Reflections on 2013

By Carol Hochu, President and CEO, CPIA

With 2013 coming to a close, it’s common for individuals and organizations alike to reflect on the year that was. I’d like to do the same, using the top 20 most-read stories from our weekly CPIA NewsBrief to members as the basis for that look back.

Not surprising, most of the top-read stories coalesce around and relate directly to our 3 strategic priorities of:

Outreach (promoting the sustainable benefits of plastics):

    • “Shatter resistance where it really matters – the bathroom”
    • “Recycled plastics in the garden – it’s all about the green”
    • “How advanced plastics saved lives on Asiana Flight 214”
    • “Plastic tanks catch on in wine industry”

    Issues and Opportunities Management (monitoring for attacks against the industry & defending against those attacks). One major theme this past year was plastic bags...

      • “Rob Ford declares plastic bag debate dead”
      • “Plastic bag bans in U.S. cause jump in shoplifting rates”
      • “Plastic bags: More environmental fad than benefit?”

      The second theme related to the need for competitively priced industrial power and other supports for Ontario’s manufacturing base…

        • “Ontario drives manufacturers away with overpriced electricity”
        • “High Ontario power rates blamed for deterring investment”
        • “A manufacturing action plan for Ontario”

        Post-Use Consumer Recovery Leadership (diverting plastics from landfill into recycling and energy from waste programs) including

          • [Peel Regional] “Council approves plan to build energy recovery centre”
          • “Industry and municipal partnership releases flexible films plastics packaging diversion report 2013”
          • “More plastics allowed in blue boxes”
          • “New technology for coffee cups separates the plastic from the paper”

          Some of our illustrious member firms were highlighted whether focused on M&A activity (“Waddington set to buy Canadian thermoformer Par-Pak”), sustainability and innovation (“Innovation at BASF: Courage to dream of a better world”) or the importance of the plastics industry in Canada (“There’s a future in plastics: 5 of the top 10 companies in North America are based in Canada”)

          And last but not least some were clearly very interested in the new CPIA elected leadership (“CPIA announces 2013/2014 Board of Directors”) and one of our many member benefit programs (“Announcing CPIA’s Career Site”). The common themes from all these stories were innovation, sustainability, partnership, leadership, and competitiveness – words that describe today’s vibrant Canadian plastics industry and CPIA, the national voice for plastics in Canada. We thank you for your generous support of our activities in 2013 and look forward to serving you in 2014!

          P.S. I’m a softie for the plethora of holiday-themed movies at this time of year, with my all-time favourite being “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the 1946 classic with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. Did you know it’s the first major motion picture mention of plastics? Many people would incorrectly state 1967’s “The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman with its famous line “Just one word…Plastics!” but “It’s a Wonderful Life” has a couple of mentions of plastic – the first when George and Mary are on the phone with Sam Wainwright who says “Well look, I have a big deal coming up that's going to make us all rich. George, you remember that night in Martini’s Bar when, you told me you read someplace about making plastics out of soybeans?” If this movie is on your holiday viewing list, keep your eyes and ears open for this early film mention of plastics!