TAMPA, FLA. (March 5, 12:10 p.m. ET) — Officials at Styron LLC - a major producer of styrenic-based plastic materials - believe that the industry can be doing more to promote the re-use of plastic in the waste stream.
“We're all stewards of plastic as a product,” Styron plastics vice president and general manager Paul Moyer said at the Plastics News 2012 Executive Forum, held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Tampa. “We have an interest in the total sustainability of the plastics we provide.”
For Berwyn, Pa.-based Styron, those materials include polystyrene - in which it holds a market-leading position - as well as ABS, polycarbonate and styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN). The firm was formed last year when Boston private equity firm Bain Capital LLC bought the styrenics businesses of Dow Chemical Co. for $1.6 billion.
The new firm has annual sales of more than $5 billion and is planning an initial public offering of stock, although no date has been set for that IPO. The firm's PS holdings include a 50 percent stake in America's Styrenics LP, North America's largest PS maker.
“We like to say that we're a 75-year-old startup company that's unencumbered by the bureaucracy of a large corporation,” said Moyer, who joined Styron after a lengthy career with Dow. He added that markets for Styron materials in the automotive, medical and packaging sectors are doing well, but other sectors “are more challenged.”
One way that the industry can promote sustainability, according to Moyer, is through promoting use of non-recycled plastics into energy. He said that the U.S. currently has 86 plants using plastic and other waste materials to create 2,700 megawatts of electricity. This usage saves 30 million barrels of oil and prevents the release of 40 million tons of carbon dioxide, Moyer added.
“We need to increase this activity even more,” he said. “We need to get the message out.”