In baseball, the biggest stars are called five-tool players. In plastics, Plastek Industries Inc. is a seven-tool processor.
I'm referring to the seven criteria we use to judge the Plastics News Processor of the Year award. They cover nearly every major aspect of running a business: financial performance, quality, customer relations, employee relations, environmental performance, industry and public service, and technological innovation.
Plastek, the Erie, Pa.-based global packaging injection molder and toolmaker, is a three-time Processor of the Year finalist. It's scored well every year in some of the categories, most notably customer relations, employee relations and public service. These are strengths that have been ingrained in the family-owned company's culture.
This year we can add environmental performance to that list. Plastek has been tracking and improving sustainability-related metrics including carbon footprint and emissions. Officials are proud to report that the company is well ahead of its peer average.
In fact, Plastek now finds itself helping customers step up their use of post-consumer resins, which will become important the next few years as consumer product companies work to meet ambitious recycling-related goals.
Having Plastek as a Processor of the Year finalist has been a treat for me because it gave me the chance to meet company founder Joe Prischak, a plastics industry legend. Joe just turned 90, and he'll be inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame later this year. Four of his sons are active in the business: Dennis, Douglas, Daniel and Donald.
I mentioned Joe getting into the Plastics Hall of Fame to Dennis in a recent call, and Dennis joked: "Dads are supposed to stop making their shoes bigger at some point."
Plastics News has been honoring top North American plastics processors with our Processor of the Year award since 1996. We've honored a pretty wide variety of companies, large and small, every end market imaginable, several different processes and a few ownership types. Plastek is a great addition to our list.