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Kickstart: It’s time to track PPT

It’s time to track PPT

This week’s print issue of Plastics News brings the latest ranking of North American pipe, profile and tubing makers, covering the chaotic fiscal year that was 2020.

As our data guru Hollee Keller notes, average sales for PPT firms were up 5.8 percent for 2020.

“[That] is great news,” she writes in a blog about this year’s rankings, but she noted it’s not purely good news. “Pandemic shutdowns and restrictions meant that while the markets were up, the availability of the workforce was down, leaving labor and supplies very much behind demand, struggling even still today.”

Home remodeling continues to drive much of the growth for decking and siding makers. As Catherine Kavanaugh writes, Principia Consulting LLC estimates the U.S. decking market was worth $4.1 billion in 2020, and with the cost of lumber soaring, composite deck makers saw an increased opportunity for sales.

“There was incredible demand for decking products,” Nancy Musselwhite, an industry analyst with Principia, said. “People invested in the backyard and when stay-at-home orders came off, they didn’t stop. Outdoor living space has become a valuable centerpiece of the home in peoples’ minds. It wasn’t a passing phase. Sales continue to be very strong in 2021.”

 

SPE scholarship winners

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ thermoforming division has named two scholarship winners and will host both of them at its conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., in September.

Olivia Ferki is a graduate student and research assistant at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, specializing in medical plastics design and manufacturing and hopes to pursue a career in medical polymer research. She completed her undergraduate degree at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Isabella Gayoso is a junior at Penn State University with a double major in mechanical and aerospace engineering. In 2020, she worked as a process and quality engineering intern at thermoformer Brentwood Industries in Reading, Pa. In the spring of 2021, she interned with SpaceX in Hawthorne, Calif.

Glitter responsibly

Are you a fan of glitter? If so, you may be able to sparkle sustainably.

A handful of companies are promoting bio-based glitter that is also biodegradeable, so you don’t have to worry about leaving behind any microplastics.

As Fast Company notes, there is no reliable number on how much glitter is used annually, but one holiday parade in Toronto used about 155 pounds of it.

But even a company claiming its products are biodegradeable faces questions.

“Many glitter brands have been working to create more eco-friendly alternatives to the products currently on the market,” Elizabeth Segran writes. “But to decompose, this glitter needs perfect composting conditions, which includes optimizing temperature as well as oxygen and moisture content.”

 

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