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AMERIPEN confirms its course for 2013 at annual meeting
Posted by John Kalkowski
January 30, 2014
3 Min Read
The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) has announced the outcome of its 2012 annual members meeting. AMERIPEN is a cross-sector non-profit North American industry and trade organization that advocates and educates on environmental packaging issues. The annual meeting took place in Arlington, VA, June 26-27.
Overall, the meeting's participants agreed to stay the course with respect to the priorities identified at the 2011 event, which were to increase the understanding and communicate the value of packaging, to increase the recovery of used packaging, and to analyze varied approaches and alternatives to extended producer responsibility for packaging (EPR).
One highlight of the meeting was the unveiling of AMERIPEN's first educational piece, Discover the Hidden Value of Packaging, which was distributed to all attendees and is available for download at no charge. This brochure explains how the thoughtful use of packaging actually helps prevent waste and saves energy:
"There is great interest in finding ways to reduce or even eliminate packaging. This concern is due largely to the public's perception that much of the packaging they experience is unnecessary and even wasteful. The reality, however, is quite different. An objective, science-based approach reveals that packaging protects the economic, environmental, and social value of the products it contains. In fact, effective packaging actually helps prevent waste."
The meeting was also the occasion for AMERIPEN's Recovery Work Group to launch its Product Recovery Knowledge Map (PRKM). This matrix of metrics is a web-based knowledge mapping tool designed to house data in a searchable, interactive way, and it is the largest known collection of available information surrounding the recovery of packaging materials. Unlike a typical findings report, the PRKM provides a first-of-its-kind compilation of packaging data across all phases of the recovery system, for use in guiding future projects. The PRKM is initially available only to AMERIPEN members.
In an important structural move for the organization, two new committees were established at the Annual Meeting:
•Government Affairs - with a mission to lobby and influence legislation in favor of environmentally responsible policies
•Resource Development - with a mission to secure resources to support the work of AMERIPEN Project Teams
The rosters for these committees will be populated and work will begin in July 2012.
Other significant activities at the meeting included:
•Updates from all Committees and Working Groups, and on Collaboration activities with other organizations
•Approval of a 25% discount on membership dues for companies that join after the Annual Meeting, effective through the end of 2012, with the hope of attracting participants from new sectors, such as Electronics, Product Waste Converters, and Retailing
•Election of three new members to the AMERIPEN Board -- Sandra Keil, Earth911; Jennifer McCracken, HAVI Global Solutions; and Jeff Meyers, The Coca-Cola Company
"AMERIPEN has made great progress in its first 15 months, and this is a testament to the collaboration of the Technical Advisory Group and our Members," said AMERIPEN President Gail Tavill of ConAgra Foods. "However, the road ahead will not be easy. As we move forward, the decisions will become more difficult, and full participation will be more important than ever if we are to deliver on the objectives that we have established for 2013.
"Keep in mind that AMERIPEN is committed to working from facts and data to develop positions on issues. That is the strength of our organization, but it also means that much of the heavy lifting must come first. I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone to achieve our goals."
AMERIPEN welcomes companies that support the philosophy of a collaborative trade and industry organization, active and cooperative issue resolution, and material and packaging system neutrality. Voting Membership is open to all packaging value chain economic operators. Membership materials are available on the AMERIPEN website.
For more information, visit www.AMERIPEN.org.
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