has anyone in the industry mentored you? Absolutely—I’ve been fortunate to learn from a number of individuals in the additives and plastics industries. The best part has been learning about the history of plastics and how technology and the manufacturing of plastics have progressed over the last 50 years.
-Describe in one sentence what you do on an average day. A typical day for me consists of conducting regulatory evaluations of our products and developing compliance strategies, test protocols and certifications to ensure that our products meet all applicable regulatory requirements.
-What do you like most about working in the plastics industry? Definitely the innovation! Plastics are used in everything from food packaging to surgical devices. The versatility of plastics is something that amazes me and keeps me passionate about working in the industry.
-What’s one thing about your personal life that you feel has been changed by having a career in plastics? Plastics has become a common conversation topic in my household! Whether we’re taking about migration, safe-use, or recyclability, I enjoy educating family and friends about plastics.
-What are the major challenges you think are facing the plastics industry today? How do you think the industry can overcome them? One of the biggest challenges has to be mitigating the negative public perception of plastics. Many times a random blog post will go up which causes consumers to panic about the safety of plastics. The industry can overcome these challenges by continuing to educate consumers and by working with agencies to support the development of industry and consumer education.
-Why do you think someone from your generation should consider a career in plastics? Plastics are here for the long haul! When it comes to plastics, you’re always learning! There are so many career paths in plastics, whether it be in compliance, manufacturing, medical applications or active/intelligent packaging, the opportunities are endless!
-What’s one plastic product you couldn’t live without? My coffeemaker!