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February 17, 2015 | Travelling around Toronto

The PETplanet Team took over the reins on February 9 2015. The aim is to take the Editourmobil from Toronto to Orlando Florida, in time for the NPE show starting on March 23 2015. En route, interviews have been scheduled with companies in the PET sector who are based in North America. Not everything went according to plan however, because the Editourmobil, as already mentioned, did not arrive in Canada as planned, and there was another scary moment when, 3 hours before the scheduled departure, we realised to our horror that, thanks to a misunderstanding, our companion had not been booked on the flight.

Fortunately, despite the flight being almost fully booked, there was one seat available, and without further mishap, we landed in a very wintry Toronto. After the usual immigration formalities, we arrived thankfully at our hotel for a well-deserved couple of hours relaxation.

After an all too brief night of acclimatisation, a thermometer reading of -11 degrees Celsius, plus an icy wind, meant that warm clothing was the order of the day. The good news was learning that the Editourmobil had arrived in Halifax, in the capable hands of one of our hb media colleagues from Germany, who, after completing all the necessary formalities, would bring the vehicle to Toronto. Easier said than done, as the distance from Halifax to Toronto is slightly more than 1,800 miles, which meant that we would not see the Editourmobil for 3 days. For our upcoming appointments a rental car would be the only option. Our first excursion was to Niagara Falls, which are particularly impressive in winter with the bizarre shapes formed by water, ice and snow.

The next day we got down to business. We made excellent progress to our first appointment in Stoney Creek, a town about 50 miles distant, with Wentworth Mold Ltd. The company manufactures moulds for food and drink packaging, and also focuses particularly on blow moulds for two stage machines. We were welcomed by the president and his technical team who gave us an overview of the market and we learned about the principal business sectors of the company. The return journey to Toronto, by contrast, tested our patience to the limit. We discovered that Toronto has a not inconsiderable problem with commuter traffic. Frequent road works coupled with heavy traffic are the ideal ingredients for lengthy delays. In the evening we take in the manifold delights of the numerous micro-breweries in Toronto and enjoy the taste of beer fresh from the barrel.

More bad news was not long in coming. There were technical problems with the insurance for the Editourmobil at the port of entry. Thus do carefully laid plans come to naught. Worse followed: the problem of getting the Editourmobil into the country had no easy or rapid solution. We were going to be forced to use the rented car not just for the first few appointments but for the first two weeks of the tour.

The next appointment took us to Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. In Bolton Ontario. Husky is one of the world's leading companies in the production of injection moulding equipment for PET preforms and caps. With the traffic experiences of the previous day very much on our minds, we built in a generous time buffer for our journey to Bolton, the headquarters of Husky. The outward journey was uneventful. The weather, however, was a different matter altogether: outside the thermometer was hovering around -18 ° C. or so, but the wind chill factor, a new experience for us West Europeans, made it even colder. At Husky, we were welcomed by the expert technology and engineering team and we had the opportunity for a wide-ranging discussion with John Galt, President and CEO. The factory tour which followed took us into Husky’s holiest of holies, namely their R & D department, and over the course of our 7 hour visit we learnt so much that it took time to process all the information. The tedious drive back to Toronto at least gave us more time to reflect on what we had learned.

The following day was spent hard at work at the hotel. Outside it is -23 degrees, with a viciously cold wind, and the hotel is definitely the best option. The only really irritating thing is the time it takes to transfer data, almost more than actually writing the article itself. Maybe at our next hotel matters will improve. We shall see.
So now we bid farewell to ice-cold Toronto, and with it, to Canada as well, and set off for our next objective, Bowling Green, Ohio, United States.

After about 8 hours, including all the entry formalities, we reach the USA, and our next destination Phoenix Technologies PTI. A fascinating subject awaits us here, PET recycling. At the Canada / USA border, we were asked the usual questions about where we were headed and what we do. We went in to such detail about PET and our North America Road Show programme, that we can now count another PET-fan amongst our number.