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CPIA Plastics Industry Leadership Award Winners

CPIA Plastics Industry Leadership Award Winners  

On Sept. 14, 2016 CPIA celebrated the winners of the 2016 Plastics Industry Leadership Awards at its annual Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner. CPIA awards recognize outstanding individuals and businesses for their commitment and dedication to the growth and sustainability of the Canadian plastics industry.

We are delighted to recognize and celebrate individuals and companies who have demonstrated leadership and excellence, contributing immensely to the plastics industry in the areas of innovation, sustainability and more.

Congratulations to all the award winners!:

Leader of the Year:
Amir Karim, Polykar

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Tom Rose
Robert Torokvei
Mirek Planeta
Sajjad Ebrahim
Grantland M . Cameron

Plastics Innovator Award:
Professor Chul B. Park

Plastics Sustainability Award:
Lafarge Canada Inc.
Urban Polymers

CanPlast Award:
Marc Robitaille

Plastics Industry Young Leader Award:
Geoff B. Woolley
Krista Friesen
Domenic Di Mondo
Solenne Brouard Gaillot

Click here for more award winner details.

Click here for news release.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

GOLD: Clariant, Scepter Canada, TD

SILVER: BDO, Micro Interface Design, Macro Engineering & Technology Inc.

BRONZE: Merlin Plastics

What Have We Done For You Lately?

It’s my pleasure to highlight recent activities CPIA has undertaken on behalf of our members so far this year and provide some thoughts on the coming month’s ahead…

  • Advocacy; the backbone of every trade association, is encouraging public policy that supports the growth of the plastics industry.  It takes many shapes and forms including for example a letter to the Ontario government suggesting that the province wide strategy to address the GHG challenge should occur in a cohesive, measured and sustainable manner OR responding to the Nova Scotia public discussion paper about solid waste regulation; OR negotiating another 5-year environmental performance agreement respecting the use of tin stabilizers in the vinyl industry.

    Sincere thanks to our Board of Directors for your tireless efforts in ensuring that CPIA is governed with excellence, with special appreciation to outgoing Director Tom Rose and Board Chair Amir Karim for their years of committed and dedicated service.
  • Coalitions: are an excellent way for CPIA to amplify resources and outcomes.  We participate in the Coalition for Ontario Manufacturers Seeking Competitively Priced Power, and the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, to name two.  

    And while we are still advocating with key political and bureaucratic influencers at Queen’s Park for relief from the high cost of power via a farm/industrial rate, the CMC was indeed successful in getting the federal government to extend the ACCA (accelerated capital cost allowance) until the end of 2025 for investments in machinery and equipment used in manufacturing or processing.
  • De-selection: an attempt to ban, tax, or apply fees to plastic products.  

    CPIA responds quickly and decisively to such attempts including the announcement last November by City of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre to consider a plastic bag ban.  Our efforts have continued in 2015, including written and in-person deputations by CPIA and several members before the City’s Environmental Commission earlier this month.  

    Still in the City of Montreal, CPIA and the City announced late last year a 5-year extension of the polystyrene recovery and recycling program at the LaSalle Ecocenter.  The announcement followed a very successful pilot project which saw the recovery of more than 2.5 tonnes of polystyrene and establishment of the necessary collection & recycling infrastructure.
  • Events: Well attended and successful events so far this year included the annual PFMAC golf tournament, our Annual General Meeting of Members, Industry Leadership Awards dinner, member meetings in Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary and Montreal, and CPIA’s booth at Plast-Ex.
  • Finances:  CPIA ended the calendar year 2014 with a modest surplus, leaving us in a strong position to defend, promote and advocate for our members’ interests.
  • Intelligent Plastics:  our branded, pro-active media campaign designed to change public perception by touting the sustainable benefits of plastics is ongoing and continues to generate millions of positive media impressions, including a +25% increase year-over-year.  
  • Media & Journalists: CPIA senior staff speaks frequently on the plastics industry issues of the day with trade and consumer press.  Whether it’s Krista Friesen conducting an interview with CBC PEI on microbeads or Aine Curran speaking to Plastics News on what she hopes to achieve in her Director General role or myself with Global TV responding to a study on elevated levels of breast cancer in women who work in plastics automotive manufacturing, we regularly engage with the press.  
  • Knowledge & Info: your association creates opportunities for members via webinars on topics such as credit insurance, recycling grocery rigid plastics, how to get the most out of tradeshows; as well as seminar such as PFMAC technical and fall conferences; and an information session on Sustainability throughout the plastics life cycle, to name but a few.

    In 2014 CPIA came into full “legal compliance” with CASL, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation; Canada’s new not-for-profit corporation’s act; and AODA, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.  
  • Members: the lifeblood of any association.  We are delighted to welcome  9 new members to our fold so far in 2015:

-          AFEX
-          2MS Limited
-          BDO Canada
-          Clariant Canada Masterbatches
-          Post Plastics Inc.
-          Royal Building Solutions
-          Sushrut Polymers
-          Star Plastics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
-          Urban Polymers, Inc.

  • NAPA: an acronym for the North American Plastics Alliance.  Formed almost 4 years ago by the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and CPIA, we formally joined forces and made a commitment to work together on 4 key areas of outreach, advocacy, energy recovery & recycling; and pellet containment.  

    We’re focussed on creating efficiencies and be more effective as representatives of this large and diverse industry.  Search for NAPA in any of the plastics trade press and read more about our efforts and successes. []
  • Operation Clean Sweep is an international program designed to prevent pellet loss and the potential introduction of pellets to the marine environment where they create both a litter problem and a threat to sea life and wild life.  

    CPIA is the Canadian licensee of OCS promote the program to the Canadian plastics value chain.  We’re pleased to report that 95 companies have taken the pledge to prevent resin pellet loss into the environment.  If you’re not currently an OCS pledge partner, please contact Krista Friesen to learn more about what is required to take the pledge.
  • Post-Use programs: diversion metrics is one of 5 important strategic themes.  We report annually on the number of tonnes of plastic packaging recovered and population access to municipal and commercial plastics recycling, all the while striving for continuous, year-over-year improvement especially in the harder to collect and recycle areas of film and foam.
  • Resources:  We provide you with communications tools including our weekly e-NewsBrief, monthly e-newsletter called “Plastics Perspective”, our website along with a plethora of member benefits including plastics innovation forums, plastics protect insurance program, freight & logistics programs, and discounted exhibitor rates for Plast-Ex and ExpoPlast.
  • Social media:  Our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts are flush with fresh, exciting content, resulting in double digit year-over-year growth in the number of our followers and likes in each of those important social media channels.
  • Tours: an excellent vehicle to engage and educate stakeholders on recycling and energy recovery in action.  Our post-use committee will host 2 such tours in the fall:  a tour of the City of Edmonton’s Enerkem biofuels facility on September 29 and a tour of the Durham York Energy Centre in Courtice, Ontario on October 14.
  • VCC, CPIA’s Vinyl Council of Canada:  With Aine and Veso leading VCC, great things are happening including a partnership with Scott McGillivary, star of “Income Property”.  Scott is promoting the benefits of vinyl in home renovations, direct to consumer.

A Whirlwind of CPIA & Industry Events

Congratulations to all CPIA members who attended and/or exhibited at the recent NPE2015 show in Orlando, Florida. As you might know, this year’s show set a number of records including number of exhibitors (2,029) and exhibit space (more than 1,128,200 net square feet). Exhibitors came from 37 nations with Canada placing 3rd in the top 10 list of participating countries (behind only China and Taiwan). CPIA was also delighted to host a Canada Night Reception for all Canadians and companies doing business in Canada at the booth of Wittmann Battenfeld. Thanks to our generous sponsors: BASF, CCC, CKF, GH Thermoforming Equipment, NOVA Chemicals, Wittmann Battenfeld, Windmoller & Holscher, FEPAC, Enviroplast, and Export Development Canada (EDC) for helping to make this event a smash success. 

Adding to the excitement was the induction of a number of outstanding individuals into the Plastics Hall of Fame including Terry Browitt of CPIA member firm Terinex International, and SPI President & CEO Bill Carteaux. Please enjoy the photo montage below of CPIA members in action at the show!

Also, mark your calendar and make plans to join us at two exciting upcoming events. On May 27 the PFMAC Golf Tournament is taking over Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario. A new location for the PMFAC tourney this year, Angus Glen is host to a number of prestigious golf events including serving as host venue for golf at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. You can expect outstanding golf, excellent networking opportunities, a fabulous dinner and prizes, and so much more! 

On June 15, CPIA will be hosting its annual Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel. Come help us recognize and celebrate outstanding individuals and companies for their commitment and dedication to the Canadian plastics industry in the areas of sustainability, innovation, lifetime achievement, and our pinnacle award, Leader of the Year. Our very special guest speaker will be Scott McGillivary, award-winning host of the hit television series Income Property, sponsored by CPIA's Vinyl Council of Canada. Scott will be speaking on The Value of Plastics in Renovations, and looks forward to meeting CPIA members and their guests.

With National Volunteer Week 2015 (April 12 to 18) just concluded, I want to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers who comprise the bedrock of CPIA’s activities. We cannot achieve all that we do without the dedicated and passionate men and women of the plastics industry who serve on our Board of Directors, Post-Use Committee, Vinyl Council of Canada, Plastic Film Manufacturers of Canada (PFMAC), Vapour Barrier Committee, Plastic Bag Task Force, Awards Review Committee, Membership Development Committee…the list goes on! Your efforts are appreciated and make an impact on CPIA’s mission and vision – thank you! To that end, read all about the many achievements of our staff and committees in the areas of Environmental Performance Agreement for tin stabilizers; an increase in recycling of plastic packaging across Canada; the latest from the government of Nova Scotia on solid waste regulations and other CPIA’s efforts in monitoring and responding to federal and provincial government policies.

CPIA's Ongoing Activities against Marine Litter

Earlier this month, Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia and a group of colleagues published a paper in the journal Science which calculated that 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT of that waste entering the ocean – sobering numbers indeed. 

The story dominated news outlets in Canada, the USA and beyond including a segment on the CTV National News, the New York Times, and Time magazine, to name but a few. Jambeck et al. concluded that without improvements to waste management infrastructure, the cumulative quantity of plastic waste available to enter the ocean from land is predicted to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025.

The plastics industry worldwide is resolute in its efforts to work with a range of stakeholders to take action to prevent marine litter. Closer to home, CPIA’s Post Use Committee has a number of 2015 deliverables related to tackling marine litter (in addition to our ongoing efforts to improve and expand residential collection networks for all types of plastics packaging waste) including:

    • Continue to participate in the Global Action Team to address marine debris issues
      • Encourage more companies to join Operation Clean Sweep (OCS)
          • OCS is an international program designed to prevent pellet loss and the potential introduction of pellets to the marine environment where they create both a litter problem and a threat to sea life and wild life. The essence of OCS is to help each segment of our industry, including resin producers, transporters, bulk terminal operators and plastics processors, implement good housekeeping and pellet containment practices towards achieving zero pellet loss. CPIA, as the Canadian licensee of OCS, promotes the program to the Canadian plastics value chain and invites all companies to take the pledge and become an OCS partner (
        • Establish a partnership in the Great Lakes region with fisheries, marinas and yacht clubs
            • CPIA is actively seeking partnerships with fisheries, marinas and yacht clubs in the Great Lakes to put in place ‘best practices’ for preventing marine litter, modeled after the Clean Nova Scotia initiative, “Ship to Shore”, which CPIA funded in 2008.
          • Contribute to organizations on litter clean-ups to raise public awareness of littering
              • Via our relationship with the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up, CPIA will contribute to public education efforts and encourage our members to take a stand against shoreline litter by registering to clean a community shoreline (

            One thing is for certain: CPIA, along with our members and other plastics associations around the world, is committed to the principle that plastics do not belong in the world’s waterways and oceans and should not be littered. Plastics should be responsibly used, reused, recycled and, where applicable, recovered for their energy value.

            For more information on CPIA’s efforts to tackle marine litter/debris, click here.

            full Steam Ahead

            Now that we’ve officially waved goodbye to 2014, Team CPIA is working hard to ensure that 2015 will be a great year for your business. Our New Year’s resolution is to help you achieve new heights of success and growth. And here’s a preview of the activities designed to do just that…


            On the Post-Use front (i.e. diverting plastics from landfill into recycling and energy from waste programs), in addition to on-going projects, Krista Friesen, CPIA’s VP Sustainability and the Post-Use Committee (under the guidance of Tim Bean, Imperial Oil) have a number of exciting new projects on the docket for 2015 including:

              • Engaging the grocery sector to participate in a pilot project for non-bottle PP and HDPE rigids like pails  
              • Supporting efforts to increase recycling rates of all PET beverage containers in the ICI (industrial, commercial, institutional) sectors by stimulating collection of beverage bottles and drink cups at events and open facilities like golf courses and marathons, and  
              • Encouraging municipal collection of PS in communities across Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario.  

              CPIA Councils

              Our Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada (PFMAC) and Vinyl Council of Canada (VCC) councils are re-populated, re-engaged and raring to go, under the guidance of Chairs Abe Looy (Chantler Packaging) and Veso Sobot (IPEX), respectively and CPIA Director General, Aiñe Curran!

                • The PFMAC has named 2 sub-committees focussed on events and advocacy. The Events Sub-Committee has selected a new golf tournament venue (Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham) and a new date (May 27), so mark your calendars and make plans to join them! The Advocacy Sub-Committee is looking to educate and engage young people on the importance of plastics; stay tuned for more info as their plans unfold.  
                • The VCC has entered into a two-year partnership agreement with the McGillivary Group where Scott McGillivary (real estate investor, contractor, and host of the award-winning hit series “Income Property” on HGTV) will promote all things vinyl. In addition, VCC will be unveiling some exciting new communications tools designed to engage and excite current and prospective VCC members, like a new micro-website ( and a Twitter presence – details to follow!  

                CPIA Events

                So far, three CPIA events have been developed to meet your networking and educational needs including January 27’s “Sustainability throughout the Plastics Lifecycle” information session; March 24’s “Canada Night Reception at NPE 2015”, and June 15’s “CPIA Industry Leadership Awards Dinner”. Check your inbox or for further information including how to register.


                There is no lack of legislative, regulatory, technical, and other issues to occupy Aiñe Curran and our members. Their goal is to develop proactive strategies that successfully advance issues such as…

                  • Our Plastic Bag Task Force has reassembled following success in overturning the City of Toronto’s 2012 attempt to ban bags, this time to prevent deselection of the plastic carryout shopping bag in the City of Montreal.  
                  • Our Vapour Barrier group will be embarking on a process to reaffirm the vapour barrier standard, working closely with the Canadian General Standards Board.  
                  • The VCC is working on the next iteration of the Environmental Performance Agreement for Tin Stabilizers with Environment Canada (EC). All final documents have now been exchanged between VCC and EC with sign-off expected by senior Ministry officials in March.  
                  • And CPIA is actively engaged in the Chemical Management Plan, a joint initiative of Health Canada and EC.  

                  I hope you’ll agree that CPIA is forging ahead with a dynamic and dramatic 2015 agenda. With a new senior management team and new ideas, we are drawing new members to our ranks (check out the details of our just launched "Member Get-A-Member Campaign) and increasing member engagement – momentum is definitely building! But we can’t do it without you; together, let’s build an amazing 2015! To that end, all Voting Reps of CPIA member firms should have received in December a membership renewal package that included among other things a letter that reinforced CPIA’s value, and asked for your continued commitment and support. In addition, CPIA’s one page annual report to members details our many 2014 accomplishments.

                  Thanks to the many firms who have already renewed their membership – we appreciate your support and look forward to your participation in this great year ahead. And if you have any questions regarding membership renewal, contact me or any of our Team CPIA.

                  A Year In Review

                  It’s that time of year when a plethora of media outlets, websites and pundits reflect on the highs (and lows) of the year that’s just about ended, along with a snapshot of what’s to come in 2015. As 2014 draws to a close, I’d like to look back at what brought CPIA to this point (and save my thoughts on what’s ahead in 2015 for next month’s issue):


                    • Hosted a successful “Plastics on Parliament Hill” lobby day in Ottawa; Participated in SPI’s “Plastics Champions” fly-in to Washington, DC  
                    • With other associations, signed a letter to the Ontario government expressing concerns about the impacts of long-term competitiveness and the negative consequences for the Ontario economy of ill-considered GHG emissions reduction policy and regulations  
                    • With SPI, jointly responded to Health Canada’s consultation on its intent respecting interim Letters of No Objection (i-LONO) for food processing  
                    • Met with Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver and attended an invitation-only reception for business leaders hosted by The Right Honourable Stephen Harper to celebrate the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union  
                    • Responded quickly to the City of Montreal’s announcement of consideration of a plastic bag ban  
                    • Joined with other industry associations in the launch of the Alliance for Manufacturing in BC in order to raise the profile of manufacturing  

                    Engaging Events

                      • Mark Daniels of NOVOLEX as CPIA’s Leader of the Year  
                      • Mark Lichtblau of Haremar Plastics Manufacturing as Plastic Innovator  
                      • Polyform Cellular Plastics Inc., Cascades and Polynova Industries as Plastics Sustainability Award winners  
                      • Cathy Cirko, retired CPIA VP, Charles Russell of NOVA Chemicals, and Michel Illiesco of Cascades as CanPlast Award winners, and  
                      • Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, as Lifetime Achievement Award Winner  
                      • PFMAC triumvirate of a Technical Seminar, Golf Tournament, and Fall General Meeting were all well attended, well received and delivered value.  
                      • CPIA hosted several member events across Canada including Dartmouth, NS; Calgary, AB; and Montreal, QC.  

                      Marvellous Members

                        • Thrilled to welcome 16 new members to the CPIA fold, including: Direct Plastics; NU-B Inc.; Argus DeWitt; Flex Essentials; OMYA; Western Concord Mfg.; Canuck Compounders; Miller Waste Systems; Mexichem Specialty Resins; Athena Automation; Tibopak Emballages; Pnewko Brother Ltd.; Corplan Advisors Inc.; BeneFACT Consulting Group Inc.; Emerald Energy from Waste Inc.; and Scotia Recycling Ltd. Thank you for joining with us!  

                        Post-Use Resource Recovery

                        In our efforts to divert plastics from landfill into recycling and energy from waste programs, CPIA…  

                          • Funded a feasibility study on collecting marine plastic litter to be converted into fuel  
                          • Launched a promotion and education image bank of recycling plastic bottles and containers for recycling educators  
                          • Launched a pilot for the collection and recycling of polyethylene flexible film with Promenade Shopping Centre in Ontario  
                          • Supported the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) “caps-on bottles” program; and hosted a webinar with APR on the recycling of rigid plastics in the grocery sector  
                          • Responded to the government of Nova Scotia’s public discussion paper about solid waste regulation  
                          • Praised the efforts of manufacturers and the government of Illinois in leading the phase-out of microbeads in personal care products  
                          • Supported and participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup 
                          • Partnered with Walmart and SC Johnson for in-store collection of bags and film 
                          • Established a partnership with Lafarge Canada to assess the feasibility of using non-recyclable plastics as an alternative fuel source  
                          • With American Chemistry Council, released a study showing that 6 major categories of plastic packaging helped to significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions compared to packaging alternatives made with other materials  
                          • Released the 2012 Post Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada report, showing that the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging being recycled across Canada has increased  
                          • Provided technical and logistical support to Valley Waste Resource Management in Kentville, NS on the launching of their curbside polystyrene foam collection and MRF densifier program  
                          • Participated in the launch of NAPRA (North American Plastics Recycling Association)  

                          Business Services

                            • Joined SPI’s, a recycling marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of scrap plastic materials and recycling services  
                            • Offered a free trial of CPIA’s leading career job posting website called “Career Corner”  


                              • Welcomed Aine Curran as CPIA’s Director General, Issues (with responsibility for PFMAC and VCC), and Krista Friesen, VP Sustainability  


                                • With SPI and ACC, celebrated the third anniversary of the North American Plastics Alliance, and welcomed Mexico’s ANIPAC as the newest NAPA member  
                                • Generated 100 million-plus positive plastics media impressions as a result of CPIA’s Intelligent Plastics campaign  
                                • Launched a CPIA LinkedIn members group so that plastics professionals can exchange best practices, seek information, share ideas and network  

                                In closing, this time of year brings festivity and family fun. It is a time for remembering and looking forward. On behalf of the CPIA Board of Directors and the staff team, wishing you wonderful memories during this joyous season.

                                CPIA Tackling Trash

                                CPIA has been a proud sponsor of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) for several years now. If you're not familiar with this organization, the GCSC emerged in 2001 as a national program, providing all Canadians the opportunity to make a difference in their local communities. Cleanups started appearing in every province and territory, and by 2003, more than 20,000 volunteers were taking part. In 2012, the GCSC celebrated its 19th anniversary with more than 57,000 volunteers, and expanded the spring cleanup to include school groups in Ontario and British Columbia. Today, it is recognized as one of the largest direct action conservation programs, as well as the most significant contributor to the International Coastal Cleanup in Canada.

                                imgPYGLBJvwfu.pngOn a beautiful September day, the CPIA staff team decided to walk the talk and participate in a cleanup event in Etobicoke Creek not far from the CPIA offices. Proudly sporting our resinGEAR golf shirts made from 100% recycled PET bottles (, along with work gloves and boots, we walked a section of the creek, picking up and recording trash collected along the way. Without the benefit of prior years experience cleaning up this creek (or any other waterway for that matter), my first impressions were of a fairly clean creek. Yes we picked up some plastics bottles, wrappers and polystyrene foam, but we also picked up juice boxes, lots of bits of wire, golf balls (the creek is adjacent to a golf course) and assorted other items (but no tires or grocery carts which can be commonplace). What shocked me the most was the half empty water bottle only a few metres away from a waste receptacle (see photo). If I want to be generous, perhaps a mom or dad inadvertently left it behind at the playground or it fell out of the diaper bag or stroller. But the waste receptacle was highly visible and only a short distance away! Which made me think, why do people litter? Im probably dating myself, but I distinctly remember a TV commercial or song when I was a youngster that went like this: Please, Please, Don't Be a Litterbug, 'Cause Every Litter Bit Hurts! Certainly my parents and teachers drilled it into us to properly dispose of garbage and to not throw trash on the ground.

                                The Keep America Beautiful organization ( says these are the main reasons why people litter:

                                • Personal choice: Individual behavioror choosing to litter means litter on the ground. Nearly one in five, or 17% of all disposals observed in public spaces were littering, while 83% disposed of litter properly. And 81% of littering was intentional, e.g., flicking, flinging, or dropping. Litter begets litter: Individuals are much more likely to litter into a littered environment.
                                • And once there, it attracts more litter. By contrast, a clean community discourages littering and improves overall quality of life. Availability and proximity to trash and recycling receptacles also impact whether someone chooses to litter.
                                • It's "not my responsibility": Some people feel no sense of ownership for parks, walkways, beaches, and other public spaces. They believe someone else will pick up after them; that its not their responsibility.

                                One thing is certain when it comes to litter - CPIA and our North American Plastics Alliance (NAPA) partners of SPI and ACC agree that litter doesnt belong in our oceans, waterways or any part of our natural environment. And, the global plastics industry has organized to combat the problem, sponsoring research and working in public-private partnerships. CPIA is an active participant in and has helped lead the development of the plastics industrys "Global Declaration on Solutions for Marine Litter", which has been signed by more than sixty plastics associations in 34 countries. Through this initiative, more than 180 projects focused on researching, preventing or reducing marine debris are underway around the globe. Krista Friesen, CPIAs VP Sustainability, will be travelling to Manila (Philippines) in early December to participate in the next Global Declarations meeting, stay tuned for her progress report.

                                * * *

                                By now you have probably heard that the City of Montreal is planning to consult on the possibility of a plastic bag ban. CPIAs statement to our members on this issue was issued the day after Mayor Denis Coderres announcement and is included again in this newsletter for information. We will keep you updated as this issue unfolds.

                                Giving Thanks

                                Canadian Thanksgiving is only a few short days away, so I think it’s only appropriate to include a message of thanks in my President’s Report.

                                Thanks to you our CPIA members for making this association great. Some of you have been members for a long time while others are new to CPIA. I understand that many firms regularly review their association memberships to confirm which continue to provide value. Thanks for your commitment to and support of CPIA, it is very much appreciated.

                                Also, thanks to our members for the wonderful plastic products you make and distribute. Your contribution is largely responsible for the quality of modern life we enjoy as North Americans; you make our daily lives convenient, safe, enjoyable, cost effective, innovative and so much more!

                                Thanks to our many volunteers who give their time, energy and expertise to CPIA through Board and Committee service. If you’re not currently involved but want to volunteer, please let me know - we’ll find a place for your talents!

                                imgEPCEVcdvQK.pngThanks to the dedicated, hard-working and passionate CPIA staff team. This has been a year of change at CPIA. Some key personnel have moved on (Cathy Cirko, Paul Aucoin) and some new faces have joined us (Krista Friesen, Aiñe Curran). Both Krista and Aiñe have immersed themselves completely in their portfolios and are busy meeting with key stakeholders including many CPIA members to learn more about what keeps you awake at night, and how CPIA might help.

                                A special shout out is extended to Gloria Zizek, CPIA’s Accounting Associate, who recently celebrated her 20th anniversary as a member of Team CPIA. Thank you Gloria for your years of devoted service and for always having a smile on your face!

                                I have been very fortunate in my 30-plus year career to work at a number of great organizations. Without a doubt what makes an organization great are the people who comprise that organization. In every sense of the word, CPIA is a great organization. I give thanks every day for the opportunity to work at such a great place, and to be associated with such great people (and great products too!)

                                Happy Thanksgiving to all!

                                CPIA News

                                There’s still some summer days left to enjoy but it won't be long before the dreaded "f" word – fall – will start. Canadian children everywhere will soon head back to class, and busy personal and professional event schedules will begin to ramp up at a pace that doesn't stop until the "c" word – Christmas – hits. (I kid you not; the trees are already in Costco!)

                                But before we all get ahead of ourselves, team CPIA has enjoyed a busy August, executing on 2014 plans and preparing for 2015. Here’s a short list of what we’ve been up to…

                                • With member input, CPIA submission made to Nova Scotia Environment on proposed changes to the provincial solid waste regulations to keep the programs efficient and sustainable, provide a high level of environmental protection, and create economic opportunities in the province
                                • Met with current and prospective CPIA members including Mexichem; PolyOne Corporation; Husky Injection Molding Systems; Drader Manufacturing Industries Limited; EFS-plastics Inc.; Polyform; BASF; and Ply Gem to name but a few
                                • CPIA’s foam plastics group held a call to discuss sampling, fire testing, engineering evaluation, and listing of wall assemblies
                                • CPIA’s Post-Use Resource Recovery Committee met to review 2014’s many successes and consider 2015’s plan of attack to divert plastics from landfill into recycling and energy from waste programs
                                • Met with a number of stakeholder groups and partners (including Waste Diversion Ontario’s Continuous Improvement Fund, Stewardship Ontario, Retail Council of Canada, Recyc-Quebec, City of Montreal and Regional Municipality of Halton) to review progress on current Post Use programs and discuss 2015 partnership opportunities for end-of-life management of post-consumer plastics
                                • Calls with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters re: Canadian Manufacturing Coalition’s Federal government 2015 budget submission
                                • CPIA’s Vapour Barrier group held a call to discuss a work plan for the reaffirmation of the vapour barrier standard
                                • Co-authored an Opinion Editorial in “Plastics News” to celebrate the 3rd year anniversary of NAPA (North American Plastics Alliance), and participated in Canadian Plastics magazine roundtable, providing opinion on a range of different issues including the state of the plastics industry overall, challenges and opportunities in the sector, how developments like reshoring and natural gas fracking can have impacts going forward, etc.
                                • Hosted a breakfast session at the annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to highlight how the industry has been working in partnership to reduce plastics in landfill and how plastics make important contributions to all sectors of society to conserve resources, energy, protect our health, environment and improve our quality of life.

                                September and beyond sees our various event schedules indeed ramp up, including the CPIA Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting (where I look forward to participating in Imperial Oil Limited’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup project), the Global Plastics Summit in Chicago, the inaugural meeting of the North American Plastics Recycling Association (NAPRA) in New Orleans, and the Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada (PFMAC) Fall General Meeting, to name but a few.

                                September also signifies a career milestone for one of our own. Gloria Zizek, CPIA’s Accounting Associate, will be celebrating her 20th year of employment with CPIA on September 21, 2014. With the CPIA board, members and staff, I want to extend to Gloria our best wishes on this special occasion, thank her for her dedication and enthusiasm over the years, and of course wish her continued success for many years to come.

                                Happy Anniversary NAPA!

                                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!

                                June is Bustin' Out All Over

                                I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…we’ve had a “bustin” June here at CPIA. Witness the following…

                                  • The latest additions to the CPIA staff team – Aine Curran, Director General, Issues and Krista Friesen, VP Sustainability – have been on board for a few weeks now. They are actively reaching out to members and other stakeholders and while I’m sure they feel like they are drinking from the proverbial fire hose, they are already making fine contributions to our efforts. Please join me in welcoming them to CPIA!
                                  • Krista and I travelled to Alberta for productive and successful meetings with representatives from Imperial Oil Limited, NOVA Chemicals, along with other CPIA members, prospects and others via the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association annual general meeting. Thanks for the warm welcome, sparking conversation, fresh air and blue sky!
                                  • Our Annual General Meeting of members took place on June 19 where the CPIA Board of Directors was elected, the 2013 audited financial statements approved (2 thumbs up for the modest surplus and clean audit opinion!), the firms of KPMG LLP appointed as auditors, and changes to CPIA bylaws in order to conform with requirements of the new Canada’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act were approved – whew! As a bonus, attendees enjoyed an engaging and insightful presentation by Robert Hogue, Senior Economist at the Royal Bank of Canada on “The outlook for the Canadian economy: Gathering momentum on the long road to recovery”. We are hoping to schedule Robert for a repeat performance of his presentation via webinar so tuned for further details!
                                  • Recognized and celebrated several individuals and companies for their dedication to excellence at our Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner. Congratulations to Leader of the Year Mark Daniels of Hilex Poly; Dr. Patrick Moore, retired Principal of Greenspirit Strategies for his Lifetime Achievement Award; Canplast Award winners of Cathy Cirko (retired CPIA VP), Charles Russell of NOVA Chemicals, and Michel Iliesco of Cascades; Innovator Mark Lichtblau of Haremar Manufacturing; and Sustainability winners Francois Beauchesne & Polyform Cellular Plastics, and Mathieu Roberge & Cascades. Hearty congratulations to all our award winners – your success is our success and lifts all of us to higher heights!  And of course, thanks to our wonderful sponsors for their generous support: Dow Chemical; IPEX; Imperial Oil Limited; NOVA Chemicals; Plastics Protect; BASF Biopolymers; and IPL.
                                  • Enjoyed an enthralling and entertaining presentation by Ezra Levant, our awards dinner speaker. Bestselling and award-winning author of “Ethical Oil”, Ezra’s presentation focussed on his latest book “Groundswell – the case for fracking”. Levant looked at fracking’s enemies and debunked claims about contaminated groundwater, fracking chemicals and earthquakes. He also expounded the virtues of fracking including significant job and wealth creation, lower CO2 emissions and most importantly, increased political freedom. Always provocative, Ezra’s presentation was timely, topical and enjoyed by all. But don’t take it from me, here’s what a few attendees had to say about the day’s events…
                                      • “I am just writing to tell you how much I enjoyed the CPIA Awards Dinner. Your staff did a wonderful job as always and the food was excellent. I think that everyone enjoyed Ezra’s presentation. I overheard a couple of attendees commenting about how interesting his speech was.”
                                      • “Best AGM in the last decade, congrats”
                                      • “I thought it was a great day yesterday for all events – Board meeting, Annual General Meeting, and Awards ceremony. Congratulations to you and all the staff for a job well done!”

                                    By the time you read this, “School’s out for the summer!” Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the summer. The CPIA staff team certainly will but we also look forward to continuing the momentum that’s building and enjoying a bustin’ July and August too!  

                                    Plans & Projects

                                    "Spring is the time of plans and projects", said Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina. Let me tell you about some of the exciting plans and projects ongoing here at CPIA

                                    We recently welcomed two new members to Team CPIA Aie Curran, our new Director General, Issues (replacing Marion Axmith who retired last year) and Krista Friesen, our new Vice President, Sustainability (replacing Cathy Cirko who recently retired). They both come with years of relevant experience and expertise, and both are already making great contributions to our efforts. I know that you join me in welcoming them to our fantastic industry and association!

                                    Many thanks to the BC members and prospects who met with me and CPIA consultant Craig Foster for coffee and conversation on May 14 in Richmond, BC. Craigs insights into Multi-Materials BC (a non-profit stewardship organization that uses member fees to finance residential recycling programs for printed paper and packaging) and the launch of their May 19 program definitely generated lots of discussion!

                                    CPIAs Post-Use Committee met May 16 to review progress to-date on projects and activities designed to divert plastics from landfill into recycling and energy from waste programs. There are so many success stories to crow about that its impossible to list them all here! Watch for highlights in our Thursday NewsBrief, this monthly e-newsletter and the CPIA website.

                                    imgMcQHBEWlXf.pngThe Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada or PFMAC for short (a CPIA council) held another well attended and well received golf tournament on May 22. Thanks to the efforts of the organizing committee, all golfers and dinner guests, CPIA and the Richmond Hill Golf Club staff, and the weather gods for a superb outing. The highlight for me was the dinner speaker, Jim Barker, General Manager of the Toronto Argonauts.

                                    Looking ahead, June 19 is CPIA's Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members, followed by our Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner. At the AGM, the CPIA board of directors is elected, the auditors are appointed, and the financial statements reviewed. Its an opportunity for you the members to ask any questions regarding CPIAs future direction, plus we will be reviewing and approving changes to the CPIA bylaws in order to comply with the new Canadas Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. This AGM will be followed by our Industry Leadership Awards Dinner, where we will recognize and celebrate outstanding individuals and companies for their commitment and dedication to Canada's plastics industry. You dont want to miss our special keynote speaker, Ezra Levant, on his new book Groundswell: The Case for Fracking. So mark your calendar and make plans to join us!

                                    You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming, said Pablo Neruda. You cannot keep CPIA from our plans and projects and successes. Thanks for your continued support of our efforts and see you June 19!

                                    All Systems Go!

                                    Someone once said that April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks go!" Well CPIA has also prepared a green traffic light and we are already pressing down hard on the accelerator. Heres just a taste of Aprils activities and whats to follow

                                    The Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada (PFMAC) held their second annual Technical Seminar on April 9 at the Alt Hotel near Pearson Airport in Mississauga. A standing-room only crowd gathered to network and hear great speakers and presentations on the pertinent technical film issues of the day. Many thanks to Dave Douse of PolyExpert and the PFMAC Executive Committee for their excellent efforts in planning and delivering this very well received seminar!

                                    Also in April, we welcomed the latest addition to the CPIA team, Ms. Aie Curran, as our new Director General, Issues, with responsibility for PFMAC, Vinyl Council of Canada (VCC), plastic bag task group and other CPIA groups and issues. Aie, a Public and Government Relations Specialist, brings to the CPIA a wealth of private and not-for-profit sector experience. Her successful career in media and government relations, crisis communications, and strategic partnerships makes her ideally suited to the role. She has the hit the ground running and looks forward to meeting with many members in the days, weeks and months ahead.

                                    Last but not least National Volunteer Week (April 6-12, 2014) was about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. I want to take this opportunity to thank the many members who tirelessly share their time and talent for the betterment of CPIA and the plastics industry. From our Board of Directors, whose passion for our mission and vision is contagious and motivational, to our Committee chairs and the members of the PFMAC, VCC, plastic bag task group, awards review committee, foam plastics group, and anyone else I may have missed. These members are wonderful workers, dedicated decision makers, and lively leaders. Here's to all CPIA volunteers, those committed people who don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless!

                                    Taking a look ahead, we have the CPIA Western Canada Member & Guest Meeting on May 14, 2014, PFMAC Annual Golf Tournament on May 22 and we will issue shortly our Q1 quarterly report to members. Additionally, mark your calendars to join us at the CPIA Annual General Meeting and Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner on June 19.

                                    We also look forward to saying thank you and bidding a fond farewell to Cathy Cirko after 17 years of outstanding service to CPIA and the plastics industry and welcoming a new Vice President of Sustainability to the team. All in all, it's been an amazing April, with a marvelous May and jumping June to follow! .

                                    Plastics on Parliament Hill

                                    imgcmrGYELJHv.pngTwenty-four CPIA members and guests spanning Canada (from BC to NS and in between) and the U.S. travelled to Ottawa on March 4 for CPIA’s Lobby Day on Parliament Hill.  

                                    Divided into 5 teams, CPIA members met with key influencers to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian plastics industry. Our messages included:

                                    • who we are and why we are important;  
                                    • our commitment to innovation and sustainability;  
                                    • our issues and challenges; and what we need (a long term Canadian exemption to “Buy America”; a long-term planning horizon to recapitalize technology and equipment to compete including extension of the ACCA; and  
                                    • a focussed energy strategy that includes natural gas, energy efficiency and energy recovery).

                                    Overall, we met with 21 influencers including 12 MPs, two Ministers, one Senator, and five senior bureaucrats (including one Director General and 3 Assistant Deputy Ministers). 

                                    imgEAkbeduoTX.pngIn between morning and afternoon meetings, attendees heard from our guest luncheon speaker, Robert Carberry. Carberry is the Assistant Secretary of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).  The RCC  commits both countries to finding ways to reduce and prevent regulatory barriers to cross-border trade, because simplifying rules and reducing red tape lead to lower costs for business and consumers, and ultimately to more jobs.  Mr. Carberry reviewed current progress made under the Joint Action Plan, and next steps for advancing U.S.-Canada regulatory cooperation. He also highlighted opportunities for the CPIA to be more involved in the work of the RCC.

                                    The event culminated with a reception for Members of Parliaments and Senators at the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel.

                                    To borrow from Julius Caesar, “We came, we saw, we conquered!” or at least that is what it felt like.  But do not just take it from me, here is what attendees had to say:

                                    “A new experience for me, as well as my first introduction to the CPIA, and for me the biggest take away was the value ascribed to the parliament hill day by the CPIA members - clearly, the CPIA has an important role to play as a national voice for the industry.”

                                    “I found out that the MP's and government officials do value and do need input from stakeholders. They have varying degrees of understanding of the complex issues facing our industry so the more we can clearly communicate to them our concerns and issues the better.”

                                    “This was a very valuable event. It is clear there are some very important issues that need to be addressed both at the federal and provincial level in our industry, and we need to play an active part.”

                                    Many thanks to all who attended this important event, I appreciate your investment of time to travel to our nation’s capital and help carry our concerns.  Thanks also to the team at Global Public Affairs who worked behind the scenes to arrange the meetings and make it all happen.  Finally I want to thank our generous sponsors of this event:  Dow Canada, NOVA Chemicals, IPEX Inc., and Ampacet Canada.

                                    I leave you with this quote on government by Andrew Johnson (17th U.S. President): The life of a [government] lies certainly in the energy, virtue, and intelligence of its citizens.

                                    Exciting Things Brewing at CPIA

                                    imgliIVFqyFYh.pngSomeone once said “February, sweet and small, is the greatest month of all!” I couldn’t agree more – “sweet” because of Valentine’s Day (love and chocolate, a great combination!); “small” because it’s only 28 days long; and “great” because lots of exciting things are brewing at CPIA!

                                    We’re only a few short days away from CPIA’s “Plastics on Parliament Hill” event on March 3rd and 4th. About 25 CPIA members and guests will descend on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to tell what I believe is a very compelling story to key Members of Parliament and senior bureaucrats – the important size and scope of Canada’s plastics industry; our commitment to innovation and sustainability; our important place in Canada’s overall energy strategy; and some important asks (seek a Canadian exemption from “Buy American” protectionism, and the need for longer-term incentives for value-added manufacturing in Canada, like an extension of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance). I’m excited at the opportunity before us and look forward to reporting back to you in March.

                                    We’re in the midst of membership renewals so grateful thanks to those many member firms that have renewed their commitment to and support of CPIA’s efforts. If you haven’t yet renewed, let us know what we can do to help. Spring is just around the corner and that means a time of renewal and growth. In that vein, I’m pleased to welcome Aine Curran as CPIA’s new Director General, Issues. Ms. Curran, a Public and Government Relations Specialist, brings to the CPIA a wealth of private and not-for-profit sector experience. As a highly accomplished and respected practitioner, Aiñe has provided over 20 years of strategic and tactical counsel, and leadership to a number of distinguished clients including the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association. Aiñe’s successful career in media and government relations, crisis communications, and strategic partnerships makes her ideally suited to the role of CPIA Director General, Issues. I look forward to welcoming her aboard.  

                                    P.S. Someone once said that February is always a bad month for TV sports because football’s gone, basketball is plodding along in the annual midseason doldrums, and baseball is not even mentioned – I guess they weren’t watching the recent Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics? As I write this report, the Canadian men’s hockey team just beat Sweden for the Olympic gold medal…or as some declared on social media “Canadian Tire 3, IKEA 0”. Congratulations to all Team Canada athletes – 25 medals places us third in the IOC medal count but you’re number one in our hearts!

                                    Looking Ahead to 2014

                                    Trust the holidays were good to you and yours, and that you survived the ice storm, the polar vortex and anything else that Mother Nature may have sent your way. Best wishes for a successful, prosperous and healthy 2014!

                                    The dawning of a New Year has always been a time for reflection – a look back at the past and a look ahead to the coming year. It’s a time when many consider the changes they want or need to make, then resolve to follow through on those changes. Laudable resolutions like quitting smoking, getting fit and losing weight appear on many lists of New Year’s resolutions. Here’s one that I ask all CPIA members consider adding to their list: to attend CPIA’s “Plastics on Parliament Hill” lobby day on March 4 in Ottawa.  

                                    A lobby day is a great way for CPIA and our members to raise awareness and understanding of the key issues related to the significance and sustainability of Canada’s and North America’s, plastics industry with Members of Parliament, Senators, and senior officials in key departments like Industry Canada, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources and International Trade. We have prepared a list of potential issues that we would like to advance on our lobby day but seek your input as to their importance to you and your business.

                                    Our host hotel is The Fairmont Château Laurier, a historic landmark hotel in downtown Ottawa adjacent to Parliament Hill. A block of rooms have been reserved for CPIA attendees. Plan to arrive the afternoon of Monday March 3 so you can receive your pre-read materials and attend our welcome reception. Our lobby day commences at 8 a.m. sharp on Tuesday March 4 with a breakfast briefing for all delegates, followed by small group morning meetings with key political and bureaucratic influencers. We come back together for lunch and a speaker, then off again in the afternoon for additional small group meetings. Last but not least we come back together for an all-party reception on Parliament Hill. The hotel registration instructions and lobby day agenda are being finalized and will be sent to all CPIA members shortly. In the meantime, mark your calendar and make plans to join us March 3-4 in Ottawa!  Please click here to reserve your room and learn more.

                                    The New Year is also a time for CPIA membership renewals. All Voting Reps of CPIA member firms should have received a membership renewal package in December that included among other things a letter that hopefully reminded and reinforced the value CPIA brings to your firm, and acknowledged our commitment to you and the importance of your support. In addition, a “What Have We Done For You Lately” one pager detailed the value of CPIA membership and the benefits we provided in 2013.

                                    Heartfelt thanks to the many firms who have already renewed their membership – we thank you for your support and look forward to your participation in the year ahead. If you have any questions regarding your membership renewal, let me or any member of the staff team know ASAP!

                                    Because I like quotations, here’s one for the New Year:

                                          “Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience
                                            can instil in us" (Hal Borland).

                                    Enjoy the goings-on of 2014 at CPIA!

                                    Reflections on 2013

                                    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!

                                            The K Show 2013 was Krazy (in a good way!)

                                            imgGfDwUppjuE.pngI had heard all the superlatives before departing for Dusseldorf its like the Olympics, its a trade show on steroids, its the greatest show on earth, and so on. With SPIs NPE 2012 show as my only plastics industry trade show guidepost, I set off for K (K=Kunststoffe=made of synthetic material/ substance) to see if the show lived up to its hypeand now I can honestly say that it did! Heres a high level overview of what I experienced.

                                            K was Konceptual

                                            Numerous product innovations, concepts and prototypes were unveiled at K. One of my favourites included BASFs concept bicycle called Concept 1865 Rethinking Materials, an e-bike that utilizes more than 20 different BASF plastics. BASF also exhibited the prototypes of three winning  concepts from the first global "sit down. move." design competition for automobile seats.

                                            imgGBXVgMKFIQ.pngK was Kool

                                            Cool interactive touchscreen tables showcased the latest developments from a number of exhibitors including Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and The Dow Chemical Company. Under the motto Sharing Dreams, Sharing Value Be Part Of It, some 80 developments at the BMS booth illustrated how material solutions can help make dreams come true. The Dow Chemical Company promoting Solutionism at K 2013 encouraged attendees to explore how plastics benefit agriculture, packaging, the Olympics and more. The Deutsches Kunststoffe Museum had an amazing exhibit of plastic products throughout the ages including a small hand lever injection molding machine (on loan from Arburg) and models of the old Battenfeld injection molding machines. And it was very cool to go behind the curtain and see the unveiling of Windmller & Hlschers new extrusion line, then referred to by the code name E-24, now known as the Varex II blown film system.

                                            K was Kinetic

                                            Styrolution had a kinetic installation called granule shower where Novodur ABS resin pellets precoloured Styrolution blue were sucked from an open hopper at the bottom and sent to the top of a tall wall where they cascaded down, spelling out numbers and words. The Wittmann Battenfeld robots playing a fast-paced game of basketball were another crowd favourite.

                                            K was Kars

                                            Tonness of concept cars were on display for automobilophiles, like KraussMaffeis Roding Rodster carbon fibre lightweight sports car, and a Trabant car (produced by former East German auto maker VEB Sachsenring) on display from the aforementioned Kunststoffe Museum. A special show called Plastics Move the World illustrated the many improvements attributed to plastic products today and their potential to contribute to future challenges. The show took a literal (mobility) and figurative (emotion) approach to the meaning of the word to move.

                                            imgLOQIKMGUEB.pngK was Kanadian

                                            Even though only there were only 21 Canadian exhibitors at the show, it seemed like Canadians were everywhere! From CPIAs Canada Night at K Show Reception, to my hotels frustuck (breakfast) room; from the streets and restaurants of Dusseldorf's famous Ald-Stadt (old city) to the SBahn and & U-Bahn (trains); in every show hall and across the show grounds, I ran into Canadians everywhere.

                                            K was Kavernous & Krowded

                                            Cavernous due to the seventeen halls (19 if you take into account halls 7a, 7b, 8a and 8b), chock-a-block with some 3,200 exhibitors from 60 countries showcasing machinery and equipment, raw materials, semi-finished products, technical parts, and reinforced plastics; and crowded if you take into account some 218,000 trade visitors from 120 nations in attendance.

                                            K was Killer!

                                            In short, K was everything that plastic products and the plastics industry are today crucial, creative, colourful, clever, confident - and I cant wait for K 2016!

                                            Plastics Industry Entrepreneurial Spirit, Innovation, Hospitality, and Modesty Alive and Well!

                                            imgRPcSXFAtxq.pngRecently CPIA’s Chair of the Board, Amir Karim of Polykar, and I had the pleasure of meeting two CPIA member firms in Nova Scotia – GN Thermoforming Equipment and Farnell Packaging. We were impressed with what we saw and can confirm that they embody the best of what the east coast has to offer - entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, hospitality, and modesty.  

                                            GN Thermoforming Equipment
                                            , nestled in a forest-like setting in beautiful Chester, Nova Scotia, is a world leading manufacturer of roll-fed, in-mold cut thermoforming machines for the production of quality plastic packaging (think trays to hold chocolates, muffins, oranges and tomatoes, to name but a few). Founded by Georg Nemeskeri some 32 years ago, the company’s reputation for quality and attention to customer service has made them the thermoforming machinery supplier of choice for leading manufacturers of plastic packaging in more than 60 countries worldwide. This dedication to quality and customer service was clearly evident in the team we met during our visit, from Georg himself (CPIA’s Leader of the Year in 2002), to the great marketing team of Jerome Romkey and Lise Munroe, to the people in the office and on the plant floor.

                                            imgpqCvQtpLWb.pngFarnell Packaging Limited (FPL)
                                            , established in 1961 and located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, manufactures and distributes leading-edge flexible packaging materials and provides guidance with related equipment solutions. Nearly two-thirds of FPL packaging is used in the food industry with the balance used in markets for textile, tissue, diapers, paper, industrial and promotions. A stroll down your grocery store aisle showcases FPL’s handiwork – from produce, bakery, fish, consumer tissue/paper packaging to multipack overwrap and labels. We were delighted to tour their facility (where we saw packaging for Ocean Spray cranberries, Stanfield underwear and a plethora of President’s Choice products to name just a few) then sat down with Debby and Judy, daughters of late founder Don Farnell (CPIA’s Leader of the Year in 2004), and some of their senior management team – Tom Rudolph, Bill Morash and Neil MacMillan. Everyone from top to bottom at Farnell is passionate about their work and lives the core values of quality, responsiveness, innovation and integrity.

                                            Canada’s east coast is famous for many things…great music, lighthouses, seafood, natural wonders…and now we can add to the treasures’ list two jewels called GN Thermoforming Equipment and Farnell Packaging Limited – great success stories both and proud to call them CPIA members!