Ten major U.S. corporations are forming an association to advocate for the packaging value chain on public-policy issues related to the environment.
With the emergence of extended producer responsibility and other potential packaging legislation in the coming years, this is a critical time for our industry to offer a compelling voice, said Gail Tavill, vice president of sustainable development at ConAgra Foods Inc. and vice president of the newly formed American Institution for Packaging and the Environment, which will be based in East Lansing, Mich.
We're committed to providing necessary expertise and insight to ensure sustainable management of packaging throughout its life cycle.
The 10 founding corporations include five brand owners: Coca-Cola Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., ConAgra, Procter & Gamble Co. and Kellogg Co. It also includes three major raw material companies Dow Chemical Co., DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers and MeadWestvaco Corp. and two packaging converters, Sealed Air Corp. and Tetra Pak Inc.
The group, which goes by the acronym Ameripen, will highlight packaging's improving sustainability profile and the sector's efforts to reduce waste, according to Joan Pierce, vice president of packaging sustainability at Colgate-Palmolive.
Pierce will serve as Ameripen president.
At the Plastics Recycling Conference March 2 in New Orleans, during a discussion about extended producer responsibility and whether the government should be involved in efforts to improve recycling and reduce packaging waste, Pierce made it crystal clear that she believes companies can handle the problem on their own.
I do not feel legislation is necessary to resolve this issue, she said.
We certainly do have a problem, but if you have every stakeholder sitting at a table with an open mind, you will get a solution, Pierce said. We have the technology, the desire and we will achieve the results. We don't need a legislator to tell us what to do.
The group, founded March 7, will have its first annual meeting June 22. Ameripen membership is open to raw-material producers, packaging suppliers and converters, waste haulers, recyclers, and packaged-goods manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
Ameripen members said the group was designed to take a material-neutral approach and encourage science-based decision-making on sustainable packaging initiatives. It is modeled after two existing groups: Europen, based in Brussels, and Great Britain's Incpen, in Reading, England.