About the Flexible Packaging Association

The Voice of the Industry

Representing Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers

The Flexible Packaging Association is the U.S. association of the manufacturers of flexible packaging; and, material or equipment suppliers to the industry. Flexible packaging is produced from paper, plastic, film, aluminum foil, or any combination of those materials, and includes bags, pouches, labels, liners, wraps, rollstock, and other flexible products.

A Growing Industry

Established in 1950, the Flexible Packaging Association has seen the industry grow from $400 Million in the early 1950s to over 42 billion today. Members include small, medium and large converters and suppliers representing seventy percent of the “value added” Flexible Packaging industry. FPA is the leading advocate and voice for the U.S. flexible packaging industry. FPA provides valuable benefits, programs, and services that support the success, growth, and advancement of the competitive business climate of our members.

An Overview of FPA

The Report to the Members provides an overview of the many initiatives and activities FPA conducts on behalf of its members. As the voice of the flexible packaging industry for over 70 years, FPA provides a wealth of significant benefits that support the success of FPA members and the advancement of the flexible packaging industry. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A COPY.

A Focused Team

FPA's team is comprised of experts who work hard to advance the flexible packaging industry. They ensure the industry is educated on an array of topics, from recent trends in the industry to changes in government relations, and provide a variety of media to advocate for the flexible packaging industry. SEE FPA'S TEAM

History of the Flexible Packaging Association


The Flexible Packaging Association, originally called the National Flexible Packaging Association, was founded as a corporate membership organization on July 19, 1950. It was formed by a group of flexible packaging manufacturers (converters) who saw a need for a voluntary trade association to represent their interests.  On August 2, 1950, the association was incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, and established headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951.

FPA's Founding Members


The founding of NFPA was spearheaded by A.A. Meister of Bagcraft Corporation of America, R.E. Pentz of Oneida Paper Products and R.E. Hanson of Milprint. Other founding members included Paramount, Union Bag & Paper, American Paper Goods, Columbia Paper Goods, Brown Paper Goods and Comet Envelope Company.

A Leading Voice for Converters


NFPA became the lead voice for the flexible packaging converter, a role which continues to this day. The first stated functions of the association were to “establish proper governmental cooperation, develop industry statistics and develop factual information.” These goals are similar to the association’s current strategic directions.

The First Flexible Packaging Competition


In 1956, the first flexible packaging competition was established with Paper, Film & Foil Converter magazine as a co-sponsor. The purpose was to recognize and honor the developers of outstanding and innovative flexible packages of the previous year. This annual event continues to the present day, as the Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards. Trade press coverage of this prestigious industry event has been extraordinary year after year.

Addressing Governmental and Regulatory Issues

1970s - 1980s

In the late 1970s, the decision was made to focus on governmental and regulatory issues at both the national and state levels. The logo and name of the association were changed to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA). In 1981, FPA relocated its offices to 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005.

Continuing Growth and Advancement

1990s - 2000s

Since the beginning, FPA has always had an excellent professional staff to carry out the programs planned by the member companies. In the early years, NFPA was managed by John Cowan, who became a life member in 1968. He was followed by E.C. (Pete) Merkle in 1976. In 1977, Richard Lillquist was named President and was succeeded in 1986 by Glenn E. Braswell. In 2000, Marla Donahue was named as President and Chief Operating Officer. The following year, FPA moved to 971 Corporate Blvd., Suite 403, Linthicum, MD 21090, and in 2015, FPA relocated to 185 Admiral Cochrane Drive, Suite 105, Annapolis, MD 21401.

A Focus on Sustainability

2000s - 2010s

Walmart announced sustainable packaging goals in the mid-2000s, and FPA participated in the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Network, representing the flexible packaging industry to ensure proper understanding of flexible packaging materials and their many advantages. FPA undertook a two phased research project on sustainable packaging. Phase I included an explanation of sustainable packaging; how and when sustainable packaging will affect flexible packaging manufacturers; insight into the Walmart Scorecards; and guidance on how to participate in the Walmart Scorecard process. Phase II research included a life cycle analysis of key flexible structures and scientific evidence of flexible packaging's sustainability.

Embarking on an Advocacy Campaign

2010s - PRESENT

Alison Keane, Esq., CAE was named FPA President & CEO in 2016. Under her leadership, FPA has embarked on an Advocacy campaign, promoting and protecting flexible packaging's position as the preferred packaging option for consumer product companies and consumers alike. FPA is focused on a long-term public affairs and marketing strategy to prevent negative precedents and potential barriers to the industry's growth. Priorities include ensuring that the flexible packaging industry is represented in legislative and non-government organizations' discussions on solid waste management, material composition transparency, sustainability, the role of packaging in reducing food waste, and food safety issues. The Association is also identifying and protecting against threats to the flexible packaging industry in the public policy arena and promotes the positive profile of flexible packaging to key stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and policymakers, and consumers.



FPA has instituted a consumer outreach campaign to help consumers understand the benefits of flexible packaging. This effort is focused on engaging consumers and businesses on social media networks including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. The campaign is educating the public on sustainability issues and the benefits of flexible packaging including consumer convenience and the reduction of food waste. The Association launched www.perfectpackaging.org to assist in this effort.

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