Plastics Industry Association Participates in Clean-Up Event with RiverLink at River Bend Park, Asheville, NC

September 21, 2022
plastics engineers examining machine

ASHEVILLE, N.C.—Members of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), working in conjunction with RiverLink, an Asheville-based conservation organization, participated in a clean-up event at River Bend Park along the Swannanoa River.

The event is a collaboration between RiverLink through the Community Impact Task Group of PLASTICS’ Future Leaders in Plastics Committee (FLiP)—a professional development initiative for plastics professionals under the age of 40. Flip’s mission is to foster collaboration, providing an outlet to give back and positively impact the environment and communities in which the plastics industry serves.

“PLASTICS is here to demonstrate our commitment to the environment, promote the environmental benefits of using plastic responsibly, and encourage legislators to do all they can to fund recycling infrastructure that will help protect beautiful places like this,” said Leslie Jutte, PLASTICS staff liaison for FLiP and director of the association’s Material Suppliers Council. “We love plastic – we hate plastic waste.”

Working with the RiverLink team and utilizing materials and equipment provided by the non-profit, approximately 50 PLASTICS’ members spent several hours removing litter in support of RiverLink’s goal of promoting the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and surrounding waterways.

“The plastics industry isn’t just companies, it’s people all over the country who care about the communities where we live and work,” said Jon Smalling, National Sales and Marketing Manager at BAUMÜLLER and member of the FLiP Community Impact Task Group. “It’s an honor for us to do some good for the local environment while we’re guests here in Asheville.”

“As a local non-profit working for the past thirty years to promote the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed, we’re grateful to work with a diverse group of volunteers each year on projects that benefit our waterways and public lands,” RiverLink said in a statement. “Removing litter from Riverbend Park along the Swannanoa River, one of the French Broad’s largest tributaries, is one of many ways we can steward this special place and connect volunteers from groups like the Plastics Industry Association with the areas we care about.”

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $468 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability through education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, including the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, NPE2024: The Plastics Show.