The leading PET recycler in North America has run an ambitious program to boost recycling up the flagpole. But so far, no one is saluting. Wellman Inc. Vice President Dennis Sabourin said the plan, dubbed the Renaissance Program, aims at increasing PET container recycling by fostering cooperation among container makers, recycling processors and end users.
``We have laid out the program, which we feel is very important, to determine what can be done to improve collection,'' Sabourin said in a telephone interview from his Shrewsbury, N.J., office.
Wellman has made presentations of the program to Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsi-Cola Co. and plans to make a presentation to the National Soft Drink Association, he said.
Sabourin admitted that the program proposal does not include a funding mechanism, and that no company had committed to doing so, including Wellman.
``That will be the second phase of the program,'' he said. ``We are putting the plan out there knowing that it has merit, and the next step will be to get the stakeholders together to find a way to implement it.''
However, a key player in the project plans not to participate.
``We have been doing consumer and industry education, and focusing on the issue of collection for some time now,'' said Luke Schmidt, president of the National Association for Plastic Container Recovery located in Charlotte, N.C. ``Our board of directors, of which Dennis is one, has not chosen to take a position on the program.''
The program would also seek promotional help from the American Plastics Council, based in Washington.
Early this year Wellman released results of a supply and demand analysis it did of the PET market, showing demand for recycled material outstripping supply, through 1997.