Working for a plastic packaging manufacturer isn't always something people want to shout about at parties, especially if they are a passionate advocate of environmental projects in their local community. But for Danielle Cycak, Supply Chain Manager at RETAL, being on the inside is the perfect way to make a real difference.

We cannot get away from the fact that plastic packaging is not having a golden time at the moment. It's an easy bogeyman across the media, from wildlife programmes to EU legislation, so it can be hard to be a plastic packaging champion without looking like you're disconnected from the zeitgeist. And of course, we all want to be responsible citizens and leave the world a better place than how we found it, so it's not like packaging professionals want to waste loads of valuable raw materials and just dispose of them in the nearest river.

Yet with plastic packaging being so easy to criticise, it also means that the reality of plastic as a packaging material is also incredibly transparent; both literally (consumer studies show a slow uptake for 'non glass like' packaging with higher recycled content, even though it's more sustainable) and metaphorically (being under the spotlight means there's nowhere to hide).

For Danielle Cycak, Supply Chain Manager for global plastic packaging manufacturer RETAL at its Donora, Pennsylvania plant, her dedication to actively supporting and participating in community-based environmental activities predates her employment with this leading company. Integrating her strong sense of responsibility towards environmental projects and her career development was a crucial aspect in her taking the job in the first place. Cycak tells Sustainable Plastics, “I've been a part of a number of community projects for years; we're so lucky to have an abundance of natural resources to explore from waterways to state parks as well as Pennsylvania being rooted in agriculture.”

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