New US packaging body aims to make industry voice heard during ‘critical time’

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dow chemical company

A host of US-based giants have joined forces to create a new trade body to give industry a “compelling voice” on eco and economic issues at what it says is a crucial time in public policy debate on packaging.

Tetra Pak, DuPont and Sealed Air are among the founders of AMERIPEN - an industry association that said it will engage with thought leaders and decision makers in North America to secure “environmentally and economically-sound packaging policy improvements”.

The group said it will bid to influence public policy debates that impact the packaging value chain. In particular, it will engage on topics related to packaging and the environment to “provide a point-of-view and guidance to policy makers and thought leaders on the value and role of packaging”.

Other companies spearheading the initiative include The Coca-Cola Company, Dow Chemical Co, MeadWestvaco (MWV), ConAgra Foods, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive.

Critical time

Boosting sustainability and slashing packaging waste along the supply chain will be two of the key objectives pursued by the association. The body also signalled that the trend towards increasingly stringent corporate obligations and possible law changes meant ensusring industry’s point of view was taken into account was vital.

“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 AMERIPEN vice-president Gail Tavill.

The body said it had modelled itself on EUROPEN and INCPEN – counterpart European and UK organisations.

The US group vowed to represent the interests of a raft of industry players from raw material producers, packaging manufacturers, packaging users and fillers, retailers and material recovery organizations.

Material neutral approach

AMERIPEN said it would advance its mission by stimulating research and identifying key data and standards by opening dialogue with a range of packaging leaders from trade associations, academic institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies.

The group stressed it would have a “material neutral approach”​ and would push for “science-based decision-making on sustainable packaging initiatives”.

“AMERIPEN will further enhance the packaging value chain’s commitment to continuously improving its sustainability profile and reducing packaging waste,”​ said group president Joan Pierce. “The organisation 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.”

EUROPEN managing director Julian Carroll backed the formation of its US equivalent and hailed the “positive and productive”​ effect that the Brussels-based group had had for industry players in Europe over two decades.

“Today, the complexity of environmental issues confronting packaging is greater than ever,”​ he said. “Having a voice to represent common industry views of these matters and help shape public policy is an absolute essential.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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