The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has adopted a new mission statement and is adding a fourth membership council, with an aim at persuading more original equipment manufacturers to join. The new mission statement, which is part of SPI 2020, more pointedly emphasizes that the association is focused on improving the competitiveness and profitability of the industry and delivering the message that the right zero-waste strategy includes plastics products.
“Our strategic focus will still revolve about the three pillars we established in 2009 — public policy, communications and marketing, and trade shows and conference,” President and CEO Bill Carteaux said at SPI's 75th anniversary luncheon April 3 at NPE2012.
“However, we have come up with a new mission statement that we think will really position SPI for the long term, both for the development of this organization and the industry,” he said. “It is part of SPI 2020, our vision for the plastics industry and SPI for the next 10 years.”
The new mission statement says that Washington-based SPI will advocate a pro-manufacturing agenda, work to strengthen the competitiveness of the plastics industry and improve profitability of its members and also pursue “zero-waste strategies” for the U.S. plastics industry.
The association's previous mission statement said that its role was to “promote and preserve” the plastics industry on both a domestic and global basis in five ways — by providing advocacy at all levels of government based on member needs, by facilitating networking, by sharing relevant industry and economic information, by promoting new market expansion opportunities, and by sponsoring domestic and international trade shows.
“We really have to focus on zero waste,” Carteaux said. But that does not mean plastic products need to be eliminated. Instead, plastic products need to be promoted as a viable sustainable alternative. “With all the attacks on all fronts, we need to communicate the values of our products,” he said. “We need to educate the industry, consumers and policymakers about the benefits of plastics as the preferred sustainable material.”
The new OEM council will join SPI's three existing councils — materials suppliers, processors and equipment — and will represent the interest of brand owners and OEMs. It will be headed by Jacqueline Dalzell, who joined SPI as industry affairs director.
“As SPI looks toward 2020 and beyond, we must engage with OEMS … to complete the picture of SPI's future,” Carteaux said. “OEMs are an integral part of what we do in the plastics industry.”
The new OEM council will “close the loop” on communications up and down the supply chain that SPI represents. “It will give us more critical mass at the table to address issues among all members of the supply chain,” he said. Carteaux did not say how many current members at SPI will switch to the OEM Council, only saying that several strong brand owner companies — such as 3M Co., Dart Container Corp., Pactiv Corp., Berry Plastics Corp., Coca-Cola Co. and S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. — are members of SPI.
But he did say that SPI would initially pursue OEMs in the consumer products goods, packaging, medical-device and automotive sectors. “We are going to first look in areas where there is a fit with what we are already doing,” Carteaux said. “We certainly would like, in the next two years, to have 50 of these guys, if not 100 of these guys, at the table.”