Boston panel passes chlorine resolution
BOSTON - Boston City Council recommended Oct. 30 that the city not purchase products that contain chlorine. The council said it is trying to reduce dioxin pollution.
Initial drafts of a resolution had said the city should not purchase construction products and office supplies made from PVC. The city was lobbied heavily by both industry and environmental groups, and ultimately adopted a resolution that dropped specific references to vinyl. The council unanimously adopted the nonbinding resolution.
A spokesman for the Arlington, Va.-based Vinyl Institute said the city should pay more attention to processes that create dioxin, rather than specific products. VI's Allen Blakey said the group was pleased that the final version of the resolution refers to the Environmental Protection Agency's dioxin inventory, which identifies backyard burning as the biggest source of dioxin.
A spokeswoman for the environmental group Health Care Without Harm, which pushed for the resolution, said the mention of chlorinated products means the city will pursue policies that will discourage using PVC. The resolution was supported by firefighters who felt it would reduce their exposure to toxins, said HCWH's Tiffany Skogstrom.
Atlantic relocating to Ga., Ohio sites
SUWANEE, GA. - Plastics fabricator Atlantic Plastics Inc. is relocating from Suwanee to sites in Statham, Ga., and Woodsfield, Ohio.
The company is outgrowing its Suwanee location, and owner Paul Bunning wanted to relocate to the Woodsfield area, where his wife is from.
The business - which creates point-of-purchase displays and pegboard spinner racks for prepaid phone cards and other products - was founded in Lithonia, Ga., in 1993. It moved to a 12,000-square-foot site in Suwanee in 1999. Recent sales growth has led Atlantic to subcontract work, Bunning said by phone Nov. 3.
The new, 7,000-square-foot Statham location - about 40 miles north of Suwanee - should be in place by the end of the year, while production in Woodsfield should begin in early 2004. Atlantic expects to employ about six in Statham and 15-30 in Woodsfield.
Current plans call for Atlantic to do most of its machining and cutting work in Ohio before doing assembly, boxing and shipping in Georgia, Bunning said.
Atlantic also was lured to Woodsfield by tax abatements on the firm's equipment and by local employee training programs, he said.
Bunning said Atlantic's 2003 sales should come in at between $1.5 million and $1.8 million.
Lego slashing 257 jobs at Denmark HQ
BILLUND, DENMARK - Lego Co., which saw slower-than-expected sales this year in the United States and Asia-Pacific region, is cutting 257 jobs at its headquarters plant in Billund.
The layoffs include employees involved in product finishing, assembly, innovation, marketing and distribution, but not directly in injection molding. The cuts will be completed between December and February, according to the company.
At the same time, Lego is drawing up a detailed plan for the closure of its last injection molding plant next year at Baar, Switzerland, cutting up to 119 out of 130 jobs. Eleven employees already have moved to Lego plants in Willisau and Steinhausen, Switzerland. Lego formerly operated two plants in Baar.
Lego said it is reacting to changes in the toy market, which is becoming ``increasingly global and is influenced by media, fashion and trends.''
But the Lego story in Europe is not all layoffs and cutbacks. The company recently completed a 270,000-square-foot extension to its plant in Kladno, Czech Republic. The plant employs 350 and expects to hire as many as 200 next year, said plant manager Anders Ravnskoer.
Plasticolors buys assets of Spartan
ASHTABULA, OHIO - Plasticolors Inc. has made its second acquisition of the year, purchasing the assets of Houston-based Spartan Color Corp. for an undisclosed price.
Plasticolors of Ashtabula now will make Spartan's Spartacryl PM-brand line of color concentrates. The concentrates are based on acrylic and acetate resins and are used in paint and coatings, Plasticolors marketing director Larry Haines said by telephone Nov. 3. Previously, Plasticolors had produced aldehyde-based color concentrates for paint and coatings.
The deal involves Houston-based Spartan's formulations and customer lists, Haines said. Very little equipment will be transferred to Plasticolors' 140-employee site from Spartan's Houston plant, which closed recently.
The announcement comes seven months after Plasticolors purchased the Modifier-brand plastics additives line from Ashland Inc. of Ashland, Ky. Haines said Plasticolors is looking into further acquisitions.
No sales figures were available for privately held Plasticolors or for Spartan, which also was privately held. Plasticolors also makes liquid color and additives dispersions for thermoset plastics and industrial coatings.