Union Products, Inc., of Leominster, Ma., filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week. The company has defaulted on its bank loans. President and majority owner, Dennis Plante, cited that the financial strains were due to rising plastic resin and energy prices, as well as a loss of financing.
Among Union Products creditors is Donald Featherstone, the man who first designed the plastic pink flamingo in 1957. The Fitchburg, Ma. resident sculpted the original from clay using National Geographic photos of the birds as his models. Court documents showed that he was due $340,819 from a business loan.
His original design was still in use up until the bankruptcy proceedings began. Said Featherstone, "They were the same styles as the originals that were made back in 1957. In fact, they still had my signature on their butts."
While similar plastic pink flamingos are currently being manufactured by other companies, the Featherstone species is doomed to become extinct.
Just how many of these iconic creatures may still be in existence across the country is any one's guess. To help raise awareness of the demise of these flightless plastic flamingos, one company is selling t-shirts and other products to raise money for the protection of the birds and their front and back yard habitats.
Elsewhere in another related story, environmentalists are becoming concerned over a perceived decline in the number of still another plastic critter.
The plastic squirrel, once seen in many poses, seems to be losing its natural habitats to a growing increase in the number of green plastic frogs.