WASHINGTON—Faced with declining membership, the Washington-based Rigid Plastic Packaging Institute plans to shift its focus from political and national goals to providing business advice.
John Malloy, RPPI director, said members have been asking, ``What the hell are you doing for me?'' now that plastics rank favorably with other materials and the American Plastic Council is downshifting its image campaign. RPPI is a part of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
``APC has recently decided that [it has] the problem under control and is reducing its budget,'' prompting RPPI members to feel that ``everything is working and I don't need to spend money'' on trade associations, Malloy said.
Membership has fallen from a high of about 60 to 46. So the institute plans to start offering business advice, mainly by hiring consultants and making them available to members, he said. RPPI also wants to encourage networking and industry alliances to promote areas such as worker safety, certification to the International Organization for Standardization, regulatory compliance and worker health and safety, he said.
``We are competing with metal and glass and paper,'' Malloy said. ``We are trying to make the whole industry more efficient.''
Malloy said RPPI will aim to pool the cost of consultants and make them available at about 10 percent of what it would cost an individual company.
The institute will conduct research this summer to identify specific needs, Malloy said.