General, Innovation, Preformed Pouches, Sustainable Packaging / May 14, 2020
Demand for flexible plastic packaging in the U.S. remains strong, even though the pressure from environmental interests continue to persist, particularly around the topic of single use packaging products. Recent data shows that annual sales for the industry to be in excess of $31M, with an estimated yearly growth rate of just under 3%. However, the onset of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic might adversely impact this projection.
2019 was an extremely challenging year, as it related to anti-plastic political causes and lobbying efforts for new packaging legislation that would be detrimental to the industry. Thankfully, our industry was able to hold back this rising tide of activism at both the federal and state levels. While no anti-packaging legislation was passed into law in 2019, we cannot let our guard down. 2020 will continue to see many adversarial forces at work, as industry opponents try to push both existing as well as new bills into law nationwide.
While many lawmakers across the country chose to decry about their perceptions of the environmental dangers caused by single use plastics and marine pollution, the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) has been instead focusing on our nation’s inadequate and outdated recovery/recycling capabilities, as well as the lack of vision that exists for effective end of life management strategies. The FPA assisted to introduce the RECOVER Act at the national level, which was designed to inspire the creation of new recycling and composting technology.
FPA is also working on comments and amendments to bills at all levels of government to promote the adoption of packaging end of life management strategies that would help minimize any negative impact on the continued growth of our industry.
2019 also saw a concerted effort to reach lawmakers, customers and end users on popular social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. The goal of these campaigns has been to educate these audiences about the many environmental benefits of flexible packaging and to debunk the enormous amount of inaccurate information that has been circulating around for many years.
FPA is committed to utilizing science and education to continually inform the public about the advantages of sustainable and environmentally friendly flexible plastic packaging, as well as the dangers of producing less beneficial alternatives.
Thanks to the many benefits that come from our industry’s products, including the use of less water and power to manufacture them, the optimal protection of consumer goods they provide and the prevention of food waste, our industry continues to grow and prosper.
As 2020 progresses, FPA will continue to influence the national discourse about the true advantages of flexible plastic packaging to both consumers and the environment. They will also remain committed to leading the ongoing national discussion not about reducing the amount of flexible packaging products that are produced, but rather on improving our recovery/recycling and product end of life solutions.
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