It's been a long, long week out there for everyone. I wish we could say that things are about to get easier, but obviously, things may get even more complicated as the full damage from Hurricane Ida — from the Gulf Coast to New England — is still being calculated.
Senior reporter Frank Esposito writes that the closure of plants due to the storm factored in to a 5-cent increase in high density polyethylene resin prices. It probably will also factor into increases in September.
The long-term impact of Ida on production numbers for resin makers in Louisiana is still unknown. Dow Inc. has said it will not be able to restart production at its St. Charles plant until power and other infrastructure is back online. St. Charles Parish, La., officials said Sept. 2 that it may take weeks for power to be restored for residents.
And plastics also are taking hits when it comes to public policy. The California Legislature passed a bill that will make it the first state to limit the export of hard-to-recycle plastics. While the bill doesn't specifically ban exports, it will not allow local communities to claim those materials as being "recycled," Assistant Managing Editor Steve Toloken writes. A ripple effect from that move could lead to decisions along the supply chain to limit the use of those plastics.
Add to that a falling auto sales rate because of computer microchip shortages, and I don't know about you, but a long weekend is certainly welcome. Even if we'll be facing the same issues after Labor Day.