Transition to non-phthalate plasticizers speeds up in Europe

Arkema is closing its phthalate plasticizer plant in Chauny, France as the market shifts to nonphthalates used to make polyvinyl chloride for medical bags, tubing and other applications. The plant closure also reflects significant structural weakness in the European PVC industry.

Arkema is the leading supplier of phthalate plasticizers to the medical industry in Europe. According to ICIS, the Arkema plant in France can produce 70,000 metric tons per year of DOP and 90,000 metric tons/year of phthalic anhydride plasticizer.

TOTM Plasticizer (tris -2-ethylhexyl- trimellitate) has already made significant inroads replacing DOP (bis-2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) in tubing in Europe. The closure of Arkema's DOP plant in France is expected to accelerate transition to alternates for medical applications.

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