It is refreshing to read a viewpoint like the one expressed in George A. Makrauer's Page 13 Perspective on April 17. Having literally grown up in the plastics industry, I've seen many of its image-related challenges. I still hold to my belief that all things considered, including environmental, I would gladly trade those things that are currently made from plastic and shouldn't be, for those things that are not and should be.
Although you may agree, the public isn't so willing. It will only be convinced upon real evidence that the industry is acting responsibly. Your efforts in water-based ink development are a clear contribution to that evidence.
Walter E. Cornell
PMI-Up and Running
New Haven, Conn.
Purgings plan assailed
Clare Goldsberry's modest proposal on purgings (Page 11, May 15) leaves me bemused. As a manufacturer of chemical purging compounds, we spend our days working toward the elimination of that which you hope to market. Perhaps our firm's success will result in a greater market value for increasingly rare purgings. I know, let's open a gallery! A chic little shop in Santa Fe would be better than weekends at the Park 'n' Swap.
Another approach: Let's corner the market. We'll acquire rights to all the processors' purgings for a song; perhaps, ``How Much is That Purging in the Window.'' As supply is constricted and demand skyrockets we'll get rich, rich, rich!
But alas, as processors come to understand the role of high-performance purg-ing compounds in reducing the supply of purgings at the source, I'm afraid that our mother lode will be played out. Now, if you had an idea for what we can do with all these old copies of Plastics News.
Frank Van Haste
PBA deserves some credit
Clare Goldberry's Perspective of May 15 (``Paper prices put plastics in vogue'') is right on target when she admits she says at the grocery check-out counter, ``Plastic is fantastic!'' She's also partially right when she ponders thanking the contributions of the ``American Plastics Council and its prime-time commercials'' for helping change consumer and retailer behavior in answering the question, ``Do you want a paper or plastic bag?''
To set the record straight, however, it was the Plastic Bag Association's grass-roots mobilization of processors that confronted the effective legacy of the old American Paper Institute's plastics-bashing and the animus of certain environmental and ``public interest'' groups. Through its members working together closely, efficiently and urgently, PBA has spread the word about the environmental benefits of plastic bags through a combination of public relations and education programs. To be sure, APC has been a friend in some of these endeavors.
Although perhaps viewed in some ivory towers as a small segment of the plastics industry - and a segment that is commodity resin and nonmolding-based - plastic bags have been in the heat of the controversy and at the head of the entire plastics industry charge in defending and promoting the truths and benefits of plastics for close to a decade. PBA deserves considerable credit for pushing the change in attitudes. The answer to the great mystery of life of the 1980s and '90s is, ``Damn right I want a plastic bag!''
George A. Makrauer
Amko Plastics Inc.