The Friday Report: January 31st, 2020

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Philippines Turns Plastic Trash to Fire Cement Plants and Build Roads

An innovation in an approach to sustainability has taken hold in the Philippines.  Plastic garbage including discarded shopping bags, sachet wrappers and plastic packaging is now being used to fire cement plants and build roads.  Plastic scraps are being mixed with asphalt to create surface material.  Developed by Dow Chemical, nearly 2000 pounds of plastic has been used to pave a 16,145 square foot test site near the city of San Miguel.

Republic Cement & Building Materials Inc. uses plastic as an alternative to burning coal to heat the kilns used in making cement.  Sourcing waste from large companies including Nestle Philippines and Unilever Philippines, the company processes a minimum of 25,000 tons of plastic annually.  Focusing on soft plastics that are difficult to recycle has helped to remove a large amount of trash from Philippine landfills and clogged waterways.

One of Asia’s fastest growing economies, Philippines is planning a whirlwind of construction including airports, highways, rail, bridges and dams over the next three years and is hoping to leverage plastic scraps in construction projects.

Why Cheaper Canadian Drugs Are Not the Answer to the High Cost of U.S. Pharmaceuticals

With a population one ninth of that of the United States and many drugs in short supply in the Canadian market, approving the importation of less expensive prescription drugs from Canada is likely to mean that Canadian patients will be shortchanged.

The Canadian government working with private organizations is trying to convince the U.S. that Canadian drug products are not the answer to the high cost of pharmaceuticals in America.  If the Trump plan is finalized allowing import of certain drugs from foreign countries, many are concerned about the consequences. 

Cheaper alternatives would undoubtedly displace some of the domestic supply of drug products.  These medications would have to be discarded as they could not be sold anywhere else.  In addition, drug manufacturers would not be able to instantly ramp up production of replacement drug products to replace those sold to the U.S.

Smaller Chicken Breasts Supply Sags

In the war to sell chicken sandwiches, it is all about having small enough chicken breasts to fit perfectly on a bun.

Small chickens with quarter-pound breasts are ideal, however most are sold in grocery stores rather than in chain restaurants.  The competition is fierce.  Over the last year, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A have been battling to lead the pack.  With McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain testing new fried chicken sandwiches and Wendy’s investing $30 million to shore up its chicken supply chain, the field is about to get even more crowded.

The popularity of smaller, more tender but less plentiful chicken breasts has increased the price significantly.

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