Plastics Industry in Florida Assessing Irma's Impact

By Anna Flavia Rochas

At Polypro Recycling our goal is to be knowledgeable in all things plastic, and that includes keeping up with current events. Hurricane Irma has recently hit Florida and has had a major impact in many sectors. This article from Plastics News details the fallout being felt in the plastics industry.

Orlando, Fla. — Plastics-related businesses in Florida are just starting to gauge the losses caused by Hurricane Irma over Sept. 10-11, but preliminary assessments shows the storm had spared industries from major damage.

Lasting power outage was the main challenge still preventing some companies from resuming activities. Almost 4.4 million homes and businesses in Florida did not have power as of the evening of Sept. 12 , according to Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Inteplast Group’s two locations in Orlando suffered no damage, with the exception of dock shrouds, awnings, and a fence that will need repair or replacement at one of the sites, according to Brenda Wilson, senior director of human resources and communications.

“The damage is so minimal that the repairs can be done in-house,” she said via email. The company resumed production for its second shift on Sept. 12.

Orlando was under a curfew until 6 p.m. on Sept. 11 after the storm had passed through the region, and many processors haven’t been able to reach their sites any sooner than Sept. 12.

Bag maker Novolex expected to resume production at its Orlando and Jacksonville facilities on Sept. 13, if power is restored and water has drained from its parking lots and surrounding roads. Neither of the locations suffered any damage, according to Chief Operating Officer Ben Mascarello.

“This was a big storm and we know that it caused a lot of damage across the state,” he said. “We are grateful that we fared so well.”

Hurricane Irma affected Florida from coast-to-coast as it proceeded north, leaving broad based flooding, power outages, fallen trees and debris. The storm made landfall in the Florida Keys on the morning of Sept. 10 as a Category 4 hurricane. By the time it reached central Florida on that night, it had declined in strength to a Category 1.

At Legacy Custom Plastics LLC, a family-owned injection molding business located in St. Petersburg, power was restored by the morning of Sept. 11, but phone and internet services weren’t working by Sept. 12 in the afternoon. “Several employees can’t make it in due to downed power lines around them,” said owner Darryl Crowe.

Ayanna Plastics & Engineering Inc., an injection molding company based in Clearwater, suffered no damage. Power is expected to be restored no later than Sept. 15, co-owner Tammy Redmont told Plastics News on Sept. 12.

American Elite Molding LLC in Crestview, on Florida’s panhandle, sent an email to customers saying the company was fully operational and did not suffer any ill effects from Hurricane Irma.

“We never lost power and remain fully staffed. We did not experience any disruptions and are producing at full capacity,” the company wrote. “We stand ready to help with recovery efforts in any way we can. In fact, our Vice President of Corporate Development, Barbara Mitchell, will be headed out with a team from Career Source to South Florida as soon as it is possible.”

Amcor Rigid Plastics USA LLC’s manufacturing plant in Orlando and Latin American office in Miramar suffered minimal damages and should be in full operation by the end of the week, the company said in an email to Plastics News.

Source: Plastics News