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On 16 January 2019, an alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain launched a new organisation to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean. The cross value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, has committed over USD 1.0 billion with the goal of investing USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.

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Kraton announced on 19 February 2019 that it has initiated a process to review strategic alternatives for its Cariflex isoprene rubber (IR) business, which may result in a sale of that business.

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On 17 January 2019, Evonik announced that it has acquired Structured Polymers Inc., a technology startup for 3D printing materials headquartered in Austin, TX, USA. A corresponding agreement and plan of merger was executed and the transaction has been closed recently.

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The global market for thermoplastic elastomers is estimated to have grown at a compound average rate (CAGR) of 5.45 % in 2012 – 2017, even though it is an increasingly mature market. It is also expected to grow at about the same rate for 2017 – 2022, with a CAGR of 5.58 %. The Asia-Pacific region occupied an estimated 49.7 % in 2017, and will likely grow to a market share of 53.1 %, by 2022.

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LCY Chemical Corp. and investment firm KKR have announced the completion of the previously announced share exchange and purchase transaction under which the KKR-led consortium has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of LCY. As a result of the completion of the share exchange and purchase, LCY has become a private company and was delisted from the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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Huntsman’s Polyurethanes division has commercially registered the new legal entity Huntsman (Chile) SpA, based in Santiago de Chile. Huntsman now has South American polyurethanes operations in Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia, in Santiago, Chile, in São Paulo and Taboão da Serra, Brazil, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With the recent acquisition of Demilec Inc., the company now has a total of 17 polyurethanes locations in the Americas region.  

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Huntsman has announced new strategic machinery purchases ahead of SIMAC 2019. The company revealed that it has completed a series of equipment investments to boost the research and development services it offers to footwear producers and their manufacturing partners, worldwide.

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APS Elastomers, a TPE supplier serving markets in North America, has appointed SAW Thermoplastics as its exclusive distributor for the West Coast. Scot Wiesemann, owner of SAW Thermoplastics, will provide commercial and technical support to companies located in California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah.

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In order to regulate the quality of raw materials for sealing applications, there are two important certifications which are valid worldwide but especially in Europe: CSTB and RAL. Over time, CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment) has become the most important certification required by customers.

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The speciality chemicals group Altana has invested in the Israeli industrial digital printing company Velox Ltd. Financial details have not been disclosed. 

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On 30 January 2019, TactoTek announced that Nanogate, a specialist for high-tech surfaces and components, will promote and manufacture its injection moulded structural electronics (IMSE) solutions as a licensee. According to the company, technology transfer is underway and Nanogate expects to be IMSE ready for mass production by the end of 2019.

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