WASHINGTON — The departure of several resin companies from the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is pushing the Plastics Pipe Institute to seriously consider leaving SPI.
PPI is expected to leave because three of the resin companies that have left SPI were key financial supporters of the unit, according to an SPI official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But PPI Executive Director Rich Gottwald said the group still is deciding what to do. Its 43 member companies have until April 11 to cast votes on leaving or remaining in SPI, he said.
Those resin firms — Chevron Chemical Co. LLC, Nova Chemicals Ltd. and Solvay America Inc. — left SPI in favor of the much more expensive American Plastics Council, reflecting both budget pressures on the companies and disputes between the two Washington trade groups over how they might merge. Officials at both groups say more resin company departures from SPI are likely.
If PPI left SPI, it probably would become an independent group and not affiliate with the APC. PPI has enough financial support to go on its own, PPI officials said.
The turmoil between SPI and APC is making it difficult for PPI to remain part of SPI, said PPI President Bill Nichol. He also is quality and technical engineering manager for Phillips Driscopipe Inc. in Richardson, Texas, a division of Phillips Petroleum Co.
``APC and SPI have a disagreement as to how they want to move forward,'' Nichol said. ``PPI wants to represent all the people in the industry. The only way we can do that is to be somewhat independent.''
Gottwald said PPI for several years has considered leaving SPI.
"They want to have control of their destiny,'' he said.
PPI also plans to bring the smaller Corrugated Polyethylene Pipe Association in Toledo, Ohio, into PPI, Nichol said. CPPA will join PPI on June 1.
If PPI leaves, the group would retain the same staffing levels, Nichol said.
The Polystyrene Packaging Council also was scheduled to meet March 30 to discuss whether it would remain in SPI. PPC officials could not be reached.