January 19, 2018
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) announced that it has adopted its first Sustainability Statement, outlining the association’s commitment to sustainable principles. Through such a statement, PLASTICS hopes to encourage similar associations and companies across the plastics industry to make a similar commitment to sustainability.
The statement is as follows:
The Plastics Industry Association encourages all companies engaged in plastics manufacturing to make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of operation. Sustainable plastic manufacturing conducts business in a way that seeks to drive value creation for society, the environment, and the industry. It also strives for improvement to reduce impacts on natural resources, minimizing waste generation, and shifting toward renewable energy options; all of which reduces greenhouse gas impacts. Efforts should be guided by scientific data that measures the impacts of the many lifecycle stages of plastic products, consistent with the values of Sustainable Materials Management, and strive to keep materials in circularity for remanufacturing whenever it yields the greatest environmental benefit. These activities should be measured and reported with integrity and transparency.
This statement is the first of its kind for PLASTICS, although the association has championed sustainable practices through other avenues in recent years, including educational programs like the PLASTICS Zero Net Waste program and projects that work to create more sustainable supply chains in various industries like the PLASTICS End of Life Vehicle project.
“We want to provide our members with a guiding principle for how they should integrate sustainability into their operations,” said Kim Holmes, vice president of sustainability at PLASTICS, in a statement. “Further, we want people to understand PLASTICS’ ongoing and tireless efforts to help improve sustainability in our industry.”
PLASTICS has also provided funding for other efforts toward greater sustainability such as the Materials Recovery for the Future program, which works to determine possible methods by which flexible plastic film could be included in curbside recyclables. The association is also involved with a project that works to help hospitals recycle non-infectious plastics from clinical areas.
“As a brand owner, we’re familiar with the importance of making a bona fide commitment to sustainability,” said Jay Olson, materials engineering and technology manager at Deere & Company and a member of PLASTICS’ Sustainability Advisory Board, in a statement. “PLASTICS, however, is unique among manufacturing trade associations for taking the lead and creating a statement that challenges companies in the industry and makes it clear for all to see that this association walks the walk when it comes to promoting sustainable practices.”