Asia Pinching Recovered Paper Markets
The anticipated ripple effect from the Asian financial crisis appears to have made its first dents in the North American paper industry. Production and shipment figures from some mills in the U.S. and Canada began showing declines in August, and pricing for most grades of scrap paper has reflected a slumping market.
The Fibre Box Association, Rolling Meadows, Ill., reports that shipments of corrugated and solid fiber box products dropped 0.3% for August compared to year-earlier figures. Prices for scrap corrugated containers have slid more than a fraction of one percent, however. Fibre Market News reports that of all the scrap paper grades, "old corrugated continues to be the biggest concern for vendors. The grade has been somewhat soft for several quarters."
A decrease of overseas orders is listed as the primary factor behind the decreased demand (and weak pricing). Other factors cited are high inventories of both finished products and raw materials, slumping prices for finished products, and an increase in scrap paper supply.
New Ink Recycling-Friendly
Toshiba Corp., Tokyo, recently announced the successful development of a prototype decolorable printing ink that can be easily rendered invisible by heat treatment and solvents. The new ink promises efficient, cost-effective paper recycling and allows reuse of huge volumes of paper. The ink contains no carbon and decolors completely when exposed to intense heat or to solvents.
Phillips Petroleum Exits Plastic Recycling
Phillips Plastics Recycling Co, Tulsa, Okla., has closed its facility in Bartlesville, Okla. and is exiting the plastics recycling business. For six years the facility recycled high-density polyethylene from used milk jugs, juice containers and detergent bottles into pellets.
"The business has not performed as expected," says Dan Gray, manager. "We’ve been patient, but don’t see the prospect for significantly improved business performance in the future. Phillips Plastic Recycling Co. was a unit of Phillips Petroleum Co.