Opportunities are endless in the plastics industry, which "appears to only be growing and expanding in many different directions," said Bobby Jones, sales representative at resin distributor Osterman & Co. Inc. in Atlanta.
Jones, 30, said in his Rising Stars survey that one of the most fascinating markets going forward will be biodegradable resins and recyclables.
"I have heard from many customers over the last few months that there is a need for making their products easily degradable or easily recyclable," he said. "Plastics offers many benefits from distribution, preservation of food, as well as many other end markets. However, the current overhang on the industry is the amount of end waste that ends up in the environment, and I think over the next five years the industry will make great strides in decreasing the amount of plastic waste."
He didn't start out with any kind of technical background in the industry and said he was shocked by the technology and engineering that went into producing resins — "not only the different types and specs of resins but all of the colors, additives and modifiers that could be blended in to produce such a variety of products."
Jones was born in Sacramento, Calif., and graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor's degree in finance. He was hired directly out of college as a sales representative at Osterman and has worked there for the last eight years.