Plastics wiffle-ball bats now “safe” on planes

Plastics wiffle-ball bats are now acceptable as passenger carry-ons for commercial aircraft under the jurisdiction of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), according to an announcement from Washington, D.C. The “novelty or toy” bats, which are also made of wood, must measure less than 24 inches in length, or weigh less than 24 oz, according to the announcement.
The TSA has also decided that some sporting equipment may now be taken aboard, including lacrosse and hockey sticks, ski poles, pool cues, and golf clubs, but only two golf clubs per passenger. Such equipment frequently incorporates plastics, reinforced plastics, and carbon composites.
The rationale covering all of the items mentioned here is that they could NOT be used to bring down a plane, what with the advent of reinforced cockpit doors. When I stop to think of it, I conclude that all of these items are rather sorry excuses for weapons, and that a well-trained flight attendant could make short work of anyone who got belligerent with one of these things.
The permission for “novelty bats” brings back memories of an episode I witnessed in an airport after a long-ago National Plastics Exposition (NPE) in Chicago. One of the blowmolding-equipment suppliers at the show was demonstrating production of such bats and handing them out as novelty samples. At the airport a line of 10 or so passengers, most of them sporting a highly conspicuous hollow bat of red plastics, were in line to board a plane. After rejecting a couple of these bats, airline personnel came to the realization that almost every passenger remaining in the line had one. The airline staff succumbed to the reality that these were worthless as weapons and let everybody remaining in the line carry the bat onto the plane.
I was not on that flight, and did not have a bat, but had a good laugh. Maybe the other passengers did, too, what with all these adults boarding the plane with these kiddie toys. At that time, gate agents could apparently allow bats on board at their discretion. Times have changed, and now the bats are permissible according to official policy.
In addition, small knives, such as are probably known to most of us as “Swiss Army Knives,” are now permissible. The knives frequently incorporate exterior plastics components. Knives with molded polymer handles, including those I knew as “switch-blades” in my youth, are not permitted. Flight attendants have shown little interest in plastics as such, but are resisting the change in regulations that allows some knives in the passenger cabin. The changes are slated to take effect on April 25, 2013. –Merle R. Snyder


Plastics replacing paper in cockpit


Plastics Lookout items are based on information spotted in a wide variety of  media outlets, both printed and online.

Plastics replace paper in cockpit. The light-weight Apple iPad, including its plastics components, will soon replace 30 lb of paper manuals that each Frontier Airlines pilot carries onto an aircraft’s flight deck in a flight bag, according to a Denver Post report of March 12, 2013 (Business Section, p. 11A) Frontier Airlines is headquartered in Denver, CO and uses Denver as a hub.

The move will reportedly save the airline hundreds of thousands of dollars in paper, print, and fuel costs. The iPads, lest prospective passengers be concerned, will be used for viewing information only, notwithstanding a New Yorker magazine cartoon published awhile back showing a pilot sitting in the cockpit, but controlling the plane entirely with a small hand-held device.

–By Merle R. Snyder


Does location matter?

Does location matter in the plastics industry?

Well, yes, location matters, but probably not as much as it used to.

The old saw about real estate, “location, location, and location,” might apply to buying and selling houses, but even there we think it’s not as true now as previously. The advent of wireless communications, notably cell phones and wireless computer networks, has made location moot for many purposes.

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Plastics responsibility: Decline, Re-use, Recycle, Rubbish

As one who lives and works in the plastics publishing business, and has done so for a long time, I accept a heightened responsibility to use plastics well and dispose of them responsibly when the time comes. What follows is my perspective and what I consider to be my personal responsibility. My formula, from beginning to end, is as constructive as I know how to make it. Let it be clear. I am not an anti-plastics crackpot.

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