High density polyethylene resin makers may not want to join NAPCOR, but supporters may move ahead anyway with plans to expand the PET-centered trade association. Tom Rattray, Procter & Gamble Co.'s associate director of environmental quality, said he conducted a fax poll of HDPE suppliers and bottle makers to determine their interest in joining the National Association for Plastic Container Recovery.
Rattray said all the resin suppliers responded negatively, but he added that attendance of resin makers is not a necessary requirement for the success of a larger NAPCOR.
``We really don't need them, but we would need revenue to come from somewhere,'' Rattray said.
Luke Schmidt, president of Charlotte, N.C.-based NAPCOR, announced two weeks ago that the group is considering integrating HDPE into NAPCOR's efforts to promote PET collection and recycling.
Meanwhile, the head of the American Plastics Council said that group's role is to ``support the plastics industry broadly, to help all segments'' regardless of the outcome of NAPCOR's plan.
``Anything that's going to advance the progress of plastics recycling, we support,'' said Red Cavaney, president and chief executive officer of Washington-based APC.
``We've just started doing some work with APR [the Association of Post-consumer Plastics Recyclers] and we plan to do more cooperative activity,'' Cavaney said. ``We want to support industry activities. We're going to look to the members of APC to see what we should be doing.''
A major concern in the joining of the two resins under one roof is the differences in their pricing structures.
``There's a lot of difference between the stability of prices of PET and HDPE, polyolefins and ethylene,'' said one chemical industry official, noting that the PET side of a dual-resin NAPCOR would not want to be saddled with the cost of marketingHDPE's recyclability at a time when HDPE's value is at a low ebb.
Dale Polk, president of Tulsa, Okla.-based Phillips Plastic Recycling Co., did not rule out membership in an HDPE marketing association for his company, but noted, ``I haven't seen the whole plan yet'' from NAPCOR. Parent company Phillips Petroleum was a charter member of the American Plastics Council, but discontinued its membership about 10 months ago.
Terrence A. Bedell, environmental packaging manager for Clorox Co. in Pleasanton, Calif., noted one of the most valuable aspects of an HDPE industry association could be a leveling effect on what has been a ``roller coaster ride'' of pricing of all HDPE, both virgin and post-consumer.
Clorox is one of a few captive blow molders that have encouraged Rattray's push to include HDPE under NAPCOR's umbrella. Clorox makes about 30 percent of the HDPE bleach and cleaning products bottles it markets, all of which have some recycled content, Bedell said.
Michael Hogan, president of the Washington-based Container Recycling Institute, expressed enthusiasm over the marriage of HDPE and PET in an association.