SPE Industry Update
Feb. 16, 2011

Plastics industry builds opposition to Ore. bag ban
The Associated Press via Bloomberg
Opponents in Oregon of a statewide ban on plastic checkout bags said they will push for an alternative measure that would promote recycling and prohibit Oregon cities from banning plastic bags. The plastics industry stepped up its efforts to defend its product as the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee listened to arguments about the proposal.More

Clay-induced visco-elastic response of reactive nanocomposites
SPE Plastics Research Online
Blends of phenoxy and poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT) have recently attracted increased attention because of the occurrence of transesterification reactions during melt mixing. Understanding the role of nanofillers in inherently immiscible blends — which become miscible by interchange/exchange reactions during melt mixing—is still a significant challenge.More

Industry enters 2011 with cautious optimism
Modern Plastics Worldwide
By all accounts, the second half of 2010 saw a strong, sustained surge in activity within the plastics sector, pushing business to levels not seen in years. In January, Modern Plastics Worldwide spoke with several suppliers to the market, trying to gauge their sentiments for the new year and whether the recovery will continue.More

Is the plastic engine close?
Design News
Rising demands to dramatically improve fuel economy are putting pressure on automotive engineers to find lighter, better-performing materials for hotter, smaller engines and lighter power trains. "High oil prices, increasing environmental awareness and changing political conditions are more and more focusing attention on the energy efficiency of automobiles," says Martin Baumert, team leader for automotive product development for BASF's engineering plastics group.More

Plastic bans, taxes and more regulation still on states' dockets
Plastics News
A number of issues loom on the state horizon for plastics companies. New taxes as states deal with record budget deficits. Efforts to enact product responsibility laws. The potential regulation of chemicals used to make plastics. But casting a very large shadow over all those issues is the renewed, and rapidly growing, interest in banning plastic carryout bags — and not just in California.More

Shares of Chinese plastics firms increase on rising product prices
The China Post
Shares of plastics firms rose sharply in trading last week and outperformed the broader market on escalating global chemical product prices driven by tight supply, dealers said. A strong showing of the plastics sector lent support to the broader market, which rose after the opening bell but later fell back on the selling of select electronics stocks because of continued worries over the further appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar, they said.More

Bioplastics prospects rosy
Bangkok Post
Higher oil prices are lowering the gap in prices of bioplastics and conventional plastics, increasing long-term demand, said Somsak Borrisuttanakul, president of the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said last week that food prices were at their highest since 1990, adding pressure to bioplastics prices.More

Manufacturers oppose new ban on the use of plastic
The Times of India
The Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers' Association has opposed the ban imposed on use of plastic material for packaging tobacco goods and use of recycled or compostable plastic for packaging food. The ministry notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, which states that the municipal authority should constructively engage agencies or rag pickers in waste management of the city. More

UK plastics recycler lands large investment
Recycling Today
Re Pet, based in the United Kingdom, has secured £1.2m in investment as it looks to become one of the largest businesses of its kind in the U.K. Re Pet began in 2010 with the goal of supplying the packaging industry with recyclable plastic sheeting, which is used to make food cartons for supermarkets in the United Kingdom.More

Its biomaterials business up, Cereplast secures added investment, distribution
Plastics Today
Cereplast Inc. recently agreed to privately sell stock and warrants for about $12 million to several institutional investors and signed a distribution agreement with ColorTec to supply its bio-based compostable and sustainable plastics to the Southern Italian and Slovenian markets.More

3D printing: The printed world
The Economist
Engineers and designers have been using 3D printers for more than a decade, but mostly to make prototypes quickly and cheaply before they embark on the expensive business of tooling up a factory to produce the real thing. As 3D printers have become more capable and able to work with a broader range of materials, including production-grade plastics and metals, the machines are increasingly being used to make final products too.More

In the future, your car may be made of mushrooms
AOL News
In the future, mushrooms may be as common in cars as they are on pizza. Believe it or not, scientists who are trying to find more sustainable ways to build car parts believe the answers may be found in things such as mushroom roots.More