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New Year, New Priorities

Like many organizations, FPI has a strategic plan that identifies goals and objectives for the association. Ours was updated in 2011 and includes in five areas of work: public affairs, research, communications, business development and membership. However, we recognized that we could not work on everything at once in that plan, and so each year our members agree on focus areas and associated projects.

As we start 2016, here’s a look at our priorities for this year.

#1: Facilitate and promote FPI’s recovery initiatives
Admittedly, this focus area has been on our list for the last few years, but given that recovering more foodservice packaging is one of our industry’s greatest challenges, it makes sense to keep it on the list. FPI’s Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group will be moving into the implementation phase, looking to work with cities, materials recovery facilities and end markets to add paper and plastic foodservice packaging to their recycling programs. Plus, we’ll be working with a city to add compostable foodservice packaging to its residential organics collection program. The Foam Recycling Coalition will continue its grant program, offering funding for equipment to recycle foam polystyrene. All the while, we’ll be looking to ramp up our external communications, using the conferences, media, etc. to encourage the increased recovery of our products. For more details, please check out www.fpi.org/stewardship.

#2: Share benefits and dispel myths about foodservice packaging with broader audiences
Over the last few years, we’ve been focusing much of our communications efforts within the supply chain. Now, it’s time to expand those efforts to the broader public. There’s way too much bad information being spread about our products. We need to take charge of the narrative so folks understand the benefits of our products. While we’re still discussing how we might do this in a cost-effective manner, we have talked about a communications campaign (using both traditional and social media), developing resources for elementary school kids (after all, they are today’s influencers and tomorrow’s decision makers) and producing a video to spread our message.

#3: Provide resources to help members make informed environmental marketing claims
A growing number of companies want to make “green” claims about their products, but it’s important to have the data to back up these claims. That’s why FPI is funding a new study to understand what percent of U.S. communities can recycle foodservice packaging. The results of this study will be available to members in the spring. In addition, we’ll use this information, and the Federal Trade Commission’s latest “Green Guides,” to update our “Short Cut to FTC’s Environmental Marketing Claims” resource developed by FPI in 2008.

#4: Identify opportunities for FPI and member companies to support marine debris reduction initiatives specific to foodservice packaging
Last year, we were successful in developing a new resource for foodservice operators that helps mitigate litter in and around their sites. This year, we want to turn our attention to litter found in the water. The fact that our products end up as litter – either on land or in the water – leads to a negative image about our products and gives legislators and environmentalists a reason to pursue us. While litter and marine debris is a people problem (not a packaging problem), there are steps that FPI and our members can do. We’ll continue our dialogue with Keep America Beautiful, Ocean Conservancy, and the Environmental Protection Agency and look for projects we and our members can undertake to keep our products from becoming marine debris.

We have lots to accomplish for our members and our industry as a whole, but we’re ready and looking forward to another great year.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 1/12/2016 4:57:58 PM
 

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