What Have We Done For You Lately?

By Carol Hochu, President and CEO, CPIA

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. [http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20140820/OPINION02/140829991/north-american-plastics-alliance-celebrates-three-years-and-welcomes]
  • 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 plastics.ca 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.