GE to attempt 8 cent Lexan increase
PITTSFIELD, MASS. — GE Plastics of Pittsfield will attempt to raise prices on its Lexan polycarbonate line by 8 cents per pound effective Oct. 13.
The increase is tied in to rising prices on such feedstocks as phenol, as well as supply pressure created by stronger global demand, according to Lexan Americas General Manager William Driscoll.
``Demand in the Pacific is exceptionally strong, while demand in Europe has been very strong and demand in North America has been steady,'' Driscoll said.
Polycarbonate officials at Bayer Corp. of Pittsburgh declined to comment on the increase. Officials at Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., could not be reached by press time.
PET bottle resin price hikes in works
KINGSPORT, TENN. — Market leaders Eastman Chemical Co. and Shell Chemical Co. have announced a 3 cent increase on PET bottle resin prices effective Nov. 1.
Kingsport-based Eastman still needs to improve its profitability in spite of getting 11 cents in increases through to buyers since March, according to Phil Myers, Eastman's business marketing manager for container plastics.
Officials of Shell, which is headquartered in Houston, confirmed they would take the same action. Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America officials said the Livingston, N.J., company was likely to take the same step earlier this week. Industry sources said a similar increase was in the works at ICI Americas of Wilmington, Del. ICI officials could not be reached for comment.
PET resin prices fell 42 percent last year, from an average of 76 cents per pound to an average of 44 cents per pound, because of an increased capacity for key raw materials such as paraxylene.
Officials at PET makers Hoechst Celanese Corp. of Summit, N.J., and DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del., could not be reached for comment at press time.
Plastic Recovery rebuilding after blaze
PHOENIX — Recycler Plastic Recovery Industries Inc. of Phoenix will rebuild its facility, which was destroyed by fire.
Arson is suspected, according to Ephraim Warshawsky, general manager. Phoenix Fire Department Captain Bob Khan said the Aug. 20 blaze may have been started by transient drug users.
``We found a lot of drug needles,'' Khan said about the area.
He said last week were there were no suspects, but the blaze still was being investigated.
The fire, which destroyed the 15,000-square-foot facility and $100,000 worth of equipment, started when paint was sprayed on very flammable plastic, he said.
The company has purchased land for a new site and is looking at buying machinery, but has not ironed out details, Warshawsky said.
Plastic Recovery reprocesses materials including PVC, polyethylene, polystyrene, ABS and polycarbonate. The firm would not release sales figures.
Greenpeace attacks PVC use in toys
WASHINGTON — A new Greenpeace report charges that dangerous plasticizers and additives leach from soft PVC toys, but the environmental group's report says it cannot determine the rate at which the chemicals leak.
A toy industry trade group responded that research has not found problems with plasticizers and phthalate esters used in PVC toys. The International Council of Toy Industries in New York also quoted a July 18 letter from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to Greenpeace saying that ``there is no data that quantifies exposure under reasonably foreseeable use conditions'' that would determine that a toy is a hazardous substance.
ICTI called Greenpeace's accusation ``slanderous.''
Greenpeace's Sept. 17 study looked at 63 toys with PVC, and found that phthalates made up 10-40 percent of the weight of the soft PVC toys. The most common phthlate found, diisononyl phthalate, can cause liver, kidney and reproductive tract damage in lab animals and is a weak estrogen mimic in people, Greenpeace said.
The phthalates are not chemically bonded to the PVC, and can leach out of the toy, particularly when chewed or if pressure is applied, Greenpeace said.