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3968 8000 (30 Lines)

2015 • Plastics Plastics News News February 2015 7 3••November


Plastics News • November 2015 • 8


Contents

MCN/200/2015-2017 Volume 95

November 2015 No. 11

Chairman - Editorial Board Mr. Ravinder Kumar Aggarwal Hon. Editor Mr. Ajay Desai

IS H T N

I

. . . E SSU

I

15...... AIPMA At Work

Members Mr. A. E. Ladhaboy Dr. Y. B. Vasudeo Ms. Poorvi Desai

Seminar at Chennai Chapter PLASTIVISION ARABIA 2016 Industry Meet

Editorial Co-ordination: Padmesh Prabhune, Dhruv Communications, Mumbai, Tel No: 022 2868 5198 / 5049 Fax No : 022-28685495 email: dhruvpr@vsnl.net

25...... Company News 29...... Features Agricultural nets in India - Status & Potential

Published by Ms. Umaa Gupta on behalf of the owners, The All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association Plot No. A-52, Road No. 1, M.I.D.C., Andheri (E), Mumbai-400 093. Tel: 67778899 • Fax : 00-22-2821 6390 E-mail : office@aipma.net • Website : http://www.aipma.net

Global Packaging anticipated as the largest sector for recycled plastic

Printed by her at : Dhote Offset Technokrafts Pvt. Ltd., Goregaon (E), Mumbai-400 063.

Plastic-eating worms may offer a variety of solution

Annual Subscription Single issue

Rs. 1,000/Rs. 75/-

Views/Reports/Extracts etc. published in Plastics News are those of the authors and not necessarily of the Editor. Furthermore except for copies of formal AIPMA communications no other matter in this journal should be interpreted as views of The All India Plastics Mfgrs. Association. Office Bearers Mr. Ravinder Kumar Aggarwal Mr. Sanju Desai Mr. Jagat Killawala Mr. L. K. Singh Mr. Meela Jayadev Mr. Ashok Agarwal Mr. Haren Sanghavi

Global bioplastics production to rise Fakuma 2015 sees level visitor numbers STEER to help transform the industry with Jute Polymers

45 ...... International News 49...... Business News 54...... Product News 60...... Technology 63...... In the News

President Senior Vice President Vice President – Finance Vice President (North Zone) Vice President (South Zone) Vice President (East Zone) Vice President (West Zone)

9 • November 2015 • Plastics News


PlasticsNews News••April November Plastics 2015 •2015 4 • 10


11 • November 2015 • Plastics News


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Plastics News • November 2015 • 12


THE PRESIDENT SAYS

Skill Development is the need of the hour

S

kill development is a lifelong process. It’s a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realise and maximise their potential. Taking a leaf out the Prime Ministers Skill India campaign AIPMA is focusing on Skill Development. Through a policy driven approach AIPMA has taken initiatives to address the need of Skill Development Mission in line with Prime Minister’s pet project Skill India Campaign on occasion of the first ever World Youth Skills day and launched National Skill Development Mission unveiling of the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015. Most of us would agree to the fact that India has a huge work force and it is available to drive the nation. India’s population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 15–59 age group over the next decade. This mean there is a huge lot available to us and we need to overcome skill shortages. The Indian plastics industry is actually experiencing the dearth of skilled professionals. There is a huge gap that needs to be filled in. Most of employers are looking for the skills. These include basics Soft Skills’ like say communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team and the ability to learn. Also there are professional set of skills that needs to be upgraded on regular basis. Understanding the same AIPMA is scaling up skill training efforts to meet the demands of employers and drive economic growth of Plastic Industry by way of constant updating of training programs and syllabi through simplified training Videos on various subjects be it machinery, processing and so on. The initiatives are to ensure that the youth are exposed to the latest technology and industry environment. Not only this but we hope that both skill upgradation and development would help bridging the gap necessary to promote both apprenticeship and entrepreneurs. This is not only the need of the time but also the need to fulfill “Make in India” concept. AIPMA is driving various programs which include cluster development, easy financing, job fairs for employment, manpower training, entrepreneurship development, business trade fairs, to fulfill the expectations of Indian plastic industry. I am of the opinion that we need to take a sectoral approach i.e to impart training to workforce needed in Plastic Processing sector, thereby preparing the New Generation workforce equipped with latest technology. Team AIPMA is already aware of this huge challenge and is gearing up to establish a modern Skill development and a Design center at its AIPMA House. All this will happen and we are sure that Indian Plastic Industry will excel in days to come as one evolves over period of time. R. K. Aggarwal president@aipma.net

13 • November 2015 • Plastics News


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FROM THE EDITOR's PEN

Making the first move

T

echnological advance has its own merits. Similarly there is always the advantage of making the first move. We discuss both for this is quite interesting.

Radio frequency welding technology boosts efficiency We have been always talking about how technical advances are of great help not in minimizing efforts but also add up to the efficiency. Recently I have learnt about one of the packaging company in South Africa in its effort to consolidate costs and streamline efficiencies incorporated the RF technology and the results are to for everyone to see. Damax Sebenza Pack a division of Damax Plastics, specialising in the packaging and plastics market adopted Radio frequency welding technology to manufacture soft-crease clear boxes in-house. After installing a radio frequency (RF) welding machine it boasts a production capacity of 48 clear visual cartons per minute, and saving on overhead costs, while increasing productivity. It has become the only company in South Africa to manufacture softcrease clear boxes in-house for it’s a new clear carton technology for the country and no one else is making them. . Advantage first mover Plastic-eating worms discovered Research engineers in Stanford have found how common mealworms can safely biodegrade various types of plastic. According to the study 100 mealworms ate between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam in the lab (that is about the weight of a small pill – per day). The worms converted about half of the Styrofoam into carbon dioxide. Within 24 hours, they excreted the bulk of the remaining plastic as biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. The tiny worm, which is the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene, according to two companion studies co-authored by Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford. Together, they plan to study whether microorganisms within mealworms and other insects can biodegrade plastics such as polypropylene (used in products ranging from textiles to automotive components), microbeads (tiny bits used as exfoliants) and bioplastics (derived from renewable biomass sources such as corn or biogas methane). Most of us would agree to the fact that more research is needed to understand conditions favorable to Plastic degradation and the enzymes that break down polymers. Also this could help scientists engineer more powerful enzymes for plastic degradation, and guide manufacturers in the design of polymers that do not accumulate in the environment or in food chains. This has been a really good work that needs to be appreciated however mealworms can help with Plastic waste management. The fact remain we need to have effective recycling mechanisms for the betterment of the industry. As a matter of fact most of the world’s recyclers are meeting this week at The Plastics Recycling Show in Brussels. Perhaps what we can hope is that by understanding the mechanisms inside the mealworm's gut, scientists and engineers can create either new ways of degrading plastic waste or find new ways to produce plastic that can easily be biodegraded.

Hon.Editor Ajay Desai

15 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work

Plastics News • November 2015 • 16


Aipma at work

17 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work

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Aipma at work

Seminar at Chennai A seminar called “ISO 9001 & Quality Management and improving competitiveness of SMEs through International Labour Organisation’s – Global Initiatives was organised by the AIPMA South Zone on 29thOctober, 2015 at Chennai. The seminar began with the welcome address by Mr. N. K.Ramaswamy Vice Chairman of IPI- Chennai Chapter. Mr. S. Ranganathan made a presentation regarding the ISO-9001&Quality Management and elaborating various systems in Quality Management. Mr. N. K. Murali Coordinator, Score @ AIEMA briefed about SMEs through International Labour Organisation’s – Global initiative. Taking the discussion further Mr. Ramarethinam - Regional Senior Manager, AIPMA South, elaborated through power point presentation the aims and objectives of AIPMA, networking through Fairs and Exhibitions. Plastivision India, Plastivision Arabia, Plastic Parks, Plastics News Monthly magazine were duly highlighted.

Mr. T.G. Krishnan, delivered a lecture on Scores for Improving Competitiveness. The seminar was attended by more than 42 delegates with members from AIPMA, TAPMA and IPI Chennai Chapter. The seminar was concluded with Vote of Thanks by Mr. Mahadevan, Secretary IPI- Chennai Chapter.

Mr. Kailash Murarka – Chairman, Plastivision India 2017 received a memento of appreciation to participation as Silver Partner from Dr. N.C. Saha - Director, IIP.

19 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work

PLASTIVISION ARABIA 2016 Industry Meet

P

lastivision Arabia 2016 (PVA 2016) industry meet was organized by The All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) on 06.11.2015 at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. The industry meet was attended by over 100 plastic industries from Baddi, Nalagarh, Solan Belt. The regional media was also present to cover the discussions

From AIPMA Shri Er. R. K. Aggarwal – President, Shri Harshad Desai – Chairman Plastivision Arabia 2016 Delegation, Shri Manish Dedhia – Senior Managing Committee Member and Shri Deepak Ballani – Special Advisor attended the meet. Shri R. D. Dhiman – IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries, Government of Himachal Pradesh was the chief guest of the aforesaid meet. Mr. Shivaji Basu, General Manager, GAIL was the Guest of Honour and Key note speaker. The Chief Guest of the event could not attend the event due to urgent meeting convened by his Senior Officer in Secretarial Office of Himachal Pradesh, he deputed Mr. Rajesh Sharma, Member Secretary Industries, Government of Himachal Pradesh for the above event. Shri Er. R. K. Aggarwal, President, AIPMA welcomed the Honourable Guests as well as the Audience and elaborated activities of AIPMA on Plastic Processing Industry of India. He thanked all members present for extending great support and informed of PAN India presence of AIPMA.

presentation about GAIL and new technologies on latest trend in PE. He thanked Shri Manish Dedhia for inviting him for Plastivision Arabia-2016 industry meet. Shri Rajesh Sharma, Member Secretary Industries, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh addressed the gathering and gave information about schemes of Govt. of Himachal Pradesh. He special thanked President – AIPMA and Shri Deepak Ballani – Special Advisor for giving a good platform to show the strength of Government of Himachal Pradesh in PVA 2016. He appealed the audience to take part and visit PVA 2016 International Plastic, Printing and Packaging Exhibition and Conference to be held from 22nd to 25th February, 2016 at Expo Centre Sharjah, UAE. He said that Himachal Pradesh would be participating in this event as a State Partner. Shri Manish Dedhia briefed about Plastivision Arabia 2016 and gave a detailed presentation about the exhibition. Plastivision Arabia 2016 & Plastivision India 2017 promotional films were also screened. The brochures and membership forms were distributed. Few participants showed their interest to visit. Shri Harshad Desai – Chairman, PVA 2016 Delegation thanked the delegates who made this meet a grand success and invited all to join for the cocktail and dinner.

Shri Shivaji Basu, General Manager, GAIL made a

Er. R. K. Aggarwal – President, AIPMA felicitating Mr. Rajesh Sharma, Member Secretary Industries, Government of

Himachal Pradesh Er. R. K. Aggarwal – President, AIPMA welcoming the dignitaries on the dais

Plastics News • November 2015 • 20

Mr. Deepak Ballani – Special Advisor, AIPMA felicitating Mr. C. D Joshi – Zonal General Manager, GAIL

Lighting of Lamp by the dignitaries


21 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Aipma at work

Visit of Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa – CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah on 28th October, 2015 at AIPMA House Er. R. K .Aggarwal - President AIPMA and Mr. Harish Dharamsi – Chairman Plastivision Arabia 2016 along with Past President’s Dr. Asutosh Gor and Mr. Anadilal Oza welcoming Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa – CEO Expo Centre Sharjah, Mr. Sandeep Bolar – Manager Exhibitions. (From L To R): Team Plastivision Arabia 2016 : Mr. Kishore Sampat – Co- Chairman, Mr. Jayesh Rambhia - Chairman Advisory Board, Mr. Harshad Desai – Chairman Delegation, Mr. Manish Dedhia – Senior Managing Committee Member.

TEAM AIPMA with Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa – CEO Expo Centre Sharjah

QMS (ISO 9001:2008) implementation Training programme in progress at AIPMA House.

Mr. Siddhartha S. Roy – Technical Director & Lead Auditor, Quality Catalyst Pvt. Ltd. with AIPMA Staff during the training programme.

Plastics News • November 2015 • 22


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COMPANY NEWS

Dow plans to restructure participation in Kuwaiti Joint Ventures

Ampac renamed as ProAmpac

T

A

he Dow Chemical Company intends to restructure its participation in its group of Kuwaiti Joint Ventures with the objective of optimizing its investment and expanding its relationship with Greater EQUATE on the U.S. Gulf Coast. This announcement aligns with Dow’s prior stated commitments to optimize its investments in certain joint ventures.

The optimization is expected to occur in two phases. Under the first phase, EQUATE would acquire MEGlobal for a total equity consideration of US$3.2 bln. The transaction will result in Dow receiving US$1.5 bln in pre-tax proceeds. Following completion of this acquisition, which is expected to close by year-end 2015, Dow will retain a 42.5% ownership stake in MEGlobal through its ownership of Greater EQUATE. This acquisition is

also expected to drive efficiencies and cost savings due to existing synergies between MEGlobal and EQUATE. In the second phase, Dow and PIC have agreed that Dow will further reduce its overall ownership interest in Greater EQUATE. The target to complete this second phase of the transaction is mid-2016. In a related move, Dubai based MEGlobal, a world leader in the manufacture and marketing of monoethylene glycol and diethylene glycol (EG), will build an MEG plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast – enabling MEGlobal and its parent companies to enjoy growth in a highly strategic region of the world and drive significant expansion of MEGlobal’s geographic footprint and capacity. Final location of the asset is contingent upon pending incentives.

Mitsui Chemical shuts olefins conversion unit in Osaka

J

apanese petrochemical producer Mitsui Chemical has shut its Osaka olefins conversion unit (OCU) because of negative margins. The OCU has a capacity to produce 140,000 tpa of propylene. Mitsui Chemical has no plan to restart the unit for the rest of this year. Asian propylene prices have firmed up slightly to US$600/t CFR northeast Asia (NEA) after dipping to a seven-year low

at US$520/ton CFR NEA in late September, but they can hardly cover the minimum production costs for OCUs at US$750/ton. Earlier this month, another Japanese producer JX in early October took off line a 140,000 tpa OCU, while South Korea's YNCC also plans to shut a similar size OCU unit on 2 November. Another three South Korea-based OCUs are currently running at reduced rates of 50-60%.

mpac Holdings has a new name for the combined flexible packaging company .The new name has now been released “The ProAmpac name allows us to clearly reinforce our commitment to the flexible packaging industry while building on the momentum that our two merged companies provide,” said CEO Greg Tucker in a statement. “We can leverage the strengths of all our brand divisions, as well as our skilled teammates, for a greater global impact.” The newly merged company includes four divisions, Prolamina, Ampac, Tulsack and Business Deposits Plus, the company said. Wellspring Capital Management, a private investment firm based in New York, first acquired Prolamina about five years ago and purchased Ampac this summer.

Ampac brought 13 locations to the deal while Prolamina added three. Prolamina had locations in Neenah, Wisconsin; Westfield, Massachusetts, and Terrebonne, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. The Terrebonne site, the company said when announcing the name change 3 November, “will transition to the Ampac division, as its product offerings align with the adhesive laminated rollstock and pouching served by Ampac.” Ampac, has the bulk of its operations in the United States. Other sites are in Melbourn, England; Kirchberg, Switzerland; Eberdingen, Germany; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Chantrea District, Cambodia.

27 • November 2015 • Plastics News


COMPANY NEWS

CNOOC Ningbo to start catalytic cracker

C

hinese producer CNOOC Ningbo Daxie Petrochemical plans to start up a deep catalytic cracker (DCC) at Ningbo in April next year. Construction of the DCC, which processes 2.2mln tpa of residual fuel oil and vacuum gasoil, is nearing completion. It has a capacity to produce 420,000 tpa of propylene. The DCC is located within the Daxie development zone at Ningbo in east China's Zhejiang province.CNOOC Ningbo Daxie has not built any propylene downstream units and will need to sell its propylene to the market.

The company has built 300,000 tpa dry gas-based ethylbenzene plant and a derivative 280,000 t/ yr styrene monomer plant. The DCC and derivatives units are part of CNOOC Ningbo Daxie's integrated distillates utilization project with total investment of about 13bn yuan (US$2 bln). Construction begain in 2013. Its other petrochemical units include a 400,000 benzene/toluene/xylene plant and a 120,000 tpa MTBE unit. Daxie Petrochemical, which produces fuel oil and bituminous feedstock, has a 160,000 b/d crude distillation unit.

Mitsui launches its unit in shanghai

M

itsui Chemicals, Inc. has officially launched its new manufacturing and sales company for elastomeric olefin and adhesive compounds in China, Mitsui Chemicals Functional Composites (Shanghai) (MFS), with an opening ceremony on October 27th. Capacity at the plant is 11,000 tpa. MFS is strategically situated in Eastern China and targets the capture of China's rapidly growing automotive and packaging material markets.

This March the company commenced manufacture and sales of Milastomer, a thermoplastic elastomer used in automotive window seals and as interior material, and Admer, an adhesive polyolefin used in automotive fuel tanks and food packaging materials.Milastomer is thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) composed of EPDM compounded in a polypropylene (PP) matrix. It is

Plastics News • November 2015 • 28

highly flexible, resembling vulcanized rubber, and adapts well to various molding methods. With low density, Milastomer is light-weight with wide applications in the automotive industry and great expectations for its potential to improve fuel consumption. Further, as the material is easily recyclable, economic benefits from reuse of scrap material are reportedly high. Applications include automotive glass run channels, automobile interior materials, mudguards, sealing, and grips. Admer is an adhesive resin developed by Mitsui Chemicals using proprietary technology. A modified polyolefin with functional groups, Admer is designed to bond to a variety of polyolefins, ionomers, polyamides, gas barrier resin's such as ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), ceramics, glass, and metals.

Paradip likely to start in March 2016

I

ndian Oil Corporation is expected to start commercial operation at its new 300,000 bpd Paradip refinery around March 2016, according to reports from Reuters. When the refinery reaches full capacity, it could temporarily cut the refiner's dependence on gasoline imports. When the Paradip refinery hits full capacity, IOC would cut its gasoline imports but that would last a year or a year-and-a-half, after which it would have to rely on imports again as demand would outgrew its supplies IOC was not a regular gasoline importer until February this year. It has sought over 900,000 tonnes of gasoline for March to December delivery to various ports including Kochi and Paradip.

Mitsui-Celanese JV starts up

A

n equal joint venture of Mitsui & Co and Celanese Corp began production of methanol at a plant in Dallas, Texas, as scheduled, with an annual production capacity of 1.3 mln tons. The plant ranks as the largest US methanol production facility. The companies will evenly split the output of the site, sources have said. "This investment provides us with supply certainty for a critical raw material and allows the acetyl chain to gain the economic benefit of abundant low-cost US natural gas," Celanese CEO and chairman Mark Rohr said. The project was completed in 21 months.


COMPANY NEWS

Petronas to inject RM13,000 in three petrochem companies

N

ational oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is injecting three companies that are currently undertaking petrochemical works at its RM60 billion Refinery a n d Pe t r o c h e m i c a l I n t e g r a t e d Development (RAPID) project in Johor, into Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd for RM13,000. Following that, the chemical arm of Petronas will assume the assets and liabilities of the three companies, which amount to approximately US$110 mln .

PetChem, which is 64.35% owned by Petronas, is acquiring the units from Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Corporation Sdn Bhd (PRPC), a wholly owned unit of Petronas. “The payment for the paid up capital in the companies of RM13,000 is expected to be paid to PRPC on November 3, 2015, while the liabilities of the companies of US$110 million is expected to be settled by the respective companies before the end of the year,” said PetChem. The three companies — PRPC Glycols Sdn Bhd, PRPC Polymers Sdn Bhd and PRPC

Elastomers Sdn Bhd — are currently working on petrochemical projects with a future total investment cost of about US$3.9 bln (RM16.68 bln), with a combined total capacity of approximately 2.7 mln tpa. Following the acquisition, PetChem said the three companies will become its wholly-owned subsidiaries. However, the chemical products manufacturer said there may be a potential dilution to its equity in the project companies, based on current arrangements between PRPC and its existing partners — but did not elaborate. "The acquisition confers upon PetChem, the ownership of RAPID's petrochemicals projects consisting of the polymers, glycols and elastomers segments," it said. PetChem said the transaction does not have any effect on its issued and paid up share capital, nor its earnings or the net assets at the transaction date of November 3. "The maximum percentage ratio for the transaction is 1.8% at the transaction date.

Evonik expands production capacity at Changchun

G

erman specialty chemicals group Evonik has expanded its production capacity for polyetheretherketone (PEEK) at Changchun, China. The decision has been made in line with the growing demand for PEEK, especially the company's VESTAKEEP brand of PEEK polymers, used in several industry segments including oil and gas, aviation and automotive. As part of its expansion plan, the company is expected to introduce new products to its innovation portfolio. Evonik High Performance Polymers Business Line head Matthias Kottenhahn said: "The investment affirms our commitment to support our customers' growth over the long term as well as to continually expand our product portfolio." The company has more than 40 years of experience in the development and production of high-performance polymers.

Uflex to operationalise a septic packaging plant in Gujarat

I

ndia’s largest flexible packaging company UFlex Ltd has targetted an April 2017 start up of its aseptic packaging plant, at Sanand in Gujarat. The company, which already has manufacturing facilities at Noida, Jammu and Malanpur, will spend Rs 580 crores in the first phase and employ around 250 people. Uflex is

planning multi-phase expansion at the new site and estimates a total investment of about Rs 1500 crores in all the phases of the project. About 90% of the output from this factory will cater to the domestic demand. Starting with initial capacity of around 3.5 bln packs, the plant will finally produce up to seven billion packs

over time. Uflex is one of the major players in the flexible packaging industry world over with clients like P&G, PepsiCo, Tata Global, Mondelez, L’Oreal, Britannia, Haldiram, Amul, Ferro Rocher, Perfetti, GSK, Nestle, etc.

29 • November 2015 • Plastics News


COMPANY NEWS

Ineos to supply Shell and ExxonMobil with DuPont to merge its American shale gas business units

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NEOS Europe AG, ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe B.V. announced a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from US shale gas for the Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) at Mossmorran in Scotland, from mid 2017. The Fife plant will receive ethane from INEOS’ new import terminal in Grangemouth, Scotland. Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement supplies from North Sea natural gas fields. The agreement will also ensure the competitiveness of a major manufacturing facility in Scotland and help secure skilled jobs in the long run. FEP is owned and operated by ExxonMobil and Shell has 50% capacity rights. Ethane gas is a vital raw material needed to produce ethylene, which itself is used in the manufacture of a broad range of products across the UK and is exported to Europe and other world markets. Access to ethane from shale production will provide sufficient raw material to run UK steamcrackers to make ethylene at full operating rates. “This is a landmark agreement for everyone involved”, says Geir Tuft Business Director at INEOS O&P UK.“We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now seeing this advantage being shared across Scotland.” “Today’s agreement helps to secure additional feedstock for the Fife plant,” said

Plastics News • November 2015 • 30

Karen McKee, vice president of ExxonMobil’s global basic chemicals business. “This agreement gives FEP access to the new infrastructure developed by INEOS and in so doing brings US advantaged ethane to FEP. The agreement will help us to meet the long-term needs of our ethylene customers” said Elise Nowee, General Manager Base Chemicals Europe, Shell Chemicals. INEOS has committed £450 million to construct the new ethane import terminal at its Grangemouth facility. It represents the most significant investment in UK petrochemical manufacturing in recent times and is supported by both the UK and Scottish governments. An existing pipeline will transport the gas from Grangemouth to Fife. The Fife Ethylene Plant is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene facilities. The plant started production in 1985, and is one of only four natural gas-fed steam crackers in Europe. It was the first plant specifically designed to use natural gas liquids from the North Sea as feedstock. Alongside INEOS Grangemouth, it supplies manufacturing in Scotland, the rest of the UK and export markets with ethylene. It has an annual capacity of 830,000 tonnes of ethylene. Shell Chemicals has 50 percent capacity rights at the Fife Ethylene Plant.

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uPont is consolidating two of its plastics-related units into a single business. DuPont’s performance polymers unit is to be merged with packaging and industrial polymers, as of 1 January 2016. DuPont also plans to merge its protection and building innovations units. DuPont’s performance polymers unit includes nylon, acetal and polybutylene terephthalate resins, as well as thermoplastic elastomers and biopolymers. The packaging and industrial polymers unit includes polymer modifers and additives and specialty resins used in adhesives, barriers, sealants and peelable lidding as well as the DuPont Teijin Films business. “By bringing these business units together under common management structures, we are creating business of more significant scale to better serve our customers,” interim chairman and chief executive Edward Breen said.

CP shuts Texas plant Flooding from heavy rainfall shut down Chevron Phillips Chemical's entire Cedar Bayou, Texas, chemical plant yesterday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. All units at the site were shut down, including ethylene, normal alpha olefins, and polyethylene units. The restart process is expected to continue and will result in emissions of ethylene, benzene, propylene, propane, toluene, xylenes and other materials.


FEATURES

Agricultural nets in India - Status & Potential National Committee on Plasticulture Applications in Horticulture (NCPAH), Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, Delhi

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rowth of the Indian economy is significantly reliant on the success of the agriculture community. Traditional methods are limited in their ability to increase yields with the current constraints of restricted space and water supply. Agro textiles have proved to be an effective alternative that help to keep sufficient soil humidity & maintain the soil temperature to a desired level, protect crop from external elements such as pests, insects, hail etc, enhancing freshness in fruits and vegetables so as to have better productivity and shelf life. Agrotextiles based upon the areas of application could be for crop production in horticulture, floriculture and forestry, animal husbandry and aqua culture, agro engineering & packaging. In India Technical Textile sector is expected to reach Rs. 1,58,540 crore by 2016-17 from the market size of Rs. 70,151 crore in 2012-13. Despite of achieving high growth rate the per capita consumption of technical textiles in India is 1.7 per kg vis –a vis 10-12 kg in developed countries. Agro textiles may be woven, nonwoven & knitted fabric used for different type of nets.  Woven: nets are produced by using projectile weaving machines. The machines with weaving width of 540cm to 846cm are available for the production of agro textiles. The nets with a mesh width of 1.8 mm to 40mm can be produced.

 Knitted: Such nets are used in different sectors. These nets are produced in various constructions or lapping. Here, the construction or lapping is a way in which individual yarn systems are converted into fabrics.  Non-Woven: There are various techniques to produce Nonwoven fabrics as Needle-punched, Stitch-bonded, thermally bonded, Hydro entangled & Spun bonded. Mainly crop covers & mulch mats are manufactured using such techniques. Various types of Agro textile products are as under: 1. Shade Nets 2. Windshield Nets 3. Bird Protection Nets 4. Crop Covers 5. Root Ball Nets 6. Anti-Insect Meshes/Nets 7. Harvesting Nets

with specialized UV treatment having different shade percentages. These nets provide a partially controlled environment by primarily reducing light intensity and effective heat during day time to crops grown under it helping elongation of cultivation seasons & raising off-season crops. Shade nets are typically used in structures known as shade net houses which are frame structures made of materials such as GI pipes, angle iron, wood or bamboo which are then covered with shade nets to provide the aforesaid benefits Anti-Bird Nets Enormous fatalities are caused by birds in crops like gram, peas, grapes, guava, pomegranate etc. Bird protection nets are produced from Polypropylene or High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) mono filament yarn.

8. Mulch Mats/Ground Covers 9. Anti-Hail Nets 10.Woven Sacks/Bags 11. Leno Bags Shade Nets are nets made of Polyethylene or Polypropylene thread

These yarns are ultra violet (UV) stabilized and knitted into a durable mesh fabric & effective protection to seeds, crops and fruit against damage caused by birds and a variety of pests. Open-mesh net fabrics are used as a means of protecting fruit plantation. The special open structure repels

31 • November 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES birds, provides minimal shading and excellent air circulation - allowing plants to flourish, whilst avoiding the risk of dangerous mould developing on the fruit. Windshield Nets are designed for the protection of crops, small trees and plants from strong winds as well as wind-chill. They are UV stabilized in order to ensure durability and they are easy to install. There is loop line provision so that a beanpole can be used to hold the net towards the wind.

and vegetables frequently. Insect Nets are clear, woven polyethylene monofilament meshes that protect plants from insect attack without any insecticide Insect Nets can also be placed over the openings of greenhouses to prevent pollinating insects, such as bumblebees, from escaping. Mulch Mats/Ground Covers are used to suppress weed growth in horticulture applications resulting reduction in need for herbicides. Bio-

Root Ball Nets/Sapling Bags is extremely important for safe and speedy growing of young plants that root system is not damaged when they are dug up, transported or replanted. Normally root balls are wrapped in cloth, but elastic net tubes or Root Ball Nets are an alternative to this. When the plants are transplanted the

In cooler atmosphere, crop-covers are positioned over direct seeded rows to create a warmer, more humid micro environment to assist quick plant establishment of warm season crops.

Harvesting Nets are used to collect the fruits falling from a tree. This helps to keep the cost of cultivation low by eliminating additional labour associated with harvesting. Harvesting nets are predominantly grip structures which can be developed using warp knitting technology.

degradable types of mulch mats based on jute are also available. In India, straw, silage, sawdust, asphalt paper, mulch film, etc. is conventionally used for mulching. nets on the outside do not have to be removed since the roots can protrude through the nets. Sapling Bags are a variation of this product where instead of a net a woven or non-woven bag is used. Anti-Insect Nets Various insects like whitefly, thrips, aphids, etc. attack some ornamental plants

Plastics News • November 2015 • 32

Crop Covers are ultra-violet treated fabrics of polypropylene manufactured using the spun bond technique. The fabric is very tough, with a high degree of UV stabilization. The cover creates a micro-climate which gives protection against adverse weather conditions improving quality and yields as well as outstanding micro atmosphere for seed germination and seedling growth.

Anti-Hail Nets Hail protection fabrics help shield vines from the fruit


FEATURES Woven Sacks/Bags are considered to be the toughest packaging bags, widely used to pack materials for grain, milling and sugar industry, made up of PP. Additionally, these bags also find wide application in fodder industry, chemicals and fertilizers industry besides cement industry and other applications like sand, metal parts and concrete etc.

damage and defoliation associated with hail yet still let through plenty of sunlight. The lightweight netting is tough, rip resistant, and highly UV stabilized and has the additional benefit of protecting vines from wind and birds. The nets have been able to save crops from hail storms in the affected areas.

Leno Bags PP Leno bags are widely used for packing onions, potatoes, corn, cabbages, seafood and citrus products, etc. These bags are gaining popularity for easiness in carrying, storage and a quality look.

Case Studies Farm Area 1 ha

Crops

Technology

Tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, Shade Nets capsicum, chilli, knoll-khol, ridge gourd, cucumber and other vegetable seedlings

Benefit Capacity of 40 lakh seedlings per annum with a monthly profit > Rs 1,00,000

Shade net houses Tomato and Capsicum of 18 - 20 m2

Shade net, Anti insect Net

Increase in tomato yield by 67-83%

Shade net houses Tomato, Capsicum & Marigold of 18 - 20 m2

Shade Nets cum AntiInsect Nets

Longer cultivation season

Jute Mulch Mat

64% increase in productivity

1 ha

Curry Leaves

2.4 ha

Apple, plum

Increase in capsicum yield by 92-108%

Higher productivity by using 35% shade net Marigold flower weight increase of 51%.

97% decrease in weeds

Anti-hail net Less chilling loss

Government financial assistance under MIDH scheme in India Technology

Av unit cost (Rs/m2)

Financial assistance (%)

Area Ceiling (m2)

360 - 816

50

4000

Anti Bird nets

35

50

5000

Anti hail nets

35

50

5000

3.2 - 3.6

50

20000

Shade Net House

Plastic Mulching

Estimated Potential of Agricultural nets in India Considering an area of approx.72 lakh ha. under fruits and approx.1630 lakh ha. under vegetables an estimation is made which is given as below :- a. Anti-hail nets – 11520 MTA, b. Anti-Insect Nets – 68080 MTA, c. Windshield Nets – 3120 MTA, d. Bird Protection Nets - 4200 MTA, e. Harvesting Nets – 36877 MTA, f. Shade Nets – 372313 MTA, g. Crop Covers – 36675 MTA, h. Mulch Mats/Ground Covers – 106375 MTA, Thus from the above it is evident that agricultural nets in India holds immense potential for the polymer manufacturers/processors in times to come.

33 • November 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES

Global Packaging anticipated as the largest sector for recycled plastic The global industry for plastics has developed new markets and applications for recycled resins from both post-consumer and post-industrial sources, with PET being one of the leading manufactured recycled plastics.

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he global demand for plastic recycling has been rapidly growing over the past few years, where primary consumers of plastic packaging have started incorporating various recycled plastics in their products as part of the increasing focus towards recycling. Recycled plastics are materials which go under the process of recovering waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products, as per Persistence Market Research Pvt. Ltd. In some cases, these finished products tend to be different in form from their original state. These plastics are also recycled during the production of plastic goods such as polyethylene bags and films. A part of these plastics is then bought into the main production operation. This trend has been practiced since the past few decades which have led to the production of certain plastic products amongst the most efficient operations.

Moreover, the industry for recycled plastics has been on the rise as prices for two of the major recycled plastics high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) continue to hold significant value in the overall plastic industry. The global industry for plastics has developed new markets and applications for recycled resins

Plastics News • November 2015 • 34

from both post-consumer and postindustrial sources, with PET being one of the leading manufactured recycled plastics. Currently, the demand for recycled PET has been high and the market has been under supplied, with various manufacturers delaying expansion due to uncertainty of supply. In addition, the demand for these plastics has been highly prevalent with its growing application scope. Plastic containers are being used for recycled in various communities representing approximately multiple households. In developed economies such as the U.S., the demand for recycled plastics will continue to develop with the emergence of new market due to efficient segregation and reprocessing of high purity resins. Moreover, high prices for conventional plastics, environmental issues and improved quality of recycled plastics is also expected to contribute towards the growth of the market. In terms of application, packaging is anticipated to be the largest sector in the recycled plastics market. Consumers in North America are increasingly adapting the practice of collecting and separating discarded packages in order to make the product more disposable, and are also spending for a recycled item. The plastic recycling industry tends to speed up the rate of recycling as

a part of its commitment to provide solutions to the solid waste. In the overall recycling industry, more plastics are expected to get recycled than any other recycling material. Initially, recycled PET was majorly used in the carpet fiber industry in the U.S., and the early development of this business was focused in eastern U.S., where certain states adopted the first bottle deposit laws which led to the collection of post-consumer bottles. In emerging economies such as Asia Pacific, growing demand for post-consumer bottles has prevented the buildup of inventories which has reduced the pressure for the collection industry to develop western markets. While the market for recycled plastics has been soft over the past few years, flake prices of PET have been stable since 2013, with China dominating the industry, primarily on domestic front. New entrants are expected to have a two stage production facility due to several factors such as scarcity of recycled PET resins and maximizing profit potential. Avangard Innovative LP, B. Schoenberg & Co. Inc. Custom Polymers Inc., Delta Plastics of the South LLC, and Delta Plastics of the South LLC are some of the key manufacturers of recycled plastics present in the industry.


FEATURES

Global bioplastics production to rise European Bioplastics predicts that production capacity is set to increase by 360% to approximately 7.8 million tonnes in the next four years.

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he Global bioplastics production is all set to rise and would grow over 360 percents European Bioplastics, a trade group that represents the bioplastics industry, has predicted production capacity is set to increase by 360% to approximately 7.8 million tonnes in the next four years.

The findings, presented at the 10th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, have predicted that capacity is set to increase from around 1.7 million tonnes recorded in 2014. The data compiled in cooperation with the research institutes IfBB – the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, part of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany – and Germany’s nova-Institute found that biobased, non-biodegradable plastics, such as biobased PE and biobased PET, were set to be the main drivers of this growth. More than 60% of the bioplastics production capacity worldwide in 2014 was biobased, durable plastics. This share is predicted to increase to more than 80% by 2019. Production capacities of biodegradable plastics, such as PLA, PHA, and starch blends, are also predicted to grow steadily, nearly doubling from 0.7 million tonnes in 2014 to well over 1.2 million tonnes in 2019. European Bioplastics chairman François de Bie, said: “It seems that compostable plastics are moving from niche to mainstream and many

compostable plastics have found their true added value applications.”

Asia / India The study forecast that Asia will further expand its role as major production hub, with more than 80% of bioplastics to be produced in the region by 2019. Most of the investment in new bio-based polymer capacities will take place in Asia and South America because of better access to feedstock and favourable political frameworks. Asia has become a key region for bio-based polymers and their precursors. Some examples are current developments in Thailand (Purac, PTT), India (India Glycol Ltd.), Taiwan (Greencol Taiwan), China or Japan which include future or existing production of lactic Acid,lactide, Succinic Acid, 1,4-BDO, MEG PET and PHA The expanding global utilization of bio-ethanol for chemical building blocks has led to the establishment of large-scale production facilities for bio-based MEG in India and Taiwan and for bio-ethylene, precursor for eg PE,MEG but also EPDM in Brazil further most the biobased drop in market is developing fast in Asia, where many converters are SMEs and cannot afford important alterations to their existing processing equipment. Europe’s share will decrease from 20% to 14% and North America’s share from 15% to 13%, whereas Asia’s will increase from 52% to 55% and South America’s from

13% to 18%. It added that the European market for bioplastics is limited by the lack of economic and policy measures to allow for a larger scale-up of production capacities within Europe. François de Bie added: “Against this background, the implementation of a European policy framework that secures equal access to biobased resources, creates measures to facilitate market entry for biobased products, and accounts for the facilitating role of compostable plastics for efficient waste stream management, is of paramount importance. “We urge European Union legislators to consider and make efficient use of the immense environmental, economic growth and job creation potential of our industry in the forthcoming Circular Economy Package.”

Worldwide growth There is a huge growth expected and the production of bio-based polymers in the world will triple from 5.7 million tons in 2014 to nearly 17 million tons in 2020, according to nova-Institut GmbH. The third edition of the report, "Biobased Building Blocks and Polymers in the World - Capacities, Production and Applications: Status Quo and Trends Towards 2020", stated that there was a 10% growth rate from 2012 to 2013 and even 11% from 2013

35 • November 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES to 2014. In 2013, most of the polymers' production capacities increased and contributed to the observed 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2013. Polyamides (PA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) showed, with CAGR around 30%, the highest CAGR.

The production capacity for bio-based polymers boasts very impressive development and annual growth rates, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 10% in comparison to petrochemical polymers, which have a CAGR between 3-4%.

In 2014, only few polymers contributed to the 11% CAGR from 2013 to 2014. Only epoxies and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) enjoy a strong market growth. Epichlorohydrin, whose production capacity increased, is precursor of epoxies and is produced from biobased glycerin, a by-product from the biodiesel production.

The 5.7 million tons bio-based polymer production capacity represents approximately a 2% share of overall structural polymer production at 256 million tons in 2013. With an expected total polymer production of about 400 million tons in 2020, the bio-based share should increase from 2% in 2013 to more than 4% in 2020, meaning that bio-based production capacity will grow faster than overall production, according to nova-Institut.

The bio-based polymer turnover was about €11 billion worldwide in 2014 compared to €10 billion in 2013. However, the overall growth rate is expected to decrease in 2015 due to the low oil price and the low political support for bio-based polymers, reports nova-Institut.

The most dynamic development is foreseen for drop-in bio-based polymers, but this is closely followed by new bio-based polymers. Drop-in bio-based polymers are chemically identical to their petrochemical counterparts but at least partially derived from biomass. This group is

spearheaded by partly bio-based PET, largely due to the Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC) initiative launched by The Coca-Cola Company. The second most dynamic development is foreseen for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which, contrary to bio-based PET, are new polymers, but still have similar growth rates to those of bio-based PET. Polybutylene succinate (PBS) and polylactic acid (PLA) are showing impressive growth as well: their production capacities are expected to almost quadruple between 2014 and 2020, the report said. Most investment in new bio-based polymer capacities is expected to take place in Asia because of better access to feedstock and favorable political framework.Europe's share is projected to decrease from 15.4% to 4.9%, and North America's share is set to fall from 14% to 4.1%, whereas Asia's is predicted to increase from 58.1% to 80.6%. South America is likely to remain constant with a share between 10% and 12%.

Fakuma 2015 sees level visitor numbers

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ttendance figures from the organisers of the Fakuma 2015 exhibition in Friedrichshafen,

Germany, revealed the numbers virtually matched those of last year’s event. The event was held from 13 to 17 October 2015, as usual at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre on Lake Constance, and once again lived up to its reputation as a pulsating global centre for plastics processing! With exactly 1780 exhibitors from 38 countries and overall exhibition floor space amounting to 915,000 square feet, this year’s Fakuma was the

Plastics News • November 2015 • 36

global industry event in the non-K years – as has also been the case in the past – and attracted an impressive total of 45,721 expert visitors from 120 countries. According to data released by PE Schall, Fakuma was visited by 45,721 people from 120 countries, up marginally on the 45,689 visitors from 117 countries who attended the 2014 show. Fakuma 2015, organised between 13 to 17 October, featured 1,780 companies


FEATURES from 38 countries, compared with 1,772 exhibitors from 36 nations in 2014. Schall said in a statement that the exhibitors had been “very satisfied with the visitor numbers, praised the quantity and above all the quality of the meetings, and indicated that to a given degree the

high expectations have even been exceeded”. The company noted the growing international importance of the Fakuma fair, and highlighted forecasts for an economic upturn in Western European markets which “are demonstrating stronger than expected development, in particular in Spain, Portugal and Italy, as is also the case in the US.

“Whereas in South America and Eastern Europe (especially Russia) crucial declines are being registered and the booming growth rates in Southeast Asia are now a thing of the past”. Fakuma runs in years when the K Show does not run, and will next takes place on 17 to 21 October 2017.

STEER to help transform the industry with Jute Polymers

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engaluru-based STEER makes new advancement in jute compounds that can help in use of fiber in automobile parts (under-the hood), housing construction materials or even microwaveable cooking containers. The day is not far, when Jute will find its way into the production of under-the-hood automobile parts such as air intake manifold, radiator end-caps, fan & shroud etc. or even housing construction materials or even into the kitchens of every single household with microwavable cooking containers. Bengaluru-based STEER, creator of materials platform technology that effectively transforms and functionalises materials in the field of pharmaceuticals, plastics, food & nutraceuticals, biomaterials and bio refining, announced the development and availability of technology to process jute-filled polypropylene compounds (jute polymers), that will have the capability to replace minerals and fibers and help reduce product cost, density and carbon footprint, while improving product performance.

The popularisation of jute polymers is expected to help provide a major thrust to the Government’s Make in India campaign, by popularising new usage of jute in other sectors, thus stimulating industrial activity. Jute polymers are certain to greatly benefit the jute industry with its ability to transform the traditional use of jute for modern day products, thus, touching human lives. Nearly 75% of jute goods are used as packaging materials, burlap, gunny cloth (hessian), and sacks. Speaking about the advancement, Dr Babu Padmanabhan, Founder and Managing Director, STEER said, “Through years of constant innovation

and reinvention, scientists at STEER have now developed jute-filled polypropylene (PP) compounds, by incorporating up to 50 percent by weight of jute, utilising advanced co-rotating twin-screw platform technology with special patented fractional-lobe elements. The new material has formidable advantages – it is strong, flexible, and heatresistant, not to mention that it is also an economical, lighter and eco-friendly reinforcing agent for plastics.” It is well known that India is one of the largest producers of jute in the world and one of the major industries in West Bengal with 70 of the 94 composite jute mills based in the state, whereas another 3 mills

37 • November 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES are located in Orissa. According to government estimates, the jute industry provides direct employment to close to 0.37 million workers in organized mills and in diversified units including tertiary sector and allied activities and supports the livelihood of around 4.0 million farm families; this is in addition to the large number of people engaged in the trade of the natural fiber. Outlining the economic benefits which Jute polymers could provide, Dr Padmanabhan said, “There is a potential for a new sunrise industry to emerge, creating thousands of jobs, especially in jute rich resource states such as West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Jute polymers, if promoted aggressively by the Government and the industry, can have a ripple effect not only on the beleaguered jute sector, but the entire Indian economy by opening up a huge market opportunity for an industry that has historically been low on added value. If these Governments decide to play a pivotal role, they

can convert their resource strength to their economic benefits. Create an industry that today does not exist, grow it, empower the jute producers, enhance their quality of living, usher in a new industrial development fueled by its natural resources.” The use of jute as a raw material has been at the low end of the value chain of the agriculture produce pyramid, compared to products such as sugarcane, coconut, coffee and tea which have become highly commercialized commodities delivering huge monetary benefits to producers and value adders alike. According to estimates, as many as four million families in India are engaged in jute cultivation currently, producing 1.5 million tons of jute. These jute producers, especially small farmers, would be the biggest gainers because of market expansion triggered by jute polymers. The demand for jute would increase exponentially, triggering a cascading, beneficial effect on local rural economies of jute-producing

states. This is significant because the jute industry has been grappling with challenges such as the rapid onslaught of plastic bags as a jute substitute. Composite and Compounded materials from man-made fibres (i.e. glass fiber, carbon fiber etc.) are already available as products for consumer and industrial uses. Jute is one such natural fiber that can reduce the impact on the environment. It is available in abundance, strong and is increasingly being referred to as the“fiber of the future”. Jute filled PP composites are today being successfully used for various components and materials.. India is still largely an agrarian economy, which needs to generate massive employment in rural areas for a rapidly growing population. Technological breakthroughs such as jute-filled PP compounds show the way for economic development of the masses by marrying state-of-the-art technology and research with cash crops to create rural and industrial prosperity.

Plastic-eating worms may offer a variety of solution An ongoing study by Stanford engineers, in collaboration with researchers in China, shows that common mealworms can safely biodegrade various types of plastic. This can provide the much needed help in reducing waste

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lastic, long considered nonbiodegradable and one of the biggest contributors to global pollution, might have met its match: The small, brownish, squirmy mealworm. can live on a diet of Styrofoam and other types of plastic. Inside the mealworm's gut

Plastics News • November 2015 • 38

are microorganisms that are able to biodegrade polyethylene, a common form of plastic, according to new studies published in Environmental Science and Technology by co-authors Professor Jun Yang and his doctorate student Yu Yang of Beihang University, and Stanford University engineer WeiMin Wu.

Help reduce Plastic waste The Styrofoam-eating mealworms might help reduce plastic waste. "The findings are revolutionary. This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in environmental science in the past 10 years," Wu said that the findings


FEATURES

could help solve the plastic pollution problem affecting the world. The research documented 100 mealworms that consumed 34 to 39 milligrams of Styrofoam, which is about the weight of a pill, every day. Scientists also paid attention to the mealworms' overall health and saw larvae that ate a diet subsisting strictly of Styrofoam were as healthy as mealworms eating a normal diet of bran. Researchers found that mealworms transformed the plastic they ate into carbon dioxide, worm biomass and biodegradable waste. This waste seemed safe to use in soil for plants and even crops, the studies said. Being able to find insects that can safely degrade plastic is critical to potential pollution management because other insects such as cockroaches can also consume plastic, but they have not shown biodegradation, Wu said. Consider the plastic foam cup. Every year, Americans throw away 2.5 billion of them. And yet, that waste is just a fraction of the 33 million tons of plastic Americans discard every year. Less than 10 percent of that total gets recycled, and

the remainder presents challenges ranging from water contamination to animal poisoning. Enter the mighty mealworm. The tiny worm, which is the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene, according to two companion studies co-authored byWei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford. Microorganisms in the worms' guts biodegrade the plastic in the process – a surprising and hopeful finding. "Our findings have opened a new door to solve the global plastic pollution problem," Wu said. The papers, published in Environmental Science and Technology, are the first to provide detailed evidence of bacterial degradation of plastic in an animal's gut. Understanding how bacteria within mealworms carry out this feat could potentially enable new options for safe management of plastic waste. "There's a possibility of really important research coming out of bizarre places," said Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental

engineering who supervises plastics research by Wu and others at Stanford. "Sometimes, science surprises us. This is a shock."

The mechanism In the lab, 100 mealworms ate between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam – about the weight of a small pill per day. The worms converted about half of the Styrofoam into carbon dioxide, as they would with any food source. Within 24 hours, they excreted the bulk of the remaining plastic as biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. Mealworms fed a steady diet of Styrofoam were as healthy as those eating a normal diet, Wu said, and their waste appeared to be safe to use as soil for crops. Researchers, including Wu, have shown in earlier research that waxworms, the larvae of Indian mealmoths, have microorganisms in their guts that can biodegrade polyethylene, a plastic used in filmy products such as trash bags. The new research on mealworms is significant, however, because Styrofoam was thought to have been non-biodegradable and more problematic for the environment.

39 • November 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES Researchers led by Criddle, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, are collaborating on ongoing studies with the project leader and papers' lead author, Jun Yang of Beihang University in China, and other Chinese researchers. Together, they plan to study whether microorganisms within mealworms and other insects can biodegrade plastics such as polypropylene (used in products ranging from textiles to automotive components), microbeads (tiny bits used as exfoliants) and bioplastics (derived from renewable biomass sources such as corn or biogas methane). As part of a "cradle-to-cradle" approach, the researchers will explore the fate of these materials when consumed by small animals, which are, in turn, consumed by other animals.

Help reduce Marine waste Another area of research could involve searching for a marine equivalent of the mealworm to digest plastics, Criddle said. Plastic waste is a particular concern in the ocean, where it fouls habitat and kills countless seabirds, fish, turtles and other marine life.

More research is needed, however, to understand conditions favorable to plastic degradation and the enzymes that break down polymers. This, in turn, could help scientists engineer more powerful enzymes for plastic degradation, and guide manufacturers in the design of polymers that do not accumulate in the environment or in food chains. Criddle's plastics research was originally inspired by a 2004 project to evaluate the feasibility of biodegradable building materials. That investigation was funded by the Stanford Woods Institute's Environmental Venture Projects seed grant program. It led to the launch of a company that is developing economically competitive, nontoxic bioplastics.

Help reduce Pollution Here's the magic: An efficient gut "The most important part is understanding that the mealworm's gut is so efficient in degrading plastic," he said. "The bacteriais essential." When researchers fed mealworms antibiotics and then plastic, that plastic was not degraded. "The mealworm's gut environment is very important," he said. The hope is that

by understanding the mechanisms inside the mealworm's gut, scientists and engineers can create either new ways of degrading plastic waste or find new ways to produce plastic that can easily be biodegraded. Mealworms, which are the larvae form of the darkling beetle, are common insects that can be found in many pet stores in the United States. They also aren't the only insects to have plastic degrading properties. Waxworms, the larvae of Indian mealmoths, can chew, eat and digest the plastic that is used to make garbage bags. With new evidence of the mealworm's plastic-eating capabilities, scientists plan to study whether the microorganisms living inside the worm's gut can breakdown polypropylene, another form of plastic used to make things such as certain car parts, textiles and microbeads. With the United States producing about 33 million tons of plastic every year, with less than 10% being recycled, the humble mealworm could help offer a solution to the mounting waste created by people. But even if mealworms can help with plastic waste management, Wu said it's not a substitution for recycling. "We need to be better at recycling. We shouldn't waste plastic anywhere," he said.

Help Reduce Landfill Waste Mealworms could be the natural trash-disposers we need to battle the scourge of plastic polluting our planet. The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, is the first

Plastics News • November 2015 • 40


FEATURES to provide in-depth evidence for how these pudgy little bugs can survive munching on a diet of Styrofoam and other types of polystyrene plastic, which aggregate in landfills and were previously considered nonbiodegradable. ”There's a possibility of really important research coming out of bizarre places," said Craig Criddle, a Stanford professor who supervises plastics research, in a statement. "Sometimes, science surprises us. This is a shock.” For the study, the scientists fed 100 mealworms 3439 milligrams of Styrofoam – the equivalent of a small pill-sized dose of Styrofoam a day. With the assistance of gut microbes, the worms converted half of this plastic into carbon dioxide and then excreted the rest in the form of biodegradable droppings. But what took the scientists most by surprise was the worms’ follow-up health report: The Styrofoam-fed mealworms appear to be just as healthy as those fed a normal diet. In fact, their excreted waste seems to be safe enough to be used as soil for crops, although more research is needed to confirm this. The real breakthrough in this study is the discovery bug guts can break down what was believed to be a non-biodegradable product – especially one as ubiquitous and problematic for our environment as polystyrenes. If the researchers can pinpoint the exact microorganisms responsible for this incredible feat, they may be able to replicate the process and engineer more efficient and powerful digestive enzymes. As research engineer Wei-Min Wu from Stanford University said: "Our findings

have opened a new door to solve the global plastic pollution problem.”

Indian Perspective The quantum of plastic waste generation in 60 cities of the country is estimated to be over 15,342 tonnes per day while more than 6,000 tonnes remain uncollected and littered "As per a survey conducted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 60 cities of the country, the quantum of plastic waste generation is estimated to be 15,342.6 tonnes per day."The total plastic waste which is collected and recycled is estimated to be 9205 tonnes per day and 6137 tonnes remained uncollected and littered,"

Sixth of city's daily waste is plastic, paper and glass Mumbai generates 8,866 metric tonnes of waste every day, of which nearly 17% is non-biodegradable material like plastic, paper and glass. The data, accessed from a recent unreleased report of the civic body indicates that the city has not yet learnt its lessons despite the severe environmental impact of plastic witnessed especially during the 2005

deluge where it choked drains, creeks and ultimately the city. Even when the June 19 downpour this year crippled Mumbai, civic officials complained how plastic again had choked several water outlets. The BMC's yet-to-be-released Environment Status Report for 201415 shows 73% of total waste generated everyday is grains and vegetables. Plastic waste is particularly a great cause of concern for the civic body as there is no way of processing the same. Recently the civic body decided to offer a discount in property tax to housing societies which implement `zero garbage' scheme in their premises. With two (Deonar and Mulund) of three dumping grounds in Mumbai having reached their full capacity and the civic body facing stiff resistance from environmentalists and NGOs over the Kanjurmarg landfill, the BMC is keen to reduce the total quantum of waste the city generates. Dry waste vehicles go to each of the 24 administrative wards and the BMC recently uploaded details of dry waste collection dates, routes and timings

41 • November 2015 • Plastics News


FEATURES

for all wards on its website mcgm.gov .in. This dry waste is collected and sent to over 30 segregation centers operated by NGOs. But despite these measures, garbage generated from households is unregulated and most of the plastic reaches dumping grounds. According to official the country generates 62 million tonnes of waste annually which is expected to increase to 165 million tonnes by 2030 and 450 million tonnes by 2050and the fact remains that 68 per cent of waste and sewage is not treated in the country at present

Segregation and Recycling Ragpickers are one of the key players slogging in the city doing the spade work. There are around over one lakh of them, constituting men, women and children. Each of them collect over 50-100 kg of waste every day, reducing the load of government agencies by 1,5001,800 tonnes. The corporation finds it difficult to segregate waste and have roped in private players for this task. Now, rag pickers’ services will be recognised by the government which has decided to give national

Plastics News • November 2015 • 42

award for their contribution to keep India clean. According to officials there are adequate funds for waste management but it lacks scientific guidance to handle different kinds of waste. In a new study published in Science Journal, researchers have quantified the amount of plastic entering oceans from coastlines of 192 countries India is 12th in the list of top 20 countries notorious for disbursing the maximum amount of plastic waste into the high seas from their respective coastlines. China ranks first, followed by countries in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

People should be trained to recycle plastics Emerging challenges and threat posed to the environment due to plastic waste pollution, land filling, global warming necessitates effective management of plastic wastes to usable end products, such as disposable and durable items. Industries, consumers and municipal bodies should join hands and work

together to address the problems which arise due to indiscriminate littering and absence of proper system for disposal. Experts pointed out that a major portion of plastic produced each year is used to make disposable items of packaging or other shortlived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture. These two observations alone indicate that our current use of plastic is not sustainable. "Plastic is a versatile product and it has permeated every aspect of human life. A unique advantage of the product is its ability to be reprocessed and recycled quite easily," said CIPET chief manager (technical), Chennai, S Ilangovan. Pointing out that nearly 40% of plastic waste is being recycled in India, he said that it was one of the highest in the world. Stating that plastics cannot be got rid of, he said that people should learn how to deal with them. Talking about the usage of plastics, he said that it was 120 kg per head in the US, 35 kg in China and 9 kg in India. Underscoring the need for the right attitude towards plastics, he said that henceforth the slogan should be, 'Say no to plastic littering'. "People should be trained to recycle plastics," he said. There is an important lesson for everyone which we will have to learn fast. We can't go on dumping waste anywhere and everywhere and continue choking our drains and the rivers. The environmental impact is already severe and may be irreversible. Clean India mission does not mean we pick up our waste from streets and build mountains of waste. It means manage, segregate and dispose off waste.


Finolex Industries Ltd. (FIL) is India’s largest manufacturer of PVC Pipes & Fittings and the second largest PVC resin manufacturer. FIL is headquartered in Pune and operates through its state of the art manufacturing plants located in Pune, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Masar in Gujarat. It is the first Indian PVC–U Pipes manufacturer to be awarded the IS/ISO 9001:2008 certification. We have requirement of following positions at Pune, Ratnagiri & Masar (Gujarat) PVC pipe plants. Candidates are requested to indicate their preference of location. General Manager – Maintenance: - B.E.( Mech.) having around 15 to 20 years’ experience in Maintenance function. His primary responsibilities include ensuring highest machine uptime through effective preventive maintenance schedule and effective breakdown maintenance in all plants, Integrate best maintenance practices & Initiate improvements in order to reduce machine down time for the reliability of the plant and machines. Control and monitor overall maintenance spare part inventory. Manager – Quality: - CIPET Post Graduate Diploma/B.Tech (Polymer) having around 10 to 15 years’ experience in Quality function. He/ She will be responsible for defining, implementing, monitoring & improving plant & supplier quality. Will have to play a key role in strengthening Quality Systems. Candidate should have in-depth knowledge of extrusion/moulding processes, raw material testing, Supplier Rating, Product testing etc. Candidates who have handled the responsibility of M.R. / Lead Auditor of ISO 9001 Quality Systems will be preferred. Sr Engineer/Engineer-- Quality: - CIPET Post Graduate Diploma,/ B.Sc – Chemistry candidate having around 5 to 7 years’ experience in Quality function. He will be responsible to initiate & implement actions for measuring, monitoring & improving process capability, Review of online and final inspection. Candidate should have hands on experience in extrusion/moulding processes, raw material testing, problem solving techniques etc. Sr Engineer/Engineer—Production: - B.E.( Mech/Prod) candidate having around 5-7 years’ experience in production function. His primary responsibilities include in-depth knowledge of plastic extrusion /moulding process. Interested candidates are requested to send their detailed resume to vkp@finolexind.com mentioning clearly the post applied for.

For further details the candidates may contact General Manager-HR on 020-27408760/27408200 or send their resume at the following address:

FINOLEX INDUSTRIES LIMITED Address: D-1/10, M.I.D.C., Chinchwad, Pune – 411019.

Toll free: 1800 200 3466 | www.finolexwater.com 43 • November 2015 • Plastics News


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41 • April 2015 • Plastics News


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ukraine to drop polymer import duty

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k r a i n e ’s g o v e r n m e n t h a s announced that it plans to ease the cost of importing polymers to the country by abolishing the additional 5% import duty it imposed from the start of 2015. It intends to lift the temporary duty – imposed on foreign polymers and finished plastics products as part of measures to generate additional revenue in the face of Ukraine’s economic crisis – on 1 January 2016. The abolition of the extra duty, along with an additional 10% tariff imposed on food imports and 5% duty on a wide range of other goods, was announced in an October statement by Aivaras Abromavicius, Ukraine’s economic development and trade minister. It was subject to confirmation by the Cabinet of Ministers. Increased duties, lasting 12 months, were imposed “regardless of the country of origin of the goods and trade agreements concluded by Ukraine”. The additional tariffs were scheduled overall to generate around €835m for the cash-strapped U k r a i n i a n e x c h e q u e r. P l a s t i c s converters in the country are entirely

dependent on polymer imports and the government’s decision to ease the extra duty will help reduce the cost of procuring polymer feedstocks, as well as finished plastic products. Ukraine’s economy has shown some signs of recovery this year with the fall in industrial production slowing. In September, the drop off in output eased to 5.1% compared with the same month in 2014 against a 5.8% fall a month earlier, according to the state statistics service. In the period from January to September 2015, the country’s industrial production declined overall by 16.6%. The processing industries recorded output down by 16.3% against the worse-hit mining and quarrying sector where production was down by 18.7%, the service reported. But the government appears optimistic that the worst of the economic downturn could be over. In October, finance minister Natalia Yaresko was reported to have said Ukraine’s economy “has passed the bottom of the crisis” and “at this stage we can speak of a return to growth”.

Qatar investor to leave petrochemical project in southern Vietnam

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atar Petroleum International has announced its plan to withdraw from a US$3.77 bln petrochemical project as part of its restructuring plan. The group said it will leave the Long Son project in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, which is a joint venture

between itself, PetroVietnam and Thailand’s SCG. Local authorities approved the project in July 2008, with Qatar Petroleum owning a 25% stake. The investors met in September to discuss the transfer of the stake but they failed to reach an agreement.

Total sues engineering firm in US for project mismanagement

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otal Specialties USA is suing an engineering firm claiming that flawed and incomplete drawings led to delays and excessive costs in building Total's new US$5 million unit at its high density polyethylene plant in Pasadena, as per houstonchronicle. com. Total Specialties USA, a U.S. unit of French oil company Total, sued CDI Corp. in a Harris County state district court Wednesday afternoon for breach of contract and negligence in what Total says is project mismanagement. Many of the drawings were never completed or were drawn improperly, the lawsuit alleges.

The existing Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA plant in Pasadena has a capacity of 900 million lbs of polyethylene per year. Polyethylene is used in numerous plastic products. Total initially planned to complete the project last October. But it ended up months behind schedule and has incurred unnecessary costs, including replaced and reworked steel, piping, valves, air coolers, compressors and electrical systems, the plaintiff alleges. When delays surfaced, Total and CDI devised a revised schedule. But Total says that CDI never met the deadlines it promised. Total alleges that CDI mismanaged the project by having "no perceivable internal procedures, no perceivable project controls, and no unified software system."

47 • November 2015 • Plastics News


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Saudi producers report weaker financial results for Q3

StyrolutionBraskem breaks jv

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audi Arabian petrochemical producers have announced weak financial results for the third quarter of 2015. Producers have either seen their profits plunge or recorded losses in the past several months as low crude oil prices slashed their margins SABIC’s net profit declined by 9.4% on a quarterly basis to SAR5.6 billion ($1.49 billion) in the July-September period. The company’s reduced profit was attributed to lower product sales prices, although SABIC’s profits still beat analysts’ forecasts calling for a profit of SAR4.36 billion owing to cost-cutting, according to a survey conducted by Reuters. The Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab), a subsidiary of SABIC, also reported weaker financial results for the third quarter due to lower average sales prices for all products. Yansab’s net profit slumped 56.4% year on year to 301.7 million riyals (US$80.5 million).

Tasnee (National Industrialization Co) posted net losses for a second consecutive quarter. The company reported a net loss of 296.3 million riyals (US$79 million) in the third quarter compared with the same period of 2014. The company cited lower sales prices and reduced sales volumes as the main reason behind their financial loss. Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals, an affiliate of SABIC, also posted a net loss of 13.8 million riyals (US$3.7 million) in the third quarter after recording a net profit of 66.9 million riyals (US$17.8 million) in the same period of 2014. The company’s quarterly loss was led by reduced production and sales volumes as well as lower sales prices. In contrast, Sahara Petrochemical’s third-quarter earnings soared 608% as their financial results for the previous year were hit by an unplanned shutdown at one of their plants.

BASF opens new TDI plant in Germany

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ASF officially inaugurated the new toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant at its Ludwigshafen site.The plant has an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons of TDI. Total investment, including precursors, is over €1 billion.Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, said, The knowledge contributed to this project by BASF employees from around the world and the outstanding integration into our BASF Verbund make this plant one of the most modern and competitive

Plastics News • November 2015 • 48

facilities in the world. This enables us to serve our customers in Europe even better." The TDI complex comprises plant components that produce dinitrotoluene (DNT), toluylendiamine (TDA) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate). Furthermore, the project involved the updating and expansion of production facilities for key precursors in the Verbund. In addition, BASF made investments in the infrastructure that supplies steam, electricity and water.

tyrolution, the global leader in styrenics, and Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in America and a global leader in biopolymers, announced today their mutual agreement to suspend all project activities related to a future joint venture in Brazil. The decision was driven by Styrolution and was a result of the current adverse market conditions and uncertain market outlook. In October 2013, both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to investigate the potential formation of a joint venture to build and operate an ABS plant in Brazil. The proposed 100,000 ton plant was intended to supply specialty styrenics, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymers, to customers in Brazil and throughout South America. In the meantime, the market and business environment in South America and in specifically Brazil deteriorated significantly as compared to 2013. This opportunity could be revisited once market dynamics and future demand outlook have sustainably turned favorable again. With a population of over 200 million the Brazilian market still remains attractive in the mid and long-term once the current economic downturn is overcome and the joint venture’s key target industries, such as household appliance and automotive industries return to the previous significant growth rates.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

German plastics industry renews attack on electricity bill surcharges

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he trade body representing German plastics processors has repeated its complaint about continuing increases in electricity costs due to the government’s energy policy U-turn.The move to phase out nuclear power generation in Germany followed the accident at the nuclear power station in Fukushima, Japan, following the tsumani of 2011. The Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie (GKV) said continuing increases in surcharges on electricity bills under the EEG renewable energy law, to subsidise and further encourage power generation from renewable sources, continued to place an unacceptable burden on medium and smaller sized companies. The GKV described the situation as a “killer factor in international competitiveness”. It has been the predicted increase in surcharges from €0.0617 (£0.045) per kWh in 2015 to €0.0639 (£0.047) in 2016 that has triggered off the complaint, with GKV pointing out that 95% of companies in Germany do not qualify for any relief.

The same applies to households, with an average German household consuming 3,500 kWh/year paying an extra €270 (£197) per year simply to finance the change in the energy policy. GKV is working together with five other industry associations representing 10,000 companies and more than a million employees in metal casting, ceramics, textiles and fashion, potassium and salt and steel and metal processing. In a joint statement, the groups called for alternative financing to support continuing expansion of power generation from renewable sources. They suggested support should come in future from the central government’s budget, instead of electricity bill surcharges. Aside from surcharges for solar and wind energy development subsidies, there are now surcharges to cover subsidies for central power-andheat plants (CHP) and for keeping high CO2-emitting brown coal plants in reserve to cover periods when renewable energy does not suffice to fulfill demand.

Shell reports flooding at Texas Shell Oil Co has reported flooding Saturday afternoon in the chemical plant of its Deer Park, Texas, refining and petrochemical complex as storms dumped over 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain on the area, as per Reuters. A source familiar with operations at the 316,600 bpd joint-venture Deer

Park Refinery knew of no problems at the refinery due to the flooding. In a message on a system to inform nearby residents of malfunctions within the complex, Shell said the flooding created "an unauthorized discharge due to an oil-sheen carryover at one of the facility's stormwater outfalls."

Repak suggests plastic recycling for electricity

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epak, Ireland’s industry-funded body tasked with promoting packaging recycling, has said the number of plastic bottles put into landfill sites every year would stretch around the country 2,000 times. The not-for-profit company said the nation’s plastic packaging would generate enough electricity for 86,000 homes. Around 169,000 tonnes of this waste was generated every year in Ireland, amounting to 37kg per person. Repak found while plastics make up a third of household waste, just 36% of the material was recycled. Repak chief Seamus Clancy said: “We aim to build on Ireland’s excellent record of packaging recycling and plastic is a key part of that equation. We want to get Irish people to up the ante with plastic recycling. “A lot of plastic packaging waste is generated outside the kitchen and we want to remind people to ensure they’re recycling all they can rather than a high percentage.” A poll carried out for the recycling scheme found one in three Irish people believed it was socially unacceptable to just dump waste.

And three in four would confront a relative who put the wrong item in the green bin.More than half those surveyed felt those who contaminated their green bin should be penalised. This survey was carried out for the 15th Repak Recycle Week.

49 • November 2015 • Plastics News


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

NYC appeals foam ban ruling

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ew York City has appealed a judge’s ruling that stopped a ban on expanded polystyrene food containers from taking effect. Supreme Court Judge Margaret Chan had decided in September that the sanitation commissioner hadn’t demonstrated that containers made of expanded polystyrene could not be cost-efficiently recycled. But she gave the commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, another chance to do so, which apparently was

strongly considered by de Blasio administration officials because they took more than a month to file an appeal. A Law Department spokesman said: “This law protects eight million city residents from environmental harms and its implementation should not be delayed.” The plastic-foam industry maintains that their products could be collected with plastic and metal recycling, separated by sorting equipment, washed, baled with rigid plastic and melted into reusable pellets. Sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia said: “We disagree with the ruling, and we are asking a

Plastics News • November 2015 • 50

higher court to review the decision regarding the ban on expanded polystyrene. “These products cause real environmental harm and we need to be able to prevent nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from entering our landfills, streets, and waterways. Expanded polystyrene is not recyclable, and we strongly believe that it must be eliminated from the waste stream." Randy Mastro, who represents the plaintiffs trying to stave off the ban, said: “It comes as no surprise that the city would seek to appeal a judge's decision overturning its soft foam food-service item ban as 'arbitrary and capricious,' but we fully expect the city's latest gambit to fail as well. As the trial court recognized, the only rational decision here is for the city to recycle 100 percent of all polystyrene foam products." Mastro, a former deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration, said the industry's proposed program would recycle all of the city's polystyrene foam waste and generate revenue for the city. Polystyrene comes in several forms; expanded polystyrene is what people colloquially call Styrofoam, while other forms of polystyrene are used in rigid plastics that the city does collect in its curbside recycling program. Not all of the rigid plastics collected are recyclable, though, and neither are some of the products used in lieu of plastic-foam containers. However, environmentalists say the alternatives have less impact on the environment both in the manufacturing and postconsumer stages.

US microbead ban moves forward

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House committee this week moved forward on a bill that would ban the manufacture or sale of personal care products containing plastic microbeads in the United States.

The bill (HR 1321) would ban the U.S. manufacture of products with microbeads starting July 1, 2017, and the sale of products containing the plastic pieces, imported or domestic, as of July 1, 2019. It also would define “microbead” as “any solid plastic particle that is less than 5 millimeters in size.” The measure now moves on to the full House; a Senate version introduced by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) has stalled out in committee action, but the House bill could conceivably be taken up in the other chamber before the end of the session. The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), applies to any non-prescription, rinse-off cosmetic product. Pallone said while he is not usually a fan of federal laws that pre-empt state or local decisions, he was convinced after the committee’s May hearing that a national law was necessary — and that he intentionally crafted a bill that would be more aggressive than any state law passed so far. While the non-controversial, bipartisan bill has inched through Congress since spring, states and counties have been taking matters into their own hands.


Business NEWS

HPCL, GAIL mulls setting up a petrochem plant in Andhra Pradesh

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tate-owned refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and gas utility GAIL India Ltd are looking at jointly setting up a multi-billion dollar petrochemical plant in Andhra Pradesh. According to report from the Times of India, HPCL, GAIL are exploring the possibility of a petrochem project after their plans to team up with France's Total, Lakshmi N Mittal Group and Oil India Ltd (OIL) for a 15 million tons a year refinery-cum-petrochemical plant at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh fell through. "That project fell as partners pulled out one after the other due to weak global

demand," a top official said. "Now, HPCL and GAIL are looking at setting up a petrochemical plant at the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) sites identified by the state government" GAIL, the official said, is taking a lead in doing the feasibility studies as well as site selections. Cost, capacity and equity structure of the project will be decided after the studies are completed. GAIL is taking a lead in the project as it has expertise in building and operating a gas-based petrochemical plant.

Blend Colours records 140 crores

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lend Colours, India manufacturer of masterbatches and additives, has recorded a turnover of 140 crores in FY 14-15 with a growth rate of 20%. Blend Colours has successfully implemented its expansion plan and has commissioned a new facility for filler and white masterbatches with a capacity of 9000 MTPA at its unit III. In totality, the total production capacity of Blend Colours has now touched 24000 MTPA. The customers can now enjoy a whole new range / grades of masterbatches – filler and white. ‘The first of its kind automated feeding systems, will allow us to set new quality and productivity standards and empower us to further our presence in the local and global markets,’ emphasises

Sharad Rathi, Director, Blend Colours Pvt. Ltd. With the state-of-art R&D and well drawn out processes for stringent quality control, the company continues to make giant strides in the regulated markets of food and pharmaceutical with its range of products that comply to US, European and domestic regulatory standards. Exports itself contribute a healthy 20% to the company turnover. With the requisite R&D facilities, the company has now made a foray into the PET fibre business. Further, Blend Colours now strategies to embark on a vertical penetration programme, wherein it would explore newer and niche applications within its current markets by offering value-added solutions.

Orion to acquire stake from Evonik and DEG JV

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rion Engineered Carbons S.A. and Evonik Industries AG (Evonik) have signed an agreements where Orion will acquire Evonik’s 52% percent stake as well as Deutsche Investitionsund Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH’s (DEG) 15% stake in Qingdao Evonik Chemical Co., Ltd. (QECC). QECC is a joint venture established by Evonik, DEG and Jiaozhou Finance Investment Center (JFIC) in 1994 based in Qingdao (Shandong Province), China. It has production capacity of approximately 75,000 metric tons of Carbon Black per annum. The plant is equipped with three production lines and its main manufacturing focus is on high-end Carbon Black products. Through its proximity to key customers, connection to one of China’s largest ports and modern transportation infrastructure, the Qingdao facility is an excellent logistics base for participation in future market growth. Orion will initially step into the established joint venture in place of Evonik and DEG, but OEC and JFIC are in advanced talks regarding the transfer of JFIC shares to Orion in accordance with regulations governing Chinese state-owned enterprises. The agreement is subject to Chinese government review and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.

51 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Business NEWS

Reliance Industries Q2 net profit rises BASF's sales drop 12.5% to Rs 6,720 crore, 5% y-o-y basis

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nergy giant Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) reported a 12.5% jump in consolidated net profit for the fiscal second quarter (Q2).

The company posted a net profit of Rs.6,720 crore in the three months ended 30 September, up from Rs.5,972 crore in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 33.8% to Rs.75,117 crore from Rs.1.134 trillion a year ago. RIL, gross refining margin (GRM)—the difference between the per barrel cost of crude oil and the value of products distilled from it— moved to $10.6 in the quarter, a 27% jump over the year-ago period’s $8.3. It was slightly higher than the GRM of $10.4 per barrel it earned in the April-June period and exceeded analysts’ estimates that the margin would come in around $9 per barrel for the September quarter. GRM is the

most important determinant of RIL’s profitability as it reflects the margins earned in its core business of crude oil refining, which accounts for 66% of its overall profit and 70% of overall revenue. Refiners also benefited from lower prices of crude oil, with the price of benchmark Brent crude averaging about half of what it did a year ago in the September quarter. RIL’s stand-alone net profit, which excludes contribution from the company’s US shale oil and gas business and domestic organized retail operations, rose by 14.26% during the quarter.Consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda)—an indicator of operating profitability—for the quarter was Rs.10,724 crore—an increase of 9.2% from the Rs.9,818 crore posted in the same period a year ago.

Solvay's registers Q3 profits, net sales up 5% to €2.71bn

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elgian chemicals group Solvay reported a better than expected third-quarter underlying core profit, boosted by strong sales of specialty polymers to electronics manufacturers and a weaker euro, as per Reuters. Recurring earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (REBITDA) rose 14% to 524 million euros (US$572.78 mln), ahead of the average market forecast of 490 million euros given in a Reuters poll of seven analysts. Solvay said sales of specialty polymers to smart

Plastics News • November 2015 • 52

device manufacturers nearly doubled compared with the same period last year, while sales volumes to automotive clients also increased. The group said its Advanced Formulations unit, which makes products for oil and gas drilling as well as chemicals used in the food industry, saw a drop in quarterly profits due to the downturn in activity in the North American oil and gas industry.Solvay has reported group net sales up 5% year-on-year to €2.71bn (£1.95bn) in the third quarter of 2015.

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erman chemicals giant BASF has issued a profits warning after sales in the third quarter of 2015 dipped 5% year-on-year. Due to “a weaker than expected market environment”, BASF recorded sales of €17.4bn. The firm said it expected a further decrease in sales and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). Earnings before interest, tax earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by €358m to €2.9bn. In contrast, income from operations (EBIT) before special items declined by €171m to €1.6bn. In the chemicals segment, EBIT before special items rose slightly, while it increased sharply in the functional materials and solutions sector. The firm said that in the remaining sectors, “earnings declined significantly”. Agricultural solutions dropped by 27%. BASF added that the “subdued economy, oil price decline and asset swap with Gazprom” will impact sales and earnings in the fourth quarter.The number of employees working at BASF as of September 30 dropped to 112,981 from 113,351, 12 months previously. Earlier this month, BASF underlined its commitment to its headquarters in Ludwigshafen by agreeing a new five-year deal at the site.BASF also announced that it would spend at least €6bn on investments, upgrading and maintenance measures in Ludwigshafen for that five-year period.


Business NEWS

Ineos in deal to supply Shell and ExxonMobil B o r e a l i s p o s t s with American shale gas €257m net profit

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NEOS Europe AG, ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe B.V. announced a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from US shale gas for the Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) at Mossmorran in Scotland, from mid 2017. The Fife plant will receive ethane from INEOS’ new import terminal in Grangemouth, Scotland. Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement supplies from North Sea natural gas fields. The agreement will also ensure the competitiveness of a major manufacturing facility in Scotland and help secure skilled jobs in the long run. FEP is owned and operated by ExxonMobil and Shell has 50% capacity rights. Ethane gas is a vital raw material needed to produce ethylene, which itself is used in the manufacture of a broad range of products across the UK and is exported to Europe and other world markets. Access to ethane from shale production will provide sufficient raw material to run UK steamcrackers to make ethylene at full operating rates. “This is a landmark agreement for everyone involved”, says Geir Tuft Business Director at INEOS O&P UK.“We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now seeing this advantage being shared across

Scotland.” “Today’s agreement helps to secure additional feedstock for the Fife plant,” said Karen McKee, vice president of ExxonMobil’s global basic chemicals business. “This agreement gives FEP access to the new infrastructure developed by INEOS and in so doing brings US advantaged ethane to FEP. The agreement will help us to meet the long-term needs of our ethylene customers” said Elise Nowee, General Manager Base Chemicals Europe, Shell Chemicals. INEOS has committed £450 million to construct the new ethane import terminal at its Grangemouth facility. It represents the most significant investment in UK petrochemical manufacturing in recent times and is supported by both the UK and Scottish governments. An existing pipeline will transport the gas from Grangemouth to Fife. The Fife Ethylene Plant is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene facilities. The plant started production in 1985, and is one of only four natural gas-fed steam crackers in Europe. It was the first plant specifically designed to use natural gas liquids from the North Sea as feedstock. Alongside INEOS Grangemouth, it supplies manufacturing in Scotland, the rest of the UK and export markets with ethylene. It has an annual capacity of 830,000 tonnes of ethylene. Shell Chemicals has 50 percent capacity rights at the Fife Ethylene Plant.

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orealis, the Austria-based chemicals, polyolefins and polyolefins group, has announced third quarter net profits of €257m, up nearly 39% year-on-year, on sales of €1.87bn. The group’s chief executive Mark Garrett said that while he expected the final three months of Borealis’ financial year to be “softer” after strong performances in the second and third quarters, “we’re still heading for a record year in terms of net profit”. Garrett said the latest trading performance reflected continuing firm margins across the polyolefin industry, which had begun to return to normal as the European supply situation eased and after what for Borealis had been a highly profitable second quarter, when it posted net profits of €351m.

Samsung to sell petrochem stake The Samsung group will sell its stakes in petrochemical affiliates to the Lotte group, in a deal, worth an estimated 3 trillion South Korean won ($2.66 billion), exiting the industry to focus on mainstay businesses such as electronics and finance. Under the deal, Lotte Chemical Corp., a petrochemical company controlled by Korean-Japanese conglomerate Lotte, will acquire a 90% stake in Samsung SDi Co.'s chemical business, a 31.5% stake in Samsung Fine Chemicals Co. and a 49% in Samsung BP Chemicals Co. The deal will allow Lotte Chemical to boost its revenue by more than 30%

53 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Business NEWS

Lanxess expects high earnings

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arlier than expected returns from its business realignment have prompted Lanxess to raise its earnings forecast for 2015. Guidance for fullyear earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation, pre-exceptionals, has been tweaked up to €860m-€900m, compared to a previous forecast of €840-€880m. In the third quarter, group sales at Lanxess fell 4.3% year-on-year to €1.953bn, due to selling price adjustments in connection with lower raw material costs. But group EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by 11.9% to €235m, mainly due to the strong US dollar and savings from the realignment programme. Lanxess said: “Sales in the Performance Polymers segment declined yearon-year by 6.6% from €1.045bn to €976m. Despite the persistently difficult competitive environment, slightly higher volumes, favourable currency effects and savings from the realignment program led to a year-onyear improvement of the operating result. EBITDA pre exceptionals for the segment advanced by a

substantial 35.5% to €126m. Despite “subdued” global economic growth and uncertainty in emerging markets, Lanxess CEO Matthias Zachert said: “We have once again picked up the pace of our realignment. This is already having an impact on our operating result and our guidance for the year.” Zachert linked the gains, in part, to improved administrative and business structures. The company, he said, is already set to cut annual costs by €150m following the first phase of the realignment by the end of 2015, one year earlier than expected. Another €150m per year in savings is expected from a previously announced shake-out of Lanxess’ global plant network under a second phase of the realignment, to be completed by 2019. Additional savings are expected from a global analysis of the company’s plants and processes, to be completed in 2016. These savings include around €100m per year from process improvements and efficiencies in terms of energy and raw materials consumption and maintenance.

Williams inks agreement North American Polypropylene to purchase 450,000 TPA

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illiams has signed an agreement with privately held North American Polypropylene (NAPP). NAPP is an affiliate of Goradia Capital, a private equity global developer of projects and marketer of petrochemical products.

In the agreement, NAPP will purchase 450,000 tpa of propylene on a 25-

Plastics News • November 2015 • 54

year term firm fee for service basis for the production of homopolymer polypropylene, a recyclable plastic used widely in many consumer and industrial products. NAPP’s project will be based on UNIPOL™ polypropylene technology and will be co-located on the same site as Williams’ PDH unit.

Dow, Corning discussing change in ownership

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ow Chemical and materials producer Corning said they were in ongoing discussions regarding the ownership of Dow Corning, the 72-year-old joint venture between the firms that focuses on silicone- and silicon-based technology. During a conference call with media and analysts to discuss its quarterly financial results, Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive, called Dow Corning a “tremendous asset” focusing on specialty materials and chemicals. “Dow and Corning are in discussions around a potential transaction involving Corning’s ownership in Dow Corning,” Liveris said. “We will have more to say about this in the nottoo-distant future.” The discussions, however, only will lead to a deal if it makes sense for both partners, he said, noting that Dow has been very public about its plans to bring joint ventures onto its balance sheet or off. “We anticipate if something happens here [with Dow Corning], it will only be because it’s value accretive,” Liveris said. A Corning spokesman said in response to questions that Corning and Dow Chemical “have had a 72-year history of an extremely successful partnership through the Dow Corning Corp. “We are in discussions with Dow Chemical about the future ownership structure of the world’s leading silicone and polysilicon business, Dow Corning,” he said. “If a new ownership structure is determined, we will announce it at the appropriate time.”


Business NEWS

Milacron to acquire CanGen

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ilacron, a leading US industrial technology company serving the plastics processing industry, has agreed to acquire CanGen, a supplier of engineered aftermarket process control components for extrusion and injection moulding applications.

CanGen is made up of subsidiaries Canterbury Engineering Company and Genca, which together make around $20m (£13.2m) in sales.Milacron said the acquisition will enhance its aftermarket capabilities including a broadened product offering into downstream tooling, proprietary rights to more than 185,000 unique designs and drawings and a regional centre for parts and service in the south-east US region.Milacron chief executive Tom Goeke said: “CanGen fits perfectly with our core growth strategy of accelerating lifecycle sales through consumable products and aftermarket service. This acquisition brings a complementary product portfolio and customer

base to Milacron, further building upon our fully integrated customerdriven solutions. Additionally, CanGen provides an entry into the extrusion market for rubber products, which opens up a new set of customers for Milacron’s existing product range.”The consumables product market served by Canterbury and Genca includes screws and barrels, tooling and cross-heads, and other machined metal components.CanGen chief executive Paul Cusolito said: “The combination offers a great opportunity for CanGen and its employees to serve a significantly larger customer base while obtaining access to the extensive resources available at Milacron. We look forward to working with the Milacron team to continue building upon our available product offerings and value-add to our customers. This is a great fit for the future of our business and our employees.” The transaction is expected to complete by the end of 2015.

Samsung to sell stake in petrochemical operations to Lotte

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he Samsung group will sell its stakes in petrochemical affiliates to the Lotte group, in a deal, worth an estimated 3 trillion South Korean won ($2.66 billion), exiting the industry to focus on mainstay businesses such as electronics and finance. Under the deal announced Friday, Lotte Chemical Corp., a petrochemical company controlled by Korean-Japanese conglomerate Lotte, will acquire a 90% stake in Samsung SDi Co.'s chemical business,

a 31.5% stake in Samsung Fine Chemicals Co. and a 49% in Samsung BP Chemicals Co.The deal will allow Lotte Chemical to boost its revenue by more than 30% to 20 trillion won (US$17.51 bln). The acquisition of Samsung's assets will give it access to high-value-added materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and electronic component materials for chipmaking. Samsung has been racing to restructure its businesses amid slowing growth.

Inoac to pay $2.35 million

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apanese auto interior supplier Inoac Corp. agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices and rigging bids on parts sold to Toyota Motor Corp. between 2004 and 2012, the U.S. Justice Department said. Nagoya, Japan-based Inoac will pay a $2.35 million criminal fine as part of the agreement. Inoac is the latest company to be charged in the Justice Department’s ongoing, industry-wide investigation into price fixing by auto suppliers. Thirty-eight companies and 58 executives have been charged in the investigation, which has led to $2.6 billion in criminal fines, the department said in a statement.“Inoac corrupted the competitive process by agreeing with its competitors to fix the prices of certain automotive parts installed in Toyota cars sold in the United States,” Brent Snyder, deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said in the statement. The supplier was charged with a felony for conspiring with its competitors “from as early as June 2004 until at least September 2012” to fix prices and rig bids on plastic interior trim parts including console boxes, glove boxes and assist grips. “Inoac takes this matter with the utmost seriousness and it has enhanced its existing compliance program to include additional instructions to our employees and additional structures for compliance and monitoring. The charge was filed in U.S. District Court.

55 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Product NEWS

ExxonMobil introduces Exceed 0019XC Jindal introduces Extrusion coating and lamination film technologies grade ndia-based Jindal, which acquired

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new grade for extrusion coating and lamination applications creates innovation opportunities and value for converters and brand owners in a range of applications including drink cartons, lamitubes and flexible packaging. ExxonMobil is extending its portfolio of Exceed™ metallocene polyethylene (mPE) resins with the introduction of a new globally available grade, Exceed 0019XC, for extrusion coating and lamination applications.

When processed alone or in a blend with autoclave linear density polyethylene (LDPE), Exceed 0019XC offers a combination of attributes that deliver overall package sealing performance. This includes a wide sealing range and broad hot tack window. Through careful resin design, optimum sealing performance is achieved without compromising overall processability and extrusion, while the grade also delivers a lower coefficient of friction (COF) than competitive grades. Sealing solutions provided by this new grade can optimize package integrity to help reduce package leakage and increase package fill rates. “The

Plastics News • November 2015 • 56

packaging market continues to drive towards convenience and on-the-go solutions. This new grade allows converters to customize a solution: a blend or coextrusion layer to meet the required packaging attributes, while remaining easy to process on high-speed coextrusion and lamination lines,” said Brad Kramer, market development, ExxonMobil. Through collaboration with converters, Exceed 0019XC has been found to be effective when used in combination with a tie layer that offers adhesion to a base substrate, such as foil/ ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) in drink cartons or lamitubes, to deliver a new solution for performance packaging. This grade also produces a tougher coating than LDPE, particularly on paper or raffia substrates. "The value chain is looking for ways to minimize material usage, either through downgauging or optimizing production steps. This product provides customer value and opportunities to simplify a solution or potentially reduce external purchases through coextrusion coating,” said Kramer

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ExxonMobil’s oriented polypropylene (OPP) business in 2013, showcased three of its developments at the Fachpack exhibition in Nürenberg, Germany, in September. Bicor 50SUP490 is an OPP film for stand up pouch (SUP) applications which Jindal claims offers exceptional clarity, ease of tear propagation and stiffness with strong seal strength compared to conventional blown or cast polyolefin sealants. It can be used in laminations on pre-made or form-fill-seal (FFS) SUP machines. For horizontal form fill seal (HFFS) packaging, the company demonstrated its range of Metallyte metallised barrier and sealant films. Metallyte MM398 is intended for use in laminations, while Metallyte MM688 and MM648 are intended for use as an unsupported monoweb. Metallyte 30MM688 (clear) and 40MM648 (white) films are metallised, surface printable monoweb OPP films with a broad sealing range and wide operating window for high and variable speed HFFS applications. Metallyte 28 MH 388-ES, a multi-layer, cavitated, white metallised OPP film with an enhanced heat sealable layer which provides high seal strength. This new high barrier metallised film has a moisture and gas barrier for use in laminations with paper, PET or OPP outer webs. Jindal also introduced new family members to its Oppalyte brand of white, uncoated, opaque OPP films, which celebrated 30 years on the market in 2014: Oppalyte MH347 and MD347. The company claims its Oppalyte 20MD347 is the thinnest white, cavitated BOPP film currently available.


Product NEWS

Polyone introduces biobased reinforced composites reSound

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ew bold color and extrusion options within the reSound™ Natural Fiber Reinforced Composites have been unveiled by Polyone at Fakuma. Introduced this year in March, reSound NF composites feature an engineered natural fiber reinforcement. Compared to other natural fiber reinforced solutions, reSound NF materials offer mechanical property improvements of more than 20% for tensile and flexural properties, 10°C to 20°C higher heat deflection temperature, and an increase of more than 50% in impact strength. Independent testing has shown that reSound

NF formulations offer equivalent performance to short glass fiber reinforced alternatives, at a 5-10% lower density. While the automotive industry has responded well to reSound NF, which was introduced earlier this year, we have seen significant interest in these strong, lightweight solutions from manufacturers in consumer and other industries,” said Holger Kronimus, VP Europe and general manager, PolyOne Specialty Engineered Materials. “The new color and extrusion options have been developed to offer nonautomotive customers the flexibility and aesthetics they need while

maintaining performance and ease of processing.” New reSound NF color options include beige, copper, terra cotta, green, blue and black hues. These colors were developed in collaboration with PolyOne’s InVisiOSM Color Inspirations 2016 color collections. In addition to these creative hues, reSound NF is now available in formulations that have been tested and proven for profile extrusion, expanding its use to potential extrusion applications in building and construction, sports and leisure, and furniture manufacturing.

ZAMBELLO Single-Screw Extruder Gearbox Growing Market in India The ZPE series for single-screw extruders places Zambello at highest level in the world as to the transmissible torque as referred to weight and dimension of the gearbox. The series of this range are very complete and go from the smallest gearbox of size 90 (for extruders with 25 to 30mm screw diameter) up to gearboxes of size 630 (for big extruders with 300 to 400 mm screw diameter).

designing and manufacturing of toothed gears, which are completely Built and tested at the Zambello factory, and also of the components which are supplied by the most important European manufacturers. Due to the politics of the constant extension of the spare parts stock, Zambello is able to ensure best punctuality as regards delivery times. The ZPE range offers 3 different series:

The high level of this range regards ZPE1 for high revolutions (reduction ratio from i=2 to i=6.3) ZPE2 for medium revolutions (reduction ratio from i=6.3 to i=28) ZPE3 for medium and low revolutions (reduction ratio from i=6.3 to i=125). Examples of application: Rubber (tyres, seals, profiles ) Blow-film (shopper bags and films, foils

for farming) Blowing of hollow bodies (bottles, cans, reservoirs) Cast film for thermoforming (foodstuff bowls) Cable coating (electric cables, optical fiber cables) Pipes, hoses and profile les for civil buildings Recycling of plastics Foodstuff packages (pasta, croquettes) Textiles and chemical fibers Chemical products ZAMINDIA MANISH SANANDIYA / CEO Mobile: +91 9925835500 E-mail: msanandiya@zambelloindia.com

C/602, Riddhi Tower, Nr. Lotus School, Jodhpur Gam Road, Jodhpur, Satellite, Ahmedabad –380015 Gujarat. India

57 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Product NEWS

HEXPOL introduces Dryflex Green

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range of TPE compounds based on raw materials from renewable resources were launched at Fakuma by the HEXPOL TPE group (which brings together the ELASTO and Müller Kunststoffe businesses). The range, which is called Dryflex Green, is a family of thermoplastic elastomer compounds based on raw materials from renewable resources such as plant and vegetable crops. These compounds display mechanical and physical properties comparable to TPE from fossil based raw materials. They offer flexibility and tensile properties with a soft-touch feel. They can be processed using traditional polymer technologies such as injection moulding and extrusion. These compounds give adhesion to biobased polymers, such as PE, for 2K and multi-component applications. They are also fully recyclable and can be easily coloured. The range includes several series with amounts of renewable content to over 70% (ASTM D 6866) with hardnesses from

50 to 80 Shore A. Klas Dannäs, Global R&D coordinator for HEXPOL TPE commented, “We are excited to introduce low hardness TPE products with such high levels of renewable content to the market. We are seeing increasing demands for the polymer industry to look at how we can work with biobased materials and bring new opportunities for sustainability. Our R&D teams are constantly engineering new polymer combinations and we have been working closely with suppliers to develop sustainable and ethical alternatives to fossil-based raw materials.” Dannäs concluded “Dryflex Green TPE compounds could open up sustainability options in the consumer, automotive, packaging, medical and construction markets. Our global teams will work with our customers and supply partners to further test the possibilities of our Dryflex Green TPE compounds, as we continue to engineer progressive solutions to meet new and emerging market demands”.

New high-performance biocompatible polymer for spinal implants

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n innovative high-performance polymer for spinal fusion implants, PEEK-OPTIMA® HA Enhanced, which enables early and direct bone apposition, has now passed biocompatibility testing in China. This paves the way for approval by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and local legal compliance, as confirmed in the Regulatory Affairs (RA) clearance process. In Europe and the USA, medical device manufacturers are already offering a new generation of implants based on this superior material. PEEK-OPTIMA HA Enhanced

Plastics News • November 2015 • 58

is available from Invibio Biomaterial Solutions ("Invibio"), a Victrex Plc company, the world leading provider of proven PEEK-based biomaterial solutions. This Enhanced polymer is an implantable material that uniquely combines two clinically-proven advanced biomaterials for enhanced bone apposition: PEEK-OPTIMA, the principal PEEK-based biomaterial from Invibio that has over 15 years of proven history in clinical use, and hydroxyapatite (HA), a well-known and proven osteoconductive material.

Elix Polymers develop natural fiber-ABS composite

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LIX Polymers has introduced a new generation of natural fiber-reinforced acrylonitrilebutadiene-styrene (ABS) resin. ELIX ECO ABS-NF thermoplastic is said to be highly suited for injection molding applications and specific extrusion processes, delivering a high aesthetical value to the final ABS-NF molded parts. Market applications include automotive and furniture markets. ELIX ECO ABS-NF can be processed without having to modify machines and reportedly offer a number of key benefits. These include high stiffness, heat resistance, low molding shrinkage ratios, low emissions and weight reduction when compared to glass fiberreinforced ABS. For example, ELIX ECO ABS-NF has a density of 1.12 compared to 1.15 for ABSGF. The material has been also tested for 3D printing technology with impressive results, both in terms of processability and aesthetics. The development of ELIX Natural Fibre Reinforced ABS was undertaken under the auspices of the EEA and Norway Grants. This was the first time that a European ABS producer was given a European Grant for a project to investigate new sustainable ABS materials and composites.


Product NEWS

Coperion launches new automatic strand conveyance system Coperion Pelletizing Technology GmbH, Offenbach, has developed an automatic strand conveyance system (ASC) of the kind required by compounding systems for pelletizing at extremely high throughput rates.

Designed to work in conjunction with Coperion's two large strand pelletizers, the SP 500 HD (working width 500 mm) and the SP700 HD (700 mm), this new conveyance system is likewise available in two sizes: the ASC 500 for throughput rates of up to 3.5 tonnes/hour (depending on the product) and the ASC 700 for up to 5 tonnes/hour. The conveyance system automatically guides the extruded strands via a cooling water chute and downstream conveyor belt into the feed mechanism of the pelletizer. A likewise automatic startup mechanism facilitates the start-up operation, while any possible machine malfunctions caused by broken strands are avoided by the system's ability to rethread the strands. Compared to other processes, strand pelletizing

ensures an extremely gentle treatment of the product, as it operates with much lower pressures. Other convincing advantages are the negligible complexity of the system and the low rate of wear. These advantages combined with its relatively low operating costs make strand pelletizing an obvious preference for the compounder. The new SK92 die head has been developed specially for high throughput rates. Homogeneous heating/cooling ensures completely uniform extrusion of the strands across the entire width of the extrusion die. The die head is distinguished by its optimum rheology and efficient heat transfer, making for maximum possible throughput while ensuring gentle handling of the product. This feature ideally complements the increased throughput capabilities of the ZSK Mc18 extruder series. The ASC automatic strand conveyance system is modular, permitting flexible and rapid adaptation to the actual processing task. If, for example, the extruded material is such that it requires more intensive cooling, the strands – after being cooled in the water chute – can be additionally spray-cooled with cold water on the downstream perforated conveyor. The spray bars used for this purpose can be turned on and off individually and can be readily exchanged during regular

maintenance operations. Freely positionable suction stations in the conveyor system generate powerful streams of air that free the strands from adhering water. This postcooling facility may, if required, be readily converted to an intensive cooling section. A strand drying unit in the last section of the conveyor system ensures that residual moisture is absolutely negligible when the strands are fed into the pelletizer. Coperion's new automatic strand conveyance system may be used for a broad spectrum of materials. It is equipped as standard with a vertical adjustment permitting different points of strand placement on the water chute depending on the material being processed. An integrated strand monitoring device helps to maintain high takeoff speeds in conjunction with a high number of strands and hence high throughput rates in fully automatic

operation. Combination with a Coperion extruder permits direct integration of the strand conveyance control into the control system of the extruder, thus affording yet a further reduction in operating effort.

59 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Product NEWS

Bio-based PE film for label applications

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wo bio-based polyethylene label films that are the first self-adhesive PE filmic labels with a face stock that includes more than 80% renewable content and offer brand owners the opportunity to meet their target on renewable resources in packaging, while continuing to benefit from the functionality and performance of a regular polyethylene label; has been introduced by Avery Dennison.

The bio-based PE self-adhesive laminates are available in a white and a clear version. The resin used for the new bio-based PE films is made from Bonsucro® Certified Sugar Cane, which follows rigorous social and environmental monitoring prior to certification. Both new products offer performance and recyclability comparable to standard PE85 resin. With the proper precautions and preparation, these films act as drop-in

replacements, meaning converters can substitute conventional PE for a biobased PE label film without investing in new machinery. By using biomass to create a PE label film which contains more than 80% bio based resin, brand owners can reduce their dependency on fossil based packaging materials. The introduction of the bio based film is Avery Dennison’s response to their growing interest in using bio-based packaging materials. Thanks to close collaboration between various members across the value chain, it has been possible to bring these bio-based PE label films to market. Avery Dennison worked with global resin producer Braskem and Belgium converter Desmedt Labels to prototype and test the bio-based PE label at the Belgium facilities of Ecover, manufacturer of ecologically sound cleaning products.

Anti-counterfeit closure TIVA 2

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IVA 2, a non-refillable closure with a tamper evidence ring, has been developed for the spirits market by UCP, a Global Closure Systems business based in Scotland.

The ring, which is built into the top part of the body, breaks off if forced removal from the bottle is attempted, which GCS says leaves permanent evidence that is immediately visible by end use consumers. “It is an ingenious design that reduces cost by using a lightweight method to transport the fitment inside the cap during transit until it reaches the capping head,” said GCS. TIVA 2’s sealing capability comes from the patented UCP Flange

Plastics News • November 2015 • 60

design. The flange carries the valve in the shell and creates the seal on the glass after application, which provides a “seamless changeover” between TIVA 2 and a standard aluminium closure, according to GCS.TIVA 2 uses the same controlled bore specification as used for the current TIVA products, GF908 glass finishes, which is one of the most common industry standards. It can be applied to a very wide range of bottle types at speeds of up to 600 bpm.The production line for TIVA 2 has been designed to use a complex high speed camera validation and alignment system to ensure maximum precision and repeatability at each critical step of the production process, said GCS.

New Wheaton containers combine glass and plastic Wheaton Industries has begun offering technology to make components with a plastic exterior and glass interior. “This breakthrough will allow us to provide products that have the best of both worlds: the lightweight, break-resistant properties of plastic with the barrier qualities and inert inner surface of pure glass,” explains Wheaton President and CEO Wayne Brinster. The Millville, N.J., company envisions a wide range of applications for the technology in specialty packaging for pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, clinical science and research products. Wheaton says it has 125 years of experience in providing sp e ci a lt y gla ss a n d pla st i c containers and closures. A pure glass interior could eliminate compounds in a container that might contaminate the contents. The interior also would feature less vapor transmission and higher resistance to solvents. Meanwhile, the plastic exterior protects the glass from cracking and breakage. Wheaton said tooling for producing the hybrid containers is being built and the company expects to start delivering the containers before the end of 2015.


Product NEWS

Ferro Machinery Ferro Machinery Manufacturers Pvt Ltd is Ahmedabad based domestic manufacturing unit of Vishva exim pvt ltd (A 100% Export Company) which has decade of experience in plastic processing machinery, promoted & lead by Uday shah as plastic industry expert whose knowledge & consulting helped processing units in Gujarat to utilize global technologies around the world since last 2 decade Products at Glance: - Range Of Bag Makers Courier Bag Machine | Multipurpose Side Seal Machine | 25mm Bag Side Seal Machine 1200 / 1400mm Side Seal Machine |Flying Knife Bottom Seal Machine (1 mtr to 1.4mtr) Double Decker Bottom Seal Machine Look What Our Customer Has To Say About Us:

F e r r o ’s s a l e s n e t w o r k i s w e l l complimented by the service support dedicated to the customer satisfaction for the bag making. So company has expanded its sales & service operation geographically to all over india & primary the Bangalore & Tamil nadu. Now many new gems included in to the ferro’s product line one of this is E-Commerce Bag making machine, EXHIBITION PARTICIPATION You may have seen Ferro machinery at Plastaindia 15 at Gandhinagar as Vishva Exim Pvt Ltd with highspeed bag making machines, than in continuation with our commitment towards the south market we participated IPLEX 15, at Bangalore, now after years of experience & with

thought to provide better solution to E-Commerce bag making you can see us at PLASH SHOW VAPI 15 & PLEXPO 16 at Gandhinagar. VISIT US AT PLAST SHOW VAPI 15 PLEXPO 16, AT GANDHINAGAR HALL NO 4 STALL NO 23

Dave Technical Service developes Mini Injection moulding machine models

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ave Technical Service have developed Mini Injection moulding machine models for production of small components. The company has developed an Injection machine which can process both FIXED and HAND moulds on itself without hazzels. It has also developed A compact Vertical Injection machine for masterbatch chip moulding and testing - (conventionally big horizontal machines are used) single phase operation possible on both above machines. A small LAB model twin screw extruder 25 mm with pelletizing unit and

waterbath A Micro Blow model smallest space with high output (20 -25 piece per minute) - on single phase and 1 HP compressor to run it A Small compact Machines for Plastic college / Institutions, R&D centres for training and research - Single phase operation possible. The injection machines are suitable for Commercial production of Injection molded articles Making of testing specimens – round, square chips, Educational Demonstrations in plastic polymer

Colleges / Institutes, New product development and Testing, Suitable for operation in rural areas promoting Self Employment and support Poverty Eradication. It is also most appropriate for Entrepreneurs - Provides learning platform & confidence for setting higher level industry amongst Entrepreneurs DTS provide complete solution for your plastic products requirements from your Design to Moulds development to supply of entire plant and machinery at clients place for self-manufacturing along with training to your staff for economical working.

61 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Technology

First steps to create biodegradable displays for electronics

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esearchers are taking their first steps to create biodegradable displays for electronics. A team from University of Missouri is on the path to creating biodegradable electronics by using organic components in screen displays, that could one day help reduce electronic waste in the world's landfills. As per Suchismita Guha, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the MU College of Arts and Science, "This discovery creates the first biodegradable active layer in organic electronics, meaning--in principle-we can eventually achieve full biodegradability." Guha, along with graduate student Soma Khanra, collaborated with a team from the Federal University of ABC (UFABC) in Brazil to develop organic structures

that could be used to light handheld device screens. Using peptides, or proteins, researchers were able to demonstrate that these tiny structures, when combined with a blue light-emitting polymer, could successfully be used in displays. "These peptides can self-assemble into beautiful nanostructures or nanotubes, and, for us, the main goal has been to use these nanotubes as templates for other materials," Guha said. "By combining organic semiconductors with nanomaterials, we were able to create the blue light needed for a display. However, in order to make a workable screen for your mobile phone or other displays, we'll need to show similar success with red and green light-emitting polymers." The scientists also discovered that by

using peptide nanostructures they were able to use less of the polymer. Using less to create the same blue light means that the nanocomposites achieve almost 85 percent biodegradability. "By using peptide nanostructures, which are 100 percent biodegradable, to create the template for the active layer for the polymers, we are able to understand how electronics themselves can be more biodegradable," Guha said. "This research is the first step and the first demonstration of using such biology to improve electronics."

Milacron’s India Operations Hosted Successful Open House,Launching Local Highlighting Extrusion Capabilities

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incinnati Milacron Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN), a leading industrial technology company serving the plastics processing industry announced its Extrusion Open House November 2nd, at its Ahmedabad, India manufacturing facility was well attended and deemed a success by organizers and attendees alike. The open house included the demonstration of an extrusion line in live production of cPVC Pipes. At the event, Milacron received two orders for India built pipe extrusion systemsfrom local customers. The orders were for complete systems

Plastics News • November 2015 • 62

and included the extruder, controller, die/head, cooling/sizing tank, puller, cutting/saw and accumulation table. The first systemwill ship before the end of 2015 and the second systemis scheduled to ship in Q1 2016. A great start to Milacron’s expansion of their extrusion business in the high-growth Indian market. Brian Marston, Vice President & General Manager, Global Extrusion Business stated, “Milacron’s expertise in extrusion technology is known worldwide among the manufacturers of pipes, profiles and sheet. For many customers Milacron extruders arethe preferred choice for their business.”Marston went on to detail

the extrusion system on display, “The Conical Twin Screw Counter Rotating Extruder producing cPVC Pipe is one Milacron’s most popular extrusion technologies and we anticipate a strong demand for these machines in India and surrounding regions”. Milacron’s Extrusion Open House was a three-day event that kicked off November2nd, and catered to the needs of India’s growing construction industry. The Conical Twin Screw Counter Rotating Extruder flawlessly produced ¾ inch cPVC pipes and an injection molding machine cPVC line Servo 150 was engaged in the production of cPVC fittings.


Technology

Radio frequency welding technology boosts efficiency

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amax Sebenza Pack has become the only company in South Africa to manufacture soft-crease clear boxes in-house, after installing a radio frequency (RF) welding machine that boasts a production capacity of 48 clear visual cartons per minute, thereby saving on overhead costs, while increasing productivity. Damax Sebenza Pack is a division of Damax Plastics, specialising in the packaging and plastics market. It manufactures among other products, clear boxes made from PVC and PET material for the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, industrial, electrical, mechanical and cosmetics industry. The company recently moved to Damax Kahn and Kahn’s 1200 m2 premises in Kempton Park, in an effort to consolidate costs and streamline efficiencies. Damax Sebenza Pack MD Brian Lovell highlights that the company will be delivering the first batch of clear carton boxes to a pharmaceutical company that packages animal medicine. “It’s a new clear carton technology for this country, no one else is making them in South Africa. Any other soft crease cartons in the market come from overseas,” he explains.

According to Lovell, the locally-manufactured machine officially went into production in October 2015, with positive results. “Our previous machine was hand-fed and required the material to be pre-folded. We had to manually de-roll the material, lay and flatten it, then die cut it. This new machine creates a soft crease carton, while the old one produced sharp edges that easily cracked.” RF welding technology uses radio frequency electromagnetic energy to fuse plastic materials together. The electric field causes the polar molecules found in some thermoplastics to oscillate and orientate themselves. The molecules in the material move and get hot, and the combination of this heat under pressure causes the weld to take the shape of the die, creating the desired shape of the box. RF welding technology uses radio frequency electromagnetic energy to fuse plastic materials together. Lovell indicates that during the welding process, two pieces of material are placed on a table press that applies pressure to both surface areas. When the press comes together, high frequency waves are passed through the small area between the die and the table where the weld takes place. “The weld is created via RF, which is an oscillating wave with a frequency

of 37,5 MHz. We feed the flat sheet to the machine, which flattens and die cuts it, then it comes out in a flat form which can be quickly and easily erected into a carton for the customer,” he elaborates. Damax Sebenza Pack plans to incorporate printed rolls to the manufacturing process in future, as the RF welding machine has the ability to produce cartons with accuratelypositioned prints. Lovell says that the machine will significantly reduce the amount of returned rejects and the losses incurred due to breakage, cracking and scratching during the manufacturing process. “The cold winter temperature was particularly challenging, as it caused the material to crack on the crease. With the new and improved soft crease carton, the material boasts greater crack resistance, as the machine forms a hinge effect on it. Another major advantage of RF welding machine is that we are able to produce an improved product, quicker, at the same price,” he concludes.

63 • November 2015 • Plastics News


Technology

World’s first renewable Capa™ for Bioplastics

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enewable Capa™ for Bioplastics, the world’s first of its kind, has been introduced by Perstorp. This is a concept which builds on the Capa™ Lactide technology, which enables a high renewable content in combination with vast opportunities to develop products with optimized performance for different bioplastic

applications. There is a strong trend towards sustainability and renewable material in the world. 1 Million plastic bags are used per minute throughout the year. Many of them end up in nature and stay there. By using Perstorp’s renewable Capa™ for Bioplastics those

bags will biodegrade. “The challenge on the market has been to combine performance and biodegradability of the end application. With our renewable Capa™ concept we are redrawing the map by enabling products with high performing properties without compromising sustainability”, says Linda Zellner, Project Manager for Bioplastics. The renewable Capa™ concept enables freedom to design polymers that are flexible or hard, transparent or crystalline, tough or rigid and with a targeted melting point and polarity. Market indications show that these products are likely to deliver what many customers are looking for in terms of bio-based content and performance. Renewable Capa™ has been evaluated both in terms of compostability and bio-based content and is also certified as bio-based by the independent Belgian certification body Vinçotte. “This is a major

milestone in delivering breakthrough technology to this important market for Perstorp,” says Marie Grönborg, Executive Vice President, Business Area Specialties & Solutions. “With this technology our customers can create solutions to keep a step ahead of the competition. We believe in the dynamic bioplastic market which still is young, fast growing and is looking for new innovations. With an annual estimated growth of 20% (European Bioplastics 2015), this is an exciting market for us to be in”, Marie Grönborg continues. Perstorp will continue to focus its efforts on three fast-growing bioplastic segments – paper coatings, bags and films, and packaging. It is already well established that Capa™ for Bioplastics is a biopolymer enhancer that offer stability and compatibility, improved mechanical properties, flexibility at low temperatures, and biodegradability.

The new synthetic human heart

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new, lightweight, stretchable polymer foam developed by scientists at Cornell University has connected pores to allow fluids to be pumped through it, meaning it could potentially be used as an synthetic human heart or another type of artificial organ.

The polymer foam, which starts out as a liquid, can be poured into a mold to create a variety of different shapes. It could be used to create prosthetic body parts or soft robotics, lead author Rob Shepherd, an assistant professor of mechanical and

Plastics News • November 2015 • 64

aerospace engineering at the school, and his colleagues explained in the latest edition of the journal Advanced Materials. Due to the fluid pathways present in this “elastomer foam”, air or liquids pumped through it can move and alter its length by up to 300 percent, the researchers said. While applications inside the human body will still require testing and approval from federal regulators, Shepherd said that his team might soon be able to use the material to develop a prosthetic hand. The material is made porous by mixing salt with the rubbery

elastomer when it is still a liquid, the researchers explained. Once the elastomer cures and hardens, the salt is removed. When a prosthetic limb or organ needs to be sealed so that air or fluid pumped through cannot escape, a salt-free version of the same polymer is used to coat the outside. In their paper, Shepherd and his colleagues explained that they used a combination of silicone and carbon fiber on the outside to create a structure with a surface that expands at different rates. This could be used to change a spherical shape into an egg shape.


in the NEWS

Recycling chain meets at PRS Europe

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he Plastics Recycling Show in Brussels on 25-26 November is bringing together major players in the plastics recycling value chain. The exhibitor list includes plastics waste recovery and conversion groups, recycling technology firms and others involved in the expanding European plastics recycling industry.

PRS Europe is organised by Crain Communications, publisher of Plastics News Europe. In the recovery segment is a truly pan-European group, Suez Environnement, which generated total revenues of €14.3bn in 2014, including €3.5bn through its recycling and recovery activities in its home market of France. The group’s SITA business has nine specialised plants in Europe which treat more than 400,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year, from which it recovers 135,000 tonnes of recycled plastics. Christophe Cros, executive vicepresident in charge of Suez Environnement’s Waste Europe business, said at a press meeting in late 2014 “the recovery market is set to experience strong growth in France and Europe, where 25 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated every year. This output is growing significantly due to an ongoing increase in demand, especially in the packaging sector.” The company is working to meet challenges emerging from this growth, such as the need to improve the quality of recycled plastics. Its Plast Lab project involves analysis, testing and classification of materials with the goal of producing new ranges of recycled plastics.Another exhibitor is MTM Plastics, which can reprocess up to 75,000 tonnes of plastics

waste per year at its main facility in Niedergebra, Thuringia, Germany. It produces regranulated PE and PP compounds, distributed under the Purpolen and Dipolen brand names, which are mainly used in injection moulding. MTM has annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes. Ecoplast Kunststoffrecycling in Austria focuses specifically on PE recycling. “At our plant in Wildon, Austria we process around 28,000 tonnes of postconsumer plastics every year, turning them into high-quality LDPE and HDPE recyclates,”. Erema has developed many new technologies recently, including the Corema combined recycling and compounding system, and the Intarema system with its counter current technology for higher throughput rates. This year Erema has launched Intarema RegrindPro, a system for reprocessing thick-walled material in the packaging, electronics and automotive markets. Italian company Sorema was given a boost earlier this year when its parent group Previero acquired Perpetual Recycling Solutions, a PET recycler in the US. Sorema expects its relationship with Perpetual to be extended from the wash line it has already supplied to include more Sorema equipment. Amut produces recycling lines, wash lines and de-labeller machines, such as DLB 60, a dry pre-cleaning system which removes full-body shrink sleeve labels from PET bottles. Fimic is another Italian company, which has patented a self cleaning melt filter. Starlinger’s new technology includes RecoStar Dynamic, an energy-efficient recycling line for processing industrial and post-consumer plastic scrap.

New polymer banknotes for Maldives

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he new family of six banknotes – Rufiyaa 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000, worth between 42p and £42 – launched on 1 November and were designed by Abdullah Nashaath. They were printed on Safeguard banknotes by banknote specialist De La Rue, in close association with the Maldives Monetary Authority.

Commenting on the launch, Azeema Adam, governor of the islands situated in the southern Indian ocean, said: “These beautiful and secure new banknotes reflect the culture and heritage of the Maldives people and are a fitting reflection of our diverse nation."We are very grateful to De La Rue for assisting us in bringing these new notes to life.” The Maldives Monetary Authority issued a guide on how to use the notes. For soiled/torn notes: • Dry wet notes with a towel • Wipe soiled notes with a damp cloth • Repair torn notes with tape and use them again And a technique for separating and counting the notes: Quickly fan them Tap them against a hard surface Shuffle them, orSnap two notes together

65 • November 2015 • Plastics News


in the NEWS

20 dead in bag factory collapse in Pakistan

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t least 20 people are reported dead in the collapse of a plastic bag factory under construction in the Pakistani city of Lahore, with 100 survivors rescued and search operations underway to try to find more people still alive in the rubble.

Media reports said up to 200 people were working inside the multi-story factory of the Rajput Polyester bag factory when it collapsed Nov. 4. A spokesman for a local social welfare organization, which sent 100 rescue workers and 50 ambulances to the

scene, told Plastics News that the collapse may be linked to damage the building suffered in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan last month. “Cracks occurred in the factory building after the earthquake in late October that ripped across Afghanistan and Pakistan, leveling thousands of homes and causing structural damages to major buildings of the region,” said Younas Bhatti, public relations officer for the Lahore office of the Edhi Foundation.

First international conference on plastic composite technology for bicycle

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he Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has partnered with the JEC Group, a nonprofit organization for the advancement of composites, to organize Cyclitech 2015, the first international conference devoted to composite technology for bicycles. The conference will examine the use of composites in bicycle design, including safety and performance aspects, and the implications for mass-market bicycles of recent composite innovations for high-end bikes.

Among 40 speakers from Europe, Asia, and the Americas will be experts from Union Cycliste Internationale, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Corima, Cervelo, KTM Technologies, Oxeon AB TeXtreme, and BMC. In addition to technical presentations, there will be roundtable and panel

Plastics News • November 2015 • 66

discussions with professional riders and the press. “The all-plastics bike is closer than we think,” said Willem De Vos, CEO of SPE. “The market for nonmetal bicycle frames and components is constantly growing, and recent successes of composites in specialty or racing bikes will lead the way to their application in high-volume markets.” Cycling is becoming more and more popular, and a recent study forecasts the bicycle market to grow to US$65 billion by 2019, noted Frederique Mutel, president and CEO of the JEC Group. “This is the first time that we have dedicated a full conference to a niche market such as bicycles,” said Mrs. Mutel. “Thus far, registration for the conference has been so compelling that JEC Group and SPE are already planning for Cyclitech 2016, to be held in the USA.”

BPF & Pafa create new flexible packaging group

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he British Plastics Federation (BPF) and the Packaging and Films Association (Pafa) have announced their intention to set up a new business group for the plastics and flexible packaging industry. The new group will comprise of more than 70 manufacturers of plastics and flexible packaging.

Current members of Pafa will join the BPF and with the existing members of the BPF's Packaging Group, in the main, manufacturers of rigid plastics packaging, to create a new group for plastics and flexible packaging within the federation's structure. BPF director general Philip Law, said: “The new group will combine the great traditions of both Pafa and the BPF to create a very powerful platform for this industry sector, massively increasing its comparable advantage'. The new group, under the leadership of Barry Turner, will be fully operational from 1 January 2016. Turner said: “This move will create a single, more powerful point of contact with governments across the UK, will enable us to leverage the combined expertise of both organisations and will ensure that the communication and services to members are further enhanced.”


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