For a while this year, I thought that 2023 was going to be remembered as the year of bio-based plastics.
In March the White House announced a goal of replacing 90 percent of fossil fuel-based plastics with bio-based alternatives. The timeline was very aggressive, this is supposed to happen over the next two decades.
It's been nine months since then and we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop — what policies will the government propose to meet that goal? We've been in touch with all the experts. The story seems to be on the back burner for now, although it hasn't completely disappeared: We've noted that Republicans in both houses of Congress have taken up bioplastics, for example.
Perhaps with the notable exception of bioplastics, the march toward normalcy continued in 2023, with plenty of familiar topics among the top stories of the year. You know the old favorites: resin pricing, M&A news, big scoops and safety-related coverage.
COVID-19 dominated our headlines in 2020 and resin pricing and supply chain issues were huge in 2021. Last year, I noted that the list of most-read stories had more balance. I thought things were getting back to normal, but I didn't notice that there was still something missing.
What I missed was the scarcity of plant closings and bankruptcies. Maybe because the economy was still chugging along — remember "transitory"— Or maybe companies were still benefiting from PPP cash. Well, in 2023, normalcy included more bad news than we've seen in a few years.
Enjoy my list of some of the best stories written by our reporters and editors in 2023, and thanks to our readers who make it possible.