PT Blog

Expanding Production Bumps Index Above 50

The Plastics Processing Index expanded for the first time since June 2019 with a February 2020 reading of 51.8. (Index readings above 50 indicate expanding activity, while values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The farther away a reading is from 50, the greater the change in activity as compared with the prior month.)

Most of the Index’s components reported improved figures versus the prior month. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying Index reveals that the Index—calculated as an average of its components—was supported by an eight-month high in production activity and a modest expansion in employment. The Index was pulled lower by a sharp contraction in export activity and a ninth consecutive month of contracting backlog activity.

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Agilyx: Recycling Must Continue Operating During the Coronavirus Pandemic

There’s so much to think and worry about when it comes to COVID-19. And through all the concern about adequate hand washing, staying at least 6-ft from people, obtaining cloth face masks, etc.—I kept wondering about recycling. Specifically, will recycling continue during the coronavirus pandemic? 

Right now, that answer is complicated. Major cities say they will continue curbside pickup, however, smaller municipalities are putting a pause on services as outlined in this Bloomberg article

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How One Machine Builder Helps Fight the Coronavirus

Sidel, a major producer of PET stretch-blow molding systems, has transformed its international center of excellence for PET packaging development and blowing solutions in France into a production facility for molding PET hand-sanitizer bottles. The first batch of 5000 bottles for the disinfectant were delivered to the Hospital of Dijon and another batch was distributed to pharmacies and hospitals in the port town of Le Havre in Normandy.

The French government had issued a general plea for assistance in supplying this currently scarce product. As several industries and hospitals have responded to the call, much of the sanitizing gel has been offered in large containers, which raises difficulties in distributing the product to individual employees.

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Be Proactive in Your Purging Program

Plastics processors realize that purging is a necessary evil and that every moment of downtime translates into lost profits. This raises the obvious question of “how to be proactive” in eliminating black specks, carbon buildup and degraded resin, and minimizing the need to stop production. Understandably, it is difficult to convince any processor to break into a production run to perform a purge cycle. However, controlling the issues is the ultimate goal and requires a program that is proactive rather than defensive.

Creating resin degradation or carbon buildup is directly related to process conditions, equipment and materials that determine the approximate time in the process that degradation takes place. Scheduling a purge to break that cycle prior to the event is the most logical approach to a successful purge program.

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Why ‘Plastic Wars’ Got Me Riled

I’ve calmed down now, but I was fuming after viewing “Plastic Wars” on TV Tuesday night, March 31. I was not the only one aroused by that one-hour episode of the documentary series “Frontline” on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). As if it had unearthed a new “DaVinci Code,” the film breathlessly announced a theory that plastics recycling is little more than a decades-old scam or distraction of public opinion while the chemical industry covered the earth and clogged the seas with its ever-expanding output of throw-away packaging. It prompted a “strongly worded statement” by Tony Radoszewski, president and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). He wasn’t pleased, either, though not entirely for the same reasons I was pacing up and down my living room, while my wife urged me to forget about it and have a cup of tea.

For those of you who missed it, “Plastic Wars” can be viewed in full on YouTube, Amazon Prime, or the PBS website. Caution: It might elevate your pulse rate, as it did mine.

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