In a new way of connecting with its customers, Eastman Chemical (Kingsport, TN) has entered the movie business. The plastics and chemicals supplier currently has created five mini-films to tell the stories of recent developments made with its materials. Its newest ‘Eastman Insight’ video is on the development of the Weil Baby baby bottle, which makes use of the supplier’s Tritan copolyester.
Although the material and the baby bottle have gained extensive attention in the past months for being Bisphenol A-free, that’s not the only reason to choose it, says Randy Beavers, specification executive with the supplier. Bisphenol A, a chemical used in polycarbonate and liners of metal cans, has been linked to male infertility. Speaking to PlasticsToday, he noted that Tritan offers clarity with approximately 90% light transmission, and good gloss. Its toughness and impact resistance compare well with polycarbonate, and it is dishwasher durable, explained Beavers, whose job is engage brand owners and introducing them to Eastman’s polymers.
In that position, Beavers said he is seeing interest from ever more market segments looking for BPA-free materials. “Some of the market segments that are concerned about and looking for BPA-free materials are housewares, both commercial and consumer housewares,” he said. “Those market segments are watching this situation very closely.”
Beavers noted he’s also seeing interest from the medical market with an interest in a clear, BPA-free material. “Our Tritan fits that bill very well for the medical market,” he said, adding that while Eastman was expecting an eventual interest from that market segment, “we didn’t expect this much interest this quickly from medical. However, the medical market’s time line for launching new products is much longer than, say, housewares.”
Manufacturers of household appliance parts, such as blender jars, juice extractors, and other small household appliances, also are on his radar screen. “For this market it brings much more than just being BPA-free, but Tritan has the toughness of polycarbonate that gives it dishwasher durability,” said Beavers. “We’ve yet to find a customer that can crack or break a Tritan product in a dishwasher. Tritan really offers a huge value proposition for brand owners.” —Clare Goldsberry