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PS Packaging Council cuts back staff

WASHINGTON — The Polystyrene Packaging Council Inc. is eliminating both of its government relations staff positions and relying on the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and American Plastics Council for that work, a PPC official said.

Jill Johnson, PPC government affairs manager, and John Weed, field operations director, will be let go June 1, said PPC spokeswoman Laurie Kusek. That will bring the council, which is part of SPI, down to four staff members, she said.

Because the council now is ``fully integrated'' with SPI and works closely with APC, its member companies said ``we need to better utilize the resources we have,'' she said.

The cutback could lead to less field activity, such as sending staff members to talk with communities contemplating new laws on PS packaging, Kusek said.

Nova eyes Ontario for incineration plant

CALGARY, ALBERTA — Nova Chemicals Ltd. is looking at the feasibility of constructing an energy-from-plastics plant, possibly in Ontario.

``We have been working on the project internally for a year and, in the last three months, talked to consultants and municipalities,'' said David Sansom, vice president of public affairs. ``We are not building anything yet. We feel the technology is there and has been used in Europe and some in North America.''

Nova Chemicals, a subsidiary of Calgary-based Nova Corp., sees a need to collect the ``daunting'' annual total of about 100 million pounds ``to get the kind of scale of economics'' necessary for such a project, Sansom said.

In particular, Sansom said, the company has talked with municipalities and the Recycling Council of Ontario, ``where this plant is envisaged to be.''

Nova Chemicals, a major producer of ethylene and polyethylene, employs 3,400 and reported 1996 profit of US$136 million on 1996 sales of US$2.2 billion. Nova Corp. reported profit of US$316 million on sales of US$3.4 billion.

Empire gets reprieve on debt deadline

DELRAY BEACH, FLA. — Toy producer Empire of Carolina Inc. received a deadline extension to come up with $6 million owed under a senior loan agreement.

The Delray Beach firm said its lenders gave Empire until May 31 to obtain the financing. The previous deadline was April 30.

Empire also said it is discussing terms of potential transactions with undisclosed companies. It recently revealed that EDT Toys LLC decided not to invest $50 million in the financially troubled toy company.

Empire announced it had a loss of about $3.3 million and sales of $25.7 million for three months ended March 31. In the year-earlier period, it lost $2.2 million on sales of $22.2 million.

Tyco unit buys, may close hanger maker

AKRON, OHIO — A&E Products, the Phoenix-based subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd. in Exeter, N.H., has acquired Different Dimensions Inc. of Akron and apparently is closing the facility.

The DDI operation, which injection molded plastic hangers, is shutting down and about 200 employees are losing their jobs, said a source close to the firm who asked not to be identified.

Officials at all three companies either declined comment or did not respond to requests for information.

A&E is a major manufacturer of molded plastic hangers.

Dart adding warehouse space in Calif.

CORONA, CALIF. — Privately held Dart Container Corp. plans to increase warehouse space by expanding its Corona plant later this year by 100,000 square feet.

The company, which thermoforms polystyrene cups and plates and injection molds PS lids, food containers and cutlery, also said it eventually will expand the plant to 800,000 square feet. The later expansions will be completed in stages, said Brian Worgess, facilities engineer.

The plant, on 55 acres, employs about 100 and no employees will be added, Worgess said.

Company officials would not disclose how much is being invested, or what percentage of its sales are in thermoforming or injection molding.

Mason, Mich.-based Dart claims to be the largest U.S. producer of foam cups. It has 12 plants in North America and about 4,000 employees worldwide.