Reuters has a scary typo in a news story today ... they say the price of high density polyethylene has hit $100 per pound. The story is about rising resin prices, which is a topic readers here understand all too well.
You know that flimsy plastic bag the convenience store clerk put your toothpaste in? The price of those bags, though still cheaper than paper ones, is rising fast because of higher natural gas and oil prices. And the same goes for plastic water bottles, takeout containers, the case around your computer, and car parts. Let's start with that flyaway plastic bag -- which has gotten flimsier as packaging makers of all stripes cut costs. That bag is made from high density polyethylene, which cost a little over $70 per pound in early 2007 and now costs $100, according to figures supplied by Integrated Design Engineering Systems (IDES), which follows the plastics industry. "I think it's pretty safe to say it's the highest ever. I think you'll see some fluctuations but long term I don't think it can go down," IDES President Mike Kmetz said.It's obviously a typo that detracts from an otherwise interesting story that explains to the general public the kind of pricing pressures that processors, and their customers, are experiencing. Let's just hope it's not predictive of the future. Here's another interesting snippet from the story:
Susan Selke of Michigan State University's School of Packaging said she expected more changes in packaging to use less plastic, and also more plastic made from sugar cane and other renewable resources, rather than natural gas and oil. "Energy prices are going up dramatically and that means that everything costs more," she added. "I don't see that affecting the competitiveness of plastic in the marketplace."