Plastic bags used four or more times have a lower carbon footprint

(Environment Agency) -- A report commissioned by the Environment Agency shows that commonly-used plastic bags for life'(low-density polyethylene) if used four or more times, will have a lower carbon footprint than single-use carrier bags. Lightweight single-use carrier bags have the lowest carbon footprint per bag based primarily on resource use and production. Paper, heavyweight plastic and cotton bags all use more resources and energy in their production. A key issue, however, is how many times bags are reused.

The Environment Agency said that other environmental impacts of single-use lightweight plastic bags such as litter - which weren't assessed by the study - also need to be taken into account.

The report - Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags - was requested by the previous UK Government. It was part of an overall study they were carrying out on how to reduce the environmental impact of retail and food packaging. It has been published today following a period of peer review and discussion with the retailers.


BASF is the most admired German company - U.S. Business Magazine Fortune

(BASF) -- BASF is the world's most admired German company and also ranks as the top company in the global chemical industry. This is the result of a survey carried out by the renowned U.S. business magazine Fortune and published in its latest edition (available on March 21, 2011). In the list of the ⌠World's Most Admired Companies 2011, BASF is ranked as the top company in the global chemical industry - the same position as in the previous two years. Among German companies BASF was also ranked number one, up from second place in 2010.

The survey of the ⌠World's Most Admired Companies is conducted every year by Fortune in cooperation with the management consulting firm Hay Group. Industry experts rank around 700 companies worldwide in the categories of product and service quality, global competitiveness and quality of management.


Saudi Arabia's petrochems unlikely to be affected by recent regional uprisings

(Plastemart) -- Saudi Arabia's petrochemical makers are not expected to be affected by recent regional uprisings in the region. As reported in Dow Jones, "I can say our exports and industry will absolutely not be affected by the current political turmoil. The demand for petrochemicals is robust," said Abdul Rahman Al Zamil, head of the Riyadh-based Export Development Center and chairman of Zamil Group Holding Co. Saudi chemical markers are currently in talks with the European Union over the possibility of imposing tariffs against Saudi Arabia and Oman on material used in plastic bottles.


SABIC to increase its market share in international markets

(Arabian Business) -- The price of crude may have plummeted in the months since its July 2008 peak, but Saudi Basic Industries Corporation remains comfortably the biggest publicly traded company in the region.

Formed over three decades ago to turn the waste gases that were once burned off at the wellhead into valuable petrochemicals, the company better known as SABIC has extended its global reach with operations across Europe, North America and Asia. Last month, Mohamed Al Mady, CEO of SABIC, said that the first quarter ⌠looks good. In an interview with CNBC, he added that he sees ⌠light at the end of the tunnel for the global economy and is ⌠very hopeful of seeing growth by the end of the year.

The firm had already said that it is seeking to buy new assets and form joint ventures to boost its market share. In its annual report, published in March, SABIC said that the company ⌠is working to increase its market share in international markets and looking for opportunities to buy assets within these markets and to set up joint ventures. It will take advantage of the big decline in international production among high-cost producers.


Concerns over Libya's oil output pushed oil prices up

(Press TV) -- Concerns over Libya's oil output amid growing clashes between anti-government protesters and forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi have pushed oil prices up in global markets. The price of sweet US oil for delivery in April on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to 102.23 dollars per barrel, up USD 2.60 on Wednesday.

Tensions in the oil-exporting nation also sent the West Texas Intermediate futures contract soaring at above 103 a barrel -- the highest level since September 2008. Brent crude also increased by 0.2 percent to stand at 116.58 dollars in Asian markets.

Figures released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) show Libya's oil output has been cut down by more than half a million barrels on daily basis.

Libya used to produce 1.6 million barrels of crude per day before the recent popular uprising peaked in the North African oil-rich country.