Blog

Foam Injection Moulding for Lightweight Parts

The plastics industry has changed the face of lightweight manufacturing in recent decades. As automotive and consumer electronics manufacturers strive to make lighter and lighter components, they are turning to innovative plastics manufacturing technologies to reduce weight without reducing material strength. One of the most important such technologies is foam injection moulding. Although the technique has been in existence […]

Single-Use Plastic Bag Bans Create Challenges, Opportunities for Plastics Industry

The use and production of single-use plastic bags has long been an issue of contention within the plastics industry and the communities affected by single-use plastic bag bans. In recent years, Australia has been at the focal point of just such a debate. On October 18, Victoria became the latest state to ban the bags, leaving only New South […]

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Challenges and Opportunities for the Packaging Industry

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the so-called “4th Industrial Revolution”. The idea, promoted by World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, is that we have recently entered a new stage of economic and industrial development. The first industrial revolution was based on steam, the second was based on electricity, and the third centered around the use of […]

Caterpillar Solution to Plastics Waste Questioned

Last February, we published a blog post covering a study with exciting implications for the plastics recycling industry. In the study, researchers determined that a common mealworm larvae of the species Plodia interpunctella, was capable of digesting polystyrene (Styrofoam). In the end, the credit for breaking down the plastics went to a bacterium, Enterobacter asburiae, that resides in the […]

Moulded Structural Electronics: The Future of Consumer Electronics?

Earlier this month, the annual Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award went to a company that few have heard of: TactoTek. TactoTek is one of a few companies pioneering a new era of plastic injection moulding that promises to unite consumer electronic components with plastics. These plastics, known as Moulded Structural Electronics (MSE) are poised to change the way […]

Plastics Allow High Tech Return to Cycling’s Roots

In the 1860s, bicycle designers were faced with a significant problem. At that time, bicycle wheels did not have tires. Instead, the spokes connected to simple hoops of banded iron. While the iron was durable, it filed to protect riders from bumps on the road, leading some to term the primitive bicycles “bone shakers”.

 

In an effort to increase rideability, […]

Plastics Packaging often Protects Environment, “The Economist” Reports

One of the most common criticisms levelled against the plastics industry is that plastic packaging doesn’t make any sense from an environmental perspective. Packaging, they argue, is used once and thrown away, resulting in an enormous amount of waste.

 

A new article published recently in The Economist suggests that this criticism may be without merit, at least in the world […]

The Shale Oil Revolution and Feedstock Production

The recent glut of natural gas and unconventional oil in the United States, combined with increasing vehicular fuel efficiency, has had many effects on a diverse set of industries worldwide. Last month, we discussed the impact of projected declines in oil and gas demand for transportation on the oil and gas industry (they’re investing in plastics feedstock infrastructure rather […]

Keeping Cool with Plastic Films

In developed countries, air conditioning is responsible for 5% of more of total energy consumption. As large countries such as India and China continue to develop, air conditioning is likely to become more popular. In order to develop alternatives to energy-intensive heat pumps such as traditional air conditioner units, engineers have recently begun to focus on passive cooling, which […]

Big Oil Turns from Fuels to Feedstock: A Plastics Perspective

A recently published Wall Street Journal article summarized the current state of the global oil industry succinctly: “Big Oil is betting on plastics”. But is investing in the plastics feedstock industry really a gamble? Isn’t big oil already making plenty of money in its traditional realm of fuel production? And what will the shift to plastics feedstock production mean […]