You've heard of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Oscar, and the Pulitzer. This is nothing like that. Allow us to present the Plastic Globe awards, our annual tongue-in-cheek salute to plastics industry newsmakers.
SURGEON GENERAL'S AWARD: To Rodney O'Neal, president and CEO of Delphi. During a speech at Automotive News' World Congress in January, O'Neal listed resolutions the auto industry should undertake for the year. For instance, smoking, he said. “We should all stop smoking anything that causes us to only think about the good old days when we had 17 million in car sales.”
IT'S NOT THE HEAT, IT'S THE STUPIDITY AWARD: To a worker at Regal Plastics in Fort Worth, Texas, who was arrested July 3 when police checked on an open door at a warehouse. The worker, who was nude and had an odor of alcohol on his breath, according to news reports, told police he wasn't wearing any clothes because he was “very hot.” He was arrested for marijuana possession and taken to the city jail.
“PLEASE DON'T FIRE US, BOSS” AWARD: To Crain Communications Inc. Chairman Keith Crain. In a June 16 conference, during a Q&A with Ford's Nancy Gioia, leader for electrification of the vehicle, the question arose about whether electric vehicles will need to make a noise. The concern has been raised mainly by the visually impaired, who have no audible cue that a hybrid or electric vehicle is nearby. Gioia said it is likely the auto industry will have to develop a standard sound for the vehicles to make, so there's no confusion.
Quipped Keith Crain: “Maybe they should talk to those people watching soccer down in South Africa.”
ETHICS IN JOURNALISM AWARD: To Kreyenborg GmbH. The company held a drawing at a K show preview news conference to give away an iPad to a member of the trade press — and then it put out a news release announcing the winner. Seems like a good way to discredit one journalist and make all the rest secretly jealous!
DAVID CROWNED KING OF ISRAEL! AWARD: To Ralph Bruno, executive vice president of fiber fabric producer Proplex Operating Co. LLC, who noted in a news release: “With more than 100 sales representatives from three continents, Propex sales teammates have over 3,000 years of industry experience.”
STRETCHING FOR A MARKETING GIMMICK” AWARD: To children's car-seat maker Evenflo, which put out a news release Feb. 17, as Toyota was dealing with safety recalls. The headline: “Good News For Toyota Owners Affected By Safety Recalls: Discount Offered On Evenflo Child Car Seats.”
METHUSELAH AWARD: To Tom Casey, president of Casey Container Corp., for sharing the wisdom of the ages: “We see that the claim that plastics bottles stay around for 700-800 years is apparently accurate.”
AMBULANCE CHASER AWARD: To law firm Phillips and Cohen LLP, which bought a link on Google.com News that appears when anyone does a search on PVC pipe extruder JM Eagle. The sponsored link says: “Top Whistleblower Firm. We do “exemplary work” for whistleblowers — National Law Journal. www.phillipsandcohen.com.”
HAS BEMIS MANUFACTURING CO. BEEN TALKING TO STEVE JOBS? AWARD: When Ford Motor Co.'s chief designer, J Mays, wanted to stress to the auto industry the importance of making products that people desire, he used an iPhone as an example. “But that's me,” he added. “If Apple made a toilet seat, I'd buy it.”
YOU SAY ECO, I SAY YUCKO AWARD — To AWS Eco Plastics, a Helmswell, England, recycling firm fined this year for polluting a local waterway twice in the past two years with diesel spills.
CSI VIENNA AWARD — To John Sharood from Gloucester Engineering Co., who was questioned by authorities about movement of funds from the company's European business to the U.S. parent. Sharood, who was in Austria for a meeting with creditors, was not detained in Austria and returned home.
TO TELL THE TRUTH AWARD: To Rich Steinberg, manager of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW North America. Steinberg boasted that BMW's all-electric Mini — part of a test fleet for future electric cars from the German automaker — owns the record for the fastest time around Germany's Nürburgring sports car mecca for testing speed and performance. “Granted,” he added, “no one else has done it. But we have the record!”
SHOULDN'T YOU BE HIDING THIS? AWARD To Arburg GmbH & Co. KG, which put out this news release June 18 at the height of the World Cup vuvuzela plastic-horn controversy: “Arburg makes noise for World Cup: Vuvuzelas for South Africa and Germany produced on Allrounders.”
DUCK SEASON AWARD: To SCAN Inc., a Fort Wayne, Ind., non-profit group opposed to child abuse and neglect, that held one of those charity plastic duck races to raise money. But the St. Joseph River didn't cooperate, and about 2,000 of the 17,000 ducks eluded capture. To help prevent the plastic ducks from becoming permanent marine debris, the charity offered a $100 Visa gift card to whoever could round up the most.