Feb. 17 … President Bush decides to reject a plea from U.S. injection molding machine manufacturers to place import duties on presses made in Japan.
March 14 … The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. launches a $200,000 “positive public relations” campaign to try to counter anti-plastics sentiment in the general public. The centerpiece is a 16-page quarterly magazine called Plastics & You, designed to showcase innovative uses of plastics.
March 24 … A huge oil spill in Prince William Sound is not likely to raise the price of plastic resins, according to industry experts. But the accident involving the supertanker Exxon Valdez could have long-term implications on petrochemical transportation, which could be passed along to consumers.
March 31 … Minneapolis City Council unanimously approves what environmentalists consider the nation's toughest food-packaging law. The law requires nearly all packaging to be recyclable, returnable or biodegradable, and bans the likes of plastic egg cartons, catsup bottles and peanut butter containers.
April 3 … Suffolk County, N.Y., lawyers prepare to defend the nation's first plastics ban, which has been challenged by a cadre of industry associations in a state court case filed in Haupaugue, N.Y. (The New York Supreme Court subsequently rejects the ban May 24.)
April 20 … Procter & Gamble Co. announces it wants to find 20 million pounds per year of quality recycled high density polyethylene to use in its new Tide, Cheer and Downy bottles. The company expects its bottles to contain 20-30 percent post-consumer resin.
April 25 … DuPont Co. and Waste Management Inc. form a joint venture to sort and recycle post-consumer plastics. The venture plans to build several plants around the United States at a cost of about $5 million each.
May 12 … Thomas G. Murdough Jr. announces he will retire Sept. 1 as president and general manager of Little Tikes. He complains of “certain incompatibilities” with parent company Rubbermaid Inc.
June 12 … Harsh military action used to repress China's pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square causes several chemical firms and plastics suppliers to move their people hurriedly out of the People's Republic.
June 19 … Polystyrene producers announce plans to invest $14 million in five regional recycling centers. The seven major PS suppliers form a joint venture to run the business, National Polystyrene Recycling Co.
July 5 … An explosion at Arco Chemical Co.'s Channelview, Texas, plant kills 17 workers and shuts down 1.4 billion pounds of annual styrene monomer production capacity.
July 17 ... The Council for Solid Waste Solutions spends $1 million for a 12-page, four-color supplement to Time magazine, called “The Urgent Need to Recycle.”
Oct. 23 ... A massive blast levels Phillips 66 Co.'s HDPE complex in Pasadena, Texas, killing more than 20 people.
Dec. 4 ... In an unlikely partnership, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., Oxy Petrochemicals Inc. and Vermont Republic Industries team up to recycle injection molded high density polyethylene ice cream pails.