What Makes Plastic Distribution An Interesting Career

28 Jun

I have yet to meet someone who actually chose plastics distribution as a career path. From my experience most people were invited in – someone already in the business said, “hey, you gotta check this out”. And I can imagine the response, “Plastic? What, like cups and spoons and stuff?”

My favourite part of the job is the moment I take someone into our warehouse for the first time and show them what 20,000 square feet of plastic looks like… and then they see 200 skids of material packed floor to ceiling. There’s this moment in their eyes… it’s like they just discovered a secret that know one else knows about…

The business of plastic has only been around for about 60 years. It’s still the wild, wild west in many respects where someone – anyone — can still stake out a claim in sales, craft, or design. In fact, most of the people who started the industry are still in it.

But, it’s not about the plastic. It’s never been about the plastic. It’s always about the people who use that plastic that makes this an interesting career choice. I’ve met some of the most brilliant yet whacky inventors one will ever come across. One came into the store all excited about a video game you play between your hands – there’s no screen but you can see the game right there. He claimed to be able to manipulate photons in such a way as to create a game space in thin air. And there’s hundreds of stories out there like that one. I’ve met 20–something neuro surgeons who are developing their own surgical tools – on the other extreme there’s the guy who wanted to build a better ice tray. We deal with thousands of businesses, many who develop the most awesome mechanical devices – from rock crushers to full-size flight simulators for helicopters and jet aircraft. Then, there’s the people who use plastic in the process of making other things such as meat processors – or, how about the people that make the buns for Macdonald’s hamburgers.

These people don’t come to you for plastic. They come to you for a solution to a problem. For example, someone has a business bottling hot sauces where the liquid flows through the plumbing at 180 degrees F and the current solution requires that the lines to be shut down for 3 hours every 12 so they can be flushed and cleaned due to the staining and residue left when they need to change the type of sauce. We work with them to find a plastic that can be used to reduce the down time – it could be in the transport tubing or it could be in the manifold device that controls the flow of the sauce into the bottles.

This is a career built on curiosity – someone who wants to touch things and then take things apart in their mind to find better ways to put it back together.

It’s creative. It’s intense. It’s interesting.

There ain’t many other jobs out there like it.

I encourage anyone with a curiousity for life – the consumate tinkerer – to ponder plastic distribution as a career choice. There’s plenty left to make your own mark.

Check us out.

Shawn Chambers, Warehoused Plastic Sales

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Posted by on June 28, 2007 in Career, The Business


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