With our annual Plastic Globe Awards, we look back and salute those deserving (and undeserving) parties who helped make 1995 remarkable and memorable.
THE DOGGONE AWARD: To the Australian Plastics & Chemicals Industry Association, which implemented a safety standard for plastic chairs after a large man sat in a chair that collapsed, killing a pet Chihuahua lounging underneath.
KISS AND BREAK UP AWARD: To Gain Technologies Inc. and Battenfeld GmbH, long-time protagonists who attempted for three years to strike a behind-the-scenes deal over licensing legalities for their respective gas-assisted injection molding technologies - only to see their efforts end publicly and acrimoniously.
WELCOME WAGON AWARD: To Greenpeace, which greeted attendees at the 1995 World Chemical Conference in Venice, Italy, in mid-October with a huge banner: ``Venezia welcomes chemical killers.'' About 140 protesters disrupted the conference, but the show went on anyway.
FAIR SEX AWARD: To Plastics News correspondent Clare Goldsberry, who wrote in September about sons who take over the family business from their fathers. After an outcry from women executives, Clare followed up in December with a feature on female CEOs.
MISS MANNERS AWARD: To American Plastics Council spokesman Rudy Underwood, who speaking in defense of plastics, told a Tampa Tribune reporter that most plastics plants are so clean ``you could almost eat off the floor in most of them. If you're going to have your choice between a plastic company and a paper company, I think you ought to go with the plastic company.'' Well, OK, but do you need a fork and knife for that?
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY? AWARD: To the Cumberland Engineering Division of John Brown Plastics Machinery, which received several telephone calls during a civil trial in Chicago from a juror offering to ``fix'' a personal injury case for $2,500. The company alerted authorities, the juror was arrested, but the plaintiff eventually was awarded $1.8 million.
THE FELINE FANNY AWARD: To Cam Action Technologies Ltd. (or CAT), a conveyor maker that formed a partnership with German automation equipment company Automations-Systeme-Schwope Machinenbau GmbH (known as ASS).
EFFICIENCY IN GOVERNMENT AWARD: To the U.S. Navy, which plans to spend $238 million to process waste plastic into 20-inch-diameter disks for recycling. Most of the disks, however, are difficult to recycle because sailors also load the machines with metal, paper and food waste.
THE MEASLEY 5.65 PERCENT RAISE AWARD: To Warren L. Batts, chairman/CEO of Premark International Inc., whose 1994 salary and bonus rose that modest amount from the year before - to a mere $1.68 million. But, after adding in his stock options and other income,Batts topped our ranking of highest-paid plastics industry executives last year with total compensation of $11.98 million.
POWER OF THE PRESS AWARD: To our printer, who - by leaving off the line under our front-page logo that includes the issue date and cost - made our April 17 injection molders ranking report a truly priceless and timeless issue.
MOST STIMULATING APPLICATION AWARD: To Gary Mitchell, a Fort Wayne, Ind., inventor, who sent us a press release on his new product, the All Day Orgasm, an unobtrusive device meant to be worn by women for their day-long enjoyment. He did not indicate there was any particular reason for sending the release to a plastics publication, but then, who cares?
BRILLIANCE IN ACTION AWARD: To Andre , a former security guard at Advanced Elastomer Systems L.P., who swiped three AES laptop computers and hocked one without deleting the AES software that identified its owners. When this criminal mastermind returned to the same computer shop later to try to unload the other two laptops, the cops were waiting.
SWEET REVENGE AWARD: To Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s senior management, which no doubt is smirking discreetly about the recent woes of housewares giant Rubbermaid Inc., which incurred the mega-retailer's wrath this year by trying to force-feed it stiff price increases. Wal-Mart responded by stocking a host of products by Rubbermaid's competitors.
TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT AWARD: To those several hundred injection molding employees of toy maker Fisher-Price who chose to take early retirement or simply quit, rather than accept jobs at the company's new, labor-intensive rotomolding plant a few blocks from the old injection plant in Medina, N.Y.
GOOD GUY AWARD: To Jon M. Huntsman, industrialist, philanthropist, and chairman/CEO of resin and packaging giant Huntsman Group, for his $100 million charitable donation to help fight cancer. It is believed to be the single largest contribution ever to medical research.
BEST SOLUTION TO A SOCIETAL PROBLEM AWARD: To Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry, for his suggestion that the best way to stop illegal drug use would be to put the stuff in everyday, child-resistant packaging (such as aspirin bottles) and sell it in supermarkets. Barry's reasoning: ``If physically fit, clear-headed consumers can't get into these packages, there's no way that strung-out junkies can. Eventually they'll give up trying to get at their drugs and become useful members of society, or at least attorneys.''
GOVERNMENT EUPHEMISMS AWARD: To the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which provides ``refundable contributions'' - loans - to businesses.
THE ME! ME! I WILL! I WILL! AWARD: To the National Institutes of Health, which this summer ordered six more months of testing of the London International Group plc's Avanti polyurethane condom that had gained Food and Drug Administration approval in 1991.
WE MAY HAVE FOUND THE PROBLEM AWARD: To the National Science Teachers Association in Arlington, Va. When reporter Lisa Neaville called NSTA, gave her name and Plastics News' mailing address on Merriman Road, and requested a certain document, the group responsible for teaching our children sent it to: Lisa Nabel, Scholastic News on Marriman Road. Class (and teacher) dismissed.
A very happy holiday season to all.