WASHINGTON - The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has created a new unit, and boosted another to full division status. The Napthalate Polymers Council was formed to raise the visibility of and deal with issues related to polyethylene napthalate, Washington-based SPI said.
An increase in membership allowed the Color and Com-pounders Unit to become an SPI division, the association an-nounced July 2.
``By granting special-purpose group status, SPI recognizes that napthalate polymers are an im-portant emerging market whose needs should be addressed,'' John Malloy, the SPI staff member named director of the napthalate polymers group, said in an SPI statement.
PEN has yet to see wide use in the United States, but suppliers are touting it as a replacement for glass or metal in some packaging uses, including beer. Questions remain about how PEN should be collected for recycling, including whether it could be given its own identification mark distinct from the seven-number SPI code.
The color and additives compounders unit of SPI has been ``slowly growing in size over the past year,'' said SPI spokesman Jack LaCovey.
Color and additive compounders now will have a seat on the SPI board. Robert Swain, chairman of the former unit and now division, will take that board seat. Swain is president of Chroma Corp. of McHenry, Ill.
The new division was not formed solely in response to charges levied by activist groups against chlorine as a plastics additive, LaCovey said, adding that ``there is no [one] issue that drove'' its formation.
Richard Gottwald, former technical director for SPI's Vinyl Siding Institute, will serve as director of the new SPI division.
Issues of concern to the new division include implementation of the Clean Air Act and PVC-related issues. The group is developing draft environmental standards and ``Facts & Myths,'' a series of educational pieces on industry issues.
Absent an SPI division, much of the information about chlorinated compounds has been handled by the SPI's Vinyl Institute, and by the Chlorine Chemistry Council of the Chemical Manufacturers Association.