Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Kellogg’s are among the major U.S. corporations that have created a trade organization to represent the packaging industry and coordinate the sector’s environmental efforts.
The American Institution for Packaging and the Environment (Ameripen) will advocate on public policy relating to packaging and the environment. It will collaborate with trade associations, academic institutions, non-profits and government agencies to facilitate relevant research and data collection.
Founders also include ConAgra Foods, MeadWestvaco, Sealed Air Corporation and Tetra Pak. Membership is open to raw material producers, packaging suppliers, packaging converters, waste haulers, recyclers, and packaged goods manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The group’s first annual meeting is due to be held June 22.
The newly formed association, which is based in East Lansing, Mich., is modeled after European and British counterparts Europen and Incpen. The association said it will take a “material-neutral” approach to packaging and encourage science-based decision making on sustainable packaging initiatives. It will advocate measures that are environmentally, socially and economically sound, Ameripen said.
“Ameripen will further enhance the packaging value chain’s commitment to continuously improving its sustainability profile and reducing packaging waste,” said Colgate-Palmolive vice president Joan Pierce, who is also Ameripen president. “The organization will play an instrumental role in conveying this message to opinion leaders in North America and ensuring that participants in the packaging value chain have maximum scope to innovate, compete and operate in a resource-efficient way.”
“With the emergence of extended producer responsibility and other potential packaging legislation in the coming years, this is a critical time for our industry to offer a compelling voice,” said ConAgra’s senior director of packaging commericalization Gail Tavill, Ameripen’s vice-president. “We’re committed to providing necessary expertise and insight to ensure sustainable management of packaging throughout its life cycle.”
Europen’s managing director, Julian Carroll, said: “Today, the complexity of environmental issues confronting packaging is greater than ever. Having a voice to represent common industry views of these matters and help shape public policy is an absolute essential.
“In Europe our experience with such an approach over more than 20 years has been positive and productive for industry.”
Ameripen representatives from each of the founding companies are:
– The Coca Cola Company, Brand Owner – Beverage Sector, Representative: April Crow
– Colgate-Palmolive Company, Brand Owner -Personal Care Sector, Representative: Joan Pierce
– ConAgra Foods, Brand Owner – Food Sector, Representative: Gail Tavill
– The Dow Chemical Co., Raw Material – Resin Sector, Representative: Jeff Wooster
– DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, Raw Material – Resin Sector, Representative: Shanna Moore
– Kellogg Company, Brand Owner – Food Sector, Representative: Kimberly Harvey
– MeadWestvaco (MWV), Raw Material /Converter Sector, Representative: Laura Rowell
– Procter & Gamble, Brand Owner – Consumer Goods, Representative: Joe Keller
– Sealed Air Corporation, Converter – Plastics Sector, Representative: Ron Cotterman
– Tetra Pak, Inc., Converter – Aseptic Pkg Sector, Representative: Elisabeth Comere
Coca-Cola’s arm in Great Britain recently announced it has formed a joint venture to double the amount of PET bottles recycled in that country. The US operation has also formed a partnership to allow its sugarcane-based PlantBottles to be used for Heinz ketchup.
A recent report says that the amount of post-consumer non-bottle rigid plastic recovered for recycling increased by a third between 2008 and 2009.
Opinion: Salazar Packaging president Dennis Salazar argues that the goal for sustainable packaging must move beyond cradle-to-grave, and encompass cradle-to-cradle concerns.
Picture credit: Steven Depolo