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PLASTICS' Government Affairs
Full Versions of The Hopper is only available to PLASTICS members.

The Hopper. You know it as the first stop for the pellets in the production process, but it’s also the box that serves as the first stop for legislation in Congress. Now it’s also the name of PLASTICS’ new, monthly Government Affairs newsletter, where we’ll give you insight and perspective on what lies ahead for the plastics industry.

  • January Edition

    This first edition of The Hopper looks at 2021 as PLASTICS sees it today. With new residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, a 50-50 Senate split, and narrow House majority, Washington will see Democrats in total control for the first time in twelve years. But governing won’t be easy in our nation’s capital. Inside, you’ll see what this means for trade and tax policy, as well as what fate may lie ahead for the Break Free from Plastics Pollution Act redux.

    A new administration also means potential for big regulatory policy shifts. In his first week, President Biden is on a record-setting pace for executive orders. In this first edition of The Hopper, you’ll read more about regulations and nominations we’ll be keeping our eyes on in the coming months.

    November’s elections largely maintained the status quo for state government control. We expect that to allow for momentum to continue building for extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation as well as the advancement of products bans. We know your business decisions rely on what’s in the windshield and not in the rear-view mirror. We hope The Hopper can make your headlights a little brighter.

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  • February Edition

    While the new Congress has been largely focused on a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package (and a few other items like impeachment trials), we have seen a flurry of activity in the states.

    In this edition of The Hopper, you’ll get a rundown of state legislation directly impacting the plastics industry through the concept of extended producer responsibility. While you may have recently heard about the “coordinated” approach, we explain why introducing nine completely different proposals doesn’t match the definition of coordination and how that presents many challenges.

    In Washington DC, the Biden Administration is laying out what they mean by “Build Back Better.” Suzanne Morgan begins to explore what that could mean for workforce issues, supply chains, infrastructure, and even climate policy. Oh, and in the spirit of the first holiday of this month, Groundhog’s Day—here we go again on the Break Free from Plastics Pollution Act. We expect that bill to come out of its hole and see its shadow as soon as March. 

    Also included is the new model policy coming out of the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse. And finally, what is the price of greenhouse gas emissions? With a new administration, it is safe to say that number will be going up. We take a look at that process and what we expect to see come out of the working group created by a President Biden executive order on day one.

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  • March Edition

    There's a different form of March Madness in Congress. 

    Not one, but TWO major bills were introduced this month to stop all new permits for new or expanding plastics manufacturing facilities and kill any innovation currently happening through advanced recycling technologies.

    In this month’s issue of The Hopper, John Grant provides a rundown of the CLEAN Future Act, the Break Free from Plastics Pollution Act and their prospects in Washington. There could be no better way to cripple a growing American economic sector, force jobs overseas and increase costs for industries from automotive to healthcare to food service. 

    We also take a look at the disconnect between proposed state policy and reality. Does demand for recycled content need to be there before investment can happen? Brennan Georgianni explains why both should happen together, and PLASTICS is making that argument to state legislators across the country.

    Opportunities for cooperation are plentiful, requiring open dialogue. In the latest PLASTICS Magazine, your Government Affairs team discusses "Navigating the Political Landscape” and how we're building our capabilities and coalitions to achieve policy solutions that support our industry. We're pushing back against opponents who think punishing plastics makes for good optics.

    Finally, we need your input on the important topic of diversity and inclusion. As Suzanne Morgan writes, the Biden Administration and leaders on Capitol Hill want to know our industry is committed to a broad and diverse workforce. Across our membership, there are great stories. Every single one helps, and I encourage you to share yours with us. 

    A Happy Passover, a Happy Easter, and a very happy Opening Day next week for baseball fans!

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  • April Edition

    This past year hasn’t produced many silver linings. We're disappointed we're unable to see our members in person at a live industry fly-in to Washington, D.C. The good news is, a virtual fly-in this year represents a tremendous opportunity.

    From June 7-10, we'll be setting up meetings for you to share plastics industry success stories with Congress. We'll work with you and the congressional offices to set meetings during those four days. Our goal is a record number of introductions. Your total time commitment could be just a couple of hours. It's that easy.

    If you haven't registered yet, Register Today. A member of our PLASTICS Government Affairs team will soon be in touch. We'll take care of every detail.  Need more convincing? In this edition of The Hopper, Suzanne Morgan lists the "Top Ten Reasons to Participate." These are only the top ten. Contact us to learn more.

    I'm also happy to report this will likely be the last you'll ever hear of MIOSHA Part 62. If you don't know what that is, you're not alone. But changes to Michigan machinery regulations are a big industry win years in the making. Marie Gargas explains in her piece "Partnership and Perseverance Pays."

    Discover more great updates from our team in The Hopper. It's been a very busy month of congressional and legislative action across the country.

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  • May Edition

    It’s silly season in the states and still mostly partisan in DC. So, I guess you could say we are returning to normalcy.

    While Congress and the Administration go through the same song and dance to find even one bipartisan compromise, most state legislatures are entering the home stretch of the 2021 sessions. Typically, this leads to one of two results: a bad bill dies because they run out of time or, a bad bill passes because they just need to pass “something.”

    As we are watching a few very harmful extended producer responsibility (EPR) bills, we are working with a number of coalitions to offer constructive amendments or fight to run out the clock. PLASTICS’ Shannon Crawford provides an up-to-the-hour look at EPR legislation hanging out there.

    Last week at the PLASTICS Spring Meeting, I had the pleasure of moderating two sessions looking at the federal political and policy landscapes. Congresswoman Haley Stevens and I had a great discussion on her vision for plastic waste and recycling legislation as well as the needs of American manufacturers—especially on workforce issues. More on that inside this edition of The Hopper.

    And if you thought linking the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) would be easy, not so fast. Don’t underestimate the federal government’s ability to miss the mark and get something wrong. More input is needed and PLASTICS’ Marie Gargas has all the details inside.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and let us all remember those who sacrificed their lives in defense of America so we can be free!

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  • June Edition

    As we rapidly approach the unofficial midpoint of summer, we are also closing the book on several state legislative sessions and sending Congress home for at least a couple of weeks.

    While Shannon Crawford updates you on some of the end-of-session disappointments (Maine and Oregon) in this month’s State Roundup, I want to call out the incredible work our team and our coalition partners have done in the first half of the year to keep some very bad public policy from becoming law. While there have been a few losses, I feel comfortable saying these six months could have been a lot worse.

    At the federal level, we have an infrastructure deal. But check back in an hour to see if we still do. In the meantime, and away from the infrastructure mainstage, there were two committee hearings held last week in the U.S. House that touch the plastics industry. John Grant gives us the rundown.

    And the day we all get excited for, EPA and OSHA are out with their updated regulatory agendas and FY2022 budget. If you are lacking in enthusiasm, don’t worry. Our own Marie Gargas has you covered as she breaks down the changes and what it will mean for the plastics industry for the rest of this year and going into next.

    And lastly, declaring independence 245 years ago was the most monumental step in ensuring freedom for all of us as Americans, but the work to preserve it goes on every single day. We all play a role—little by little. I can speak for the PLASTICS Government Affairs team in saying it is an honor to advocate for policies that protect your freedom to manufacture machines and products essential to our society. 

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