Australia's plastics industry is embracing the Internet only gradually, say the founders of an Australian-based plastics online site. Brothers Christopher and Peter Maloney established Plasnet, a plastics-specific Internet site, in early 1995. Since then, response to the site has been growing steadily, said Christopher Maloney.
He said Plasnet is similar to The Plastics Network, a plastics-related Internet ``hub'' site in the United States. The two sites are linked on the Internet.
Anyone linked to the Internet can access Plasnet. It is a subscription-based site and costs A$250 (US$195) a year, for which subscribers receive their own home page and entries in Plasnet listings.
Subscribers include Mel-bourne-based GE Plastics Pty. Ltd. and Huntsman Chemical Corp., plus a host of smaller companies. Maloney said although Plasnet is ``a little parochial,'' it eventually will expand overseas.
The Internet will become an essential tool for business, he said.
``Considering the shift in global communication, companies will soon be able to do business anywhere in the world,'' he said.
PACIA, Australia's Plastics and Chemical Industries Association, uses Melbourne-based information consulting firm Robson Resources to examine the feasibility of Plasnet. Gaynor Robson said PACIA's Web pages could be established in a few months.
Robson said her recommendation to PACIA after examining Plasnet was that the trade group ``needed to have some presence.''
``We're still in the planning stages with some big decisions to be made, but PACIA should be involved in Plasnet in some way,'' Robson said.
PACIA - which spends A$30,000 (US$23,400) a year on brochures and mailings to schools and individuals - sees the Internet as a tool for lowering costs. Robson said PACIA has plenty of information that could go on Plasnet - material far exceeding 100 pages.
Plasnet's site address is www.plasnet.com.au and electronic mail can be sent to [email protected]