PT Blog

It has always been a shared burden among the different sectors of raw-materials and equipment suppliers and processors—and it still is, though I see a changing profile of who’s doing what.

Materials companies, which once led the way in applications and process development across the board, seem to have narrowed their focus to their own materials developments, except perhaps in automotive and some areas of packaging, as well as the newly hot topic of recycling or the “Circular Economy.” A handful of large processors and end-users are still a force in plastics R&D, but mainly in automotive and packaging.

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Extrusion 2019 Conference: The Extrusion Solution Institution

The Extrusion 2019 Conference will take place Sept. 17-19 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. It is the only conference of its type: sessions devoted to general extrusion—issues that pertain to all extrusion processors regardless of what comes out of their die—coupled with breakout sessions on specific kinds of extrusion: Film, Sheet, Pipe/Profile/Tubing and Compounding.

And the clock is ticking fast on the early-bird discount. If you register before August 16 you can take advantage of the early-bird discount and save $150 off the full conference registration fee. Click here for registration and pricing information.

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If you received the 5-minute Plastics Technology Capital Spending survey in your mail or email, please fill it out today, in addition to a summary report of the findings, we’ll email you $15 to exchange for your choice of gift card or charitable donation. If you’re not sure you got the survey, contact us to access it.

The Capital Spending Plastics Processing Survey describes the state of the U.S. plastics processing machine market as projected over the course of the next year, including an overall picture of the market in addition to specific machine types and demographic areas. Your summary report will show you how your investment stacks with your competitors in terms of specific equipment, plant size and geographic location.

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As we were approaching the end of the first week of August, it appeared that prices of both polyolefins had dropped, in both cases nixing out price hikes that took place in second quarter. Ample supplies, slowed domestic and global demand and lower feedstock costs are all key drivers in this pricing trajectory. This according to the latest reports from two of our industry resin pricing pros: David Barry, senior editor at Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW); and CEO Michael Greenberg of the Plastics Exchange in Chicago.

▪  PE: Despite suppliers being out with a 3¢/lb price hike in the June/July time frame, industry analysts and certainly processors were expecting the opposite—price concessions of about the same amount that would effectively nix out the April 3¢ price hike, the one and only increase of 2019. Mixed industry reports had it that at least some processors had seen a 3¢/lb decrease in June and that the rest would see it in July. PCW’s Barry recently reported that PE suppliers had indeed lowered contract prices by 3¢/lb by July’s end.

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GreenPrint is an environmental technology company that serves businesses wanting to make a positive impact through turn-key programs that reduce carbon, plastic, water and energy footprints. The system provides real-time reporting to clients allowing them to better manage their environmental impact. GreenPrint's programs are currently running at over 4,500 retail locations in 14 countries across the globe.

The company recently teamed up with Plastic Bank, an economic development firm that empowers disenfranchised communities to exchange any type of plastic for currency. According to a 2015 report by Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, five Asian countries—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand—accounted for more than 55% of the plastic waste leaking into the ocean. Raising collection rates to an average of approximately 80% across just those five countries reportedly would reduce plastic-waste leakage into the ocean by approximately 23%.

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