SPE CEO talks plastics sustainability

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 1, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Packaging, Thermoforming

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (Oct. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Willem De Vos is CEO of the Society of Plastics Engineers. He’s also a thermoforming guy. De Vos wore both hats in a keynote speech about sustainability, kicking off the SPE Thermoforming Conference.

“Plastics is really the most sustainable solution for all of us,” he said.

De Vos noted that this was his second speech at annual SPE event. At the 2010 conference, he talked about globalization as CEO of Vitalo Group, the Belgium-based thermoformer. He became the new CEO of SPE in January of this year.

De Vos said only plastics accounts for only 4 percent of the total oil consumption, but plays a major “green” role by cutting transportation costs through packaging that is much lighter than paper, glass and steel. Plastic packaging—including thermoformed items—makes food last longer and is ideal for ready-to-east foods and single-serving sizes, he said. Plastic is used in irrigation pipes and solar panels.

He showed a slide of a thin-wall thermoformed cushioning package for a Dell computer, which has less volume that standard cardboard. That means more computers can be shipped on each truck.

Light weight is a major attribute of plastics, and De Vos is bullish on the automotive market, which needs to dramatically increase mileage standards.

“The all-plastic car. It’s one of my visions, and it’s sure that this is not as dream. It will be the reality tomorrow: Plastic chassis, plastic engines, full plastic transmissions, plastic exhaust,” he said. “You might say we are far away from that. I don’t think so. I’m sure that in the coming decades we will have a car that is completely made out of plastic.”

De Vos gave some other examples, such as composite wind turbines and self-healing bandages made with polymers.

Before his speech, he thanked Thermoforming Division leaders for having the Grand Rapids convention center named after him: DeVos Place.


Comments

SPE CEO talks plastics sustainability

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 1, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Sigma's Packworx center geared at helping customers solve problems

September 29, 2014 3:41 pm ET

Sigma Stretch Film has opened a training center to help customers find the best solution to using the packaging films.    More

Image

Clariant extends reach into Asia with acquisition

September 29, 2014 9:54 am ET

Clariant International Ltd. is buying VitaPac (HK) Industrial Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company which produces desiccant packets for the healthcare...    More

Image

Recycling group releases shrink sleeve label guidelines

September 26, 2014 4:02 pm ET

A post-consumer plastics recycling trade group is out with a set of recommendations to help guide the packaging industry on the use of shrink sleeve...    More

Image

Chemical regulation policy update likely to remain in limbo

September 26, 2014 1:13 pm ET

Efforts to broker a deal on national chemical regulation policy appear to have fallen apart in the waning days of the 113th Congress, leaving...    More

Image

ATI strikes gold with bowling pinsetter production

September 26, 2014 12:30 pm ET

Heavy-duty equipment used to arrange and re-set bowling pins netted three awards for Associated Thermoforming Inc. in the parts competition at the Soc...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events