July 31, 2023

Special Report by Jordan Vitick

Marissa Cartwright

Regulatory Affairs Supervisor

Teknor Apex Co.

When Marissa Cartwright entered college, she thought she would follow a career path in research, but then she “quickly learned” she did not enjoy it.


“Working for six months on an idea, then having it not work, but that being a completely acceptable answer is not something I deal well with. I like rules, traceability and clear goals. Regulatory is a great fit,” said Cartwright, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Worcester Polytechnical Institute. “I also think the public often forgets the benefits plastics have brought us, ranging from lower shipping weights — and thus less fuel used — to longer shelf life and sanitation and others. With regulations followed, traceability of information, we can maintain these benefits safely and accommodate growing concerns.”

As the regulatory affairs supervisor for Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor Apex Co., Cartwright and her team manage regulatory data from suppliers and utilize WERCS (Worldwide Environmental Regulatory Compliance Solutions) software to author safety data sheets (SDS).

“Teknor makes products for various applications, so the needed regulatory data is very dynamic,” she said. “Topics become wide focuses, while we see other topics asked for less and less. We try to strike a balance of asking for thorough yet relevant information from our suppliers.”

Cartwright’s career at Teknor Apex began when she was hired as an SDS specialist right before the United States implemented the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

“I was able to get our automated SDS authoring program up and running in time for our compliance deadline to avoid manual authoring. Since then, we have implemented various new compliance software modules to gain efficiency while maintaining compliance with various application regulations,” she said.

Cartwright enjoys “the data interpretation and applying general data to specific situations” and would like to work as a product steward, “giving more voices for the support of the use of plastics with an environmentally conscious mind.”

Cartwright said she looks up to Dolly Parton: “You find out about a new awesome thing this woman has done over the years almost every month. She has a caring mind and passions. She also has the means to support those passions in society. But she never wanted the fanfare; she wanted to see her passions grow. She did good for the right reasons.”


Reprinted with permission from Plastics News. © 2023 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
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