Opportunities for the Building & Construction Plastics Market

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 20. February 2014

A new comprehensive study by Transparency Market Research of India, “Building and Construction Plastics Market for Pipes & Ducts, Insulation, Door Fittings and Other Applications: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013-2019”, provides 2012 historical data and a six-year forecast  based on both volumes and revenue.  In addition to addressing drivers and constraints for the market along with the impact they have over the forecast period, the study identifies opportunities on a global and regional level—North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW).


The study boasts a “decisive view on the building & construction plastics market by segmenting the market based on product types and applications. The product segment analysis comprises PVC, PS, acrylic, polyurethane, TPEs, composites, other (e.g., PP, PC). The application analysis includes pipe, insulation, door fittings, roofing, cladding, window profiles and water proofing and the regional demand for each of these categories.

Also covered is a detailed competitive outlook including the market share and company profile of the key participants operating in the global market including BASF, Borealis, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Solvay, Arkema, and PetroChina Ltd.  For questions on the study, email


Study Ranks Phthalates, Alternatives for Medical Devices

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 13. February 2014


Although most people in the plastics industry are cognizant with the issue of plasticizer migration, a good understanding of how a specific change of plasticizer may impact the performance of a plastic medical device has not been common knowledge.


Yesterday, at the MD&M West show held this week in Anaheim, Calif., the topic was addressed in a seminar presented by Teknor Apex’s vinyl division industry manager Peter Galland. The presentation was based on a comprehensive study based on original research conducted and completed by the company last year, and was prompted by customers who have been seeking this type of information. The study’s specific focus: how might plasticizer migration affect non-PVC thermoplastics that are widely used for medical device components—ABS, PC, PS, and acrylic-- which come into contact with components made of PVC.  


A typical example is that that of PVC tubing used with PC connectors, but the study has implications for other devices such as bags and masks.  Results showed that certain plasticizers may cause softening, cracking, or other defects in such non-PV components as they migrate across the interface with the PVC component, while other plasticizers exhibit little or no such effects.  The study results are of particular interest to manufacturers of PVC devices who have been considering making the switch to compounds that contain alternatives to phthalates, such as widely used DEHP, DINP and DPHP all of which were not recommended for contact with three of the four non-PVC materials.


The non-phthalates given the green light for use with all four non-PVC materials are polymeric plasticizers and TOTM (a trimellitate). DOTP and DINCH are usable for contact only with ABS, while DOA, ATBC and benzoate are not recommended for contact with any of the four. Details on the study are posted here.

Floreon Secures New Investors for "Performance" Bioplastic; Aims to Hit U.S. Shores Soon

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 4. February 2014

Floreon Transforming Packaging of Hull, U.K., has secured multiple new investors through an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to bring its patent-pending  “performance” bioplastic material to market, and the U.S. is its prime regional target. An EIS is designed to help high-potential growth start-up companies to raise finance with the process of investment offering a range of tax reliefs to investors who purchase new shares in those companies.


The Floreon bioplastic has been under development for the past four years through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Sheffield. It is a specially formulated compound which is added to standard PLA bioplastic. The plant-based, fully-recyclable and biodegradable compound reportedly is four times tougher than standard PLA and requires less energy to produce than oil-based PET. The product has been analyzed and tested in many different applications, has been shown to outperform other plastics, and has passed independent food-contact testing by Smithers-Rapra.


Company spokesman Andrew Gill tells PT that the material was first developed to product large ‘water cooler’ bottles and that the company has been exploring a wide range of other applications—from gift cards to film and even more ‘durable’ items. He says, their core technology has been demonstrated and successfully trialed and they are keen to explore all options for the North American market. In particular, Floreon’s next step is to move into the U.S. market, where over 330-million lb/yr of PLA are now being produced.


“Floreon is an extremely versatile material and is designed to run on existing equipment with little or no modification, so we’re aiming to reach the market sooner rather than later. Our first goal is to make contact with the best and most active converters who are already working with PLA.  These companies would ideally use our material as a drop-in solution to enhance their existing production and more importantly to enable them to get into new applications and markets.”


The company is making its ‘debut’ this month at this year’s Innovation Takes Root conference (Feb. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla.) sponsored by leading PLA producer NatureWorks, Minnetonka, Minn., and expects to meet with potential partners.

Up to 10% Compostable Plastic in PE Recycle Streams is Okay!

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 28. January 2014

Is the presence of some compostable plastic in PE film recycle stream always detrimental to the performance properties of the final recycled material?  According to a study just published by European Bioplastics--the Berlin-based European industry association representing the interests of the complete bioplastics’ value chain--up to 10% compostable plastic mixing with conventional plastics in post-consumer recycling streams show no negligible impact on the recyclates’ mechanical properties.


The Behavior of Bioplastic Films in Mechanical Recycling Streams is a meta-study—an analysis that gives a thorough summary of several studies on the same topic, and this key finding was confirmed by independent studies of the Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites (University of Applied Arts and Sciences Hannover), the Italian National Packaging Consortium (CONAI) and the German company Biotec.


Clarifying terminology, the study notes that bioplastics are biobased, compostable or both. That said, biobased plastic films are chemically identical to their conventional counterparts and are easy to manage in the recycling streams. Compostable plastics are designed for organic recycling and should be collected accordingly.  When compostable plastics do end up in recycling streams, the prevalent sorting technologies are able to sort them with little residual waste. Says chairman of European Bioplastics Francois de Bie, “Studies and field trials have demonstrated that in the uneventful case a small fraction of compostable plastic  ends up in the PE recycle stream, this does in no way negatively impact the quality of the recycling stream.” In fact, he notes that remaining amounts are easier to handle than other residual wastes in the PE stream such as PS or PP.  

Plastic Caps & Closures in Beverages Now in the Lead

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. January 2014

How are plastics faring in caps and closures? In the beverage sector, by far the single largest market globally, plastic closures (49%) overtook metal closures (48%) in 2012, driven partly by the associated gain in plastic containers and partly by further advances in closure design, materials and systems. This according to market research firm Canadean, part of U.K.-based Progressive Digital Media LLC.


Canadean’s Nov. 2013 report, Innovation in Caps and Closures, notes that lightweight packaging in general has been a strong trend in the beverage industry, and technologically advanced lightweight caps provide greater potential for energy reduction and material savings. The report also projects that innovation in plastic closures is expected to further widen the gap between plastic and metal, with 52% of the market expected to be held by plastic closures in 2017.

Meanwhile, The Freedonia Group’s Caps & Closures to 2016 report, released a year ago, projected U.S. demand will rise 4.4%/yr, that the dominant plastic cap & closure beverage segment will post above average increases, and that beverages will remain the largest market, while pharmaceuticals will be the fastest growing.

According to Freedonia, driving gains in the beverage caps & closure segment is also the continued popularity of single-serving beverages and the widening presence of plastic bottles in markets once dominated by metal cans. On the other hand, preventing faster gains will be the maturity of several large beverage applications such as beer and soft carbonated soft drinks. Competition from closureless packaging options, such as aluminum beverage cans, peelable lidding, and pouches will continue. Also, a significant deceleration in bottled water growth due to environmental concerns is projected to moderate cap and closure prospects.


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