COVID-19 Resources Quick Links:
NEW - September 9, 2021
The Biden Administration has issued a far-reaching Executive Order (EO), focused on COVID-19 requirements for several employment sectors. The most significant of the directives is a requirement that companies with 100 or more employees either ensure their employees are either vaccinated OR provide proof of at least a weekly COVID-19 negative test result, prior to an employee prior to entering the workplace.
Before this requirement takes effect, the OSHA will need to publish an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which they have been directed to do as part of the EO.
Outside of healthcare-connected industries, the forthcoming ETS would be the first, legally binding and enforceable COVID-19 workplace requirement under OSHA's purview. The ETS will also inform of permissible employee testing procedures, vaccine verification, alongside all related OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements. In addition, the EO also directs employers to provide paid time off to employees so they may receive vaccinations.
Next Steps: There is no current timeframe for the ETS to be issued by OSHA. GPI will continue to monitor developments, and provide information on implementation, employer and workforce requirements once known.
Packaging Industry Collaboration & Bottle Bill Program Support: GPI has continued to coordinate with the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), National Association of PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), and most recently, the Aluminum Association, on joint letters and outreach to states with bottle bill programs. Our outreach to date includes key staff and decision-makers in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Michigan. For all of our industries, bottle bill programs provide a much-needed, high-quality recyclable stream for our respective manufacturing processes.
Each communication is tailored to the current situation on the ground, and follow-up with in-state advocacy firms and member companies with in-state operations. Our message across the board is clear - bottle bill material is an essential supply chain element for our manufacturing industries.
SERDC Webinar: Recycling Industry and the Supply Chain During a Pandemic (GPI Presented): I participated in a webinar last Thursday, April 16th on how COVID-19 has impacted the recycling industry and the critical part it plays in the food and beverage supply chain. On the webinar, manufacturers spoke about their individual efforts during the current health crisis and discussed how the recycling industry can use this opportunity to connect the dots for consumers between placing clean recyclables into their recycling bins and the impact on the supply chain for basic goods and emergency supplies. Read more about the webinar, covered in Resource Recycling, here.
Webinar: The Recycling Markets Outlook Forum Webinar (GPI Presenting): Hosted by the National Recycling Coalition, EPA, and Renew, this free, interactive webinar will feature a discussion with national experts on recent developments and how they impact recycling markets. Gain insight into the recycling value chain, including specific commodity types, and hear from national-level organizations. Learn how the recycling industry is working through barriers in these uncertain times, including a first look at the new Recycling Market Development Platform. I am pleased to be a webinar panelist and encourage all members to sign up to participate via the GPI website by clicking here.
GPI Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Working Group: GPI has convened EHS working group calls with member glass company representatives, to collectively address COVID challenges. GPI will assist working group members and the broader membership with information on resources, federal and applicable state guidance, and updates as needed. For those GPI member companies needing additional PPE, masks, and related resources, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the COVID-19 section, to find a list of PPE distribution companies and contact information that may be able to assist. GPI also plans to host Government Affairs and Marketing/Communications Committee calls in the coming weeks.
Letters to the Bottle Bill States: Letters have been sent from GPI, the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), the National Association of PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), as well as the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) to leadership in Michigan, Iowa, California, Massachusetts and Maine to highlight the important role bottle bill programs play in their state, asking for clarity on specific program changes, and to encourage industry stakeholder opportunities prior to future any program changes. These states presented the most immediate operational and advocacy challenges to supply. We intend to address similar bottle bill recycling program challenges in the remaining states this coming week and are enrolling additional help from like-minded recycling organizations to address the challenges.
Waste Dive Recycling Series: WasteDive is continuing to follow solid waste, collection, and recycling policies, as they are modified in response to COVID-19. Click here for their latest, daily update of known changes, which includes guidance on OSHA and other worker safety guidelines.
NAM staff are continuing their terrific work in support of GPI and their other member companies. They've reformatted their state tracker to identify more local guidance and restrictions, and are continuously updating their COVID-19 workforce and employer guidance microsite with the latest information and guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and the EPA.
- We encourage your company to take a brief survey from NAM, to see if your company has urgently needed personal protective equipment (PPE) in stock.
- COVID-19 and Manufacturing Operations: Immediate Best Practices from SHRM & NAM.
- CDC Issues Link to All Guidance Issued to Date: Click here to read all of the guidance documents the CDC has issued regarding COVID-19.
CDC Issues Interim Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers: For GPI members operating under state or similar critical infrastructure designations, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance for workers who have faced potential exposure to COVID-19 through household contact or have had close contact with a confirmed or suspected case. CDC’s guidance lays out several important practices that must be managed prior, during, and after the work shift, as well as other considerations for an employee’s participation in the workplace.
Department of Labor (D0L) Guidance: The DoL offers guidance for requesting employers reassess their work practices, engineering, and administrative controls to identify any changes they can make to decrease the need for N95 respirators. Acceptable N95 alternatives are provided in the guidance.
Prior Congressional & Agency Action:
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Applications Accepted Until August 8th: The Small Business Administration has provided updated information (FAQs, Loan Requirements) for the PPP. To apply for a loan through the program, and to learn more, please click here.
- OSHA Issues Comprehensive Guidance for Workplace Return: OSHA issued guidance on returning to workplaces, (those deemed non-essential, according to the Dept. of Homeland Security's CISA guidance). While the majority of TLMI's member companies have continued operations in support of essential businesses and customers, the guidance provides useful information on training, best hygiene practices, recommended procedures to follow should an employee become ill, and business travel.
- Additional Clarity Provided on the Employee Retention Tax Credit: The IRS has issued additional guidance within its' FAQ section regarding the employee retention tax credit. The updated FAQ section addresses the application of the tax credit regarding the partial or full suspension of both non-essential and essential business operations.
- Economic Assistance Disaster Loan: The SBA is also overseeing loans of up $2 million for businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Loan terms would be determined on a case-by-case basis, with a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and a 2.75% interest rate for nonprofits. Click here to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements.In addition, the Internal Revenue Service is offering no penalty options to defer (but not eliminate) employer submission of payroll taxes. There is also an opportunity for companies with under 500 employees to file for a refundable tax credit, to defray costs as they provide required paid family leave.
Please Note - Guidance within all GPI updates should not be substituted for legal or financial advice. All member companies should confer with their tax and legal counsel prior to entering any loan application or similar process, as entering these agreements often precludes eligibility in other programs. Just as important, each financial relief option comes with potential payback, interest, and other financial responsibilities for the recipient.
GPI Membership Webinar/Call: GPI is looking at dates towards the end of July for our next Members-Only Webinar. The webinar date, time, and other details will be sent out once confirmed.
Stay up-to-date on GPI news and COVID-19 developments, follow GPI on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and visit our News & Events page. GPI encourages all member companies to follow COVID-19 business guidance provided by the U.S. regulatory authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Please reach out to Scott DeFife at the office 703-684-6359, firstname.lastname@example.org. Know that you can also contact Bryan Vickers with GPI's member services department, email@example.com, 703-403-2882, with any questions or inquiries.