ORLANDO (ICIS)--The plastics industry is getting increased encouragement from consumers for low-cost recyclable alternatives, which is pushing plastics additives manufacturers' development, US specialty chemicals firm Vertellus said on Wednesday.
The demands for sustainability differ geographically for customers, which range from the medical devices market to power tools, Vertellus consultant for plastics and polymer innovations Ashok Adur said. He made his comments on the sidelines of this year's National Plastics Exposition (NPE).
Most US customers, he noted, have the choice of looking for products that can fluctuate between affordability and sustainability.
“It’s not just cost savings, it’s sustainability,” he said. “In the US, sustainability is a marketing advantage. It’s not really driven by regulation. But in Europe it’s mandated.”
End-market consumers are also pushing trends towards less toxic materials, such as wanting bisphenol-A (BPA) alternatives.
“BPA is safe for most people, but not safe for women who are pregnant, or newborn babies,” he said. “And that’s the issue.”
Ardur said that Vertellus’ BPA replacement Topanol is slightly more expensive, but as an additive gives better performance than BPA itself.
Other product developments are aimed at integrating post-consumer materials into alloys that were previously incompatible, he said, noting Zmac Link NP, which combines virgin nylon and recycled bottle-grade polyethylene terephalate (PET).