WASHINGTON, DC - Attorney Jerome Heckman passed away Tuesday, January 21. Heckman’s work with SPI, the plastics industry trade association, spans nearly 60 years. His law firm, Keller and Heckman, continues as counsel to SPI today.

Heckman had a tremendous impact on the plastics industry. His work with resin manufacturers, processors, regulatory agencies and legislators is responsible for much of the growth that several sectors of the industry have enjoyed over the last 50 years.

He began work for SPI in 1954 when Federal Communications Commission rules threatened to impact the use of radio frequency heating used in the plastics industry at that time. In the later part of the 1950s, Heckman’s work for SPI began to involve even more issues concerning plastics packaging materials and Food & Drug Administration regulations. He was instrumental in the formation of SPI’s Food Drug & Cosmetic Packaging Committee in 1957.

Heckman was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 1986. He received the first Bradbury award for outstanding contributions to the plastics packaging industry from the SPI Color Additives and Compounders Division in 2000. That same year, the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition awarded him the Directors Special Citation Award. In 2007 he was inducted into the Packaging Industry's Hall of Fame.