SPI, the plastics industry trade association, and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) are set to collaborate to maximise efficiency and increase plastic recycling.

The move will align the initiatives and programmes of ACC’s Rigid Plastics Packaging Group (RPPG) with the resources and membership of SPI’s Thermoformers Committee.

SPI board member Brent Beeler said: "This evolution enhances our collaboration with ACC to better marshal and utilise our collective resources to serve our membership while adding new energy into rigid plastic packaging recycling."

SPI Thermoformers Committee chair Dan Mohs said that SPI will form a rigid plastics division (RPD) comprising two subgroups.

"The RPPG will merge with the SPI Thermoformers Committee to form one subgroup focused on packaging while Transportation and Industrial Rigid Plastics will comprise the other subgroup. A Rigid Plastics Packaging Conference is planned for this spring," he said.

The RPD will work on the project to identify and address challenges in collecting rigid plastic packaging in the Virginia Peninsula, US, continuing the work that the RPPG has done with peninsula stakeholders. A pilot expanded rigid collection programme in certain communities is expected to later be extended to the broader region. SPI’s Thermoformers Committee will contribute funds towards supporting the programme.

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SPI president and CEO William R Carteaux said that the association intends to leverage the group’s advocacy and strategic goals by developing a broader base from within the processor community.

"Our current alignment of processor committees in this sector share strong advocacy and supply chain ties with the RPPG," added Carteaux.

ACC plastics vice president Steve Russell said: "It is our hope that by having just one team we can gain efficiencies, be more effective and increase member engagement."