Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Spanning the Globe — with Plastics and SPI

hockstadcairoI recently returned from an amazing trip to Jordan and Egypt. I saw the Pyramids of Giza , Petra, the Sphinx and other incredible sites. I also saw reminders of SPI member companies everywhere I went. The bottled water I drank (and used to safely brush my teeth) was courtesy of Nestlé Waters. Some of the appliances in my hotel room were thanks to Bemis Manufacturing Company. Even my sunglasses, which I wore to shield my eyes from the bright sun, and my hiking boots contained components produced by SPI members.

The whole experience really made the impact and prevalence of the plastics industry around the world clear to me. I even read something recently that said Egypt’s plastics industry continues to post steady growth and is becoming increasingly modernized. According to 2005/2006 figures, during the period there were around 1,276 local plastics factories producing a total market volume of US$ 4.03 billion and posting total investments of around about US$ 4 billion. Domestic plastic materials consumption was set at almost US$ 1.6 billion annually, with demand expected to increase annually by 10 percent.

The global nature of plastics and the plastics industry is important not only to our members but to SPI as well. As a result, SPI continues to monitor and work international trade policy issues and enhance its international relationships and activities. This month SPI, in coordination with the PlastIndia Foundation, organized a plastics trade summit in New Delhi to foster better ties between the U.S. and Indian plastics industries, as well as discuss bilateral trade opportunities. SPI continues to work with its international counterparts as a member of the Council of International Plastics Association Directors, which services and advocates the plastics industry’s interests on a global basis. In addition, NPE2009, SPI’s international trade show set for June 22-26 in Chicago, has a strong international component, including representatives from more than 100 countries.

Through my professional work here at SPI, I have long realized that the global plastics industry delivers economic and societal benefits around the world every day. But my recent vacation to the other side of planet Earth really drove that point home.

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