PT Blog

Scientists claim that a caterpillar commercially bred for fishing bait has the ability to biodegrade polyethylene. So beehives aren’t a fan of these wax worms—the larvae of the common insect Galleria mellonella or greater wax moth—as these worms live as parasites in bee colonies (I never thought I would write about any of this). Apparently wax moths lay their eggs inside hives where the worms hatch and feed on beeswax—that’s where they get their name.

Here’s how it relates to PE: a chance discovery occurred when one member of the scientific team, Federica Bertocchini, an amateur beekeeper, was removing the parasitic pests from the honeycombs in her hives. The worms were temporarily kept in a typical plastic shopping bag that became riddled with holes.

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Posted by: Matthew H. Naitove 25. April 2017

Focusing on People

“The future of the company is people,” says Mick Stielow, director of sales and marketing for custom industrial blow molder Agri-Industrial Plastics Co. (AIP) in Fairfield, Iowa. A profile of the firm in our May issue notes its pride in the knowledge and experience of its personnel, many of whom have 25 to 30 years in blow molding and “grew up in the business,” as Stielow puts it.

He adds that the company has an eye out for the next generation of blow molding specialists. Its in-house apprenticeship program grooms two to five new technicians at a time. “Many of our best setup technicians also own or work on family farms, so they they have the mechanical skill set to be successful at AIP,” Stielow notes. His firm also pursues outreach to a high-school career academy in the town, which has a focus on maintenance skills, and to a local community college, where robot technician is a popular curriculum.

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Honoring Earth Day 2017 this past Saturday, PLASTICS, in partnership with the sustainability division of SPE, offered attendees $50 off of registration to its upcoming Re/Focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit using the code EARTHDAY, which will expire April 30.

This is the second annual such summit, which will be held June 27-29 at the Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Fla. The event, which aims to help the plastics industry take its sustainability goals from aspirational to operational, promises to be an information-packed affair.

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If you weren’t among those that traveled to Charlotte in the first week of April for Molding 2017, we’ve compiled some video and social media highlights below. For the second straight year, the event set records for attendance, sponsorships and exhibitors; stay tuned for news on Molding 2018. 


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During the Plastics Recycling Conference (check out the May issue of PT for a full show report), the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR, Washington, DC) selected the 2017 APR Plastics Recycling Showcase winners.

The showcase is developed to highlight and promote industry leading innovations that have a positive impact on plastics collection and recycling, and it also focuses on recently commercialized innovations developed by APR member companies.

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