It was on July 6, 2011 when the three leading associations in the U.S. and Canadian plastics industry announced that they were formally joining forces to help coordinate efforts on certain initiatives and programs including Outreach, Energy Recovery & Recycling, Advocacy, Pellet Containment (i.e. Operations Clean Sweep® ), and Marine Litter/Debris.
The three organizations - the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association- were already working together but under the umbrella of the newly formed NAPA, believed they could be more efficient and effective as they worked towards one vision and one voice for the North American plastics industry.
At our most recent face-to-face NAPA Steering Committee meeting in Washington, DC, the group reaffirmed that three years later, the partnership is alive and well and kicking you-know-what!
For example, on the Outreach initiative, the three organizations have their own go-to-market brands (Plastic Makes it Possible for ACC; Intelligent Plastics for CPIA; and In the Hopper for SPI) but we are actively working to share and promote each other’s content via social media. CPIA borrows heavily from the content rich library of stories offered by ACC, “Canadian-izes” them where necessary, then issues press releases to traditional and social media outlets. It’s because of the great partnership we have with ACC that CPIA is able to generate millions of positive plastics media impressions annually here in Canada!
On the Energy Recovery & Recycling initiative, all three organizations are actively involved in the City of Edmonton gasification trials for example. All three organizations are interested in and working together on plastics to oil projects. And SPI is coordinating a first ever North American Plastics Recycling Association leaders meeting for later this year when representatives from SPI, ACC and CPIA, along with other like-minded associations, will gather together to review the plethora of plastics recycling projects and discuss how to work more closely together on a go-forward basis.
On the Advocacy front, Amir Karim (CPIA’s Chair of the Board) and I attended for the second year in a row SPI’s “fly-in” where representatives from 7 plastics associations assembled en masse in Washington DC to meet and raise issues of concern with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
And on Operation Clean Sweep®, the global initiative to contain resin pellets from escaping into the marine environment, all 3 organizations are working diligently to expand the number of member firms who are signing up as pledge partners as well as recruiting new countries to join with us in this important industry effort.
Kudos to the elected and appointed leadership then (for their vision) and now (for pushing us towards even greater efficiency, effectiveness and continuous improvement). At the time of the NAPA announcement, ACC's Steve Russell said:
"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."
Three years later, that sentiment still holds true today. Happy Anniversary NAPA!