In this incident from Runcorn, England, the thieves made off with $1 million of virgin resin pellets, high density polyethylene (HDPE) about 500 metric tons (and in fact Marlex grades 5502BN, 50100 and TR131 were even called out by Plastics News). The crooks, who have already been arrested, were not opportunistic but in fact looking for the plastic from the get go.
"According to Frank Keddle, of claims assessor Wendt & Company, the gang that carried out the robbery clearly had knowledge of the plastics market. 'They cleared away salt, which was being stored in the warehouse, to get the plastic, so they were looking for it specifically,' he explained."
But that is not what makes this case so unusual in my mind. Instead, it was the fact that the resin was in 25 kilogram bags! 500 metric tons of HDPE in 25 kilogram bags is 20,000 bags. What company has that many bags of any resin?
For those not familiar with large-scale polymer processing, bags are good for pilot plants where you might go through one every 15 minutes or so. 25 kg is about the limit of what a worker is expected to lift on a repeated basis.
|A Gaylord Container|
But it was all in bags! That's weird. So weird that it almost makes me suspicious of why they had so much bagged resin in the first place. I can't imagine a nefarious angle to all these bags, but maybe a reader can.