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Deals, data and controversy, your favorite blog posts of 2013

By: Don Loepp

July 2, 2013

Certain topics in The Plastics Blog seem to attract tons of readership -- let's call them posts about deals, data and controversy.

Last week I shared a list of the Top 25 stories on PlasticsNews.com for the first half of 2013. Now, let's cover the top posts in The Plastics Blog, as measured by readers' clicks.

10) Extreme and unreasonable: declaring plastic waste 'hazardous'. This is one of the "controversy" posts. It was about a column in the periodical Nature by two California-based graduate students, who proposed that labeling PVC, polystyrene, polyurethane and polycarbonate as "hazardous" would protect human health and wildlife.

I came down kind of hard on them, saying: "I sympathize with the authors' concern about plastic marine debris -- this is a real problem that the global plastics industry was slow to address, but now is finally starting to take action. But the idea that the answer to the problem is to declare large segments of the plastic industry 'hazardous' is an extreme and unreasonable approach."

9) Family dispute spills into court, newspaper. More controversy, this time in the form of a family battle over ownership stakes in a plastics company. The post was about a lawsuit in Indiana related to Createc, a manufacturer of polystyrene and polypropylene foams that was sold to DeKalb, Ill.-based Tegrant Corp. in 2010.

8) Obama's unnecessary slam against plastics. Controversy again? Yep. President Obama tried to make a point about climate change, and he ended up reinforcing a negative stereotype against plastics.

7) Al-Mady: US is awash in natural gas, and Sabic needs to participate. Mohammed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corp., shared his thoughts about the changing global chemical market with ArabianBusiness.com.

6) 'Spectacular' 3D printer failures. Amusing messes, courtesy of Gizmodo.com.

5) A peek behind our top 100 North American injection molders. This one's all about data. PN's Hollee Keller and Lisa Pyles have been helping me highlight interesting changes and trends in each of the annual Plastics News rankings, and they've been very popular posts. In this item, we learned that 2012 was a good year to be an automotive supplier, with North American production numbers trending up 17 percent for our top 100 molders that list the auto market as a major sector.

4) A peek behind our 2013 ranking of North American thermoformers. Just like No. 5, but this one was all about the thermoformers.

3) Man charged with slapping a toddler on an airplane -- the plastics angle. Remember the story about the guy who allegedly used a racial slur and slapped a 2-year-old on a flight back in February? Did you know he was an executive at a composites company? Plastics Blog readers did.

2) PolyOne purchase of Spartech is a done deal. Deal news is big, and this post was among the first to report that PolyOne had completed its purchase of Spartech.

1) What's everyone saying about the Jabil-Nypro deal? Another huge M&A deal, and this post added some additional perspective to our news stories about the purchase. It included a pretty important rhetorical question that other processor company executives are still asking themselves: If Nypro felt the need to get even bigger, what does that mean to smaller molders?