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New Year, New Priorities

Like many organizations, FPI has a strategic plan that identifies goals and objectives for the association. Our plan was updated just last year and includes in five areas of work: research, communications, public affairs, stewardship and membership. However, we recognized that we could not work on everything at once in that plan, and so each year our members agree on focus areas and associated projects.

As we start 2018, hereís a look at our priorities for this year:

#1: Facilitate and promote FPIís recovery initiatives
Admittedly, this focus area has been on our list for the last few years, but given that recovering more foodservice packaging is one of our industryís greatest challenges, it makes sense to keep it on the list. FPIís Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group launched recycling in three cities last year, and that on-the-ground community work will continue this year. Weíll also be incorporating composting into new community partnerships. Of course, successful recycling or composting doesnít occur unless thereís an end market for the recovered materials, so there will be additional outreach to paper mills, plastics reprocessors and composters. The Foam Recycling Coalition has already provided grants to nearly a dozen communities and organizations in the U.S. and Canada, and in 2018 the group will continue its program to increase the recycling of foam polystyrene foodservice packaging. For the latest on our recovery work, check out and

#2: Increase recycling and composting of foodservice packaging in California specifically
While the geographic focus of FPIís recovery groups over the years has been the U.S. and Canada, parallel efforts are now underway specifically in California. Why? Of course, itís an important market for our members and the foodservice industry as a whole, but also because of our ongoing dialogue with the state as it tries to achieve waste reduction and recovery goals. Weíve already started conversations with communities, recycling facilities and composters across the state, and now weíre developing FREE California-specific resources that we can share with all stakeholders.

#3: Engage proactively with state and local legislators on foodservice packaging issues
As we see more localities and states take a closer look at foodservice packaging, itís important that legislators (and regulators) have the facts on foodservice packaging. There is a lot of misinformation available to them (thanks, Internet), and itís time for some myth busting and more balanced discussions. Weíll look for opportunities to point out why foodservice packaging is such an important part of todayís eating and drinking establishments and how it benefits constituents, um, I mean consumers.

#4: Gather updated quantitative and qualitative data on littering
One of our industryís challenges is that foodservice packaging sometimes ends up getting littered, instead of being properly placed in trash, recycling or composting receptacles. We are proud to support initiatives that help to reduce litter of any kind, but itís difficult to manage what you donít measure or understand. This year, our friends at Keep America Beautiful are updating their 2008 landmark study, "Litter in America," and we have agreed to support this important effort. This critical research will take both a quantitative as well as a qualitative look at littering, which will help us identify strategies for reducing litter in the future. If you, too, are interested in supporting this project, please contact Mike Rogers, KABís Chief Development Officer via email (link at left) or by phone at (203) 659-3072.

We have lots to accomplish for our members and our industry as a whole, and we're ready and looking forward to another great year.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 1/10/2018 2:30:57 PM