The Western Plastics Association will focus on extrusion technologies and the shifting bag-ban environment at its annual conference June 23-25.
A referendum on California's Nov. 8, 2016, general election ballot will ask voters whether the state should ban supermarkets and other businesses from handing out single-use plastic bags. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the act into law in September 2014. A plastic-bag-industry-backed petition succeeded Feb. 24 in delaying implementation until voters have their say on the issue next year.
“WPA is on front lines in what is going in with the referendum and bag bans,” said John Picciuto, WPA president and Western market manager in Tustin, Calif., for compounder H. Muehlstein & Co. Inc.
WPA Executive Director Laurie Hansen assembled the program with strong support from Steve DeSpain, vice president of event co-sponsor Reifenhäuser Inc.
The WPA event includes a June 23 reception, the June 24 Reifenhäuser-organized technology day and the June 25 business and policy forum at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, Calif.
Ulrich Reifenhäuser, a managing director and a third-generation owner of parent firm Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG of Troisdorf, Germany, will attend WPA's event, plus a June 23 Reifenhäuser customer-centric program at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, British Columbia.
DeSpain said Reifenhäuser during 2014 conducted similar programs for customers in the Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto markets.
Reifenhäuser speakers at both events will include Sascha Skora, Manfred Kurscheid, Lars Bergheim and George Jansen along with Reifenhäuser partners from Enercon Industries Corp. of Menomonee Falls, Wis.; Nova Chemicals Corp. of Calgary, Alberta; Erema North America Inc. of Ipswich, Mass.; Syncro USA LLC of Zion, Ill.; and Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich.
During the WPA business and policy forum, Erik Dunham, senior engineer for technical services and development with Westlake Chemical Corp. of Houston; Frank Ruiz, vice president of Heritage Plastics Inc. of Picayune, Miss.; and Terry Grill, director sustainability-Americas for Sealed Air Corp. of Elmwood Park, N.J., will discuss trends in packaging materials, processes and products.
Speakers on flexible packaging issues will include Michael Jobes of S. Walter Packaging Corp. in San Diego; Cassandra Childs of the Washington-based Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers; and Joseph Greene, chair of the department of mechanical and mechatronic engineering and sustainable manufacturing at California State University, Chico.
Tony Kingsbury, president of consulting firm TKingsbury LLC of San Ramon, Calif., will review ways in which consumers are influencing retailers' packaging decisions.
Other speakers include Jim Hill, recycling specialist with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery operating as CalRecycle; Kristi Galus of Dow Chemical; Alan Blake, executive director of the packaging forum Pac Next; Tony Torres of brokerage HUB International Ltd.; and Rick Weil of Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc.
Sacramento, Calif.-based WPA represents the interests of the plastics industry in the Western states and provinces of, respectively, the U.S. and Canada. Until a 2011 restructuring, WPA operated as the California Film Extruders and Converters Association.