Coke JV recycling plant opens in S.C.
CHICAGO The joint venture food-grade PET recycling plant of Coca-Cola Co. and United Resource Recovery Corp. began operations last week, when the first of two 50 million-pound lines started up in Spartanburg, S.C.
The $45 million plant which is the sixth worldwide for the company but its first in the U.S. will hold a grand opening in January, said Scott Vitters, Coke's sustainable packaging director, in a Nov. 6 interview at the Sustain '08 conference in Chicago. Vitters said the second line will begin operating in the second half of 2009.
The plant, to be called NURRC for New United Resource Recovery Corp., was announced 14 months ago. It will recycle about as much PET as Coke eliminated from its bottles through a redesign in 2007 that reduced their weight.
Atlanta-based Coke's investment in the Spartanburg plant is in part an equity stake, and in part a loan to NURCC to build the plant. United Resource Recovery is based in Spartanburg.
N.H. jury gives Brooks life in prison
BRENTWOOD, N.H. A jury in New Hampshire withheld the death penalty and, instead, sentenced former plastics industry executive John A. Brooks, 56, to life in prison. New Hampshire last executed a prisoner in 1939.
On Oct. 16 after a five-week trial, the jury convicted Brooks on four counts of murder and conspiracy in the 2005 death of handyman Jack Reid Sr., 57, of Derry, N.H.
The state prosecutors presented enough evidence to enable jurors to impose the death sentence, but the 12-person panel in Rockingham County Superior Court, in Brentwood, opted to recognize the influence of certain mitigating factors and show mercy to Brooks in reaching its conclusion Nov. 6.
Attorneys for Brooks are expected to appeal the sentence on legal and constitutional grounds.
Brooks founded and operated Poly Vac Inc. in Manchester, N.H., which vacuum forms and injection molds reusable engineered-polymer delivery trays holding surgical instruments for operating-room procedures. Symmetry Medical Inc. of Warsaw, Ind., owns the business now.
Blaze damages Tex-Trude Texas plant
CHANNELVIEW, TEXAS Tex-Trude LP is rebuilding after a fire destroyed a significant portion of its Channelview operation.
The fire began midafternoon Nov. 8 and burned for several hours as a dozen fire crews responded to the blaze. A motor on a washing and drying line overheated and started the fire, said Tex-Trude President Charles Nettles Jr. in a telephone interview. No one was injured in the incident, Nettles said.
``We're still in business,'' he said. The firm's film plant did not lose any production and has been shipping product.
Nettles estimated the fire damage at $15 million to $20 million. The fire destroyed the reprocessing facility, bag-making equipment and some 6 million pounds of finished goods, according to Nettles.
Tex-Trude will rebuild and expects to replace the 150,000 square feet destroyed by the blaze in six to eight months.
The reprocessing facility turns Tex-Trude's and other scrap into pellets for the firm's blown film operation. It includes a half-dozen extruders destroyed in the fire.
Tex-Trude had film sales of $45 million for 2007 and profile sales of about $7.5 million.
Fairfax, Calif., voters approve bag ban
FAIRFAX, CALIF. The town of Fairfax has voted to ban free plastic shopping bags in favor of recyclable paper bags and reusable ones.
Citizens voted for the ban, proposed as Measure C, on the Nov. 4 ballot. About 78 percent voted for the ban, with about 10 percent of ballots not yet counted as of Nov. 13, Fairfax town manager Michael Rock said in an interview.
The ban could be in place in about six months, according to Fairfax town attorney Jim Karpiak. The county clerk will certify the vote by early December. The town's council needs to pass an ordinance which would be operative six months after its passing, Karpiak said. Shop owners would get 30 days notice before the ordinance comes into effect.
Nearly all stores in Fairfax already avoid using plastic bags, according to Rock. Violation of the ordinance will carry a fine of as much as $100-$200 for a first offense.