Mexico legislators soften bag penality
MEXICO CITY Legislators in the Mexican capital agreed Oct. 21 to remove the threat of 36 hours in jail from the owners and employees of commercial establishments caught giving away non-biodegradable plastic bags.
However, the 66-member Legislative Assembly voted to retain fines of up to 114,920 pesos ($9,274) for the transgression. The penalties came into effect Aug. 18.
Legislators plan to consider other amendments to the law, including a recommendation that plastic bags used in the city have a maximum life of 10 years and that the city's environment minister, Martha Delgado Peralta, give consideration to plastics recycling.
Another suggestion is that the minister should establish manufacturing norms for all plastic products sold in Mexico City, including those made of polystyrene, within a year after consulting with producers and distributors.
Mexico's plastics industry association, known as Anipac (Asociacón Nacional de Industrias del Plastico AC), has argued the legislation covering plastic bags is more political than environmental and is based on non-existent environmental standards.
Blow molder Pro-Gram adds capacity
GENEVA, OHIO Blow molder Pro-Gram Plastics Inc. is quietly adding capacity at its Geneva plant, as demand remains steady for its line of stock and custom plastic bottles and containers.
Recently, the company restored a Bekum 121 continuous extrusion blow molding machine that was damaged in a fire, installed a Sidel SBO-2 PET stretch blow molding machine and is planning to install a Sidel SBO-4 machine in December.
A 16,000-square-foot building addition is due to open in November, bringing Pro-Gram's total manufacturing area to about 80,000 square feet, President Walt Sargi said in an Oct. 26 telephone interview.
Founded in 1968 in a 16,000-square-foot facility in Willoughby, Ohio, Pro-Gram moved to Geneva in 1995. It now operates 31 lines and employs 51.
Pro-Gram supplies the household-cleaning, automotive, food, personal-care, toy, agricultural, and lawn and garden markets. The company's stock bottle lines range from 4 ounces to 1.25 gallons.
The company ranked No. 66 among North American blow molders in Plastics News' most recent industry survey, with sales of $15 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
Arkema boosts production of Rilsan nylon
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY Increased demand for Rilsan-brand bio-sourced resin is leading Arkema Group to increase production at its North American plant next year.
Rilsan, based on plant-based castor oil and produced as a nylon 11 or 12, is seeing more opportunities as interest in sustainable materials increases, technical polymers business manager Jose Texeira Pires said in an interview at K 2010.
As a result, Rilsan capacity will be increased by an unspecified amount next year in Birdsboro, Pa. It will be the third time in five years that more Rilsan was needed in the market, following a 2007 capacity boost in China and a similar 2008 move in France.
Pires cited chair seats and backs as an application where Rilsan previously was used, but it fell out of favor in the 1980s before recently being sought out again.
Arkema, based in Colombes, France, also is a major maker of acrylic resin and sheet sold under the Plexiglas and Altuglas trade names.
Ube opens nylon-making plant in Brazil
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY Ube Engineering Plastics has opened a plant making nylon and specialty chemicals in São Paulo, Brazil, and will increase nylon compounding capacity for the automotive market during 2011.
Ube City, Japan-based Ube also will add almost 7 million pounds of capacity for polycarbonate diol a polyurethane feedstock at its plant in Castello, Spain, by early 2012, company officials said at a news conference at K 2010 in Dusseldorf.
In addition to nylon resins, the Brazilian plant makes nylon feedstock caprolactam. The site has almost 50 million pounds of annual nylon capacity, according to Bruno De Bievre, chief business officer. The compounding expansion will encompass about 11 million pounds of new capacity at a plant in Rayong, Thailand.