If you survived 2014, that really means something.
In case you forgot, the year started with a polar vortex. Remember how you swore you'd move to Florida before you'd endure another winter?
You know what you did instead? You dumped a bucket of ice water on your head and posted the video on Facebook.
That was the kind of year it was. We landed a spacecraft on a comet, but we couldn't stop talking about “Duck Dynasty.”
The plastics industry offered some amusing distractions too, but maybe you were too busy actually working to notice. That's OK, we keep track.
Ladies and gentlemen: the 2014 Plastic Globe awards:
007 FAULTY PLASTIC PART AWARD: To British car maker Aston Martin, for allowing counterfeit polyamide resin into the supply chain of its luxury sports cars, used as James Bond's ride in the movies. Maybe there's a plot twist for the next Bond spy thriller here — bad plastic brake part snaps during a chase, putting our hero in another jam.
INCREDIBLE INDECISIVE INDIA AWARD: To the Plastindia Foundation, for changing the location of its signature Plastindia trade show for the third time, this time just five months before it the kickoff. The February show will be in Gujarat, the home of new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
NOT TO PICK ON ANOTHER WRITER, BUT … AWARD: For Drew Winter of Ward's Auto, who is a fine writer and auto journalist, but when writing about Ford Motor Co. making a change from steel to aluminum on the Ford F-150, wrote: “Nobody talks much about plastic cars anymore.”
Winter's own publication's website mentioned the Corvette 21 times in the first half of January 2014 alone. Too bad people aren't talking about plastic cars anymore.
ORGANIC DOESN'T MEAN HEALTHY AWARD: Carla Castagnero, president of Pittsburgh-based AgRecycle Inc., which handles composting from the Pittsburgh Pirates' ballpark and other sports complexes, was bemoaning that although compostable plastic breaks down just fine in her company's system, the company cannot sell the resulting compost as “organic.”
“But I could do an entire truckload of Doritos and call it organic. You tell me, have you ever read the list of ingredients for Doritos?”
WE'RE JUST AFTER CLICKS AWARD: To our sister publication PRW in England, which sent out a daily email on March 14 with this salacious headline as the lead story: “Scottish plastics plies Peter Davis with whisky.”
DO THEY KNOW THEY'RE TALKING TO PLASTICS NEWS AWARD? From a May 1 email pitch from a PR firm:
“The Chicago City Council approved the plastic bag ban yesterday, April 30. Plastic bags are an environmental hazard, and one common usage was with doggy bags. An easy way to avoid plastic bags when walking your dog is with the Auggiedog, a motorized pooper scooper.
“Would you like to learn more from the president of Auggiedog, Dave McGee, on how the Auggiedog can help save the environment?”
NEVER MIND SUSTAINABILITY, I'M THIRSTY AWARD: To the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., which got our attention with a news release on the new “Zero Waste Zone” at NPE 2015 — by mentioning that the area will include a beer garden. Our reporters are already volunteering to cover recycling and sustainability at NPE.
OK, NOW WE OPPOSE FRACKING AWARD: Headline from London's Financial Times website from June 13: “German brewers fear fracking will spoil their beer.”
WORST WORLD CUP ANALOGY AWARD: This one, from Janet Domenitz, executive director of MassPIRG, was groan-worthy: “The people of Massachusetts have spoken loud and clear, over a number of years, that they want less litter and more recycling; they want the updated bottle bill. In the World Cup of legislation, our elected officials let this goal go right through their legs.
MOST RIDICULOUS NEWS RELEASE OF 2015 AWARD: To Orp Industries, which put out the Aug. 5 gem: “New evidence suggests mustaches can increase bicycle safety.”
The release was for a decal kit that consumers can use to put plastic mustaches on their bike lights.
TRADE SHOWS CAN BE EXCITING AWARD: To Taipei Plas, where a vandal splashed red paint at an equipment booth in September, then ran away. He later turned himself in to police — and turns out he was a former sales agent for the company.
JUST A TYPICAL DAY AT THE PLANT AWARD: To a plastics factory in Katedan, India, where, according to an Oct. 7 news report, 11 people were arrested for “allegedly indulging in obscene dance.” Has anyone seen Kevin Bacon lately?
WE WERE IN A HURRY AWARD: To Ineos Barex AG, which put out an Oct. 29 news release with this headline: “Ineos Barex AG annonces planned losure of Barex plant in Lima, Ohio.”
Yes, there were two typos in the headline of the three-paragraph news release.
OF ALL THE PARKING LOTS IN THE WORLD, I HAD TO RUN INTO A PLASTICS ONE AWARD: To employees of Cleveland Plastic Fabricators & Suppliers Inc. of Euclid, Ohio, who trapped an alleged drug dealer in the firm's parking lot on Nov. 11.
Cleveland Plastic distributes plastic rod, sheet and tubing, as well as PVC pipe
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES AWARD: To plastics materials giant Dow Chemical Co. and CEO Andrew Liveris.
When Dow was challenged by activist investor Daniel Loeb and his Third Point LLC hedge fund, Liveris went on the offensive. He appeared Jan. 29 on CNBC's Squawk Box program with business guru Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway firm is a Dow shareholder.
BATAVIA JACKRABBIT AWARD: To Milacron LLC, which in 2014 bought coinjection molding specialist Kortec Inc., acquired a Texas manufacturers' representative firm and opened a technical center in California. Is there something in the chili? The Montgomery Inn ribs? Next, buy Campanello's.
MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY DAY AWARD: To Robert Schad, who in his 80s is building a machinery factory. “I am always looking ahead,” he told us. “A week before my death, I will look into the future!”
PARTING IS SUCH SWEET… “OH HI!” AWARD: To plastics machinery executives who left their companies…. Where will they reappear? Oh tell me, great giver of knowledge, where are Gerd Liebig and Christian Renners?