Editor’s Note: At the start of each year, FPA recognizes members that hit their five-year mark with the organization. This year, in an occasional series we call “Milestones,” FPA will highlight some of the 16 members who have reached those landmarks. And because FPA was formed 70 years ago in 1950, this also serves as a way to celebrate its own anniversary.
EarthFirst® Films by PSI (Plastic Suppliers, Inc.) has been a member of the Flexible Packaging Association for 25 years, making it one of the longest-serving members of the trade association based in Annapolis, Maryland.
The manufacturer of biopolymer EarthFirst® thin gauge, compostable, sealant, barrier sealant, and shrink decoration films was founded in 1949 by Joe Tatem in Blackwood, New Jersey. It moved its corporate headquarters to Columbus, Ohio, in 1988.
Over the last 72 years, the privately held company expanded globally, with its products used within the food, beverage, quick-serve restaurants and consumers packaged goods (CPG), and industrial market segments.
It is run by George Thomas, who has been CEO since 2020 and president and CEO since 2012.
In 1985, EarthFirst® Films by PSI acquired 50% of Sidaplax in Ghent, Belgium, to serve a global customer base including the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
PSI says it has been dedicated to sustainability efforts, prompted by customers and brand owners who are seeking compostable and sustainable packaging options. In September, Danimer Scientific, a Georgia-based manufacturer of biodegradable materials, and EarthFirst® Films by PSI announced plans to work together to create bio-based, home compostable films. In May, EarthFirst® Films by PSI reported that it had completed the first commercial run of PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate) home compostable packaging film with Danimer Scientific.
“Although the PHA materials have been certified, the film will go through biodegradation and home compostability screening prior to full certification,” the company said in a news release from May 18. The new film is made from Danimer Scientific’s NODAX® PHA.
Thomas says it is the first time Danimer’s PHA has been added to the EarthFirst® biopolymer films portfolio.
“This is the first in a lineup of new advanced solutions in home compostable films we’ll launch in the next 12-18 months,” says Thomas.
Chris Schaefer, EarthFirst® Films by PSI global marketing director, says the company is committed to helping brands lower their packaging carbon footprint in response to consumer requests. Home compostable films are a catalyst for greater expansion of end-of-life options for flexible packaging, she adds.