Calif. governor vetoes PET deposit bill
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — California Gov. Pete Wilson has vetoed legislation that would have raised deposits on 20-ounce PET bottles and continued to use surplus bottle-bill revenue to subsidize recycling.
Wilson's Sept. 29 veto sets the stage for a scramble to pass some alternative in the Legislature's brief session in December. Wilson said he viewed the bill as a tax increase and wanted more reforms. But the picture is complicated because California will have a new Legislature in the December session, and a new governor in January. Wilson still will be in office during the December session.
Plastic bottlers strongly opposed the bill's provision raising the deposit on 20-ounce containers from 21/2 cents to a nickel, said Ralph Simoni, a lobbyist for the Plastic Recycling Corp. of California in Sonoma. But the glass industry, grocers and retailers urged Wilson to sign the bill because, without it, they will be forced to pay much higher fees to subsidize recycling, starting Jan. 1. Plastics industry fees also will rise from about $20 million to $32.5 million without the subsidy.
Germany's Thieme opens U.S. facility
ST. CHARLES, ILL.—Germany's Thieme GmbH & Co., a polyurethane molder that also makes screen-printing machines, has opened a 33,000-square-foot plant in St. Charles.
Most of the building serves as Thieme's PU molding plant. In 1997, Thieme started supplying PU interior crash pads for the new Volkswagen Beetle, assembled in Puebla, Mexico. Thieme named a special product team to start a U.S. molding plant that matched the quality and efficiency of the company's headquarters plant in Teningen, Germany.
Thieme specializes in molding energy-absorption parts, housings that resist chemical attack and large thin-wall panels, such as ceiling panels for train cars.
Thieme also will use the St. Charles building for sales and service of its screen-printing machines.
Pass & Seymour opens $30 million plant
GASTONIA, N.C.—Pass & Seymour/Legrand Inc. is investing $30 million in a new wiring-device manufacturing plant in Gastonia.
The 155,000-square-foot facility will include an undetermined number of injection presses to make components for switches, receptacles, plugs and connectors, said Ed Braxton, the firm's executive vice president. Pass & Seymour already operates more than 100 injection presses with clamping forces to 440 tons at plants in Concord and Greensboro, N.C.
Braxton said his firm is experiencing double-digit growth in North America but he would not reveal sales. It is a subsidiary of Legrand Group, a $2.5 billion-per-year company based in Limoges, France. Pass & Seymour plans to open the Gastonia operation in the third quarter of 1999 with a roster of about 125 employees. Pass & Seymour uses polycarbonate, nylon, vinyl and polypropylene in its products, Braxton said by telephone from Pass & Seymour headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y.
British Vita acquires Italian extruder
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND—Acquisitive plastics company British Vita continues to consolidate its place as a major engineering-plastic sheet extruder on both sides of the Atlantic with its takeover of Italian extruder Caleppio ILT SpA.
Caleppio, a family-owned polystyrene sheet producer in Milan, extrudes a range of materials for industrial end uses.
Caleppio recorded operating profit of $2.21 million on sales of $23.8 million in 1997. It employs 97.
Earlier this year, Manchester-based Vita raised its stake in compounder and sheet extruder Spartech Corp. of Clayton, Mo., to 40 percent. It also acquired leading British sheet player Doeflex plc. The company paid £10.5 million pounds (US$17.9 million) in cash for the Italian firm, Vita said.
Fewer people attend Plastics USA 98
CHICAGO— Attendance at Plastics USA 98 fell short of the figures posted in 1995, according to the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., the Washington-based show organizer.
The number of visitors to the three-day event, 11,994, reflected a 13.6 percent drop from the last show. The number of exhibitors this year, 4,325, was down slightly from the last show's figure of 4,403. Total attendance was 16,319, compared with 18,286 in 1995.