The Plastic Redesign Project
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MEMBERSHIP PACKAGE
(Revised May 15, 2000)

Introduction
Project Synopsis
Member Benefits
Member Responsibilities
Decision Making Process
Some Important Policies
How to Join the Plastic Redesign Project
For More Information

Introduction

This package was prepared to explain the Plastic Redesign Project to prospective new members. It describes the project, member benefits & responsibilities and some important policies involving members. Organizations can join the project simply by sending a short note committing support. The last section of this package provides an example note. Additional information is available from the project's web site: http://www.plasticredesignproject.org.

Project Synopsis

The Plastic Redesign Project is a coalition of government agencies and regional associations. Current members include the Southwest Public Recycling Association, the Mid-America Council of Recycling Officials, the Mid-Continent Recycling Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Kentucky Recycling and Marketing Assistance Program, Portland Metro Regional Environmental Management, the Association of Oregon Recyclers, the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority and the Florida Department of Natural Resources.

The Project's primary goal is to strengthen the economics of local plastics recycling programs. Because of a proliferation of new packaging designs with uncertain recycling impacts, the project focuses on promoting voluntary design-for-recycling efforts. We pursue our goal through three complementary strategies:

  1. Researching and disseminating objective information about plastic packaging trends and recycling economics to government, consumer products companies and other interested parties;
  2. Promoting voluntary commitments by consumer product companies to design plastics packaging that meets their business needs while reducing recycling collection & processing costs and maximizing recycled material market values; and
  3. Promoting voluntary commitments by consumer product companies to incrementally increase the recycled content of their plastics packaging in a manner that increases demand and price for recycled plastic while minimizing market disruptions.

The project is most visible to its members through a closed list serve, used to provide frequent updates on plastics packaging trends, issues, analyses and initiatives. Other activities include economic and market research, conference presentations, preparing articles and reports and aggressively networking with manufacturing representatives and other stakeholders. Current efforts are focused on evaluating new PET "barrier" beer bottle technologies and the pros and cons of increased recycled content in plastic bottles. Past efforts include analyzing pigmented HDPE dairy packaging and developing design-for-recycling guidelines with input from city and industry representatives.

The Plastic Redesign Project is managed by Peter Anderson, Principal, RecycleWorlds Consulting. Consultants to the project have included Tom Tomazak of Plastic Solutions, and Professor Randy Fortenberry of the University of Wisconsin, Department of Applied Economics. Project members also play an active role in guiding the project and reviewing reports and analyses, primarily via the Internet and occasional conference calls. Project funding currently comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Past funders include the New York State Office of Recycling Market Development, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Recycling Market Development Board.

Member Benefits

Any state or local government agency or regional association is invited to join the Plastic Redesign Project. Benefits of membership include:

Member Responsibilities

To join, we ask that project members:

While a funding commitment is NOT required in order to join, the project is dependent on support from its members. We ask that members assist us in identifying potential funding sources wherever possible.

Decision Making Process

Previously all project decisions were made by consensus of all members. However, because members' time is precious and the number of members is growing, we are instituting a new decision making process that vests a smaller number of members with decision-making authority. Following are the key elements of this decision making process:

As with all aspects of the Project, member suggestions on how to further enhance this decision making structure are always welcome.

Some Important Policies

How to Join the Plastic Redesign Project

To Join the Plastic Redesign Project, you must
be a local or state public recycling official;
have permission from the appropriate officials to authorize your state or local agency to join the Project ;
complete this online application form.

 

For More Information

Contact the Plastic Redesign Project Manager, Peter Anderson at 608-231-1100 (anderson@recycleworlds.net).


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