The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), headquartered in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, was founded in 1945 and has been working since that time to promote and protect glass packaging.
The GPI board of trustees, the association’s key decision-making body, consists of one representative from each member company and one representative from the associate members and closure manufacturers. At semi-annual trustee meetings, the board develops an agenda for GPI activities, approves budgets and sets the association’s course for the future. In addition to the board, several committees and task forces are involved in the issues that affect the industry.
The GPI monitors legislation that could have an effect on the industry and promotes glass packaging through a variety of environmental and marketing initiatives, including:
- Lobbying efforts to oppose legislative and regulatory threats to packaging on the federal, state and local levels.
- A public relations program that promotes the sales and recyclability of glass containers through its website (www.gpi.org), trade shows and awards programs.
- A range of technical, environmental and academic programs.
The association’s many activities include an awards program for glass packaging, brochures and publications geared toward glass manufacturers and packagers, public awareness initiatives about recycling and educational curricula for universities that offer package design, packaging science or other related courses.
Awards and Recognition
In every industry there are those who achieve excellence and deserve recognition. The glass packaging industry honors its “stars” with Clear Choice Awards. Since 1989, GPI’s Clear Choice Awards have celebrated the best in glass packaging. Each Clear Choice Award winner receives a Steuben glass star, a cash award to be donated to a charity selected by the company and industry-wide recognition. The competition is held approximately every 18 months and features award categories such as Package Design (awarded to a product whose packaging commands shelf presence and attracts attention), Success Story (judged on sales success over the past year as well as packaging that enhances product appeal), Wine, Beer, Distilled Spirits, Carbonated Beverage, Non-Carbonated Beverage and Packaged Foods. Judges include representatives from package design, academia and trade media. The next Clear Choice Awards competition will be held in the spring of 2002, and a call for entries is expected to be announced soon.
The GPI also highlights “Featured Products in Glass”—an online showcase for what’s new and hot in the glass packaging industry. The showcase, located at www.gpi.org, is open to glass manufacturers who would like to submit information on their new product lines and is frequently updated to keep users informed of new developments in glass on a regular basis.
The GPI is at the forefront of glass container recycling efforts. Because using recycled glass reduces energy consumption, raw materials use, and wear and tear on machinery, ensuring a steady supply of recycled glass, or cullet, has become crucial to the industry’s success. The GPI’s educational efforts include recycling outreach to consumers, municipalities, recyclers, elected officials and waste haulers.
Launched in 1995, the GPI Academic Program, launched in 1995, aims to assist faculty and students at institutions that offer package design, packaging science or other related curriculum. By offering educational tools, such as videos and printed materials, and guest speakers from the North American glass container manufacturing industry, the GPI strives to keep glass packaging top-of-mind with young people interested in packaging.
In February 2001, GPI’s board elected Joseph J. Cattaneo president of the association. For the past eight years, Cattaneo has served as GPI’s executive vice president, overseeing marketing and public affairs activities, office management and regional programs. In addition to the programs and services that are already in place, Cattaneo is spearheading a reorganization effort that will provide even more new programs and initiatives for the glass packaging industry in 2002.
For More Information
For more information about the GPI, contact Joseph Cattaneo at the Glass Packaging Institute, 515 King St., Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 684-6359; fax (703) 684-6048; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
; or visit http://www.gpi.org
SIDEBAR: GPI Member Companies
Anchor Glass Container Corp.
Glenshaw Glass Co., Inc.
Owens-Brockway Glass Containers
Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc.
Tropicana North America