AMERIPEN solidifies its course for 2013
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- Green resources
At annual meeting, AMERIPEN confirms that it will continue to pursue strategies to communicate the value of packaging, encourage material recovery, and explore EPR options.
Following its 2012 Annual Members Meeting, held in late June in Arlington, VA, the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) announced that it will stay the course with respect to the priorities it outlined at its first event in 2011. These goals include increasing the understanding and communicating the value of packaging, increasing the recovery of used packaging, and analyzing 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 can help prevent waste and saves energy.
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 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 converting, 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," says 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."