Washington — The American Chemistry Council's plastics division is broadening its membership, adding plastics processors, chemical recycling companies and others.
ACC says the move is a bid to strengthen its political advocacy and sustainability work.
The Washington-based group announced Oct. 5 that it was creating a new membership category and adding 12 companies, including some large plastics packaging makers and processors: Berry Global Group Inc., NPX One, Pregis LLC, Sealed Air Corp., Tekni-Plex Inc. and Wincup.
ACC is also adding chemical recycling firms to the plastics division's membership ranks, disclosing that Agilyx Corp., Alterra Energy, Braven Environmental, Brightmark LLC and Encina were joining.
Traditionally, ACC has represented the industry's resin makers and materials suppliers, while other segments like plastics processors focused more on membership in groups like the Plastics Industry Association in Washington and the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors in Indianapolis.
But as political pressure on the industry has dramatically picked up in Washington and state capitals over environmental issues, ACC sees value in bringing different segments of the industry into its ranks.
"On all of these issues — state, federal or global — there's something happening at every level," said Joshua Baca, vice president of ACC's plastics division. "Coordination, interaction and collaboration with the value chain is the key to success. That was a really big priority for us.
"Most importantly, we were looking at how we advance our advocacy and sustainability goals," he said.
In its announcement, ACC said it sees the new membership tier as "inviting companies from across the plastics value chain to join in the organization's best-in-class advocacy efforts."
"Our expanding and diversified membership underscores ACC's leadership role on plastics issues, the value of plastics division engagement and our industry's commitment to helping solve some of the nation's greatest challenges, such as accelerating a circular economy and moving toward a lower carbon and more sustainable future," Baca said.
"Our growing membership is strengthening industry's support of sound public policy, investments in sustainability and ability to deliver innovative products that benefit people and the planet," he said.
ACC also said it was adding the oil company Saudi Aramco, which owns 70 percent of resin maker Sabic, to the plastics division membership.
Baca said the group expects to add more members in the new category in coming months.
"We're probably going to have a whole lot more before the end of the year," he said. "It's been a huge success. We've had converters. We've had suppliers. It's a pretty significant development."
The trade group said the new category includes plastics converters, distributors, additive and equipment suppliers who participate in the ACC's Responsible Care or Operation Clean Sweep programs, or other operational safety programs.
ACC's plastics division was originally part of the Society of the Plastics Industry, a predecessor organization to the Plastics Industry Association, and was known as the American Plastics Council.
APC was funded by resin makers and managed the industry's expensive "Plastics Make it Possible" TV ad campaign.
But after acrimonious and ultimately unsuccessful talks in the late 1990s aimed at restructuring the two groups, they separated and APC in 2002 officially merged with the American Chemistry Council.