Ever have one of those moments where you think you remember something, but your memory plays tricks on you? I had that today when I noticed a story in The Port Lavaca (Texas) Wave about Inteplast Group's 20th anniversary. I remembered that Plastics News wrote the very first stories about Inteplast's plans to build a massive extrusion plant in Lolita, Texas. Now 20 years ago is pre-Internet, so I had to research this blog post the old-fashioned way -- I looked up our back issues from 1991 and 1992. When I found those early stories about the plant, I discovered that my memory was mostly correct. But I was surprised to see my byline on one of the first stories -- a Page 1 story on Oct. 19, 1992, about how the plant had started production. How in the world did I forget one of my own stories? Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to look at what that first story predicted, and to compare it what actually happened. The initial story said the plant would eventually have capacity to make more than 150 million pounds of film annually, with sales greater than $100 million. Pretty big numbers. But they're dwarfed by what Inteplast is today. According to the Wave's story, Inteplast now has 21 plants and 2011 sales of more than $1.3 billion. That resin throughput figure is a bit higher too -- now it's more than 1 billion pounds. The company ranked No. 6 among North American film & sheet manufacturers in Plastics News' most recent survey, with estimated 2010 sales of $1.09 billion.) Back when Inteplast opened its doors, I remember some sources in the industry predicted it would be a game-changer in several markets -- T-shirt bags, BOPP film, extruded profiles and more. Those predictions, in this case, turned out to be true.
Looking back at a big moment in plastics
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