Division Overview and History

About Us

Our community of innovators drives development from the beginning of consumer product life, by sourcing the right materials and equipment – to the end of product life, by creating packaging that is sustainable and differentiated on shelves. 

Within our Division, you’ll find scientists, engineers, senior R&D directors, machinery experts, production managers, marketing directors, CEOs and more who are contributing to the advancement of flexible packaging, so our tides rise together as an industry. Our members truly reflect the entire spectrum, from suppliers to converters to brand owners.

Using technical expertise as our foundation and consumer data as our fuel, we transfer best business practices, growth opportunities, and technology innovations to all our members so you can work better across the value chain and better anticipate current and future needs of consumers.

With knowledge and partnerships gained from the International Flexible Packaging & Extrusion Division, members like yourself can produce flexible packaging differently so products look great, function better, last longer, and are more recyclable. Become a Member.


Our Mission

The TAPPI International Flexible Packaging & Extrusion Division continuously strives to provide highly-valued education, innovations and technical advancements to the Flexible Films & Laminates industry. We provide forums for presentation and discussion of relevant and leading-edge topics, in addition to networking opportunities and mentoring programs, to ensure best practices and technology transfer across our industry’s entire supply chain.

Our Name and Our History

TAPPI’s "International Flexible Packaging & Extrusion Division" has roots that date back many decades – and as technological advancements and market changes occur over time, our Division remains as flexible as the industry it represents via rebranding, resulting in enriched value to our members.

The Division grew as a spin-off within TAPPI, for those working with plastics along with papers.  This reflected the evolution of the use of plastic materials for use in combination with paper to take advantage of the best properties of each material. Eventually, it also included the use of these plastic materials by themselves without paper. A major use for these constructions grew in the Packaging industry over the years, but are also prevalent in Industrial film applications too.

Prior to 1971, the main technical gathering was known as the "Plastics-Paper" conference, with the roots stretching back to 1946 following the end of World War II.  In the early 1970s, the name changed to the "Paper Synthetics" conference reflecting growth in plastic films, and this name remained through 1983.   In 1984 the Division and the Conference were rebranded under the name of "Polymers, Laminations, and Coatings", and became known by the "PLC" moniker until 2001.  

In 2001, the Division expanded its name to include more materials and processes inherent to the industry, becoming the "PLACE" to gather and learn, under the new name of "Polymers, Laminations, Adhesives, Coatings, and Extrusions" Division.  In 2002 the technical conference adopted the PLACE name for its main event.  The Division and Conference retained the PLACE name through 2016.

The most recent rebrand launched in 2017, sought to be more inclusive for the world of flexible packaging and yet still retain linkage to all the extruded plastic films and sheet used in non-packaging applications as well. More than just a name, this change reflects our expansion of resources, programs, and services to meet the diverse and evolving needs of our industry’s entire supply chain.

With this expansion of value, we include the consumer voice in our offerings and examine how their demands drive packaging modernizations that result in extended shelf life, better ingredient and dietary lifestyle labeling, functionality, and more.