SPE CEO talks plastics sustainability

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 1, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, 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

Bubbles add some flair to 'Plain Jane' PET bottles

December 17, 2014 1:05 pm ET

Ron Puvak and the folks over at Plastic Technologies Inc. see big things coming from some very tiny bubbles.    More

Image

New extruders, repelletizer to improve production for InterGroup

December 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

InterGroup International Ltd. will install new, larger extruders and repelletizers at all three of its plastic scrap recycling locations in 2015.    More

Image

Investments allow UK's Jayplas to keep recycling supply chain at home

December 17, 2014 9:32 am ET

Corby, England-based plastics recycler Jayplas has announced the completion of a new extrusion and printing plant, together with a new packaging...    More

Image

Ecojug trims HDPE from milk jugs

December 17, 2014 8:57 am ET

United Diary Inc. has saved 1.7 million pounds of high density polythylene during the production of 80 million of its new Ecojug milk jug design...    More

Image

Amcor unveils hot-fill PET jars that accept metal lug closures

December 17, 2014 8:47 am ET

Amcor Rigid Plastics has developed hot-fill PET jars that accept metal lug closures — which the company claims is a first for food packaging.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

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

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events