Looking back at key industry events of 1996
January: Fewer than 10 percent of the respondents to a Plastics News survey report they have a Web site — but more than a third are considering one.
January: The American Plastics Council gains its first new members since its founding in 1992: BFGoodrich Co., Ashland Chemical Co. and Rohm and Haas Co. The additions bring corporate membership to 27, its highest level.
February: SPI Canada merges with the Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada and the Canadian Plastics Institute.
February: New York investment group Packaging Acquisition Corp. pays $39 million to buy Dolco Packaging Corp. Also this month, bag maker Zeta Consumer Products Corp. agrees to acquire Tucker Housewares from Mobil Chemical Co., and Stadco Inc. says it will purchase HPM Corp.
March: A 17-day strike at two General Motors Corp. brake factories in Dayton, Ohio, causes closings and reduced hours at some part suppliers. The strike begins March 6, and by March 14, GM closes 22 of its 29 assembly plants and 44 parts factories, idling 84,000 workers.
March: Our Stolen Future is published, and the world becomes aware of bisphenol-A — a polycarbonate additive and alleged hormone disrupter. The book, with a forward by Vice President Al Gore, is authored by World Wildlife Fund scientist Theo Colborn, Boston Globe reporter Dianne Dumanoski and zoologist John Peterson Myers.
April: After 14 months of planning, Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. launch a $1 billion joint venture that combines Dow's metallocene catalyst technology with DuPont's synthetic rubbers business.
May: Swiss packaging and chemical giant Alusuisse-Lonza Holding Ltd. pays more than $400 million to buy Wheaton Industries Inc., a U.S. packaging maker.
June: AEP Industries Inc. agrees to buy Borden Inc.'s global packaging business for about $360 million.
September: Recycling expert Tom Rattray retires from his position as Procter & Gamble Co. associate director for environment quality worldwide, to go sailing. As noted in a PN Perspective, “P&G's decision not to replace Rattray says volumes about the state of plastics recycling in 1996.”
September: Tyco International Ltd. acquires Carlisle Plastics Inc., which has film and sheet sales of more than $250 million.
October: Recycling appears to be jinxed. Union Carbide Corp. closes its 5-year-old high density polyethylene recycling plant in Piscataway, N.J., while Rutgers University closes its 11-year-old Center for Plastics Recycling Research. WTe Corp. shutters its PET bottle recycling plant in Hayward, Calif., just 14 months after opening it, citing an inadequate supply of bottles.
December: Both the 10-year-old Council on Packaging in the Environment and the Council of Northeastern Governors' source-reduction office close their doors.