Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

NPE2015 Preview: A Sneak Peek at the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show

Just one of the 13 different dress designs made from recycled plastics that will be displayed on the runway at the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show at NPE2015.

Just one of the dress designs made from recycled, reused or repurposed plastics that will be modeled on the runway at the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show at NPE2015.

Vinyl sheet protectors, yoga mats, plastic beads—not exactly the cashmeres, linens, silks and cottons one might normally think of when it comes to fashionable fabrics, but the results speak for themselves.

The Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show will kick off NPE: The International Plastics Showcase, produced by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, later this month. This week the NPE and SPI teams happily offered a sneak preview of just one of the designs (see photo) that will be modeled on the runway during the Fashion Show, which will take place at 8:30 a.m. in West Hall C on Monday, March 23 at the start of the five-day NPE2015 exposition at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla.

Students of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) designed and created the garments (and their accessories) using recycled, reused or repurposed plastics as part of a partnership program with SPI. After they make their debut at the Fashion Show, the students’ creations will be on display in the Zero Waste Zone, a special sector of the NPE exhibit floor in the South Hall of the OCCC devoted to the plastics industry’s mandate to reduce, reuse or recycle its materials.

In addition to the garments created from previously-used plastics, the fashion show will also include a design created with 3D-printing technology by a SCAD student using bioplastics from Green Dot (located on NPE show floor, booth S19200 in the Sustainability Pavilion, part of the Zero Waste Zone). It will be one of 13 outfits shown, as well as a number of dazzling accessories also created with recycled, reused or repurposed plastics.

“We found the students at SCAD to be not only talented and creative but also very involved with environmental issues,” said Brad Williams, director of marketing and sales for SPI. “Their designs are vivid demonstrations that recycled plastics can gain new lives in many forms—both as purely utilitarian goods and as objects of beauty. The Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show at NPE2015 will add a new dimension to our industry mandate to reduce, reuse, and recycle the valuable materials that make up our products.”

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

A Different Kind of Conversation: SPI Member Kenrich to Introduce New Compatibilizer at NPE2015 that Gets Mixed Resin Streams “Talking to Each Other”

NPE_logoCompatibilizers: hard to say three times fast, but a remarkably simple concept. These items make two or more typically incompatible substances compatible.

Long used in the prime resin industry to create special blends that give plastic materials desirable properties that any individual polymer would lack on its own, compatibilizers get resins that would not neatly blend together to “talk to each other,” as it were. Companies continue to explore new applications for compatibilizers in the recycling industry, where at least one SPI member is trying to start a similar sort of conversation between mixed recycled resin streams.

At NPE2015, SPI member, and member of the SPI Recycling Committee’s Technology and Equipment Subcommittee, Kenrich Petrochemicals (Booth #S20027) will introduce a new additive that can be used to recycle the mixed resin streams that are increasingly posing challenges to the world’s recyclers. The long name for the compatibilizer is Ken-React® CAPS ® KPR ® 12/LV Pellets, and KPR for short; it regenerates post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic mixtures in the extruder melt and gives them virgin resin-like properties, all while getting dissimilar polymers to talk to one another.

Here’s some more technical information from Kenrich President Salvatore Monte, who invented KPR, about how the additive can be put to good use: “Normally—although polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are both considered olefins—HDPE cannot accept more than 5 percent PP without creating incompatibility issues. Add a third polymer and it really gets complicated.” The KPR® additive pellet can help make these issues disappear, which could provide a huge benefit to recyclers who, in an age of widening “single stream” recycling procedures, frequently have to handle various types of plastic materials that may be present in a recycling feedstream, or even in a single product. KPR® aims to change that.

“Conventional discussions on recycled plastic center around equipment that sorts, cleans, demagnetizes, washes, granulates, bales or melt processes recycling—or polymer compatibilizers based on maleic anhydride chemistry or bipolar thermoplastics that have affinity for two select recycle polymer streams,” Monte continued, referring to other additives with fewer potential applications than KPR. “Our new KPR® catalyst causes multiple polymers of divergent chemistry to repolymerize in the melt to form not alloys, but new complex co-polymers having much higher mechanical properties.”

SPI and its Recycling Committee have repeatedly urged plastics manufacturers and brand owners to consider PCR when making their materials decisions, for its sustainability bona fides and contributions to SPI’s goal of helping the industry achieve zero waste in manufacturing, among other things to recommend it. But part of what makes some companies reluctant to use PCR for all their plastic needs is that, in the process of being ZWZlogoWeb2used and recycled, the plastic materials themselves lose some of the properties that make them desirable for use in consumer plastic products. However, compatibilizer manufacturers, like Kenrich, are attempting to offer a unique solution to the problem, by making it easier for recyclers to produce higher-quality materials from lower-quality bales.

“It’s a new way to look at PCR and achieve high loadings of PCR in virgin polymers to meet sustainability mandates in consumer plastic packaging products such as blow-molded soap bottles,” Monte said.

Learn more about Kenrich at NPE2015 and more about new recycling technologies and SPI and its Recycling Committee’s efforts to achieve zero waste at the Zero Waste Zone.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Top Five Things to Do In Orlando When In Town For NPE2015

NPE_logoAs the number one tourist destination in the country, Orlando offers loads of unique and exciting entertainment options for you to discover. To help you make the most of your trip while convening in Orlando for NPE2015: The International Plastics Showcase, we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do and see.

#1 – New and Exciting Dining

Orlando continues to grow its dining scene with local restaurants racking up national recognition with recent awards and accolades, impressing foodies worldwide. There are a number of new restaurants in the convention district worthy of a visit. Like Yard House in the new I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, a modern public house where food and beer lovers unite with a plethora of craft beers to try. Or if you’re in the mood for wine, check out the new Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant which combines an upscale casual restaurant, a working winery, and tasting room with specialty food and gift items. Another local favorite is Vito’s Chop House, recognized as one of Zagat’s Top Italian Restaurants. And of course, the place to be seen is The Pointe restaurant and entertainment complex in the heart of the convention center, which has expanded and added a number of new eateries and local hot spots like RA Sushi, Minus 5 Ice Bar and Blue Martini. Or check out international favorites like The Pub, a true British Pub experience complete with signature Fish-n-Chips or Cuba Libre perfect for those who like ceviche and tapas, among others. At the other end of the convention district, you won’t want to miss Universal CityWalk entertainment complex with sumptuous restaurants, live entertainment, and nightclubs where you can dance the night away. New restaurants include Anotojitos, Vivo Italian Kitchen, and CowFish – the first ever burger sushi joint, among national favorites like Emerils and Hard Rock Café.

#2 – Live Shows

If you’re looking for fun entertainment full of surprises, check out Orlando’s many live shows like Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba in Downtown Disney, offering a journey of the imagination. Or in the same complex, 1611_clownyou’ll find the inspiring House of Blues and Ragland Road both offering live music. Another popular show is the Blue Man Group, whose live shows combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics located in Universal CityWalk. While you’re there, you can also see who’s playing at the Hard Rock Live performance venue where many of the industry’s top musicians and comedians play in concert. Or take the stage yourself at CityWalk’s Rising Star karaoke club and perform with a live band and backup singers. On I-Drive the Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theater is also a big hit welcoming the biggest names in comedy, as well as supporting local talent in the Central Florida. Or if mystery is more your style, the Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show lets you become the detective offering improvisation and audience participation while mingling with outrageous characters. And last but not least, if you’re looking for something completely different, Orlando’s best kept secret is DRIP which offers an in-your-face explosion of the senses with color and movement backed by a live rock band, all in an industrial bar.

#3 – Unexpected Outdoor Thrills

Skydiving, without jumping out of a plane, at Orlando's IFLY.

Skydiving, without jumping out of a plane, at IFLY Orlando.

Orlando has plenty unexpected thrills and unique experiences to be discovered with a wide-range of outdoor activities full of adventure – from race cars, airboat rides and eco-safaris to zip lining and hang gliding. For indoor fun, start with IFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving to experience true free fall conditions, just like skydiving–without having to jump out of an airplane. For your adventurous side, check out Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, a 15-acre outdoor adventure park located in the Walt Disney World® Resort area. The park has six color-coded courses, two giant zip lines and 97 challenging elements. Or if you’re looking for something more relaxing, try Painted Horizons Hot Air Balloon Tours to experience a spectacular sunrise. At Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park, visitors are towed to a height of 2,000 feet by a specially designed ultra-light tow plane to enjoy views of some of Central Florida’s nature landscape. To get your adrenaline pumping, try your hand behind the wheel at The Walt Disney World Speedway offers several unique stock car and exotic car experiences from NASCAR race cars to the world’s finest supercars. Driving enthusiasts can enjoy a variety ride-and-drive programs.

And of course, if you’re looking to hit the greens Orlando is also home to 176 golf courses, with three of the area’s best – the Shingle Creek Golf Club, Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and Grande Pines Golf Club –  are located closest to the Orange County Convention Center.

#4 – Theme Parks

Orlando is home to seven of the world’s best theme parks including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld offering new and unique ride and entertainment experiences each time you visit. Universal Studios Orlando made headlines this year with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.4899_fireworks Inside, you’ll find cool things to do for both muggles and wizards. But you won’t want to miss the most innovative ride yet, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, providing a multidimensional adventure thrill ride through the mines below Gringotts Bank. Many of the theme parks offer discounted convention delegate tickets for before or after your conference, as well as discounted afternoon delegate tickets if you want to stop in and try one of these innovative new rides.

#5 – Local Attractions

As far as attractions go, Orlando has more thrills and spills than anywhere in the country with over 100 attractions across the destination. If you’re looking for thrills on a smaller scale, check out Fun Spot America Orlando for amusement rides, go carts, and Orlando’s only Wooden Roller coaster. Or for the ultimate thrill seeker, test your courage on the world’s tallest SkyCoaster standing at 300 feet! Also new to the convention district is NASCAR’s I-Drive Indoor Kart Racing offering exciting futuristic electric race karts that will get your blood pumping at speeds up to 45 mph. And if you haven’t experienced the local wildlife yet, you might want to stop by Gatorland and get up close and personal with hundreds of alligators and crocodiles. cs_convention_district_1For heart-pounding adventure, try out the new Screamin Gator Zip Line and soar over top 130 giant alligators!

Orlando is in the midst of its largest expansion in history with something new and different to discover each time you visit. So if you haven’t been to Orlando lately, you’re in for some truly amazing surprises!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Referendum’s Success Shows APBA Doesn’t Stand Alone in Fight against SB 270

apba-logoEdgeSPI and the plastics industry have always supported the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA). Its efforts to educate lawmakers and the public about the economic and environmental dangers of plastic bag bans and taxes are vital to the continued success and growth of our industry. But we aren’t the only ones standing behind the APBA, as their recent success in qualifying a referendum to repeal California State Bill 270 shows.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Tuesday that a measure to repeal SB 270 would appear on the ballot in November 2016, and that the law’s implementation would be delayed until voters have their say. According to county registrars, at least 555,236 valid signatures were needed to qualify the referendum by random sampling, and that threshold was exceeded Tuesday.

In addition to more than a half million Californians, a coalition of business and taxpayer groups has formed in support of the repeal measure, including:

  • Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers
  • American Forest & Paper Association
  • Calaveras County Taxpayers Association
  • California Taxpayer Protection Committee
  • Contra Costa Taxpayers Association
  • Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
  • Humboldt County Taxpayers League
  • Inland Empire Taxpayers Association
  • International Faith Based Coalition
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Orange County Taxpayers Association
  • Placer County Taxpayers Association
  • Retailers and Store Owners United to Rebuild California’s Economy
  • Sacramento Taxpayers Association
  • San Diego Tax Fighters
  • San Joaquin County Taxpayers Association, Inc.
  • So Cal Tax Revolt Coalition Inc.
  • Solano County Taxpayers Association
  • Sutter County Taxpayers Association
  • Ventura County Taxpayers Association

“SB 270 is a de facto multimillion dollar tax on California’s small businesses and shoppers. Voters should be thrilled to have the opportunity to reverse it,” said John Kabateck, California Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

In addition to suspending the law until after votes are cast in November 2016, qualifying the referendum will also save hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars that would otherwise be wasted on state administrative costs associated with implementation of the bill. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office over $700,000 would need to be allocated from the state budget to fund administrative positions from 2015-2018.

“SB 270 was never a bill about the environment. It was a backroom deal between the California Grocers Association and their union friends to scam consumers out of billions of dollars in bag fees—all under the guise of environmentalism,” said Lee Califf, Executive Director of the APBA. “California voters will now have the chance to vote down a terrible law that, if implemented, would kill 2,000 local manufacturing jobs and funnel obscene profits to big grocers without any money going to a public purpose or environmental initiative.“

“It’s outrageous that California legislators voted to kill California jobs just to line the pockets of big grocers and their labor union supporters. But the APBA is proud to defend these workers and we remain confident California voters will reject the bag ban scam at the ballot box in November 2016,” he added.

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

At NPE2015, Plastics Hall of Fame Program Honors Plastics Pioneers, Innovators, Educators and Leaders

At NPE2015: The International Plastics Showcase, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and the Plastics Academy will induct nine global manufacturing innovators, educators and plastics industry leaders into the Plastics Hall of Fame, awarding them the highest honor bestowed by the plastics industry.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 22 at the Linda W. Chapin Theatre in the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., one day before NPE2015 officially kicks off.

This year’s Hall of Fame honorees hail from across the globe, and are receiving the honor of induction for a diverse array of reasons, achievements and contributions to the plastics industry as a whole.

John Beaumont

John Beaumont

John Beaumont of Beaumont Technologies, Inc., for example, was one of three founding members of Penn State Erie’s Plastics Technology Program, and has helped shaped the future of hundreds of plastics professionals by working as a professor at the same school for 25 years






Terry Browitt

Terry Browitt

Terry Browitt, director and founder of Terinex International, Inc. has also continually supported the cause of plastics growth and education through the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), formerly serving as the organization’s president and continuing to support it while founding and running Terinex.





William Carteaux

William Carteaux

2015 is also a year of milestones for the Plastics Hall of Fame. William Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association will become the youngest-ever Plastics Hall of Fame inductee, for reinventing SPI by taking a business approach to association management and reenergizing SPI’s triennial trade show NPE, which will break all records for exhibition space this year.




Maureen Steinwall

Maureen Steinwall

Dr. Maureen Steinwall, president and owner of Steinwall, Inc. is only the second woman to ever be inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame, and received the honor for her outspoken advocacy for employee training and motivation, her leadership activity with SPI and her success in growing Steinwall, Inc. into a well-respected, profitable injection molding business.





Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong

All of this year’s nominees are known as innovators, and many of them have made contributions and inventions that are used throughout the plastics industry. Robert DeLong of Blasformen Consulting is a major pioneer in blow-molded dairy bottles like the kind that contain milk in supermarkets across the globe who also supervised the formulation of a best-in-class dairy blow-molding resin in the 1960s.




Eugen Hehl

Eugen Hehl

Eugen Hehl, co-founder of ARBURG GmbH & Co. KG helped grow his company from its humble roots in Germany’s Black Forest into a major international player in injection molding machinery, patented the “ALLROUNDER principle” for achieving up to 10 different working positions on a machine in 1960.





Edward Hunerberg

Edward Hunerberg

Edward Hunerberg of Uniloy Milacron is a leading expert in the plastics industry niche field of structural foam molding, known for his reputation for world-class customer service and an inventive streak that resulted in several notable improvements to structural foam molding machines industry-wide.





Manfred Lupke

Manfred Lupke

Manfred Lupke, president and CEO of Corma, Inc. and a leader in the field of creating equipment for manufacturing corrugated plastic pipe has registered 848 patents in countries around the world and led Corma to become an industry leader in the field of corrugated plastic pipe-making machinery.





Donald Norwood

Donald Norwood

Finally, Donald Norwood is the father of several industry-advancing technologies, most notably the loop reactor, used for ethylene and polypropylene polymerization, that he invented decades ago and has continued to develop and improve over the course of his career.





On March 22, all of these individuals will join their colleagues in the Plastics Hall of Fame, which resides at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, honored for their dedication and perseverance that have significantly contributed to the development and growth of the plastics industry. “We are thrilled to welcome this diverse group of industry innovators, from across the globe and across the global plastics supply chain, into the Plastics Hall of Fame,” said Don Loepp, a board member of the Plastics Academy and editor of Plastics News. “Each of them embodies the spirit of what the Plastics Hall of Fame was founded to recognize: leadership, creativity and above all commitment to the growth and development of the entire plastics industry.”