Illinois sets table for big plastics day
CHICAGO — Plastics industry and state government leaders will get together at Illinois Plastics Industry Day, set for Oct. 8 in conjunction with the Plastics USA trade show in Chicago.
The agenda includes:
A leadership round table on globalization, including a discussion of what several executives have learned from their experiences in international business.
An address by Gary Rogers, chief executive officer of GE Plastics in Pittsfield, Mass. He will discuss opportunities for the plastics industry, economic factors affecting resin supply, and how new technology influences material selection and new-product development.
A talk by Motorola Corp. on how plastics companies can meet customer needs.
Six children will show how plastics have made a difference in their lives.
Plastics USA will be held Oct. 6-8 at McCormick Place. Plastics Industry Day is sponsored by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Midwest Regional Office and the joint SPI/American Plastics Council State Government Affairs office.
For information, or to register, call Susan Faurot at the SPI Midwest office in Chicago, tel. (773) 380-0808.
Viskase pursuing damages against ANC
CHICAGO — Viskase Corp. received a partial victory in its long-standing lawsuit against American National Can Co.
On Aug. 19, the U.S. District Court in Chicago granted Viskase a partial summary judgment, finding that a former ANC product that used Dow Chemical Co.'s Affinity-brand polyethylene resin in heat-shrinkable films infringed on Viskase's patents.
The court previously had found that ANC's use of Dow's Affinity-brand and Attane-brand PE resins infringed Viskase's patents. The patents related to heat-shrinkable films for fresh meat, processed meat and poultry applications.
A jury had found that such infringements were willful and awarded Viskase $102.4 million in damages. However, in September 1997, the court set aside the verdict in part and ordered a retrial on issues pertaining to ANC's use of the Affinity resin.
Viskase intends to pursue the $102.4 million in damages originally awarded by the jury. ANC plans to contest all issues. Both firms are based in Chicago. Viskase is owned by Envirodyne Industries Inc. of Oak Brook, Ill.
EPA wants higher recycled-content use
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule last week designed to bolster the federal government's procurement of 19 items made with recovered materials.
EPA also published a notice that provides guidance on recommended recycled-content levels in these items, which range from park benches to plastic lumber.
The guidelines require federal agencies to buy items with the highest percentage of recovered materials when practical and when items meet performance specifications.
The items include nylon carpet with backing that has recovered materials, carpet cushion, park and recreational furniture and playground equipment. Plastic products include plastic lumber, binders, clipboards, file folders, presentation folders, awards and plaques, industrial drums, mats, signs and strapping.
The guidelines only apply to agencies procuring more than $10,000 worth of a designated item in a year.
EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until Oct. 26.
California bottle bill expansion dying
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — A significant expansion of the bottle bill in California seems to have died in the final hours of this year's legislative session.
Recycling advocates had been hoping to tie bottle bill expansion to a renewal of recycling processing fees that were sought heavily by the packaging industry. But sources say it appears most of the bottle bill expansion will not survive.
Legislators were talking about a compromise that would boost money to curbside programs, increase deposits on 20-ounce containers and renew the processing fees, said Rick Best, spokesman for Sacramento-based Californians Against Waste.
The group will look at other avenues, Best said.
The Legislature has an Aug. 31 deadline to wrap up its work.