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PET lights up the world!

Ever wondered what happens to PET bottles once they’re discarded? Well wonder no more as an architect/design team in Malaysia made up of two young ladies, Lisa Foo and Mah Su Sim, has found good use for these bottles by turning them into lights.

The two ladies formed a company known as LFSS last May in what they say is an effort to re-think, re-use and reduce post consumer plastic waste from entering the waste stream by using their skills as designers to fashion functional artworks from recycled plastic bottles.

The architect, Lisa Foo, models her artwork after mysterious creatures of the deep sea, while Su Sim is a landscape designer who draws inspiration from natural forms and patterns of nature. The interpretations of their inspirations are expressed in their artworks.

When asked what inspired the two to start recycling thrown away plastic items into art forms, Lisa says, “We wanted to exercise our environmental responsibility using our design ability with our passion for art to fashion artworks with the most common and ubiquitous of urban waste, namely PET bottles. Subsequently, we try to come out with designs that would not only be aesthetically pleasing but functional as well in order to sow the seeds of environmental awareness through art.”

Wonderful words but do these art forms add on to the growing energy and material waste, we wondered? To answer this, Lisa says, “Basically, our approach emphasises on a crafting process that employs low embodied energy. Hence all our artworks are crafted by hand using domestic tools and stationery. Furthermore, we also ensure none of the parts of a bottle go to waste as every segment is used as a component unit that forms a design.”

The ladies get their bottles from friends and family as well as from the local plastics organisation (Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association).

When asked about the product range, Lisa commented, “Considering the inherent transparent and light weight quality of the material, most of our designs are light sculptures that are fitted with LEDs or energy saving bulbs. The results are often a fascinating display of ethereal radiance. We have recently explored wearable accessories such as earrings, pendants and fashionista necklaces.”

And the good news is that the ladies have sold most of their artworks at exhibitions, adding that “private commissions are also welcome!” The PET artists also say that the art works have received rave reviews. “However, since we have only displayed them in exhibitions, there is still a large segment of the society who is unaware of this form of artwork,” adds Lisa.

To publicise its artworks on the international scene, LFSS set up a blogsite to publish work done. “Our artworks have thus far been featured mostly on international websites that could be navigated from the LFSS blogsite,” says Lisa, adding that they hope to play a bigger role in disseminating the message of recycling for a better living environment and to also participate in exhibitions overseas in the future.

Editor’s note: Their work can be viewed at http://lfss-create.blogspot.com


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E-News Update
November 2009
RoHS-compliant TPEs
Bridgestone to close Aussie and Kiwi plants


Lead Feature

10th year in business for Malaysian
compounding plant

German chemicals company BASF recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its engineering plastics compounding plant in Malaysia. The company has invested more than US$1 million over the past decade into the world-scale plant, located down south in Pasir Gudang, Johore, which produces polyamide (PA) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) engineering resins for the automotive, electrical/electronics and household markets in Asia.

PRA spoke to Hermann Althoff, BASF’s Group Vice-President of Engineering Plastics in Asia Pacific on the milestones achieved by the plant to date, including product developments with the latest being a PA6 resin to replace brass in water meter housings.
click here for full story


Company News

Reliance offers to buy bankrupt LyondellBasell
India’s largest petrochemicals/oil refining company Reliance Industries has made a bid for a controlling stake in the Netherlands-based polyolefins maker LyondellBasell in an offer said to be worth between US$6-12 billion.
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Higher output for coatings in China
German Bayer MaterialScience has expanded its capacity for aliphatic coatings raw materials at its integrated site in Caojing, near Shanghai, in China, to 27,000 tonnes/year.
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Arkema’s deal with Taiwanese and closure of PVC plant
Arkema is joining forces with Taiwanese chemicals manufacturer Chang Chun Petrochemicals to distribute its EVOH copolymers.
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Sino-Arabic petrochemical complex
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) marked the progress of their new petrochemical complex at Tianjin, China, recently.
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Catalysts joint venture in the Middle East 
Specialists catalysts producer Albemarle Corporation will form a 50:50 joint venture with Ibn Hayyan Plastic Products, an affiliate of Sabic, to build an organometallics facility in the Middle East.
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LLDPE start up in Qatar
Qatar celebrated another milestone in the development of the petrochemical sector with the inauguration of Qatofin’s 450,000 tonnes/year LLDPE plant in the Mesaieed Industrial City (MIC).
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Uptrend of results helped by Asian business
Recent company results (by Borealis, DSM, Bayer MaterialScience, Solvay, BASF, Rhodia, Clariant, Eastman Chemical, Lanxess and PolyOne) for the third quarter indicate an uptrend in business, especially from Asia.
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PC sheet manufacture jv in India
Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and India’s Malibu Plastica have entered into a joint venture to supply PC sheet in the country.
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Successful start up of LAO facility
Sabic and Germany-based Linde Group have started up a 150,000 tonnes/year linear alpha olefin (LAO) facility in the Middle East that uses the Sablin technology developed jointly by Sabic and Linde.
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Materials News

Upping the metallocene range
Using its proprietary single-site technology, Total Petrochemicals has introduced a new generation of metallocene PE and PP grades.
click here for full story


World’s lightest and smallest PET hot fill bottles
While French machinery company Sidel has introduced the lightest bottle, US-based hot fill PET specialist Amcor PET Packaging has introduced the smallest, both for hot filling.
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Bio-content in new copolymers
Sabic Innovative Plastics has launched copolymer resins with 5% bio-content featuring high melt flow, toughness and ductility.
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Higher thermal insulation foam
An expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam with 10% higher thermal insulation is being offered by BASF for heating, ventilation and sanitary systems.
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Sustainable calcium carbonate
Swiss company CalciTech is offering an artificial calcium carbonate filler made from waste lime and effluent carbon dioxide.
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RoHS-compliant TPEs
A new series of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds for wire and cable have been introduced with RoHS compliance by Teknor Apex.
The Elexar High-Performance FR series includes six grades, with Shore A hardness ranging from 58 to 85, upper use temperature from 105 to 125ºC, low-temperature flexibility down to -50ºC, UV resistance and good oil resistance. Targeted applications include insulation and jacketing, electrical components and consumer/industrial goods.


Machinery News

Recession-hit Rapid restructures
Affected by the global financial crisis, Swedish granulator maker Rapid Granulator has entered into a process of restructuring to enable it to continue operating its business.
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Pipe reinforced with glass fibres
Austrian extrusion machinery producer Cincinnati Extrusion has developed a three-layer pipe line that is able to extrude pipes with a glass fibre-reinforced middle layer.
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PU commitment to China
Expanding on its presence in China, machinery maker KraussMaffei has opened a technical centre for PU technology in Shanghai.
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Steering into new markets
Indian producer of co-rotating twin-screw extrusion equipment Steer is expanding its horizons in markets like the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
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Automatik spreads its wings
Pelletising equipment supplier Automatik Plastics Machinery has set up two subsidiaries in Asia: in China and Malaysia.
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Exhibition News

High costs blow NPE out of Chicago
The triennial US plastics show, National Plastics Exposition or NPE, which had since 1971 been held in the American windy city of Chicago, is to move to the sunshine state of Orlando in 2012.
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Rubber Journal Asia

Expansion of rubber reclamation
In the UK’s rubber reclamation sector, a new devulcanisation technology is being further developed while a new crumbing business will reclaim tracks and an existing tyre crumbing operation diversifies.
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Tyre companies fare better in the third quarter
While third quarter results from tyre majors Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin were better than the second quarter Hankook stood out with its whopping increase in profit.
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Bridgestone to close Aussie and Kiwi plants
Despite efforts to improve cost competitiveness, Bridgestone will close its tyre manufacturing facilities in Adelaide, Australia, and in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The closures will take effect at the New Zealand manufacturing plant by the end of 2009 and at the Australian facility by April 2010. The closures will affect about 250 employees in Christchurch and 600 in Adelaide. The Adelaide facility has been operating since 1965 and Christchurch since 1947.


. Injection Moulding Asia

IML labelling for thinwall cups
Swiss Beck Automation has introduced a labelling system for thinwall PS cups in a cycle time of 3.3 seconds per shot for four cups.
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Haitian shifts European hq
Notwithstanding the fact that Germany is a leading machinery market, the world’s largest maker of injection moulding machinery, China-based Haitian, is shifting its European headquarters from Italy to Germany.
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Covering for components
Working together with machine supplier KraussMaffei, Evonik Industries is offering the CoverForm system solution that moulds components with a functional surface in a single process.
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