Bag makers say recycling has helped Mexico

By Stephen Downer
Correspondent

Published: October 13, 2011 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, Public Policy, Film & Sheet

MEXICO CITY (Oct. 13, 4:15 p.m. ET) — The head of Mexico’s leading plastic bag-making organization claims newly adopted recycling policies have given a boost to the poor and helped the economy.

“Right now many people are collecting plastic bags and selling them and the price is going up,” said Juan Antonio Hernández, managing director of Falcon Plastics de México SA de CV.

He said the 6-to-8 pesos ($0.45-0.60) Falcon pays for 2.2 pounds of recycled material used at its plant in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacan, is at least 60 percent more than the year-ago price.

“Material is expensive but there’s more of it,” Hernández said in an interview at Plastimagen México. “Last year we were using 18 percent recycled in our black bags. Now it’s 30 percent.”

Hernández is also president of a 40-strong group of plastic bag firms, Industriales de Bolsas Plásticas de México AC (Inboplast), that produces 60 percent of the plastic bags made in Mexico. Inboplast started a $2.1 million recycling plant in the municipality of Arandas, in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, in January.

Two years ago the Mexico City government favored biodegradable over recycling as a means of solving its garbage-related problems. It also introduced a bag ban temporarily.

But in May it activated a law making it illegal for people not to separate organic and non-organic domestic waste, Hernández said.

“So garbage is getting a value. It’s good for the economy and it’s good for jobs.”

He expects the recycling trend to spread from the capital to the 31 other states. “Mexico City is always the leader and whatever happens in Mexico City is copied. We had a fight with the capital’s government to overturn the ban. They accepted that biodegradation is not a good thing and recycling is better.”

Inboplast was one of nine sponsors of Ramani Narayan, of Michigan State University’s chemical engineering and materials science department, who in a three-hour presentation criticized claims made by some companies that plastics can be totally biodegradable.

“Partial degradability is not acceptable,” said the university professor, who represents the United States at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the area of plastics, among other tasks.

“I have a great deal of respect for him and I agree with the vast majority of what he says,” Andrew Barclay, a scientist and technical director of British additive masterbatch company Well’s Plastics Ltd., told Plastics News after listening to Narayan’s presentation.

Wild claims about the effectiveness of oxo-biodegradables “bring our industry into disrepute,” Barclay said but added immediately that “it’s just not the case that there’s no valuable information [about oxo-biodegradability] out there.”

Barclay emphasized that he was talking about claims related to oxo-biodegradability, not hydro-biodegradability.

Hernández said: “We are not against technology or against biodegradability. Our concern is the confusion that has been caused” by unsubstantiated claims.


Comments

Bag makers say recycling has helped Mexico

By Stephen Downer
Correspondent

Published: October 13, 2011 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

California lawmakers give final approval to plastic bag ban

August 30, 2014 6:00 am ET

Under the measure, single-use plastic bags will be barred from California retailers, including grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores, as ...    More

Image

Poor plastic coating prompts cable recall

August 29, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Australia's competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has ordered a major recall of 2,485 miles of electrical ...    More

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Tighter resin prices leading to price hike for PE film

August 29, 2014 11:13 am ET

One of North America's largest film makers is pushing through a polyethylene price increase due, in part, to the tight resin market.    More

Image

Green trend boosts plastic building materials business in China

August 29, 2014 9:42 am ET

The greening of China's domestic building materials market is giving the plastics industry a boost.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events