Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Plastics News ’09 Goals for Industry Echo SPI Initiatives

I am delighted to report that SPI is addressing, in one way or another, each of the 10 goals that Plastics News has put forth in its bold manifesto: “’09 Goal’s for the Plastics Industry” (Viewpoint, 01-05-09). In fact, it might be reasonable to assume the editors put the list together by consulting the SPI Web site or our membership brochure. Most likely, they did not. Some of us at SPI thought they interviewed SPI President Bill Carteaux for his input. But they did not do that either. The goals do look extremely familiar since they touch upon many of our existing programs AND are already in motion by SPI at the direction of our membership. First take a look at the list, and then read on…

New and exciting SPI initiatives already up and running include our commitment to promoting sustainability in the plastics industry – which Plastics News wrote about in June. We even co-sponsored Sustain ’08 with Plastics News in November, and our sustainability push is carried through on our blog, in videos and in the numerous presentations Bill Carteaux makes around the world. Additionally, NPE 2009 will feature sustainability as a part of the multi-faceted education track.

The research phase of our Consumer Outreach Initiative – also written about in Plastics News – was just completed and implementation will soon begin on a multi-faceted online media campaign to promote the benefits of plastics to Millennials, policymakers and industry employees.

Some goals are being addressed through long-standing programs: the SPI-OSHA Alliance and annual SPI Safety Statistics and Awards Program; statistical reports such as Size and Impact of the Plastics Industry on the U.S. Economy, Global Business Trends, and the Committee on Equipment Statistics Annual & Quarterly Reports; and the on-going work of our International Trade, Government Affairs, and Industry Group committees and staff.

Plastics News would also like our industry to speak with a unified voice in 2009. Not only does SPI represent every facet of the plastics industry via the Industry Groups of our Equipment, Processor, Material Supplier and Bioplastics Councils, but both Bill Carteaux and Steve Russell, managing director of the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division, enjoy a strong relationship and are mutually committed to having a unified industry. The joint Plastics Ambassadors Program – which mobilizes companies and their employees to promote the benefits of plastics and plastics recycling within their communities — is a recent manifestation of this alliance. (Plastics News wrote about this in September.) In addition, Carteaux is now acting secretary general of the Council of International Plastics Associations Directors (CIPAD), which represents 64 plastics association directors acting in 49 countries from five continents. CIPAD is staffed by SPI.

We look forward to Plastics News’ continued coverage of these SPI initiatives, as well as to its own contributions toward the industry’s achievements in 2009.

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