The Plastic Bag Association plans to become a unit of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
In balloting that concluded July 15, the group voted to become a new SPI business unit, the Film and Bag Federation. The change probably will take place Jan. 1. The new group's offices will be at SPI headquarters in Washington.
PBA President James Funderburk said nearly all of the group's 39 paid members — who include manufacturers, converters and suppliers — voted in favor of the affiliation.
PBA will continue to develop regional programs, said Funderburk, technical manager for regulatory affairs with First Brands Corp. in Danbury, Conn. PBA has a New York program, is planning a Dallas regional meeting in October, and plans to use SPI links to add programs in the Midwest and, eventually, Southeast.
A different situation exists in the West. The California Film Extruders & Converters Association of Corona del Mar, Calif., discussed joining SPI but did not reach any agreement.
``Their participation [in SPI] at this time was not right for them, but we will continue to work with them, as our interests are closely aligned,'' Funderburk said.
CFECA President Robert Bateman said he believes a national association is a good idea, and anticipates a ``friendly coexistence.'' Bateman is president of Roplast Industries Inc. of Oroville, Calif.
Funderburk said SPI will assign a staff director to work on federation activities.
PBA was formed in 1990 to educate decision makers and consumers in an era when the industry was under attack. A predecessor group was organized in 1980.
The addition of PBA provides a positive note partially offsetting recent SPI membership losses from the group's Composites Institute unit and among large resin suppliers.