Plastics Newsrecently published a list of "´09 goals for the plastics industry" [Jan. 5, Page 6] that truly echoes our shared vision of a strong and sustainable industry. Today's challenging economic climate requires all of us to be creative, coordinated and nimble in responding to the ever-changing marketplace. In concert, both organizations are doing just that with joint and separate programs that address the stated needs of our members.
One of our greatest challenges and opportunities is to demonstrate how plastics contribute to sustainability. From more lightweight, energy efficient vehicles, to stronger, lighter packaging and more energy efficient buildings, there are myriad examples of how plastics make sustainability possible. But because our products rely primarily on traditional feedstocks, the general public does not intuitively understand that we are, in fact, a sustainable industry. We believe that changing these mind-sets will require us to reach new audiences, in new and creative ways, and we are working together to do just that. We look forward to sharing those details with your readers soon.
Meanwhile, we continue to aggressively respond to the onslaught of misinformation about our industry. But frankly sometimes the best messengers are our own employees. That's why we are currently piloting a new program that the American Chemistry Council and Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. will roll out to our global industry at SPI's NPE2009 trade show. Our Plastics Ambassador program is being designed to unify and amplify the voice of the industry. This joint endeavor will provide our global industry with tools, opportunities and support to mobilize our workforce.
2009 also will be a challenging year in the state capitals and in Washington. Never have the challenges been greater, nor the need for the plastics industry to work together more urgent. At the top of our advocacy agenda are the needs to preserve consumer choice, provide sustainable products, get serious about recycling and litter abatement, and to promote policies that allow decisions about health, safety and the environment to be based on the best-available science. In these turbulent political and economic times, we are focused on bringing increased agility and cost-effectiveness to our efforts to defend the industry.
Success will require us to build and maintain effective coalitions with allied industry partners as well. On the domestic front, we are working together on numerous efforts to enhance plastic's image with key segments of the public, to promote constructive stewardship practices, and to provide a strong defense in the legislative arena. And we are working to make sure our approaches are coordinated globally with our colleagues in the Council of International Plastics Associations Directors and via the Global Meeting on Plastics.
New leadership has come to Washington. We believe this industry has an important role to play in the economic recovery process and, through our capacity to innovate, to solve some of the greatest challenges of our day, including energy efficiency, affordable health care and protecting our environment for future generations.
ACC's Plastics Division and SPI are committed to working together so that this industry can continue to provide the innovative products and processes to ensure that our industry stays relevant into the 21st century and beyond.
Bill Carteaux is president and CEO of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. Steve Russell is managing director of the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council.