Quarterly FPA Environmental & Safety Committee Meeting
Recently, FPA’s Environmental & Safety Committee met at FPA headquarters in Linthicum, Maryland. The meeting serves as a primary forum for interaction, open discussion and networking among flexible packaging environmental and safety professionals.

The meeting included updates on a variety of industry related topics. Following are highlights of some of the topics and issues that were discussed during the FPA Environmental & Safety Committee meeting.

OTC Model Rule: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a federal regulation based on the OTC Model Rule for Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesives and Sealants. The rule will be final by the end of September 2008 to meet the court-directed deadline. The rule will affect suppliers and is likely to impact the flexible packaging industry. FPA will review the proposed rule for comments.

Residual Risk Rule: While a final proposal from the U.S. EPA is expected in June 2008, all indications are that the Printing/Publishing industry is no longer a candidate for Residual Risk Rule, thus avoiding costly controls and additional recordkeeping for industry. Coordinated efforts by FPA and another association resulted in corrections to the U.S. EPA’s 2002 National Emissions Inventory database resulting in this favorable outcome.

Once-In-Always-In Policy: FPA continues to work with the U.S. EPA to get the applicability determination in writing that a source, which was major due to emissions from a delisted pollutant, would no longer be considered major and is not subject to once-in-always-in policy. It affects many of our members, and it is FPA’s understanding that the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance will soon post the determination decisions on the U.S. EPA’s website.

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR): The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that greenhouse gases are pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. EPA announced that it will publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in April 2008; propose the rule by September 2008 and issue the Final rule by June 2009. It is important to note that the Act requires mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions above thresholds in all sectors of the economy of the United States FPA will continue to monitor the developments. The U.S. EPA has not made it known at this time as to which sources will be covered and what the thresholds will be.  

Association Activities Update

2008 Academic Scholarship & Summer Internship Program

Through its 2008 Academic Scholarship and Summer Internship Program, FPA has placed several packaging and printing school students in summer internships with flexible packaging companies.

This summer, Jonathan Quinn and John Wrenn of Clemson University, Jessica Baker of Western Michigan University and Michelle Matrazzo of Rochester Institute of Technology will each participate in a summer internships with an FPA converter member. This year, FPA members American Packaging Corp., CL&D Graphics, Constantia Hueck Foils and Pliant Corp. will provide internships and opportunities for the college students to learn about the various aspect of the flexible packaging industry, including printing, graphics, packaging science, extrusion, lamination, coating and polymer science. Upon the successful completion of their internships, each student will receive an FPA academic scholarship, valued at $3,000.

Since 2005, the FPA Academic Scholarship & Summer Internship has placed packaging and printing school students in career-enriching internships with FPA members, and provided $30,000 in academic scholarships. More information about the FPA Academic Scholarship & Internship Program is available on www.flexpack.org or by contacting the association at 410-694-0800.  

FPA Collects Financial Benchmarking Surveys

FPA is currently compiling the survey results for several industry financial benchmarking reports including the Fourth Quarter 2007 Earnings Report and the First Quarter 2008 Pulse of the Industry Report. The association is also finalizing the 2008 State of the Industry Report survey. Results of each survey will be available in the upcoming months.

The Fourth Quarter Earnings Report is published on a semi-annual basis (second and fourth quarter) and provides key financial data specific to the flexible packaging industry. The benchmarking data within the report provides information that allows FPA members to compare the performance of their company with that of the other companies in the flexible packaging industry (by size or operation). This report is available to FPA converter members participating in the corresponding survey.

The Pulse of the Industry Report gives FPA members insight into the near term performance of the flexible packaging industry on a quarterly basis. Areas of business activity surveyed include net sales, profitability, inventory levels, capital spending, capacity utilization and comparative data on volume changes.

The State of the Industry Report is a key association publication referenced by flexible packaging converters, suppliers and the investment community, and provides data on the economic and financial health of the flexible packaging industry. Several aspects of the U.S. flexible packaging industry including structure and performance, materials and processes, end-uses, issues and visions are examined within the report. In addition, information on the global flexible packaging industry is also provided.

For more information on these and other FPA financial benchmarking reports and their corresponding surveys, visit the association at www.flexpack.org.  

FPA Events Calendar

Mark your calendar for these upcoming FPA events!

FPA Environmental Committee Meeting
July 15-16, 2008
Alcan Packaging
Chicago, IL

FPA Safety Committee Meeting
July 16, 2008
Alcan Packaging
Chicago, IL

2008 FPA Fall Executive Conference
October 28, 2008
The Drake Hotel
Chicago, IL

FPA at Pack Expo International 2008
November 9-13, 2008
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

2009 FPA Safety Conference
January 21, 2009
TradeWinds Island Grand Resort
St. Petersburg Beach, FL

2009 FPA Environmental Summit

January 21-23, 2009
TradeWinds Island Grand Resort
St. Petersburg Beach, FL

For more information on these, and other FPA events, call 410-694-0800 or visit www.flexpack.org.