Malaysian group seeks government aid
NEW DELHI Malaysia's plastics processors are seeing their output decline by 10-30 percent, the result of the ongoing global economic crisis, said Lim Kok Boon, president of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association in Petaling Jaya.
Food-packaging demand remains strong, with processors serving that market running at 100 percent capacity, Lim said at the PlastIndia 2009 trade show, held Feb. 4-9 in New Delhi.
MPMA and other Malaysian trade groups have called on the country's government to consider a number of relief packages for manufacturing and processing sectors especially those hit by the global crisis and slower export demands, Lim said.
The groups have asked the government to temporarily suspend or lower the corporate tax to 10 percent from its current level of 25 percent. They also asked for reduced electricity rates.
In response, the government announced a 5 percent reduction in energy tariffs, effective March 1, for the industrial sector, as part of an economic stimulus package to mitigate the impact of the slowdown.
Bag maker pursuing EPA designation
SUGAR LAND, TEXAS Plastic retail bag maker Advance Polybag Inc., based in Sugar Land, has entered into a renewable energy contract with TXU Energy Corp. in Dallas.
Advance officials want the Environmental Protection Agency to designate their new plant a green building. The firm began building the plant more than a year ago, after relocating from Metairie, La., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
As one of the country's leading providers of plastic bags, it was important for us to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, said Kevin McCarthy, Advance Polybag's vice president.
The renewable power contract is projected at a load of more than 17 million kilowatt hours.
Firms launch new European bioplastic
OSAKA, JAPAN Japanese film, fibers and biotechnology firm Toyobo Co. Ltd. and global lactic acid specialist Purac have joined forces to launch a new bioplastic polymer in Europe.
Osaka-based Toyobo plans to introduce Vyloecol a fully biodegradable polylactic acid produced from Purac's lactide monomers in March. The renewable material is aimed at coatings or adhesives for packaging films and materials.
Purac of Gorinchem, the Netherlands, supplies its lactides under the brand name Puralact to plastics industry partners for conversion into value-added polymers. The firm is owned by Diemen, Netherlands-based CSM NV, which claims to be the biggest supplier of bakery products worldwide. Toyobo Group is a chemicals company with businesses in medical, packaging and industrial films; industrial adhesives, acrylate and engineering plastics.
M-Tex bets on future economic growth
DONGGUAN, CHINA Chinese mold-texturing firm M-Tex Co. Ltd. has opened a 21,500-square-foot mold- and roll-texturing facility in Dongguan, a move it hopes will position it for future growth.
Although M-Tex has been hurt by the economic downturn, it sees the investment as a long-term strategy, the company said Feb. 23. We feel the market will come back and [we] want to be positioned to meet the needs of our industry when it does, company spokeswoman Zoe Liu said in an e-mail.
About 80 percent of M-Tex's business is in the plastics industry texturing molds for aesthetics, hiding sink marks or preventing scratches on finished products with the remainder split between the rubber, steel and paper industries. The company employs about 30.
Former managers of U.S.-based Mold-Tech Worldwide's plant in Dongguan formed M-Tex in 2008 with money from undisclosed investors in China, Singapore and the U.S., Liu said. The plant's general manager under Mold-Tech, Loy Chee Hong, is now general manager at the M-Tex site. Mold-Tech is part of Salem, N.H.-based Standex International Corp.
SPI drops annual EPS outreach program
WASHINGTON The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is terminating an annual fall program for members of the expanded polystyrene segment.
Although SPI has not had an EPS division since 1999, its western regional office has offered its Back to Basics EPS educational outreach program since 1991.
The changing business climate requires Washington-based SPI to focus on core capabilities and serve industry segments that comprise our membership, said regional manager Jill Brandts in a Feb. 23 news release. This need to refocus SPI's resources has brought us to the difficult conclusion that we can no longer conduct the 'Back to Basics' program.
SPI lost its EPS division in the late 1990s, during a period of shifting alliances in trade organizations.