The Flexible Packaging Industry is Considered Essential Manufacturing
The situation with COVID-19 is uncertain and changing quickly. Here at FPA, our number one priority is ensuring the health and safety of our staff and their families, as well as our members, their employees, and their families.
We have compiled a list of the latest information available on the COVID-19 crisis, and hope that these are helpful to you in staying safe and healthy.
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- EPA, CDC Release Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Spaces Where Americans Live, Work, and Play
- CDC Releases New Facility Guidance after National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Request: Responding to the request from members, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give manufacturers clearer guidance on how to operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has now provided NAM with this letter and this additional guidance, which the NAM requested and which can be used to supplement your current plans and response efforts. In addition, the CDC provided more specifics and best practices in a NAM–Manufacturing Leadership Council webinar. Read a summary of the webinar and listen to the webinar.
- Department of Homeland Security: Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce 4.0 (updated on December 16, 2020, to support prioritization decisions related to COVID-19 vaccines, especially in the early stages when the vaccines are in short supply)
- Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
- Department of Labor: Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- National Association of Manufacturers: Frequently updates a listing of state and local Executive Orders
- National Association of Manufacturers: CARES Act Offers Support for Manufacturers Affected by COVID-19. NAM provides important deadlines and points of access, as they have done with information about loans and tax provisions so far.
- National Governor’s Association: A comprehensive list of resources including maps and state by state resource pages
- Serlin Haley (FPA State Lobbyists): Interactive Map of state legislatures and shelter in place orders
- Giving it Our Best Shot – Statewide Vaccination Plans: Vaccine approval and administration are the next steps in the fight against COVID-19. As with nearly everything about this pandemic, guidance and action plans vary by jurisdiction and are constantly evolving. To that end, this chart provides links to state agency websites, vaccine allocation plans, and other guidance related to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as basic vaccination plan phases.
- This Is Our Shot: The NAM and Manufacturing Institute’s project has a social media toolkit available to help manufacturing companies and partners communicate about COVID-19 vaccinations.
While the European Commission has not yet specifically declared the packaging industry as essential for the food and pharmaceutical chains, some countries on both sides of the Atlantic do. Here are some examples from our associates and partner associations which should support any discussions with authorities in this matter!
EU: FoodDrinkEurope issued a statement urging the Commission, in close co-ordination with EU Member States, to take urgent action on following points:
• Support the food sector workforce
• Recognize the entire food supply chain as ‘essential’ (specifically mentioning packaging as part of it)
• Unblock transport bottlenecks
• Support struggling businesses
• Facilitate global trade
Furthermore, the Commission presented practical guidance to ensure a continuous flow of goods across the EU via green lanes.
France: The French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno le Maire, outlined in a letter the essential place of packaging in the COVID-19 crisis and salutes the unfailing commitment of all the people working in these industries.
Germany: The minister of agriculture, Julia Klöckner, highlighted the importance of packaging for food distribution in a letter to her colleague of internal affairs, Horst Seehofer. Julia Klöckner also published a request to the government on March 19.
UK: The British Plastics Federation, together with the whole logistics chain, secured key worker status for the packaging of food, hygiene, medicines, etc.
Italy: Italian President Giuseppe Conte announced a shut-down of all manufacturing facilities which are not considered essential or strategic. The food, pharmaceutical, and chemical sectors including paper and packaging seem to be considered essential.
Mexico: On March 30, 2020, Mexico issued a statement on the activities that are considered essential and which may continue to operate during the health emergency caused by the coronavirus. According to an article in El Informador, among the activities that are directly necessary to attend the health emergency are those of the medical, paramedical, administrative, and support branches throughout the National Health System. Some very important activities that were left out were manufacturing, construction, electronics, and mining.
- RECOVER Coalition Letter to the House
- White House Letter on Critical Infrastructure
- DHS Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Packaging Manufacturing is Included
- Multi-Industry Letter Supporting DHS CISA Critical Infrastructure
- FPA Addresses Essential Manufacturing in Light of COVID-19 Crisis
- FPA Letter to the White House on Essential Manufacturing in Light of COVID-19 Crisis
- FPA Letter to Capitol Hill Leadership on Essential Manufacturing in Light of COVID-19 Crisis
- FPA Letter to the National Governors Association on Essential Manufacturing in Light of COVID-19 Crisis