As China's domestic economy cools down, Chinese companies are seeking opportunities abroad, making overseas acquisitions one of the hottest topics of the year.
It's no surprise that the most read story of the year on Plastics News China, as well as the 9th most read, are both about Chinese compounder Shanghai Pret Composites Co. Ltd. acquiring U.S. recycler Wellman Recycling.
We also are seeing continued industry attention on bioplastics, despite the strong headwinds created by lower priced petroleum-based resins. China's top-down approach failed at banning ultra-thin plastic bags in 2008, but a more targeted and more economically incentivized campaign by a regional government seems to be creating strong momentum in Northeast China.
Foam plastics recycling is in spotlight in China, just like how it is in the U.S.
China has for decades been trying to establish its self-sufficiency on chemicals and strategic plastic materials. This year, a milestone has been marked for polycarbonate.
China's booming food packaging market attracts global and homegrown brands alike. Focusing on the country's young middle class, a local company is now offering premixed cocktail in PET bottles instead of glass. But one sentence in our No. 8 story received an unexpectedly high level of feedback — “There's no enforced minimum drinking age in China.”
I appreciate our readers' interest in my blog posts, even though some of the stories are a little bizarre. What do you say to “Man kills cashier over plastic bag?” But you'd never guess that an anti-plastic-bag-ban group in the U.S. contacted me regarding this post. Apparently, the murder case was making its way into the list of reasons to argue why bag bans should be revoked.
Last but not the least, China's plastic industry is feeling growing pains as it tries to transition and adapt to the “new normal.” The observations and conversations we made at NPE offer a close look at the challenges and opportunities.
Here are the top 10 stories of the year on the English site of PNChina.
Chinese compounder snaps up U.S. recycler Wellman
Blog: Man kills cashier over plastic bag
China's new plastics ban boosts bioplastics sector
Blog: Expert: China mulls national recycling system for foam plastics
Blog: China claims polycarbonate production milestone
Blog: Why Chinese consumers go overseas to buy made-in-China products
Blog: Premixed cocktail in PET bottle
Pret completes Wellman acquisition, reveals details
Opinion: NPE reflects the pains of China's transitioning industry