Washington — Congress will have at least one more plastics executive in office, voters in Chicago favored banning plastic straws in a non-binding vote and Democratic control of the U.S. House and gains in state governments could change the landscape on some plastics issues.
The 2018 midterm election results are a bit of a catch-all, with Democratic control of the House likely to complicate the political agenda for manufacturers in Washington, and Democratic gains at the state level in places like Connecticut probably energizing plastics waste issues.
The plastics industry will see at least one more of its executives in Congress. Republican Bryan Steil, the general counsel at film extruder Charter NEX Films Inc., won the seat in Wisconsin being vacated by outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan.
California Republican Jeff Denham, owner of Denham Plastics LLC, held a narrow lead to retain his House seat in a district that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential race.
In Ohio, former injection molding executive Warren Davidson easily won reelection in his very Republican-leaning district surrounding Dayton.
The U.S. Senate in Florida race remains too close to call, but if Republican Rick Scott wins, it would put another executive with plastics experience in Congress. Scott was chairman of large automotive injection molder Continental Structural Plastics, now based in Auburn Hills, Mich., before he was elected governor of Florida. He retained substantial ownership of the company until it was bought by Japan's Teijin Ltd. in 2016.
It's not all Republicans with plastics industry experience. The new governor of Illinois, wealthy investor J.B. Pritzker, is a Democrat and through Pritzker Group Private Capital, he and his family own Technimark LLC, a maker of rigid plastic packaging and components and ProAmpac, a flexible packaging company.