SPE PlastiVan® & PlastiVideo™ Talking Points

  • PlastiVan® is a national STEM educational outreach program geared for grades 3-12 conducted by the SPE Foundation as part of the Society of Plastics Engineers. (www.plastivan.org)
  • The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) is 84 countries and 22,500+ members strong and unites plastics professionals worldwide, helping them succeed and strengthening their skills through networking, events, training, and knowledge sharing. (www.4spe.org)
  • In 2021, the PlastiVideo® program was introduced to reach students when in-person PlastiVan® visits were not possible due to COVID-19.
  • PlastiVideo® resources are available to schools, homeschooling groups, scouts, libraries, and small groups that are interested in relevant STEM programming that highlights career pathways in a robust and innovative industry.
  • The PlastiVan® Program is available throughout the United States educating students, teachers, and the general public about the chemistry, history, processing, applications, and environmental issues of plastics.
  • PlastiVan® and PlastiVideo® have robust sustainability modules that talk about the causes and working solutions to environmental issues surrounding plastics waste.
  • The PlastiVideo® Program is available throughout the World thanks to the SPE Detroit Section.
  • The PlastiVan® Program is a great way to excite middle and high school students about the opportunities in the plastics industry.
  • The PlastiVan® Program is easily integrated into school curricula and is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.
  • The PlastiVan® Program provides sound science activities to spark curiosity in students while increasing their knowledge of the contribution that plastics make to modern life.
  • 24,500 middle school, high school, and STEM festival participants were impacted by PlastiVan® in 2019.
  • In 2019, 16 states and 121 separate schools and colleges were impacted by the PlastiVan®.
  • In the last 4 years, Braskem’s donation of $120,000 in support of the PlastiVan® Program allowed for growth including significant improvements.
  • Plastic plays a vital role in transportation, health care, agriculture, and electronics—and almost all industries. In the U.S. the industry is experiencing a serious shortage of skilled workers. As the plastics industry continues to thrive, it needs creative, bright, and passionate new minds to steer its course. PlastiVan® works to bring those concepts to life for students.
  • Plastics are now the #1 choices for prostheses.
  • Plastics companies and other organizations are encouraged to introduce their community to the benefits of plastics by sponsoring a visit from the PlastiVan®.
  • Companies that sponsor PlastiVan® nurture the development of their future workforce by opening the minds of students to careers in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM), subjects that are utilized daily in the plastics industry.
  • In 2019, the plastics industry employed nearly 1.0 million people in the United States with a total of 1.55 million jobs including suppliers and with total shipments of $549.5 billion.i
  • In 2019, plastics was the 8th largest U.S. Industry.i
  • In one year, recycling and reuse accounted for 757,000 U.S. jobs, $36.6B in wages and $6.7B in tax revenues.ii

i 2020 Size and Impact Report—Plastics Industry Association
ii 2016 EPA Recycling Economic Information Report, U.S. Census Bureau

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