PT Blog

Six years ago, I wrote “Sustainability Will Change Your Business,” an article for our January 2012 issue. It discussed how within the few previous years, the position of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) had appeared at a wide range of companies—from big-box retailers and brand owners to smaller privately-owned suppliers of film and bottles. The addition to the C Suite indicated that sustainability was no passing fancy, and instead suggested that the greening of America would continue to influence the way plastics processors do business in the future.

Among the key contributing sources to my education on the topic and resulting article was David Clark, then director of sustainability at Amcor Rigid Plastics. It was obvious that the company was one of the pioneers in sustainability efforts and today, the global packaging giant Amcor Ltd. is in the lead. Amcor joins Klöckner Pentaplast, among global packaging companies making green promises, pledging to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. It has also committed to significantly increasing its use of recycled materials and driving greater recycling of packaging. Now, it has launched a new original podcast series to further broaden its efforts. And, David Clark, now v.p. of sustainability is hosting it.

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In its fourth year, the annual Extrusion event shifted to Cleveland and the Huntington Convention Center from Sept. 18-20. That new space allowed for the exhibit space (with 85 companies) and the general session to be combined for first time. Drawing 600 to the shores of Lake Erie, Extrusion 2018 was sponsored by 26 companies and featured more than 70 presentations. If we missed you in Cleveland (or if you came and want a visual recap) click through the slide show to see some highlights from those speakers.

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This was the fifth year in a row that I had the honor of participating as a judge in the esteemed SPE Automotive Division Blue Ribbon Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. I plan to report on the winners of the nine categories—including a new ‘additive manufacturing’ slot—as well as several of the other final nominees in the near future, following SPE’s 48th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition & Gala on Nov. 7, at the Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan.

The organization has already named the 2018 Hall of Fame Award winner, which will be honored by celebrating the technology, companies, and people originally involved in its development. To be considered for a Hall of Fame Award, an automotive plastic or composite component must have been in continuous service in some form for at least 15 years and broadly adopted in the automotive industry. Given that criteria, this winner certainly qualifies. It was the first injection molded PC/PBT rear energy absorber for a vehicle bumper system, used on the 2003 Honda Element compact crossover SUV from Honda Motor Company.

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Loop Industries is seeking to bring to market what they call the ‘upcycled’ plastics economy. Loop has emerged with truly transformational technology that allows no and low value plastics to be diverted, recovered and recycled endlessly into new, virgin-quality Loop PET plastic.

Loop announced a joint venture with petrochemical company Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited to manufacture and commercialize sustainable polyester resin to meet the growing global demand from beverage and consumer packaged goods companies. This partnership brings together Indorama Venture’s manufacturing footprint and Loop’s proprietary science and technology.

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What appears to be the first TPU that is based on carbon dioxide (CO2) technology is newly available from Covestro. The company first developed and is now marketing its new cardyon polyether carbonate polyols, which are produced with the aid of CO2.

With the recent launch of Desmopan 37385A the company now offers the first representative of a new series of TPUs containing the new polyether carbonate polyols based on CO2 technology.

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