Bioplastics, sustainability, and regulatory issues and initiatives in California that could affect the plastics industry nationwide are among the leading issues on the planned agendas for the three educational conferences to be held in conjunction with NPE 2012, set for April 1-5 in Orlando.
The 28 scheduled presentations at the Business of Plastics Conference — organized by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., which also produces the NPE show — will be divided into five tracks: sustainability; bioplastics; marketing; medical products; and advocacy, regulatory and safety issues.
Also collocated at NPE 2012 will be the world's largest plastics technical conference, Antec 2012 — produced by the Society of Plastics Engineers — which had more than 700 presentations last year. Also planned is a Latin American seminar in Spanish that will focus on biopolymers and sustainability; rigid and flexible packaging; and specialty or high-value markets.
Some of the other key speakers at the Business of Plastics Conference include:
* Thomas Blaige, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based investment banking firm Blaige & Co., who will discuss global consolidation in the plastics industry.
* Laurie Hansen, executive director of the Sacramento, Calif.-based Western Plastics Association, who will discuss how plastics issues in California affect the U.S. plastics industry.
* Jeffrey Elllis, senior technology consultant to the Silver Institute in Washington and to the Silver Nano Working Group in Durham, N.C., who will detail successful strategies for fighting regulatory battles.
* J. Michael Martinez, regional manager of government affairs and the environment for polystyrene food-service manufacturer Dart Container Corp. of Mason, Mich., who will discuss why product bans and sustainability are incompatible.
* Two PolyOne Corp. executives — Larry Johnson, global director of health-care marketing, and vice president of technology Roger Avakian — who will discuss key industry trends and their affect on materials technology. PolyOne is based in Avon Lake, Ohio.
The Business of Plastics Conference also will have several key speakers from the bioplastics sector including Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of Minnetonka, Minn.-based NatureWorks LLC; Daniel Gilliland, director of business development of Mirel-brand bioplastics, which are made by Telles LLC of Lowell, Mass.; and Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives at Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor Apex Co. Tam is also chairman of the SPI Bioplastics Council.
“The timely topics of bioplastics and sustainability will receive special attention in sessions of all three conferences, and the wealth of other technical and business subjects covered by the NPE 2012 educational program will address the interests of plastics professionals from across the industry,” said Gene Sanders, senior vice president of trade shows and conferences for Washington-based SPI.
Sessions for all three conferences will be held in meeting rooms of the South Building of the Orange County Convention Center. A fee applies for each presentation, payable at the time of NPE registration.
The Business of Plastics Conference will run April 2-5, Antec will run April 2-4, and the Latin American seminar, April 2-3.