Even with the seemingly growing trend of plastics opposition, the head of one of the largest plastic converters in the United States remains bullish about the future of the business.
Tom Salmon is CEO of Berry Global Group Inc. of Evansville, Ind., which sells more than $7 billion in plastic products each year. He's noticed the increased societal focus on the use of plastics, but believes the industry is doing a good job at getting its message out about their importance.
"We continue to believe that plastics as a raw material continues to make people's life better every day. I'm encouraged frankly by the efforts that have been put forth by Plastics Industry Association, [and] the ACC [American Chemistry Council], in terms of combating much of the negative sentiment that we see with really a fast-paced, data driven dialog," he said.
Salmon made his comments on a conference call to discuss the company's latest quarterly financial results.
"We're, frankly, taking share from other substrates as we speak. And people continue to see the advantages of our materials," he said.
"Inside our engineered materials apace, when you see higher freight costs as an example, people want to migrate to other substrates that are lighter weight and ultimately provide better protection for damage, breakage and loss," Salmon said. "So we're seeing improvement there in terms of share of substrate conversion."
The company also is seeing improvements in its consumer packaging business.
The Washington-based Plastics Industry Association recently launched a campaign called This is Plastics to promote the use of the material and show its benefits. Berry, independently, also rolled out a company effort to help its own employees engage others about the positive aspects of plastics industry.