SPE Industry Update
Oct. 2, 2013

Exporting the revolution: Shale gas goes global. Or does it?
By Lucy Wallwork
By now there are few who doubt the transformative impact of U.S.-produced unconventional resources on both the domestic and international markets. But there is little consensus on the odds of the so-called 'shale revolution' going global. Just as once a polarized world looked on during the years of the Cold War, unsure whether the communist revolution would be contained within the Soviet Union or fulfill Vladimir Lenin's dream and go global, so OPEC producers and Russia today look on anxiously to see where the unconventional boom is heading.More

Wheat-gluten biocomposite films reinforced with rice husk
SPE Plastics Research Online
Wheat gluten is a complex protein that has been investigated for its potential use in food and non-food applications such as food coatings, paints, adhesives, paper coatings, and cardboard or other biopackaging materials. Among these, plastic films are of special interest because they are so widely used. Because wheat gluten is a low-cost, renewable, and biodegradable resource, using it to make films offers an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based products.More

Warding off infection
Plastics Engineering
Being admitted to a hospital is stressful and traumatic enough as it is without the fear that you might contract a life-threatening infection once there. But HAIs — hospital-acquired infections or healthcare-associated infections — are a very real danger. However, plastics have been recruited to the hospital's front lines to battle these HAIs.More

SPE honors innovation
Plastics News
A see-through beverage cooler that fully displays cans and bottles netted two awards for Innovative Plastech Inc. of Batavia, Ill., at the SPE Thermoforming Division's annual parts competition. The Clearly Cooler ice bucket won first place in the roll-fed food packaging category and picked up the Judges Award at the SPE Thermoforming Conference in Atlanta. More

Reducing CO2 footprint with bio-plastics
Phys.Org
Plastics are among many U.S. industries that will benefit from development of shale-based natural gas, according to a new study from research and consulting leader IHS Inc.More

NanoMarkets release new report on medical polymer market
AZoM
According to a new report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets, the global medical polymer market will grow from $2.3 billion in 2013 to over $3.5 billion in 2018.More

Exporting the revolution: Shale gas goes global. Or does it?
By Lucy Wallwork
By now there are few who doubt the transformative impact of U.S.-produced unconventional resources on both the domestic and international markets. But there is little consensus on the odds of the so-called 'shale revolution' going global.More

Biopolymers industry hampered by production costs
Resource
Despite increasing consumer pressure for renewable materials and government legislation on the use of virgin plastics, the development of the biopolymer industry is being "held back" by variations in costs and product quality, analytics consultancy IHS has found. More

High-performance plastics protect athletes performing extreme sports
AZoM
Extreme sports athletes push themselves — and their equipment — to the limit. To help them prevent injuries and perform their best, competitors in motocross, rally cross, skateboarding, BMX biking and mountain biking depend on the constantly evolving safety gear made possible by a broad mix of tough, cushioning and high-performance plastics. More

EPA delays major report on safety of phthalates
Plastics Today
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is putting on hold a major review of phthalates typically used as flexibilizers in polyvinyl chloride and in other applications until a separate review on phthalates is completed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In 2011, the EPA began an alternates assessment program for phthalates and said that it intended to conduct a Design for the Environment and Green Chemistry alternatives assessment by 2012. More

Foam injection eliminates need for defect-hiding textured surfaces
K Channel
A new process for molding airbag covers promises a 30 percent reduction in the amount of material used, less distortion in finished parts, and easier designing for engineers. At K 2013, research institute Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT will showcase thermoplastic foam injection as a means to produce structural parts like airbag covers without the striations that can form during standard foam injection.More

Compostable plastics may help boost cities' food-waste programs
Plastics News
Composting food waste is the next step for cities hungry to reach recycling goals and reroute organic matter back to the soil instead of landfills and incinerators. Compostable plastics are making the job easier but there are challenges to overcome from manufacturers "greenwashing" products labels to composters determining what will break down in an appropriate time frame given the temperature and moisture of their facility.More

NanoBarrier targets improved bioplastics for food packaging
Food Production Daily
NanoBarrier is bidding to improve and modify bioplastics using nanotechnology to boost properties to compete with traditional oil-based plastics.More

Berry Plastics introduces fully recyclable to-go cup
Recylcing Today
Berry Plastics Group Inc. has introduced Versalite, a fully recyclable thermal management packaging solution, in the form of #5 polypropylene to-go cups.More

Cereplast reports progress with algae-derived bioplastics
Biomass Magazine
Cereplast Inc. has announced advancements in research and development to bring a sustainable and cost effective process to produce algae bioplastic resins to the market. Unlike other algae growers that use sugar as a source of carbon, Cereplast aims to produce bioplastics that use an ingredient-rich algae source, which has no effect on the food chain, explained Frederic Scheer, CEO of Cereplast. More