N. American alliance explained

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In the short time since announcing the North American Plastics Alliance, the Society of the Plastics Industry has received a lot of positive feedback — support and a few questions — from Plastics News readers. We very much appreciate your feedback, and we’d like to follow up.  

To be clear, the alliance is not a new association or entity. It is an agreement on how we will work better together. In some cases, this will include sharing resources. In others, it may mean tapping one or more entities within the alliance to take the lead. In every case, it is our intention to put the best possible foot forward on behalf of the plastics industry by ensuring that our programs are carried out efficiently and effectively. 

Though NAPA’s current associations are based in Washington and Toronto, we recognize that the seeds of change are planted locally. As the third-largest manufacturing sector in the U.S. and Canada —employing nearly 1 million people at 20,000 facilities located in every state and province — the plastics industry has a lot of boots on the ground. We strongly encourage you and your companies to get involved. Here are some ideas on how to get started or build on what you’re already doing.

First, join your plastics industry trade associations, and if you’re already a member, participate. Bring your voice, your views and most importantly, your ideas. The challenges facing our industry have never been greater. We need the best minds involved, engaged on working on solutions.

Second, take part in the industry’s pellet-containment program, Operation Clean Sweep. This program is designed to help all companies that make or handle pellets keep them out of the natural environment. Tools, including an implementation manual and checklists, are available at no cost on www.opcleansweep.org.

Third, familiarize yourself with the benefits of plastic products and look for opportunities to educate your friends and neighbors. Start by visiting www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com. There are plenty of opportunities to comment on the site. Tell us about the innovative products your company makes. Enter a contest. Share new plastic products with your own social networks.

Fourth, familiarize yourself with opportunities to recycle plastics in your community. Are you recycling everything you can? What can you do to help increase plastics recycling, not just at your plant, but in your neighborhood, place of worship or your kids’ schools?

Fifth, advocacy starts by showing people what we do and how we add value. Have you invited your congressmen and congresswomen to visit your facilities this year? If not, we can help. Contact your trade association for guidance on how to get started.

Bill Carteaux

Society of the Plastics Industry

Steve Russell

American Chemistry Council

Carol Hochu

Canadian Plastics Industry Assoc.