Canadian Plastics

CPIA unveils “positive” packaging campaign

I n light of the barrage of negative public press aimed at plastics, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association's Environment and Plastics Industry Council noted that it plans on launching a construct...

July 1, 2008   Canadian Plastics



In light of the barrage of negative public press aimed at plastics, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association’s Environment and Plastics Industry Council noted that it plans on launching a constructive and positive campaign that tells the industry’s side of the story.

At an industry meeting in June, the CPIA detailed a new plan to respond to some of the negative and false criticism being leveled at the Canadian plastics industry.

“Today, we need to start being proactive,” noted Glen Armstrong of Brampton, Ont.-based thermoformer Par-Pak Ltd., who served as a host and moderator for the event.

The association is hoping to helm a campaign that will bring the environmental and public health benefits of plastic products and packaging into the public spotlight. EPIC has used a public relations firm called PR POST to develop a mainstream campaign that will target the full range of stakeholders — everyone from the general public to political decision makers to industry employees.

“It’s definitely offensive action by the plastics industry,” explained Cathy Cirko, CPIA’s vice president of environment and health. “What we have seen recently is a trend we don’t like, and we feel that we have to take control of our industry.”

But speakers at the June event noted that changing public perceptions of plastics is no easy feat. For instance, the plastics industry often has to contend with media reports of plastic products that may be “toxic” for children.

“We as an industry have to bring back the emotion of using plastics, and really tell the story from an emotional point of view of how valuable they are,” said Cirko.

To get the campaign up and running, EPIC is seeking financial support from industry members. The group has developed a guideline of suitable funding levels based on a company’s annual sales. According to Cirko, sponsor logos and company profiles will also be placed on the packaging website, and donors will have access to an ambassadors program for employees.

“I think we’ve been silent for too many years,” said Par-Pak’s Armstrong. “The amount of money are looking for in funding is not a lot of money compared to the earnings of a lot of companies and members.”

For more information on the forthcoming packaging campaign and how you can get involved, contact Cathy Cirko at ccirko@cpia.ca.


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