ABS resins imports to Russia in 2010 exceeded 37 KT

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Regarding the results of 2010 the Russian companies increased ABS resins imports up to 37,7 KT, according to MRC DataScope. The crisis of 2008 resulted in considerable reduction in ABS consumption in Russia. 2009 as well didn't show the signs of the market recovery. And only in 2010 demand for ABS became to grow in the Russian market.

Import supplies last year grew by 68% compared to 2009 and exceeded the record for the Russian market 37 KT. Plastik (Uzlovaya), the only Russian producer of ABS, also increased the production capacities by 83%, having reached 13,2 KT at the end of 2010.


American government introducing labels for bio-based products

(PLASTICS NEWS) -- With companies and retailers today using an endless number of ways to tout their products as bio-based, the new federal labeling and certification program is being welcomed by many in the industry as an approach that will bring clarity to consumers.

⌠We are very pleased with it. It has been a long time coming, said Steve Davies, global marketing director for NatureWorks LLC in Minnetonka, Minn., in a phone interview. NatureWorks makes the plant-based resin Ingeo that is made from polylactic acid.

Under the final rules of the labeling program, published Jan. 20 in the Federal Register, manufacturers and distributors can only use the label after they submit an application to the USDA, and the product or package is certified to have at least 25 percent of its content made from renewable resources.

ASTM will do the certification work for USDA, but the cost of that ASTM testing will be shouldered by the companies applying to use the label.

Although a number of companies, including NatureWorks and Metabolix Inc., had urged USDA to set a threshold of 50 percent and the agency had initially set 51 percent as the threshold for the label, the consensus is that the labeling program will provide a boost to bio-based products and end some of the confusion that exists today.


Bulk Molding Compounds opens plant in Turkey

(PLASTICS NEWS) -- Thermoset maker Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. has opened a production plant in Turkey. The plant, located 20 mileseast of Istanbul, employs 20.

West Chicago-based BMCI said the plant will increase production quickly to keep up with growing demand from Turkey and the surrounding region. The company said the market for bulk molding compounds in Turkey is growing at a double-digit rate annually, thanks to customers in the electrical, appliance, automotive construction and outdoor products markets.

BMCI has two manufacturing plants in the United States, as well as plants in Mexico, Germany, Turkey, China and Brazil.


Plastics converters complain to EU over Italy bag ban

(ICIS) -- Italians are preparing to find alternative means of carrying home their shopping following the introduction of a new law which bans the use of non-biodegradable single-use plastic bags, but the plan is not without its difficulties, sources said on Tuesday.

The law, which came into effect on 1 January 2011, allows shops to give existing stocks to their customers free of charge, but consumers can no longer expect to get a free bag once these are depleted.

The move has been welcomed by environmental groups, like Legambiente, which estimates that plastic bag usage has reached 300 per capita annually in Italy, or about a fifth of the 100bn plastic bags used annually across Europe, according to business publication Environmental Leader.

Sources estimate the Italian plastic bag industry to be using between 200,000 and 250,000 tonnes/year of polyethylene (PE) - low density PE (LDPE), high density PE (HDPE) and linear low density PE (LLDPE).

When Ireland levied a 15 euro cent tax on single-use plastic bags in 2002, bag usage fell immediately by more than 90%, from an annual level of 328 plastic bags per capita to just 21. By 2007, per capita consumption had risen to 31 a year, and the tax was lifted again, to 22 euro cents.

Referring to the Italian legislation, the country's Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said: ⌠This marks a step forward in the fight against pollution and it makes us all more responsible in terms of recycling.


Mexichem names new managing director

(Plastics News) -- Mexichem SAB de CV, Latin America's largest manufacturer of PVC pipe, vinyl resins and compounds, named Rafael Davalos as its managing director Jan. 21.

He replaces Ricardo Gutierrez, who has been appointed company president. Gutierrez will be responsible for ⌠everything related to the Mexican consortium's strategy of expansion across the world, a company statement said.

Mexichem said the changes will allow it to ⌠consolidate its strategy of global expansion and growth.

In October it announced net sales of 26.9 billion pesos ($2.157 billion) in the first three quarters of the year, up 19.4 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

This month it completed and closed the purchase of Princeton, N.J.-based Rockwood Holdings Inc's AlphaGary compounding business for $300 million.