SPE Industry Update
Sept. 15, 2010

New method swaps pressurized biomass for petroleum in plastics, cosmetics
Popular Science
An accidental chemistry discovery could lead to a new method for making antifreeze, moisturizer and plastic bottles out of biomass rather than petroleum, according to researchers at Iowa State University. Professor Walter Trahanovsky was using a high-temperature chemistry process to see if he could obtain sugar derivatives from cellulose. It’s based on supercritical fluids, which are heated under pressure until their fluid and gas states merge. It is not quite as exotic as it sounds — supercritical carbon dioxide is used to decaffeinate coffee.More

Using waves to locate sources in laminated plates
SPE Plastics Research Online
Nondestructive evaluation techniques are used in many important fields, including the aeronautics and astronautics industries. When damage (such as matrix cracking, delamination, transverse cracking and fiber breakage) occurs, it releases energy and causes transient elastic waves. For plate-like structures, the propagation characteristics of waves depend on properties such as plate thickness, boundary conditions, elastic properties and material density. Analysis of wave propagation provides critically useful information about composite laminate materials.More

China's resin, plastic product output climb by 23 percent and 21 percent in first half of 2010
Plastics Today
Whatever slowdown the sector might have experienced in 2009, China's plastics industry has accelerated past 2009's economic speed bump to double-digit gains in plastic and plastic products over the first half of 2010. The Research in China report shows that synthetic resin production rose 23.21 percent in the first half of 2010 over the year-earlier period to 21.07 million tons. The sector's profits totaled RMB 8.04 billion ($1.183 billion), which was up 54 percent year-on-year, while the output of plastic products rose 21.11 percent to 25.76 million tons.More

In feast of data on BPA plastic, no final answer
The New York Times
The research has been going on for more than 10 years. Studies number in the hundreds. Millions of dollars have been spent. But government health officials still cannot decide whether the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, a component of some plastics, is safe. The substance lines most food and drink cans, and is used to make hard, clear plastic bottles, containers and countless other products. Nearly everyone is exposed to it.More

German plastics equipment sector resurgent in 2010
Food Production Daily
There has been a "remarkable" jump in demand for German plastic manufacturing equipment this year, with the pace of recovery outstripping expectations from the sector, said a leading trade association. The VMDA, the body representing the German machinery and industrial equipment makers, said orders for the plastics and rubber industries had doubled between September 2009 and June 2010. In the first half of the year, orders from customers within Germany were up by 26 percent, while demand from abroad climbed by 117 percent. Orders from the Euro area showed an increase of 51 percent, said the association. More

Manufacturing shows growth in August
U.S. manufacturing expanded for the 13th consecutive month in August, the Institute of Supply Management said. Although new factory orders slowed, the trade group's Purchasing Manager's index rose from 55.5 to 56.3, a report released this month showed. Numbers above 50 indicate growth. As such, new orders expanded, but the index for new orders, at 53.1, showed a slower expansion than a month ago when that index read 53.5.More

TPE North American resin pricing, Aug. 23-27: PE, PP climb; PP up $0.11/lb from June lows
Plastics Today
Spot market activity in resin picked up once again after a couple weeks of relative inactivity. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), noted that while demand was good, many potential deals stalled when asking prices rose quickly in support of September price-increase initiatives. Average polyethylene (PE) prices were steady to $0.02/lb higher, with a variance seen amongst grades. For the second week running, polypropylene (PP) added $0.01/lb. Spot monomer markets were active, as ethylene gave back almost half of the previous week's gains, while spot propylene continued to trade at its recently high price levels.More

Whole Foods Market implements new sustainable packaging guidelines for all body care and supplement suppliers
Whole Foods Market announced it has implemented new responsible packaging guidelines for all of its more than 2,100 body care and supplement suppliers companywide and, to spearhead the change, has switched to post-consumer recycled (PCR) content bottles for several of its store-brand supplements and body care products.More

Strong turnout expected for plastics and rubber trade fair, K 2010
Packaging Digest
At K 2010, 18th International Trade Fair Plastics and Rubber, some 3,100 exhibitors from 57 countries will again present their latest developments for all sectors of the plastics and rubber industry on 1.7 million square feet of net exhibit space. About 60 percent of the space will be occupied by exhibitors from countries other than Germany. K 2010 will be held from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.More

Opinion: Plastics boost state economy
The Charleston Gazette
Can you imagine if everything we depend on in life that is made of plastic suddenly disappeared? Your cell phone, computer, medical device or even large parts of your car and home? Most likely, cherished items that you did not realize — or never thought about — that are made of plastic would be gone. As President of the West Virginia Polymer Alliance Zone, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the economic development of the plastic industry in West Virginia, I offer some food for thought on the importance of plastic in our daily life, as well as to the economy.More

Change is name of the game
Plastics News
The underlying economic conditions that have caused median compensation for CEOs at the largest U.S. corporations to dip more than 15 percent nearly the past two years — even as executive compensation in the plastics industry has remained steady and even risen slightly — are triggering a number of changes in how companies compensate their executive teams.More