Top 10 stories from 2022
Canadian PlasticsCanadian Plastics
Here's a synopsis of the online news stories that generated the most interest from our readers.
1. Canada’s single-use plastics ban begins to take effect
The Canadian federal government’s ban on the six common categories of single-use plastic items began to take effect on Dec. 20.
The government will phase-in the bans, starting on Dec. 20, with the prohibition on the import and manufacture of single-use plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from problematic plastics, stir sticks, and straws; the prohibition on the sale of these items will come into force in December 2023.
In June 2023, the manufacture and import of ring carriers in Canada will be prohibited and the sale of these items will be prohibited in June 2024.
Exceptions to the ban on straws will allow single-use plastic flexible straws to remain available for people in Canada who require them for medical or accessibility reasons. This includes for use at home, in social settings, or in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and long‑term care facilities. All other types of single-use plastic straws will be prohibited.
2. UN calls for an end to global plastic pollution
In a move that could have major repercussions on how plastics are regulated and used around the world, representatives from 175 United Nation countries endorsed a resolution in March at the UN Environment Assembly, the UN’s top environmental body, to end plastic pollution.
The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations, establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which will begin its work in 2022, with the goal of completing a global, legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
The first round of INC talks was held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Representatives from 160 countries were involved in this meeting, which is the first of five that are scheduled to take place over the next two years.
3. ‘Golden Design Rules’ created for plastic packaging
In a bid to help companies adjust packaging design “to contribute to a circular economy for plastics packaging,” the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) and some large brand companies released a list in April of so-called “Golden Design Rules” that are publicly available through a microsite.
According to the CPP, 30 Canadian companies – including 20 CPP partners – have already signed on to 50 per cent or more of the Golden Design Rules. The rules include increasing value in PET recycling, removing problematic elements from packaging, increasing the recycling value in rigid HDPE and polypropylene, among others.
“The Golden Design Rules…were developed by The Consumer Goods Forum’s Plastic Waste Coalition of Action, and they outline specific design changes aligned with globally recognized technical guidelines and targets laid out in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment,” CPP officials said.
CPP said the nine Golden Design Rules are “voluntary, independent, and time-bound commitments” which provide a clear framework to drive innovation and scalable actions that will result in less plastic packaging overall and easier to recycle plastic packaging by 2025.
4. K trade show held in Germany
Approximately 176,000 visitors attended K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany from Oct. 19-26 – the first major international plastics show since the start of the COVID pandemic.
The biggest international plastics and rubber trade show in the world also celebrated its 70th anniversary this year.
Next to Germany, most European visitors came from the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, France, Belgium, Poland, and Spain. About 42 per cent of visitors came from overseas, show organizers said, which is nearly identical to the percentage in 2019, but with a difference: the number of visitors from the East Asian region, China in particular, was down due to quarantine regulations in those nations.
According to polling taken of attendees, around two-thirds of all visitors ranked machinery and plant construction first in terms of interest. Fifty-seven per cent said they were interested in raw and auxiliary materials, with recyclates and bioplastics being particularly popular. For 28 per cent, semi-finished products and technical parts made of plastics and rubber were the main reason for coming. And over 70 per cent of all visitors come from top and middle management.
A total of 3,037 exhibitors – including about 20 Canadian companies – took 178,965 square meters, or 1,926,363 square feet, at K 2022.
5. ‘Save Plastic’ social media campaign launched
In November, a group of plastics industry leaders launched a new social media campaign aimed at demonstrating that plastics is a valuable resource that can also help meet the country’s climate goals.
The awareness-raising campaign, dubbed ‘Save Plastic’, focuses on how plastic is essential to having a sustainable life.
Organizations and companies that are involved include the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), Balcan, Husky Technologies, GreenMantra Technologies, Nexeo, Nova Chemicals Corp., PolyExpert, Styro-Go, and Winpak.
6. Province to build PPE glove manufacturing facility in Ontario
In May, the Ontario government announced plans to build a120,000-square-foot facility in London, Ont., to create a source of medical grade nitrile gloves.
Said to be the first manufacturing facility of nitrile gloves outside of Asia, the plant will provide a secure source of PPE for stockpile and be a supplier to other Canadian provinces and the North American market.
Manikheir Canada Inc. will provide at least 500 million medical grade nitrile gloves annually for up to 10 years.
The facility is expected to employ over 145 people for on-site work, it will create about 300 indirect jobs in the region and up to 1,000 temporary jobs during the construction and machinery set up phase.
7. New CEO for KraussMaffei Group
There will be a new CEO and management board chairman at German plastics machinery maker KraussMaffei Group (KMG) effective Jan. 1, 2023.
The company, which is headquartered in Munich, announced in early December that Li Yong will assume the roles, replacing current CEO Michael Ruf.
Yong has been with Sinochem, short for China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., which is the principal owner of KMG, for nearly two decades in a variety of executive, operational, and project management positions.
8. Leadership change at Plastics Industry Association
In April, the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association named Matt Seaholm, its former vice president of government affairs, as its new CEO.
Seaholm filled a vacancy created when former CEO Tony Radoszewski left the organization in March 2022.
Seaholm has served as the group’s vice president of government affairs for the past two years, and prior to that was the executive director of the Plastics Industry Association’s American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance. Prior to that, he was vice president of public affairs at Edelman. “He is a veteran of political and policy campaigns, having worked on everything from local ordinance fights to statewide political campaigns to national issue advocacy initiatives,” Plastics Industry Association officials said in an April 27 statement. “He has been a public voice on behalf of the plastics industry for more than five years, testifying before more than thirty legislative bodies and being interviewed by more than one hundred media outlets.”
9. New CEO at Davis-Standard
In February, Pawcatuck, Conn.-based extrusion and converting equipment maker Davis-Standard LLC named Giovanni Spitale, a former executive at Boeing Global Services and processing machinery maker Milacron, as its new CEO.
Spitale replaced Jim Murphy, who has been elected as vice chairman of Davis-Standard’s board of directors. In addition, Davis-Standard elected Brian Marston, Bill Barker and John McGrath as new board members.
Spitale’s most recent position was as Boeing’s vice president of commercial parts; prior to that he president of customer service and support at Milacron.
10. Uniloy buys Amsler blow molding assets
In March, some of the assets of the now-defunct Vaughan, Ont.-based blow molding machine maker Amsler Equipment Inc. were purchased by blow molding machine maker Uniloy Inc., for an undisclosed amount.
The move brought Tecumseh, Mich.-based Uniloy into the PET stretch blow molding (SBM) machine market for the first time.
Uniloy purchased the assets from the receiver and trustee in the bankruptcy of Vaughan-based Niigon Machines Ltd.
In a March 8 statement, Uniloy officials said the company will support all Amsler branded PET SBM machines, trimmers, leak testers, and ancillaries. All operations for Uniloy PET will be conducted at the Uniloy headquarters in Tecumseh.