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Home   Membership   Technical Resources   Events   Technical Groups   Online Store Dec. 29, 2010
As 2010 comes to a close, SPE would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the SPE Industry Update, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume next Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.

Toyota creates new ecological plastic
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Oct. 20, 2010 issue: The automotive industry is constantly making efforts to create vehicles that are more eco-friendly. The public is used to receiving information about revolutionary new developments that offer significant changes. However, there are certain projects that might seem less important at first glance, but these shouldn't be overlooked as they too can contribute to sustainable motoring. This is the case with Toyota's new Ecological Plastic, a material that is ready to be used in the carmaker's future models. More

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Industry reacts to US healthcare plan
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March 31, 2010 issue: Many of the changes enacted in the contentious health care bill — and the companion reconciliation act that amended it, paving the way for President Barack Obama to sign the measure into law March 23 — won't go into effect until 2013 or 2014. But it is clear that the $940 billion reform package will increase costs for business, both directly and indirectly. And medical device manufacturers are slated for an extra hit financially because of the 2.3 percent excise tax scheduled to go into effect in 2013 that is projected to raise $20 billion over 10 years to help pay for some of the cost of the package. More

Molecular mimicry: Plastic, steel line up like kin
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Oct. 27, 2010 issue: Frank Bates didn't start out expecting to find a fundamental property of nature, but that's what he may have done. Bates is a chemical engineer and materials scientist at the University of Minnesota. He makes block copolymers — a kind of plastic. Copolymer means they're made from two different plastics, the end product having the best properties of both. "We had synthesized these molecules and wanted to know how they were organized down at the molecule scale," says Bates. More

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The unintended consequences of a plastic bag ban
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
July 7, 2010 issue: The Times' editorial board and others who support banning plastic bags are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Before the California Legislature makes any decision on this issue, let's carefully consider what the economic and scientific facts are. As the president of a plastic bag manufacturer in Los Angeles County, Peter Grande knows all about this issue. His company, Command Packaging, makes all sorts of plastic bags — reusable, recycled content and compostable. And they do it right there in the Los Angeles area. Simply put, the phrase "Ban the bag" is a sound bite, not a solution. It's a proposal that will make legislators feel good rather than do good. In fact, it will do much harm. More

L.A. County passes sweeping ban on plastic bags
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Nov. 24, 2010 issue: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted earlier this year to ban plastic grocery bags in areas of the county under its jurisdiction, endorsing a broadly worded measure that proponents hope could become a model for California. The ban, which goes beyond ordinances adopted in Malibu and San Francisco, most directly affects 1.1 million people who live outside the county's incorporated cities. But anyone shopping at stores in such areas would encounter the new rules. More

President Obama signs into law the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010
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Aug. 18, 2010 issue: U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 earlier this year at the White House. "I'm pleased today to sign into law a bill that will strengthen American manufacturing and American jobs," Obama said during the signing ceremony. "The Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 will create jobs, help American companies compete, and strengthen manufacturing as a key driver of our economic recovery." The legislation is intended to reduce costs for U.S. manufacturers. It will also help creating new jobs and cutting costs for businesses. It would reduce and suspend tariffs on certain materials U.S. companies must import to make their products. More

Study: PET bottles have less impact than glass, aluminum
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
April 14, 2010 issue: 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

Accurate Color. On Time. Every Time.

New materials are often used in consumer applications that demand an array of complex colors to match emerging trends. X-Rite offers measurement tools that allow manufacturers to precisely measure and communicate color in all forms and shapes of material along with software that permits quick recalibration as trends shift.

Algae-based bioplastics a fast-growing market
ICIS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
June 23, 2010 issue: When "plastics" and "the sea" are used in the same sentence, it is often to highlight the problem of pollution. In fact, a boat made of plastic bottles - the Plastiki - is currently travelling across the sea to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where plastic waste is alleged to accumulate. But an increasing number of researchers are looking to get plastics from the sea - not by fishing out discarded bottles, but by using marine life forms as a raw material to make polymers. More

Bio-plastics: Cashew nut computers?
The Independent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sept. 1, 2010 issue: A unique plastic made from cashew nut shells could be used in consumer electronics by 2013. Japanese company NEC Corporation has announced the development of a first-of-its kind biomass-based plastic — bio-plastic - produced using non-edible plant resources such as cashew nut shells. The plastic is durable enough to be used in electronic equipment and NEC expects that with continued research bio-plastic could be used in a range of electronic devices by 2014. More

Plastic bags into power?
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June 30, 2010 issue: Rather than languishing in landfills or littering roadsides, plastic bags could make their way into useful products like toner, lubricants or rechargeable cell phone or laptop batteries, if new research becomes commercialized. Plastic recycling is limited by the fact that different types of plastic cannot be mixed. The quality of the resulting recycled plastic may also be poor. "That's why recycling is not very successful," said study author Vilas Pol of Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill. More

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