Automation Takes Hold

Using Technology to Hire, Train, and Schedule Workers

More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional methods of training workers, flexible packaging companies continue fine-tuning their approaches that rely on technology to limit face-to-face contact.

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Inside the Student Design Challenge

Judges and Students Reflect on 2022 Contest

Four members of the Flexible Packaging Association’s Emerging Leadership Council, volunteered one afternoon in May to judge the association’s annual Student Flexible Packaging Design Challenge.

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Expanding Recycling in Upper Midwest

CNG, General Mills, and Others Invest in Mechanical Recycling Plant

A coalition of Minnesota-based CEOs in the agriculture and consumer packaged goods industries wanted to do more to ensure a circular economy, especially when it came to flexible packaging. Business leaders set out to create a regional ecosystem serving the Upper Midwest.

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Investors Enter Recycling Arena

Private-Equity Firms See Potential for Circular Economy

Private investors want to turn one of the largest curbside recy­clers in the U.S. into a test bed for building up infrastructure that will be vital to the success of the circular economy.

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Aluminum Foil Shortage Intensifies

War in Ukraine, Tariffs, Trade Policies Frustrate Supplies

Flexible packaging companies may have been hoping this year would bring relief to a stubborn shortage of aluminum foil. However, relief does not appear likely anytime soon.

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Digital Exclusive

Cyberthieves Target Manufacturers

Experts Discuss Trends, Offer Tips

Cybersecurity trends have led FPA to offer its mem­bers a cyber risk mitigation and insurance package program, developed by NAM, to help prevent cyberattacks.

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E-Commerce Evolves

As Pandemic Wanes, Deeper Trends Emerge

The explosion of e-commerce over the last two years fueled a burst of creativity that will leave a lasting mark on flexible packaging, even if online sales retreat from their pandemic-era highs.

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Connecting Sustainability with Consumers

Challenges with Messages Can Hinder Goals

Sustainability is more than a buzzword for flex­ible packaging companies. It is spurring a rush to create products that are reusable, recyclable, made entirely from recycled materials, or all of the above. But for many consumers, sustainability is an abstract concept that fails to resonate.

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At the Judges’ Table

Experts Acknowledge Fresh Looks and Designs

Innovators showcased their top packages at the 66th Annual Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition.

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Plastics on Tap

Shell Plant in Pennsylvania Going on Line

This year, flexible packaging companies will have a new source of polyethylene: A major petrochemical plant erected by Shell along the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania—about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The plant is expected to produce 1.6 million tons of polyethylene per year.

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Packaging Challenges Plague Women’s Bakery

African Company Seeks Help with Solutions

The Women’s Bakery in Rwanda, Africa, represents a microcosm of the packaging industry’s drive for continuous innovation in sustainability and the universal challenge of keeping pace with recycling mandates.

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Mergers Accelerate

Deals Remain Robust for Flexible Packaging Industry

Like so much else in the economy, corporate deal-making roared back to life in 2021 as COVID-19 vaccines blunted the worst effects of the pandemic and companies adapted to the risks that remained.

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Filling the Gaps

Filling the Gaps

Employers Use Creative Measures to Fill Jobs

To fill job gaps, manufacturers are seeking employees from nontraditional or largely untapped fields. Veterans, women, re-entrants, and refugees constitute a rich supply of motivated, reliable workers.

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Vaccine Mandates Stir Debate

Vaccine Mandates Stir Debate

Business Group Expresses Concern About Long-Term Precedents

As the pandemic entered its 18th month in September, the federal government prepared new rules that would require businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure workers were vaccinated. For some observers, the process underway indicated an overreach that raised flags about whether precedents were being set that would undermine the autonomy of businesses for years.

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From Acceptance to Ownership

From Acceptance to Ownership

Peter Sheahan: Transforming Your Company Starts at the Top

Executives in the flexible packaging industry grasp the challenges in front of them. The hard work lies in moving from understanding to action—or, as Peter Sheahan puts it, from acceptance to ownership.

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Watching the States

Watching the States

Recycling Proposals Alarm Observers

The long value chain of plastics packaging, from manufacturers to converters to brand owners, is turning a wary eye to state-level recycling developments. Those developments include new laws labeled as extended producer responsibility (EPR), but they fall short of serving as models.
However, the industry hopes to bring about a workable national policy that brings consistency, a steady and inclusive supply of materials, and innovative infrastructure to recycling.

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Milestones: FPA Members Weigh In

Milestones: FPA Members Weigh In

Companies Celebrating Anniversaries Discuss Trends, Concerns

In recent interviews, some company managers offered insights into the state of the industry and what needs to be done to ensure its vitality, with several of them offering tips on how FPA and the industry can do better.

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Sudden Storms: Turbulence Defined 2021

Sudden Storms: Turbulence Defined 2021

Industry Leaders Seek Stability in 2022

From inflation to labor shortages to pinched supply chains, flexible packaging has been going along with the general roller-coaster ride. But the industry has experienced its own unique dynamics based on the diversity of packaged products.

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Tapping Tech Schools

Tapping Tech Schools

Worker Shortages Prompt Proactive Steps

After an FPA Emerging Leadership Council (ELC) committee on recruitment was formed last year, its members quickly determined that they would need to branch out beyond traditional internship programs.

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Finding Workers

Finding Workers

Experts: Problems Will Linger Long After Pandemic

Openings at American Packaging Corp. run the gamut from entry-level production jobs to engineering positions, says Jeff Fuller, the Columbus, Ohio-based company’s manager of organizational development.

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