The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is paying for a full-time secretary to help coordinate the efforts of the Council of International Plastics Associations Directors. That person will collect information and post it to CIPAD's Web site at www.cipad.org.
Formed about 18 years ago, CIPAD represents 64 plastics association directors from 49 countries but has never had a paid employee or its own office.
``It's an opportunity for us to leap forward and to share information and best practices because we're fighting global groups that are very well-organized,'' said William Carteaux, SPI president and chief executive officer.
Speaking at a news conference on opening day of the Plastimagen 2008 trade show on April 8 in Mexico City, Carteaux said one of CIPAD's major responsibilities is to counteract negative publicity aimed at the industry by groups such as Greenpeace.
In late 2005, for example, India's Maharashtra state government banned the manufacture, sale and use of all plastic bags in the state, alleging they choked drainage systems during monsoon rains. Carteaux said such action was unjustified but was a result of the plastics industry not getting its message across.
``We have to share information to combat individuals and to get the right message out [about the industry] instead of all the myths,'' he said.
According to Carteaux, CIPAD's members, who meet once or twice a year, need to do far more to share research results and statistics.
Carteaux said he offered to pay for the full-time employee out of SPI funds during a CIPAD meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, last year. The employee started work this month at SPI's Washington headquarters.