January … U.S. and United Nations forces attack Iraq, creating spikes in demand for resin and a variety of plastic products — everything from medical devices and protective suits to body bags. Desert Storm also is blamed for lagging attendance at trade expositions.
February … The polystyrene industry, fighting adverse publicity surrounding McDonald's Corp.'s decision to abandon PS clamshells, launches a nine-publication, national advertising campaign. Splashy, full-page ads in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Los Angeles Times hit newsstands in the first week of February. Later ads appear in Time, Newsweek, Forbes and Parade magazines.
March … Lin Pac Plastics announces it will make food-service containers from 50 percent post-consumer PS. Lin Pac customer Hardee's restaurants are to test-market the half-recycled clamshells by early April.
April … Stanley Gault retires as chairman and chief executive officer of Rubbermaid Inc. He is succeeded by Walter Williams.
April … Germany's Decree on Packaging requires 50 percent of all packaging to be collected for recycling by January 1993.
May … New York's highest court upholds the Suffolk County plastics ban, one of the country's first. The law was to have taken effect July 1, 1989, until it was challenged by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
July … The Bush administration voices strong support for the Federal Trade Commission to issue environmental labeling guidelines, citing consumer confusion over environmental claims.
July … The Association of Foam Packaging Recyclers forms with the goal of boosting expanded PS recycling to 37.5 million pounds annually, from its current level of 5 million to 10 million pounds.
July … Occidental Chemical Corp. says it will invest $5 million in a 40 million pound-per-year recycling plant in Dallas that will focus on PVC and high density polyethylene.
August … Ultra Pac Inc. becomes the first company to receive a letter of nonobjection from the Food and Drug Administration to use a 100 percent recycled plastic container in direct contact with food. It says it will begin selling the rigid PET produce containers in September.
September … Two of Japan's leading carmakers — Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. — say they have made separate recycling breakthroughs in the removal of paint from scrap polypropylene bumpers.
November … Viatech Inc. acquires Continental Plastic Containers Inc. for $153.4 million, causing one analyst to predict that resulting competitive pressures could cause a plastic bottle price war.
December … Toshiba Machine Co. America is back in the U.S. injection molding machinery market, after a three-year ban.