The Progressive Bag Alliance is expected to become part of the American Chemistry Council in January, according to several sources close to PBA, ACC and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
A spokesman for ACC, based in Arlington, Va., said the groups are ironing out details, but he did not provide additional information.
PBA, formed in 2005, consists of three major plastic carryout bag manufacturers. Its managing director, Donna Dempsey, is a 15-year SPI veteran who headed that group's Film and Bag Federation from 1999 until she was let go earlier this year. PBA has been spearheading the plastics industry's efforts to convince communities to recycle, not ban, plastic shopping bags
Gaining PBA will help ACC's plastics division in the role it has taken over the past five months in confronting legislative challenges to plastic products.
In November, the plastics division began a $2.5 million public education campaign in California, launched a beach recycling and anti-litter initiative in that state and cosponsored a marine debris conference that brought together more than 40 participants from public, private and government groups.
ACC earlier this year hired former Vinyl Institute executive Keith Christman, who has 15 years of experience in environmental issues related to plastics and chemicals, as senior director of packaging for the plastics division. Christman was director of industry affairs for rigid products at VI, with responsibility for retail and packaging sustainability issues and green buildings.
The push for advocacy is part of the pledge Steve Russell made in July when he was named managing director of the plastics division. At the time, Russell said the industry needed to ``address the many misperceptions about plastics'' with a united industry response.