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Study: PET bottles have less impact than glass, aluminum
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PET single-serve bottles have less impact on the environment over their lifecycle than aluminum cans or glass bottles, according to a study commissioned by the PET Resin Association (PETRA). The study, conducted by Franklin Associates, compared total energy, solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions per 100,000 ounces of soft drinks packaged in 20-ounce PET bottles, 8-ounce glass bottles or 12-ounce aluminum cans. The PET bottles showed lower greenhouse gas emissions, generated less waste and used less energy for their entire life cycle, the study said. More



New: The SPE Online Plastics Encyclopedia
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SPE members can learn from the collective wisdom of plastics experts around the world — and add to the global plastics knowledge base — through the SPE Online Plastics Encyclopedia, the Society's newest knowledge-sharing tool. The SPE Online Plastics Encyclopedia provides definitions, links to recent patents, journal articles, books and discussions on hundreds of subjects categorized using SPE's unique plastics taxonomy. This dynamic and growing resource is made up of the individual contributions — large and small — of SPE members. More

Attend SPE's ANTEC Conference - Orlando, Florida - May 16-20
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Anyone involved with plastics will benefit from attending ANTEC. The single largest technical conference in the plastics industry worldwide, ANTEC offers forums and sessions for engineers, R&D scientists, technicians, technical sales people, technical support personnel, academicians and managers in the plastics industry. Nearly 100 sessions with 600+ presentations offering cutting-edge developments will be offered at the lowest registration fees since 1999!

View the advance program, and register by April 30, to save up to $150.
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12 Companies Receive Awards at GPEC® 2010
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The Plastics Environmental Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers honored a dozen companies with Environmental Stewardship Awards and Clean Technology Awards at the GPEC® 2010 Conference in Orlando, Florida, on March 8-10. The recipients of the awards and their award categories are listed in the following story. More



Microcellular processing of biobased, biodegradable polymer blends
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In the past two decades, biobased polymers have attracted significant attention. Compared with petroleum-based synthetic polymers, polymers made from renewable resources such as plants and crops can be recycled using biological processes, thereby conserving limited resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Because many of these materials are also biodegradable, they pose no long-term disposal problem and have minimal adverse effects on the environment. Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA) is one of the most widely studied biobased and biodegradable polymers. More

Nanocomposite thermomechanical and barrier-property enhancements
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Packaging applications require specific polymeric materials that must be light and have good optical, thermal, and mechanical features and improved barrier properties in relation to different gases. Nanocomposite coatings, obtained by homogeneous dispersal of suitable nanofillers into a polymer matrix, can satisfy all of these requirements. In addition, such nanostructured coatings can be prepared by exploiting UV curing. This technique represents in situ, very fast polymerization that is effective and environmentally friendly. Among the nanofillers used, layered silicates (montmorillonites) have attracted a great deal of interest because of both their reinforcing effect on the host polymer matrices and their low cost. More

SIGMASOFT the comprehensive easy-to-use polymer system simulation software

Provided by SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc., for the first time designers and engineers with product responsibilities can optimize parts, molds and process parameters themselves.
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Scientists create plastic electronics
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U.S. scientists say they've developed a method of producing electricity-conducting plastics that could dramatically lower the cost of solar panels. Princeton University engineers said the resulting plastics are translucent, malleable and able to conduct electricity — all features that open the door to broader use of plastics in a wide range of electrical devices. More

EPA proposes expanding toxics release inventory
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The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed adding 16 chemicals to its Toxics Release Inventory list, saying that a review of available studies suggest they could cause cancer in people. It is the first proposed addition to the TRI in more than a decade, and includes vinyl fluoride and four polycyclic aromatic compounds, all of which previously had been classified as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the National Toxicology Program, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. More



Ethane could restart state's plastics industry
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A valuable raw material that could be used for production in West Virginia and the region soon may be sent elsewhere. The material is ethane, one of the natural gas liquids found in parts of the Marcellus Shale. Local markets exist for other natural gas liquids, such as propane and butane, said Jim Crews, managing director of Appalachian supply for Columbia Gas Transmission and president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association. But there is no longer a local market for ethane, which is used to make polyethylene for shopping bags and other plastic products. More
 


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