The phrase cheap and nasty may applicable to a much of today’s mass produced and mass consumed materials; however, plastic is decidedly no longer one of them. Polypropylene, a versatile polymer, has become increasingly expensive of late, and there is no reprieve in sight. In fact, over the past 2 years, the pricey plastic has risen in price by an estimated 133%. Obviously, this is a notable problem for companies relying on plastic. Some of these companies have been forced to make the switch to different materials, while others have simply had to bite the bullet and fork out the money. However, it’s not only these companies that are being affected. A less obvious consequence of this price-hike is the rise in the oil price relative to natural gas, especially in North America. These higher oil prices continue to suppress the demand for gasoline, leaving motorists on the hunt for more fuel efficient vehicles. While it is possible to manufacture polypropylene as an end in itself, rather than as a by-product, building a tailor-made polypropylene plant will take years, and it won’t come cheap either.
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