Who Doesn’t Like Lower Resin Prices?

By: Matthew H. Naitove 2. October 2015

You probably have noticed that materials prices have nosedived lately, and most of you probably aren't complaining about a lower cost of doing business. Some of you may even see it as insurance against imports of processed goods from overseas.


But this week I got a different take on the situation from the CEO of one large molder, who said, “Resin prices have been dropping so much that my billings have gone down $5 million in just the last month!” He didn’t really mean it as a complaint—not exactly. He explained that his firm passes along resin price changes to its customers. So, instead of pocketing the resin cost savings, he shares it with customers. It doesn’t really hurt his bottom line, and probably makes for good customer relations. But, he noted, “Who wants to see their corporate revenues falling?”

First-Ever Global Report Outlines Strategies to Ridding Our Oceans of Plastic Waste

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 30. September 2015


The release of a new global report that both identifies the origins of the global ocean plastic debris and how it leaks into the oceans and also outlines reduction solutions and their relevant economics, as well as how to trigger implementation of these solutions from the near-to-the-long-term, is being announced today by the DC-based Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance


Annually, 8-million/m.t. of plastics leak into the oceans and the amount continues to grow. Lacking a concerted global action, this could translate to 1-ton of plastic for every 3-tons of fish by 2025, leading to massive environmental, economic, and health issues.


“Stemming the Tide: Land-based Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean”, is the Trash Free Seas Alliance’s signature initiative and Ocean Conservancy commissioned the McKinsey Center for Business & Environment to lead this comprehensive study. It was supported by Alliance members, the Dow Chemical Co., the American Chemistry Council, the Coca-Cola Co., World Wildlife Fund, and the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa. It was also advised by technical pros in waste management, plastics and recycling as well as various government and multilateral organizations.


The study determined that although all countries with coastal access contribute to the ocean plastics problem, over half of the material leaked comes from five rapidly developing countries where production and consumption of plastics is outpacing local waste management capacity, in order of magnitude—China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.


This first-of-its-kind report identifies ways this global crisis can be diverted through a set of strategies rooted in stopping the leakage in the first place. It projects, that the implementation of a plan that starts at the local level can result in a 65% reduction of plastic pollution in these five countries, which would translate to a 45% reduction of plastics flowing in the ocean globally by 2025. Noting that there is no “one size fits all” solution, the study says that achieving this global reduction requires this mix:


• 26%: Close “leakage” points within the collection system by optimizing transport systems to eliminate illegal dumping, and closing or improving dump sites located near water ways.


• 23%: Increase waste collection rates by offering expanded service. Plastic waste is over twice as likely to end up in waterways and the ocean if uncollected.


• 16%: Keep leakage points closed by increasing the value of waste. Manually sort waste in rural areas to extract high-value plastic waste for recycling and convert the low-value waste into fuel for use in the cement industry. Deploy a mix of waste-to-fuel or waste-to-electricity technologies in cities.


In addition, the Alliance’s study stresses the need for working with industry to introduce new materials, recovery, and recycling approaches that will allow uncontrolled plastic waste to peak globally by 2030. Also, the strategies offered by the study are not plastic specific—they target the whole waste stream. If implemented today, the total program would entail a cost of $5-billion/yr.  The six priority areas of action for such a global program are:


• Ensure political leadership and commitment. Obtain real and meaningful commitments from national governments, governors and mayors to set and achieve ambition waste management targets.


• Secure on-the-ground wins. Provide local “proofs of concept” for integrated waste management approaches in a number of carefully selected “beta” cities.


• Get critical mass. Use lessons learned in beta cities to enable stakeholders to build a “best practice” transfer mechanism that can accelerate the transfer of global expertise to high priority cities.


• Pave the way for funding. Ensure that required project investment conditions are in place in the private, public, and multi-layer sectors. Work with industry on an innovative mechanism to strategically reduce capital costs and investment risks.


• Facilitate technology implementation. Equip state-of-the-art waste management technology provides the detailed data on waste composition, volume, and pathways; local infrastructure, wage structure; scavenger systems; feedstock supply security; energy prices, feed—in tariffs and off-take agreements to enable implementation of scale.


• Intensify the priority. Bring leadership and strategic focus on solutions to the ocean plastic challenge as part of the global policy agenda on the ocean.





SPI Talks Plastics Packaging Trends at Pack Expo

By: Heather Caliendo 29. September 2015

Walking the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center, there is plenty of plastic packaging to be found—from the trendy pouch to the standby water bottle. The Society of Plastics Industry (SPI, Washington, D.C.) held a press conference during the show to give a preview of its "Plastics Market Watch: Plastics in Packaging," which will be released this November. Here are some of the highlights:


  • The U.S. economy outlook is bright for all sectors, with plastics outpacing other market sectors in growth. 
  • Plastics packaging is doing its part to drive down global food waste.
  • An increasingly urban population means a demand for smaller size packaging that is easier to carry and lightweight. 
  • The on-the-go population demands more convenient packaging. 
  • However, the farm-to-table trend means less packaging, which could impact demand. 
  • Technology trends include design for recycling (DFR); more post-consumer content recycling options; and multi-layer films that add properties related to freshness, labeling. 
  • Staying on the topic of multi-layer, this type of package does add challenges to the packaging end-of-life. 
  • The "Walmart Effect" is putting pressure on retailers and is impacting material choices. 
  • While plastics continues to be a material of choice, the industry still faces the issues of "unsubstantiated claims of chemicals."


Overall with regards to the big picture, SPI says that the challenges and negatives are far outweighed by growing populations coupled with economic growth, technological advances and design advantages. 


Looking forward to reviewing the entire report when it is released. 

Clock is Ticking: Register for Extrusion 2015 by Friday and Save

By: James Callari 29. September 2015


Have you registered yet for Plastics Technology’s upcoming Extrusion 2015 Conference? It’s going to be held Nov. 2-3 in Charlotte, N.C. at the Omni Charlotte Hotel in the downtown section of the city. Your have until Friday to register and save $100 off the full-conference fee. 


Over the two-day affair, more than 60 technical experts will deliver presentations covering a wide range of subject areas on all things extrusion. The morning sessions on each day will include presentations on general extrusion topics. During each afternoon there will be three concurrent breakout sessions that hone in on your particular process: film/sheet; pipe/profile/tubing; and compounding.


In addition to the technical program, there will be ample opportunity for you to mingle with the more than 40 companies who will be exhibiting at this event.


Download complete agenda details. Check out all of the companies that are exhibiting.  In terms of registration, click here to see the pricing details. We also have special pricing if your company is thinking of sending more than three people. Ready to register? Click here and begin that process.


In terms of accommodations, once again it’s best to act quickly. The Omni is the show hotel, but it is sold out. As a result, we have negotiated a similar discounted rate with the Aloft Charlotte, which is nearby.


We at Plastics Technology believe the Extrusion 2015 Conference is the event of the year for extrusion processors of all kinds. We hope to see you there.

NuSil Film Series Offers a Nice Basic Education on Silicones

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 28. September 2015


More and more people are interested in getting into silicone processing, specifically LSR. NuSil Technology LLC, Carpinteria, Calif., has now made available a series of films on the key physical properties of silicones and the tests that support them. This new offering can provide a good basic education on silicones, not limited to LSR.

The new film series has been created in a relatable way, hoping to make these physical properties easy to understand and to better clarify the process of testing. According to NuSil, these films are designed for anyone--from a novice in the industry to an expert in the field. They are also intended to impart the unlimited range of possibilities available when the chemistry is in the right hands.

Visitors interested in a particular physical property or test method, can use the following links:

A global leader in medical and space-grade silicones, the company has over three decades of expertise in the development of products for the most demanding applications—from deep inside the human body to the harsh conditions of outer space. It operates state-of-the-art laboratories and manufacturing facilities in North America and provides on-site, in-person application engineering support worldwide.



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