The three organizations - the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association- already work together, but with the newly formed North American Plastics Alliance (NAPA) believe they can be more effective and efficient. The NAPA alliance could grow in the future, and SPI, ACC and CPIA will discuss expanding once it has demonstrated success. One group that could potentially be asked to join NAPA is Anipac, Mexico's plastics industry association.
A SPI representative told PlasticsToday that this announcement marks a "step-change in commitment to cooperation," including the creation of a pan-association NAPA Steering Team, employing 65 association staff. "Now we will no longer be solely dependent on individual relationships at the staff and C-level to sustain our collaboration," the spokesperson said. SPI, ACC, and CPIA will suport NAPA with existing staff and resources, with the steering team to meet in person or virtually as needed. In total, the NAPA organizations represent approximately 1000 member companies
NAPA's leadership already has identified four initial priorities for enhanced collaboration. These are the ongoing pellet containment program, a program to support energy recovery, work to improve the impression of plastics with key stakeholders, and working with policymakers to drum up support for laws that facilitate the growth of the plastics industry.
The SPI and ACC have partnered in the past to fight bans on thin plastic shopping bags. Just last month we reported that the Society of the Plastic Industry's environmental stewardship program that aims to keep loose resin pellets out of waterways and, eventually, oceans, has been extended northwards to Canada following a licensing agreement among the Canadian Plastics Industry Assn. (CPIA), SPI, and the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council.
Leaders of those groups held a ceremony to announce the introduction of Operation Clean Sweep to Canadian pellet-handling operations during the Plast-Ex trade show (Toronto Congress Centre; June 21-23). Started by SPI more than 25 years ago, Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) has now been implemented by more than 200 U.S. companies, with recent adoption by New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The program aims to mitigate of eliminate the loss of resin pellets down plant drains where they can eventually work their way into rivers, lakes, and oceans. Greg Wilkinson, CPIA president and CEO, said his group would push the program out to Canada's 3350 plastics firms, encouraging their participation.
Steering NAPA will be Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of the SPI, Steve Russell, VP of plastics at the American Chemistry Council, and Greg Wilkinson, interim president and CEO of the CPIA. Joining them are Paul Cohen, president of W. Ralston (Canada) Inc. and chair of the CPIA board of directors; Jay Cude, president and CEO of Coeur Inc. and vice chair of the SPI board of directors; and Glenn Wright, commercial VP North America Plastics at The Dow Chemical Company, who also is chair of the ACC Plastics Division's operating committee. Commented the ACC's Steve Russell, "Companies throughout the plastics value chain face common challenges, and by working together to demonstrate the collective value of our industry in terms of jobs, local economics and product innovation, we will be able to advocate and communicate much more effectively. We are already working closely with SPI and CPIA on a number of fronts; this North American Alliance is a way to deliver greater value to our stakeholders."