Washington — The Plastics Industry Association said Jan. 18 it has adopted its first sustainability statement, which it hopes prompts plastics companies and other organizations to sign on to similar practices.
"The Plastics Industry Association encourages all companies engaged in plastics manufacturing to make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of operation," the group said in a news release. "Sustainable plastics manufacturing conducts business in a way that seeks to drive value creation for society, the environment, and the industry."
The statement advocates for reducing greenhouse gas impacts by minimizing waste generation, shifting toward renewable energy and making other changes to reduce impacts on natural resources.
"We want to provide our members with a guiding principle for how they should integrate sustainability into their operations," said Kim Holmes, vice president of sustainability at the Washington-based association.
The group said its statement notes that "efforts should be guided by scientific data that measures the impacts of the many life cycle stages of plastic products" and strives to "keep materials in circularity for remanufacturing whenever it yields the greatest environmental benefit."
"These activities should be measured and reported with integrity and transparency," it said.
The statement highlighted a number of its efforts, including a Zero Net Waste program for companies to reduce waste in operations, and demonstration projects in the auto and retail industries to use more recycled plastics in their supply chains. It also said it works for more plastic film and bag recycling as part of the Materials Recovery for the Future research collaborative.
Jay Olsen, a member of the group's Sustainability Advisory Board and materials engineering and technology manager at Deere & Co., said in the announcement that the association is "unique among manufacturing trade associations for taking the lead and creating a statement that challenges companies ... this association walks the walk."