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Plastics Industry Association head Bill Carteaux dies at 59

The longtime president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association had been battling leukemia since 2016.


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December 10, 2018 by Canadian Plastics

William (Bill) Carteaux, the longtime president and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, the largest plastics association in North America, died on Dec. 10 after a battle with leukemia at the age of 59.

“We have lost an incredible leader, colleague, and friend,” the Washington D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association said in a statement. “Our hearts are broken to learn that..Bill passed away early this morning due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia, the disease he had been fighting with determination and courage. Bill was more than just an inspiring, larger-than-life leader for our industry, Bill was a dear friend to each of us who were lucky enough to know him.”

Carteaux, who led the Plastics Industry Association since 2005, had his first bout with leukemia in 2016, after which it went into remission in October of that year. The cancer returned in July 2017, and Carteaux underwent a bone marrow transplant in November 2017. Carteaux announced on Nov. 2 that the cancer had returned for the third time, and that he was starting treatment on Nov. 5.

In October, Carteaux was the keynote speaker at the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)’s 2018 Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner in Toronto, and spoke about his struggles against the disease.

With Carteaux at the helm, the Plastics Industry Association and its biggest event, the triennial NPE trade show, underwent substantial changes: the association changed its name from the Society of the Plastics Industry, and in 2012 the NPE was moved from Chicago’s McCormick Place – where it had been held since 1971 – to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., where it continues to be staged.

Carteaux also worked closely with the CPIA and the Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C. of Mexico to help defeat plastic bag bans, promote best practices in manufacturing facilities, help prevent plastics debris from reaching the oceans, and to present a united front during the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Carteaux also served as a board member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well as the National Association of Manufacturers.

Carteaux had an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and a B.S. from Purdue. He was the president of Autojectors Inc., a manufacturer of vertical injection molding machines, from 1990 to 1998; the president and CEO of Demag Plastics Group from 1998 until 2005; and assumed the leadership of the Plastics Industry Association in February 2005. In 2015, he was the youngest person to ever be inducted into the Plastics Industry Hall of Fame.