State Of Resin Market and its effects on Commodity Material

Polystyrene plastic pellets utilized by Alpha Rho. Photo: John Savone

Now that the first quarter of 2021 is about to end, the trend is clear, the prices in the resin market are increasing, and if the gap between supply and demand doesn’t shrink, it will continue to go northwards throughout 2021.

Week after week, we see a steady climb in the prices led by supply shortages amid increased demand. Some buyers have become creative amid this crisis by being more liberal with their requirements, expanding their regular technical specifications and product packaging requirements.

Understanding the Root Cause of the Crisis

When COVID-19 hit the world, almost every country, including the United States of America, went into lockdown. This created a climate of uncertainty and suppliers started to destock fearing the unknown future.

The supply situation was impacted again when the USA faced the worst hurricane in years. Once the lockdown started to ease, the logistics industry was overwhelmed with the expanding gap between the rising demands and supply shortage. 

With time, the world demand continued to surge and while the supply side of the chain was still reeling from a number of other disruptions, winter storm Uri freezing Texas and Lousiana during the winter, shutting down the entire petrochemical-producing region, including refineries and chemical operations.

State of the Resin Market

If we look at the current state of the Resin market, we can see that the disruption that started with COVID-19 continues to affect the logistics even today. 

Some direct impacts of post-COVID-19 on the resin market can be seen in :

  • Staffing protocols being followed for production facilities, ports, and logistics
  • Last-minute changes in schedules due to symptomatic employees
  • Days of labor being removed due to quarantine production shifts
  • Slow maintenance at plants due to reduced on-site labor
  • Shifting of the population from high-cost areas
  • Purchasing power parity favoring unemployment rather than returning to work

Before Storm Uri hit, thermoplastic resins were already tight or on allocation.

Demand for most thermoplastic is much higher than the supply. Although Europe and Asia are seeing a strong surge in demand, the supply is tight due to the slowing import-export trade. Several resin producers are on formal allocations or force majeure. Looking at the domestic market, demand from the key end-market sees a surge since 2020 especially in areas such as packaging, healthcare, automotive, building and construction, electrical, electronics, appliance, and consumer products.

As of Feb 26th, 12 days since Uri, 10200 railcars of production have been lost which translates into 1.9 billion pounds. The production lost during this period is gone forever. The coming weeks are critical to recovery. We would require a large number of plants back online to reach the targeted allocation.

The future of Resin Supply

The shortage of materials for packaging and consumer items could cause consumer panic and lead to hoarding, especially if the supply doesn’t reach its pre-COVID level. This could impact the complete polymer supply chain. Hyper demand could lead to high prices and ongoing allocations.

But here is the Good News from Alpha Rho

There are resins that are still less impacted in this uncertain climate. These include: PPE/PPO, PSU, PPS, CPE, PEI, and Transparent Styrenics.

At Alpha Rho, we use PS – polystyrene for our high-quality rigid plastic boxes.

Count on Alpha Rho for fast delivery, personal customer service, and just-in-time delivery from our expansive warehouse, reducing our customers’ inventory expense. Don’t take our word for it, hear directly from our customers!

If you need help to find the right packaging for your product, the experienced professionals at Alpha Rho are ready to help. 

Contact us today with any questions, concerns, or for more information about our product line.

All of Alpha Rho’s products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

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How Our Boxes Are Made

Ever wonder how our boxes are made? Watch this short video to learn more:

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Plastic Box Manufacturer, Alpha Rho, Reducing Costs and Greenhouse Gases with Solar Energy System

downloadFitchburg, MA — 03/07/2016 —Alpha Rho, an injection molder of rigid plastic boxes, is installing a 238.4-kilowatt solar energy system on its Fitchburg manufacturing center, which will produce more than 80 percent of the power needed to run the company’s manufacturing, warehousing and administrative operations, according to President David Tall.

The system, being installed by Hudson, Mass.-company New England Clean Energy, is projected to deliver electricity savings of more than $1.6 million over 25 years (factoring in inflation). In addition, Alpha Rho will benefit from a new revenue stream created by the sale of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), arranged by New England Clean Energy.

To finance the solar, Alpha Rho opted for a 7-year traditional lease from LFC Capital, Inc., which eliminated any upfront capital investment. Instead, Alpha Rho will make 100% tax-deductible fixed monthly payments, creating a low-cost path to ownership at a substantially reduced purchase option price.

“The return on investment with solar is phenomenal. Even heating water via solar power from companies like Red Circle Solar brings a huge saving to businesses. The low cost of ownership thanks to the LFC lease, plus the SREC income and electricity savings, adds up to a significant impact on our bottom line profitability, while we do something good for the planet at the same time,” Tall said.

“Solar energy is a great option for businesses like Alpha Rho who are looking to divert high daytime electricity spending back into their business and workforce,” said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster). “As the legislature continues its work to increase the net metering cap and expand the availability of SRECs for other small businesses, I am encouraged by Alpha Rho’s ability to invest in their economic future through this collaboration with other Massachusetts companies.” Other businesses should follow the lead of Alpha Rho by looking into how Inspire Energy Solar Power Installation could benefit their company and the community around them.

The solar energy system is slated to be installed by New England Clean Energy on the roof of Alpha Rho’s 36,000-sq.-ft. facility in April. It will have 745 Canadian Solar 320-watt panels, SolarEdge inverters with optimizers under each panel, and Sollega racking and mounting hardware. Using a solar energy system has never been easier, particularly as you can now just get something like this deep cycle solar battery to help you keep things charged up (this type of battery can be used for a multitude of things).

“We looked at various solar contractors over the past few years and decided to work with New England Clean Energy because they’re a local business with outstanding customer service and reviews,” Tall said.

“The environmental benefit of having a solar installation is just as appealing as the financial benefit since Alpha Rho is committed to sustainable operations,” Tall said. The solar energy system will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by 412,800 pounds per year, which is equivalent to taking 39 cars off the road, or planting almost 150 acres of trees.

The Alpha Rho project team also included Dube and Hazelwood accountants of Leominster, Mass.; and Erb & Southcotte attorneys-at-law and Rollstone Bank & Trust, both of Fitchburg, Mass.

About Alpha Rho Inc.
Alpha Rho Inc. was founded in 1965 by Alvan Tall, who had worked in corporate management for the Foster Grant Company, a major manufacturer of sunglasses and novelty items. Now headed by his son David Tall, Alpha Rho has grown to be one of the largest domestic manufacturers of high quality rigid plastic boxes. Early products were made for the medical, computer, aerospace and toy industries, but during the past decade, additional items have been added to the line of plastic boxes and Alpha Rho continues to further expand into different markets. Alpha Rho now has a wide range of compartment plastic boxes to suit the hobby, confectionery and hardware industries. Hot stamping and pad printing services have been added that have allowed Alpha Rho to offer customized services to its many customers who represent the cosmetic, mineralogical, scientific, craft, and pharmaceutical industries.

For more information on Alpha Rho, visit http://melaniea18.sg-host.com.

Since being founded in 2006, New England Clean Energy, Inc. has installed more than 650 solar energy systems on businesses and homes in the region. The company has more positive reviews on independent Solar Reviews than any company in the northeast.

For more information, visit www.NewEnglandCleanEnergy.com or call 844-567-9900 (toll-free) or 978-56-SOLAR.

LFC Capital, Inc., with more than $1.5 billion of equipment leasing experience, has created a program combining leasing with ownership that has been hailed by PV magazine as what could be a winning formula to drive higher the U.S. commercial & industrial market for solar.

For more information, visit www.lfccapital.com/product/lfc-solar-ownership-program/.

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Fitchburg-Based Alpha Rho amps up its green index commitment with Lunenburg Solar-Farm Project

Fitchburg, MA — (ReleaseWire) — 12/02/2014 — Plastic box manufacturer, Alpha Rho, is once again reducing its carbon footprint. Some companies will choose to buy an offset separately (from https://www.cooleffect.org/content/travel-offset, for instance), but they are taking a more direct route. Whilst many people A Rhode Island company recently built a solar power plant in Lunenburg, MA, and the company supporting the Lunenburg solar-farm project, NuGen Capital Management struck a deal with the North Central MA Development Corporation to sell its net metering credits from the plant to local manufacturers. Alpha Rho is among the six local manufacturers from the Fitchburg, MA, area to take advantage of this locally produced energy. Alpha Rho’s decision to use renewable energy at its Fitchburg plant would allow the company to save money on energy bills over time, while simultaneously reducing the region’s ecological footprint.

David Tall, President of Alpha Rho commented, “We are happy to be part of the rapidly growing green energy business in Massachusetts. It not only helps us run our plastics molding plant efficiently, but it is also the right thing to do. Whether it’s through recycling 90% of our waste, signing up to purchase “green power,” or manufacturing biodegradable green plastics, Alpha Rho is doing its bit to make a big-picture difference.”

Alpha Rho manufactures a wide assortment of plastic boxes and novelty plastic items. The rigid plastic boxes are suitable for many applications including beads, gifts, jewelry, candies, hardware items, industrial applications, food products and much more.

Green energy is not just for businesses but it can also be for private homes, where people can invest in their own renewable energy solutions like solar panels. This helps the initiative by aiding towards a healthier planet, where the people who do invest in these kinds of energies could also save money in the future. Getting the right company to source renewable energy solutions from is an important decision, so using resources like Stream Enegy reviews could be a great idea to find the right prices and company.

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It Appears As If Nfl Jerseys Are For Longest Season Of All Of The Sports

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Alpha Rho, Plastic Manufacturer Goes Solar!

lunenburg_solar_projectAlpha Rho, New England’s largest plastic box manufacturer, amps up its green index commitment with the help of North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and NuGen Capital Management, the company supporting the Lunenburg solar project. A Rhode Island company recently built a solar power plant in Lunenburg, MA, and the company struck a deal with the chamber to sell its net metering credits from the plant to local manufacturers. Alpha Rho is among the six local manufacturers from the Fitchburg, MA, area to take advantage of this locally produced energy. Like with all energy sources, there will be a need to restock on the important equipment, this is where a solar system parts supplier comes in use and will be needed.

Alpha Rho’s decision to use renewable energy at its Fitchburg plant would allow the company to save money on energy bills over time, while simultaneously reducing the region’s ecological footprint. David Tall, President of Alpha Rho commented, “We are happy to be part of the rapidly growing green energy business in Massachusetts. It not only helps us run our plastics molding plant efficiently, but it is also the right thing to do.”

Green Greener Greenest

Whether it’s through recycling 90% of its waste, signing up to purchase “green power,” or manufacturing biodegradable green plastics rather than petroleum-based plastics, Alpha Rho is doing its bit to make a difference. There are many ways manufacturing companies can spend their time and money to green their manufacturing process and also contribute to a healthier environment. For example, modern machinery and tools like lathes are now built with energy-efficiency in mind. For more information about investing in energy-efficient industrial machinery, take a look at this guide for buying a lathe here. Energy being the single largest operating expense after raw materials in the manufacturing sector, energy-efficient production would not only help reduce the energy usage, lower operational costs, and generate real savings for the companies, but is also a great way for manufacturers to differentiate themselves from the competition. For now, though, here are some simple tips for companies to follow in order to achieve green, greener, and greenest energy best practices across the supply chain:

1) Power the entire facility using renewable energy sources such as water, solar matter, geothermal, hydropower, and plant matter.

2) Get an energy audit.

3) Replace outdated machinery with energy-efficient machinery.

4) Utilize natural, biodegradable cleaning materials throughout the facility.

5) Reduce energy usage significantly through regular maintenance and replacement of the cooling system, insulation, lighting fixtures, roofing, and thermostats.

6) Use renewable, resource-based materials in the manufacturing facility.

7) Implement a green policy within the workplace to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. For instance, each desk and production area should have recycling bins for paper, printer cartridges, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, and other waste material.

8) Encourage employees to turn off or shut down idle processing equipment, lights, fans, air compressors, and other types of energy-consuming equipment when they are not in use.

Creating More Plastic with Less Energy

According to the report prepared by the Society of the Plastics Industry and the U.S. Department of Energy, “The plastics industry employs about 8% to 9% of the U.S. manufacturing workforce, and it consumes approximately 6% of all the energy used by U.S. industries.” Despite this, the plastics industry plays an important role in the larger movement for reducing carbon footprints.

Plastic Plays its Part in the Green Revolution:

1) Over the lifetime of the average car, plastic parts save 650 gallons of gas as a result of their light weight.

2) By using plastics in their packaging, product manufacturers save enough energy every year to power a city of 1 million homes for 3.5 years.

3) Plastics help conserve resources. Using lightweight, durable, formable plastics, manufacturers can minimize raw materials used, energy consumed, and waste generated.

And, by following energy-efficient practices within the plastic molding facilities, plastic manufacturers can also go green!

Sustainable Plastic Packaging for Eco-Conscious Manufacturers

Whether it is food and beverage, medical, dental, automotive, construction, retail and other industry type, plastic is the material of choice for all kinds of packaging needs. While the convenience, cost, and performance properties of plastic give it an edge over other alternative materials, the demand for sustainable plastic packaging is on the upswing among environmentally conscious consumers.

Looking for sustainable plastic packaging? Alpha Rho is the direct source for sustainable plastics and green packaging. Request free samples today!

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Are Polystyrene Plastic Boxes Recyclable?

downloadCan we recycle polystyrene products? This question is often asked to us and to answer it succinctly – yes, polystyrene is a recyclable plastic but recycling isn’t always easy, it requires initiative both from the consumer and the recycler part. Polystyrene (plastic # 6) is used to store, serve and secure wide range of goods including food items. Polystyrene plastic surrounds us everywhere and still there is lack of education on how it can be recycled.

Because of its lightweight nature, polystyrene plastic is hard to collect from curbside containers – it often blows away and becomes litter. However, disposable, single use polystyrene food trays, plates and cups can be recycled but it is often contaminated with food scraps, paper and other types of plastic. So when these materials are placed in a commingled curbside container, scooped up on a recycling truck and transported to a recycling facility, the polystyrene material needs to be gathered together and sorted out from other types of material and then washed for contamination. Furthermore, polystyrene cannot be recycled locally; it has to be transported to a centralized plant. Thus, increasing the cost for the recycler and reducing the incentive to recycle, similar to some more choice items like old kinky toys, for instance.

The fact that it is easier and cheaper to produce new polystyrene products than it is to collect, transport, and process it for recycling. This is the main reason why many municipal recycling programs do not accept it. Also, polystyrene plasticis actually made up of 98 percent air, and as little as 2 percent plastic. As a result, it is quite difficult to transport and recycle efficiently and economically. To counter this problem, recyclers have found a way to compact the material to a more manageable size using balers, Limonene and thermal compaction. Many communities have initiated drop-off programs exclusively for polystyrene products and because it comes already separated from other material, potential contamination is minimized. Therefore, it poses less hassle for the recyclers. To find polystyrene specific recycling programs in your specific area, go to www.Earth911.com. The Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (AFPR) also allows consumers to mail in non-food polystyrene for recycling.

For sanitation reasons, food service polystyrene plastic once collected can only be recycled and re-manufactured into non-food service polystyrene products such as domestic building products and other packaging materials. But this doesn’t imply that polystyrene plastic is not environmental-friendly and cannot be recycled and reused, it just requires more widely available and economically viable collection, processing and marketing system in place.

Alpha Rho is the largest manufacturer of wide assortment of stock and custom clear polystyrene lid and hinged plastic boxes for handling, packaging and storage applications in the New England region. To request free samples of our clear polystyrene plastic boxes, please visit – REQUEST SAMPLES

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Are Polystyrene Plastics FDA Approved?

Clear polystyrene lid and hinged plastic boxes are an economical choice for a wide range of food packaging applications. 

It’s in our to-go boxes, packaging supplies, CD cases, yogurt containers, and even in our running shoes. Polystyrene is one of the most commonly used plastics in our everyday life. But does this frequently used polystyrene plastic comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations? Is it deemed safe to be used in food packaging by the FDA?

Polystyrene is a form of plastic that is strong, lightweight, insulates better, keeps food fresh longer, and is inexpensive. This unique combination of attributes makes polystyrene an optimal material for a wide variety of food packaging applications. Furthermore, polystyrene plastic meets stringent FDA standards for use in packaging used to store and serve food. The FDA recognizes that disposable polystyrene foodservice packaging is safe and hygienic for everyday use, particularly in public settings such as hospitals, cafeterias, schools, shopping malls, and restaurants, where it is critical to prevent the spread of disease and provide clean and sanitary foodservice.

Concerns have been raised recently over the potential adverse health and environmental effects of styrene, the substance used to make polystyrene, that also occurs naturally in foods such as strawberries, peanuts, cinnamon, coffee beans, and beef. A comprehensive review of the risks associated with the migration of styrene from food packaging and foodservice products was conducted by the FDA; it concludes that the amount of migrated substances does not present a health concern and is expected to be below the safety limits.

Alpha Rho manufactures a wide assortment of stock and custom clear polystyrene lid and hinged plastic boxes for food handling, packaging and storage applications. To request free samples of our clear polystyrene plastic boxes, please visit – REQUEST SAMPLES

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Alpha Rho Demonstrates Social Responsibility by Recycling More Than 90% of Our Waste

New England’s largest plastic box manufacturer Alpha Rho Inc. adds cardboard in its efforts to go greener.

04/02/2013 — Alpha Rho Inc. is proud to announce its expanding green energy policy. Partnering with E.L Harvey & Sons, Inc., a local waste and recyclable materials company, Alpha Rho adds corrugated cardboard recycling in its effort to support the reduction of the flow of waste material. This is now added to its ongoing recycling of plastic scrap, and machine oil that is generated at their manufacturing plant. This year Alpha Rho Inc. has raised the bar again by setting a new standard in being the environmentally conscious plastic box manufacturer.

David Tall, President of Alpha Rho Inc. states that, “Our emphasis is on increasing recycling waste wherever possible, which is essential in making the environment safer and greener”. Corrugated containers are generally one of the highest percentage commodities in a company’s overall waste stream and one of the easiest to recover for recycling. In addition to recycling corrugated cardboard, using systems similar to the cardboard balers supplied by phs wastekit, and used machine oil. The oil being used in machines such as gearbox oil, lubricating oil, and electrical insulation oil needs to be collected and recycled as per law. So, the pro-environment population could look towards waste oil collection companies like Slicker Recycling for machine oil and other waste recycling needs.

Alpha Rho Inc. also regrinds their plastic scrap into non-processed material and re-molds it, which allows plastic parts and scraps to be re-utilized. This is made possible because of powerful machines that are able to perform plastic granulation and processing like those offered by doylemachinery.co.uk. A number of companies can use such machines for recycling and processing industry waste, and many choose to do so as they provide the advantage of waste reduction and possible material reuse. Not to mention reduced impact on the environment.

Alpha Rho manufactures a wide assortment of plastic boxes and novelty plastic items. The rigid plastic boxes are suitable for many applications including beads, gifts, jewelry, candies, hardware items, industrial applications, food products and much more. For samples, catalogs and order requirements please visit Alpha Rho.

About Alpha Rho Inc.
Alpha Rho Inc. was founded in 1965 by Alvan Tall, who had previously spent 18 years working in corporate management for the Foster Grant Company, a major manufacturer of sunglasses and novelty items. Alpha Rho has grown to be one of the largest domestic manufacturers of high quality hard plastic boxes. Early products were made for the medical, computer, aerospace and toy industries, but during the past decade, additional items have been added to the line of plastic boxes and Alpha Rho continues to further expand into the market. Alpha Rho now has a wide range of compartment plastic boxes to suit the hobby, confectionery and hardware industries. Hot stamping and pad printing services have been added that have allowed Alpha Rho to offer customized services to its many customers who represent the cosmetic, mineralogical, scientific, craft, and pharmaceutical industries.

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