Strategic Initiatives Manager, Sustainability
As Strategic Initiatives Manager in Eastman’s Global Sustainability Organization, Holli Alexander helps translate the complexity of sustainability into tangible and actionable efforts. She works on a variety of efforts today with a strong focus on sustainability, circular economy, and advocacy. She has worked closely with plastic recycling for the last decade. In 2012, Holli launched and led the Full-Wrap Label Consortium, a group founded by Eastman to address the challenges recycling PET bottles that use shrink labels. She represents Eastman in a variety of external organizations including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy, the US Plastics Pact, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and the Association of Plastic Recyclers. She has served on the Sustainability Advisory Board for PLASTICS and helped found their Advanced Recycling Council. Holli launched the ANSI US Technical Advisory Group for the ISO committee on Chain of Custody which is now in the process of developing a standard for mass balance. She also co-authored a chapter on mass balance in Current Topics in the Circular Economy of Polymers which will be published by the American Chemistry Society in 2021.
Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?
The packaging industry is in the throes of exciting, complex, and challenging transformative change. We are moving away from the traditional linear economy and investing in circular solutions and business models. To this end, I am excited and hopeful that I may be given the opportunity to help support our industry by serving on the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s Executive Committee.
SPC is a key organization that helps to create and steer the collective consciousness of our industry. Through key projects and collaboratives, SPC helps to develop expertise, knowledge, frameworks, and guidance on how we can improve. One of the greatest benefits of SPC is the ability to help all organizations – those that are just starting their journey towards sustainable packaging and those that are leading the way.
Over the last ten years, I’ve had the opportunity to engage deeply in packaging, plastics, and recycling. The most effective way to drive improvement is to get involved. We need to step up to the table to serve with others. We need to learn. We need to collaborate. And for me, serving on the Executive Committee is a key mechanism to help influence the transformation that’s happening today.
What do you think you would contribute as an Executive Committee representative?
Doing what we’ve always done will not create the transformation we need for packaging. With nearly a decade experience, I come to this challenge with a different mindset and willingness to look for systemic solutions that benefit us all.
First, as a material supplier, we are incorporating recycled materials into the manufacture of new materials via molecular recycling. This is a key addition to the recycling system that needs to be fully included as a complementary technology to mechanical recycling. Additionally, bringing in a broader material mindset is important. For example, there are key intersections between packaging and textiles with polyester/PET. Without diluting our efforts on packaging, expanding our understanding of the challenges and the broader material systems across industries will help us to identify additional options and solutions.
Secondly, I bring years of experience facing recycling challenges head on and building collaborative groups to tackle the issues together. To create the kind of change we need, we must be willing to challenge the status quo, address the points of conflict, and do it in a way that is collaborative, constructive, and drives change. We must work throughout the value chain and ensure that all stakeholder groups’ perspectives are understood and addressed.
Supporting the SPC with expanded views of materials and system-level collaboration will be key contributions I bring to the Executive Committee if elected.