APC to operate SPI's transportation project ARLINGTON, VA. — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the American Plastics Council have officially transferred SPI's transportation work over to APC.
Arlington-based APC will operate SPI's previous transportation programs, such as its bulk terminal transportation database and committee meetings. Both groups will cooperate on SPI's Operation Clean Sweep program, which cuts down on resin spills during shipment.
But APC will transfer lobbying, including on railroad issues, over to the Chemical Manufacturers Association, APC officials said.
CMA and the plastics industry have not always seen eye to eye on the politics of rail issues, however.
CMA, which is based in Arlington, had supported the merger of Union Pacific and Southern Pacific, while Washington-based SPI opposed it. The meltdown of service following that merger was the catalyst for shippers to begin lobbying for changes in rail regulation.
SPI said it will continue to represent the industry before governmental bodies. And APC said it would be able to offer a separate plastics message, if needed.
Lew Freeman, SPI's vice president of government affairs, said CMA and SPI have not had any disagreements on rail policy for at least two years and have a "very close working relationship."
The transfer is fallout from the failed merger talks between APC and SPI, and the subsequent departure of many resin companies from SPI.
Insulation produces form trade group
ARLINGTON, VA. — Manufacturers and processors of polystyrene and urethane vacuum insulation materials have formed a trade group.
The Vacuum Insulation Association will boost market awareness of the growing commercial opportunities and meet to discuss technical developments, said William Werst, executive director of the Arlington, Va., group.
"They realized as a group, as they went around talking with one another, that the technology was ready to be commercialized in a way it hadn't been before, [but] the lack of understanding of the technology was creating an impediment," Werst said.
The group's Web site, www.vacuuminsulate.org, is under construction and it plans to develop other marketing materials.
Vacuum insulation takes metalized plastic film, wraps it around open cell foam and creates a vacuum, he said. That provides much improved insulation properties for things like refrigerators, specialty packaging and medical applications like transporting donated organs, Werst said.
The technology has been used in glass bottles but is relatively new for plastic.
VIA members include Dow Chemical Co., DuPont, Huntsman ICI Europe and SAES Getters USA. The group had its first board meeting Jan. 20.
Werst, through a firm he owns, also manages two other chemical industry trade groups — the Suppliers of Advanced Composites Materials Association and United States Advanced Ceramics Association.
NTP panel reviewing low-level phthalates
WASHINGTON — A federal agency reviewing the safety of phthalates will begin a separate review of a controversial theory that very low doses of chemicals can disrupt endocrine systems.
The so-called low-dose theory has figured in debates about exposure to bisphenol A leaching from polycarbonate baby bottles.
The review from the National Toxicology Program could have broad implications for how the Environmental Protection Agency structures its program to test chemicals to see if they are endocrine disrupters. NTP announced the review Jan. 6.
Some studies have found endocrine effects at levels previously considered far below safe levels, but those studies are controversial. EPA asked the NTP to assess whether the low-dose theory is valid or if additional research is needed.
NTP said it wants input on how to structure the panel, which it plans to have meet in late July in the Research Triangle Park, N.C., area.