Dino Sandretto has died at the age of 95 years old. Alongside his brother, Modesto (who died in 2004), Sandretto founded the company Sandretto in 1946, that was destined to become one of the leading manufacturers of injection moulding machines in the immediate aftermath of World War II, bringing global fame to Pont Canavese (near Turin, Italy), home to the company's headquarters. The two brothers founded Sandretto after the closure of Mazzonis, a textile manufacturer which was, at the time, the biggest industry in the area and which, for decades, had given work to many families. Theirs is a typical story of Italian industry leaders "capitani d’industria" who built a globally renowned enterprise from nothing, having understood in this case that the time was right to invest in plastic moulding.
In just a short time, Sandretto became one of the most important businesses in Italy and internationally in the plastics industry, developing machines that were always avant garde in terms of technology and applications. And along with the business, Dino Sandretto became an important and charismatic figure in the sector. In 1981, he was elected as president of Assocomaplast (today Amaplast), the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery and moulds manufacturers’ association, a position he held until 1985. In 1984, he was also called upon to head Euromap, the corresponding institution that groups national associations on a European level.
Under his leadership, Assocomaplast represented about 250 companies who gave work to approximately 12,000 employees in various roles, and which drew an additional 5,000 people, generating overall revenues of 780 billion lire with exports valued at approximately 300 billion. At the end of Dino Sandretto's term, revenue and exports had risen by 1,680 billion and 586 billion liras respectively. His vision for the industry where he operated and which he had guided so expertly was also long-term. Way back in the Eighties, when the first environmental protest movements began, he would say that the plastic bags floating in the seas, bottles thrown into rivers or packaging abandoned outside of separate waste collection bins did not cause the pollution, but that the responsibility belonged to those who discarded these objects with no regard to the environment or the basic rules of common decency.
Having started out together, the two brothers ran the company until the Nineties, when it was sold first to Italian Cannon, and later to the US Taylor’s HPM and the Brazilian Romi and lastly to the Belgian Photonike. In 2017, the company declared bankruptcy. Sandretto's Liberty building in Pont Canavese today houses the Cannon-Sandretto “Civiltà della Plastica” museum, which reopened its doors at Easter and which will remain open until the end of October.