NOVA Chemicals Partners with M. Holland, Osterman & Company for Butene LLDPE Distribution in Mexico – NOVA Chemicals Corporation has entered into branded distribution agreements with M. Holland Company and Osterman & Company to distribute butene linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) in Mexico, building on the success both companies have established with NOVA Chemicals in the U.S. and Canada – NOVA Chemicals Holland Osterman & Company Butene LLDPE Mexico

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Fraunhofer presents melt-spinning technology for carbon fiber precursor manufacture – New ComCarbon PAN-based precursor technology will reportedly make it possible to produce carbon fibers at low cost for the mass market – Fraunhofer melt spinning technology carbon fiber precursor manufacture

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Fraunhofer presents melt-spinning technology for carbon fiber precursor manufacture

New ComCarbon PAN-based precursor technology will reportedly make it possible to produce carbon fibers at low cost for the mass market.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP, Potsdam-Golm, Germany) has announced it will present its ComCarbon technology at the leading aerospace trade fair, the ILA Berlin 2018 in Germany, from April 25-29. The new technology will reportedly make it possible to produce carbon fibers at low cost for the mass market.

About half the cost of producing conventional carbon fibers is incurred in producing the precursor, the polyacrylonitrile fiber (PAN). This so-called precursor fiber cannot be melted and is therefore produced using an expensive solution spinning process.

“We have developed an alternative PAN-based precursor technology that saves around 60% of the precursor costs. It is based on an inexpensive melt spin process using special, meltable PAN co-polymers that we developed especially for this purpose,” explains Prof. Johannes Ganster, who heads the Biopolymers research division at the Fraunhofer IAP.

When producing carbon fibers, the precursor fibers must undergo stabilization and carbonization processes. To do this, the melt-spun precursor fibers are converted to an unmeltable state. Once this pre-stabilization is complete, the multifilament yarn is continuously fed into conventional stabilizing furnaces and carbonized at temperatures of up to 1600°C.

There are several reasons why melt spinning has an economic and ecological advantage over solution spinning. For one thing, it does not use any environmentally harmful solvents that have to be recycled at great expense. Eliminating solvents means that 100% of the melted material can be spun, which enables reportedly significantly higher spinning speeds.

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Tosaf launch new anti-fog masterbatch for PE – Tosaf has announced the launch of AF7380PE, a newly-developed anti-fog masterbatch that will help reduce the harmful effects of water drops on packaging film – Tosaf antifog masterbatch PE

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Tosaf launch new anti-fog masterbatch for PE

by Grace Nolan

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Innovation and sustainability progress unveiled at PVC AUS 2018 – The two-day Sydney event, PVC AUS 2018: Shaping the Future, organised by the Vinyl Council of Australia in March, shared the latest developments in PVC formulations and best practice manufacturing – Innovation sustainability PVC AUS 2018

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Innovation and sustainability progress unveiled at PVC AUS 2018

by Grace Nolan

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Successful U.S. American plastics industry meets at NPE -The Bottle Zone is one of NPE’s show floor features, concentrating on bottle and container manufacturing – USA American plastics industry NPE

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Successful U.S. American plastics industry meets at NPE

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

USA American plastics industry NPE
The Bottle Zone is one of NPE’s show floor features, concentrating on bottle and container manufacturing. (Source: NPE)
NPE, the North American show that covers “all things plastics”, will be held from 7 to 11 May 2018 in Orlando, Florida. Since the last edition in 2015, the American plastics industry has witnessed a period of stable growth.

Recognised as one of the world’s largest plastics trade shows and conferences, NPE 2018 brings together all industry sectors, including vertical and peripheral markets, end markets, brand owners and recyclers in North America. Held every three years, NPE attracts more than 65,000 plastics professionals and features industry-focused education and leading suppliers of emerging technologies, equipment and materials for every phase of plastics processing, all in more than 1.1 million net square feet of exhibit space, the organiser, the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics), announced.

The plastics industry in the United States is witnessing years of growth. Employment in the U.S. plastics industry grew by one percent in 2016, from 954,000 workers to 965,000, according to data in the 2017 Size & Impact Report, released by Plastics. According to the association, the plastics industry is the third-largest manufacturing industry in the United States.

Last year, the association applauded the immediate expensing and research and development provisions in the U.S. tax reform: “The economic outlook for the plastics industry provided by the report suggests that 2018 will be a banner year in NPE history,” said Plastics President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “Additionally, now that investments in capital equipment can be immediately and totally expensed by companies thanks to the newly approved tax bill, NPE 2018 is set to reach new heights of business activity.”

USA American plastics industry NPE

Part of the NPE exhibition is every phase of plastics processing, including manufacturing equipment, materials, automation and industry trends like Industry 4.0. (Source: NPE)

NPE 2018 will cover several different downstream markets, including chemicals and plastics, automotive and transportation, packaging, building and construction, medical, consumer products and bottles and containers. Besides the exhibition, there is also an accompanying programme with conferences and forums.

The Plastics Industry Association announced Expert Super Sessions, a new educational component of NPE 2018, to be part of the trade show. The Plastics Show will provide a forum for plastics industry experts, offering an insider’s look into the latest technical insights and innovations driving next-generation trends and solutions in plastics manufacturing. Topics will include hot-button industry issues and emerging trends such as Industry 4.0, innovative approaches to sustainability and the implications of automation and the Internet of Things on plastics companies. 

Educational components and conferences at plastics show

“We are giving NPE 2018 attendees expanded and improved opportunities to learn from peers and thought leaders, maximising their experience in Orlando. Expert Super Sessions were re-named for the NPE 2018 show to reflect their true purpose – to give plastics experts a forum to present their industry-changing ideas and insights,” said Susan Krys, Vice President of Trade Shows and Marketing at Plastics. “The sessions give attendees the unique opportunity to hear straight from the sources that are shaping the industry.”

Expert Super Sessions at NPE 2018 include:

  • How Intelligent Robotic Automation Can Improve Your Bottom Line: Presented by Fanuc America, this session explores how intelligent robotic automation will help manufacturers achieve higher productivity.
  • Trends and Material Solutions for the Building & Construction Market: Presented by A. Schulman, this session explores the latest trends and technologies addressing critical issues in building and construction.
  • Gaining the Competitive Advantage with Industrial IoT: The presentation by Oden Technologies uncovers how the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) enables manufacturers to improve quality, eliminate waste and gain a competitive edge.
  • Industry 4.0: Implementing a Smart(er) Factory: TSM Control Systems USA and Now Insight present their journey towards smarter factories using IoT technologies.
  • Trends and Material Solutions for the Packaging Market: A presentation by A. Schulman about packaging trends, from optimising barrier properties for shelf-life extension to reducing food waste through smart packaging.
  • Innovative Approaches to Sustainability – A Look at Hydraulic Fluids: Presented by Exxon Mobil Chemical Company, this session features speakers from Exxon Mobil and discusses how EVCO Plastics was able to reduce energy consumption on one of its injection moulding machines by 3.19 percent.

Along with an expanded conference and education programme, NPE 2018 will also feature innovative show floor features, the organiser announced. These include:

  • Bottle Zone – a resource for companies that work with PET pre-forms, moulds, labelling, filling, closures, design and inspection equipment in bottle and container manufacturing.
  • Additional Market Segment Zones – spaces that allow exploration of the trends and technologies in various plastics market segments including 3D and 4D printing, mould-making, medical parts processing, flexible vinyl, thermoforming and material science.
  • Re-focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit Zone – an annual Plastics event co-located at NPE 2018 providing recycling and sustainability professionals access to revolutionary equipment, reliable supplies and innovations for processors and brand owners seeking sustainable solutions for their business.

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UK could ban single-use plastics as early as next year – Digging a little deeper, however, it appears ‘single-use’ is a fairly specific term, and doesn’t appear to include things like plastic water bottles – UK single use plastics next year

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UK could ban single-use plastics as early as next year

 UK single use plastics next year
CC BY 2.0 Nic McPhee

I had to do a double take when I saw the headline over at The Guardian:

Single-use plastics could be banned in England next year.

Digging a little deeper, however, it appears ‘single-use’ is a fairly specific term, and doesn’t appear to include things like plastic water bottles. Nevertheless, reports that plastic-stemmed cotton buds, straws and drink stirrers could all be banned from sale as early as next year is welcome news indeed, coming as it does on the heels of other measures like efforts to start a plastic bottle deposit return scheme, and the launch of a £60m (US$86m) fund to fight plastics pollution.

Now, let’s not get too carried away just yet. The announcement is somewhat vague—promising a consultation later this year 2018, followed by a possible ban as early as next year— and the UK’s Conservative government hasn’t always made good on its grand environmental promises. Still, this is one more data point suggesting that Britain is getting increasingly serious in tackling its plastic pollution problem, and appears to be pushing other countries to step up to the plate too.

Encouragingly, British businesses and institutions appear to be getting out ahead of the conversation too. Supermarket Waitrose just promised to eliminate to-go coffee cups, the BBC is getting rid of single-use plastics, and the Queen is breaking up with straws too.

Let’s hope this really does happen. And that it serves as an example for other countries to follow.

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Serbia to ban use of non-biodegradable plastic bags – Serbia will ban the use of thin plastic bags and introduce mandatory charging for biodegradable ones, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has announced – Serbia ban nonbiodegradable plastic bags

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Serbia to ban use of non-biodegradable plastic bags

Serbia will ban the use of thin plastic bags and introduce mandatory charging for biodegradable ones, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has announced.

SOURCE: BETA 

Serbia ban nonbiodegradable plastic bags
(Thinkstock)

Politika daily writes on Thursday that the ministry said Serbia, although not a member of the EU, would apply all measures from the recently adopted “plastics directive.”

According to this EU directive, the maximum annual consumption of bags per person is limited to 90, until the end of 2019.

“We are in constant communication with large retail chains, as well as with the non-governmental sector, in order to influence the development of environmental awareness of citizens on this issue,” said the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The Delhaize Serbia chain this week started charging for plastic bags in one of its retail formats – the Shop & Go stores.

According to unofficial estimates made by the retail sector, about 20 million euros is spent each year on the purchase of plastic bags; on average, every citizen uses seven bags a day, while two billion are discarded annually.

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