by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Business
I love a good celebration, and this issue of Plastics Business gives us a reason to break out the confetti – it’s our anniversary!
Over the last 15 years, the Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors (MAPP) and Peterson Publications have published 60 issues of Plastics Business. When it began, each quarterly magazine had a few thousand readers. Over time, the readership has grown – more than 10,000 plastics industry members read it these days – and the print magazine has expanded to include a digital edition, a robust website and a monthly enewsletter.
As I sat down to write this article, I went to the magazine website (shameless plug: www.plasticsbusinessmag.com) and scrolled through the digital editions of magazines from years past. When I looked at the table of contents from our 5th anniversary issue (Spring of 2011), I had to laugh when I saw the topics we covered:
- Succession Planning for Business Owners
- Resin Markets See Global Tightening
- Mold maintenance… morning huddles… OSHA…
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? As we get ready to go to press, resin shortages and supply chain constrictions are pushing prices higher. M&A activity continues in the industry, OSHA is busy issuing new guidance as plants and employees return fully to work, and morning huddles – which were suspended in many facilities as the pandemic raged – are resuming once again.
Despite that familiarity, new challenges face plastics manufacturers today. Increasingly vocal calls for recyclability and sustainability initiatives from consumers, brand owners and environmental groups are challenging profits, even as plastic was revered for its ability to keep us safe and healthy with face shields, medical supplies and individual food packaging throughout the last 14 months. Rising healthcare costs threaten the ability of manufacturers to provide benefits that entice new talent, and a shortage of capable job applicants is the #1 stressor for the majority of company owners.
Stick with us as we cover these topics in this issue and others over the next year. From the very beginning, the magazine’s marching orders have been to share “Strategies for Today’s Plastics Processors.” Plastics Business does that by talking to CEOs, engineers, operations team members, human resources staff, quality personnel and suppliers to the industry. Each of them communicates the best practices and expertise that keep facilities profitable, machines running efficiently and employees safe – making the entire plastics industry stronger.
In 2006, when Plastics Business began publication, 6,734 magazines were in circulation in the United States. Despite the rumors of print’s demise, that number has increased by more than 600 today. Thank you for keeping Plastics Business at the top of your reading pile – whether in print or digital format. We look forward to another 15 years and many more successful strategies to keep your business running smoothly. Cheers!