The Canadian Plastics Industry Association plans to restructure to ensure it has the resources to face the future.
CPIA President and Chief Executive Officer Serge Lavoie said the association typically has C$5 million to C$7 million (US$4.5 million to US$6.3 million) per year to work with, but it ``has sliced the pie into too many wedges.''
Lavoie said in a telephone interview that CPIA increasingly will function on a fee-for-service model. When it was established 10 years ago, the group was organized along sectoral and regional lines. It's been too costly to operate that way, and sectors and regions will be expected to fund themselves.
The Vinyl Council sector, for example, already has been paying its own way. The western and Atlantic Canada regions have relied heavily on fees generated from central Canada, but will need to get more local support. The Quebec region, second largest after Ontario, will become more autonomous since some of its needs are particular to the French-speaking province and it gets much more support from its provincial government than do other regions, Lavoie said.
Lavoie said CPIA will continue to use general funds for its core programs. Those include promoting plastics, stewardship for fields such as waste management and recycling, government advocacy to influence regulatory activity, international trade, and communications and administrative functions.
The board of directors of the Mississauga, Ontario-based association met in July and formulated the outline for the restructuring. Lavoie said it will be implemented beginning next July. Although the plan takes some cues from organizations such as the American Chemistry Council, it is a unique approach because unlike plastics trade associations elsewhere, CPIA represents all sectors of Canada's C$51 billion (US$45.6 billion) industry, from mold and resin makers to machinery builders and processors.
CPIA's income swells two out of three years when it sponsors the Plast-Ex and Expoplast trade shows. But income has been declining, mainly because as processors buy each other out, there are fewer to pay annual fees. Even more worrisome, Lavoie said, is that such consolidation results in fewer available volunteers to run CPIA programs, making it even more important to have an efficient association.