Your top stories of 2012

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One of the lessons you get in journalism school is that readers love lists. Here's one of my favorites, the annual ranking of the most-read stories on

Can you guess the No. 1 story? Scroll all the way to the bottom if you can't wait to see:

25. Firms to distribute solar shingles. Solar shingle stories have been pretty well read on our site for a few years now.

24. Dow Chemical picks Freeport, Texas, for new ethylene cracker

23. PVC prices continue to climb. The first of many resin pricing-related stories on this list.

22. Researcher develops plastic light bulb

21. Rising costs in China drive manufacturing back to the United States. A first-hand report on reshoring from Steve Toloken, Plastics News' Guangzhou, China-based Asia bureau chief.

20. New NPE venue brings new travel challenges

19. Dart buying Solo Cup for $1 billion. Big plastics M&A deals are very popular with PN readers -- hint hint.

18. Surprise! North American polyethylene prices up 5 cents per pound. I loved getting the word "Surprise" in this headline. I guess it worked.

17. Shale gas shakes up PE market. A very newsy headline from last year's Plastics News Executive Forum.

16. Nylon 12 shortage creates opportunities for material substitution. The nylon 12 shortage was one of the biggest plastics-related stories of 2012. This roundup story on alternative materials was very timely and extremely popular.

15. Milacron gets new private equity owner Big news in the machinery sector, and it broke just days before NPE2012.

14. Jon Huntsman is back in spotlight. How about that, one of my editorial columns! This one was teasing Huntsman's speaking role at the April 1 event marking the 75th anniversary of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the 50th anniversary of the Plastics Hall of Fame.

13. Explosion at Evonik plant leaves one dead. This was the first of our nylon 12-related stories, and it was frequently linked to in the days following the incident.

12. North American prices fall for PE, PP, PVC and PET

11. iPhone case maker hits jackpot. A day after Apple introduced the iPhone 5, we had a terrific plastics angle.

10. North American prices fall for polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC

9. Polyethylene and polypropylene prices rise despite slow demand

8. Dow additive keeps PC from scratching

7. Berry Plastics planning IPO. Another big financial deal, but not the big one. Have you guessed it yet?

6. Beleaguered gas can manufacturer Blitz USA closing down. A popular story with blow molders and plaintiff's attorneys, I'm sure.

5. One dead in accident at Rexam plant. I've pointed this out before, PN has a core group of readers who are responsible for safety training in their plants. Whenever we write about an industrial accident, they want all the details they can get, and they use the opportunity to reinforce safety measures at their own employers.

4. Obamacare ruling means medical device tax starts in 2013. Here's my advice to editors: Put "Obamacare" and "tax" in a headline during an election year and watch the web clicks go crazy.

3. Jindal Poly buying ExxonMobil BOPP films business. Another huge M&A deal in plastics packaging, and it helped that we were the first to report this in North America.

2. Evonik warns customers about nylon 12 supply constraints. This was the first big story to warn of the pending nylon 12 shortage. David Vink from our sister newspaper European Plastics News wrote this, and it was a great example of the global reporting that we offer to PN readers.

1. PolyOne buying Spartech for $393 million. Did you guess it was this deal?

We were all over the PolyOne acquisition of Spartech. If you're just catching up and interested in more information, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Spartech, and Julie McAlindon, vice president of corporate marketing for PolyOne: "PolyOne and Spartech executives discuss plans for combined company."

I hope you enjoyed the list as much as I did. Thanks to all of the loyal Plastics News readers -- in print and online -- and best wishes for 2013.