We have just finished reading this year's annual recycling ``report card'' in Plastics News [Page 14, March 25 Viewpoint, ``3 R's of recycling meet the ABCs (and one C-)]. While we have never understood the frivolous need for such a report card, we take great exception to this year's ``grade'' (C-) for the National Association for Plastic Container Recovery. The accompanying explanation implies that NAPCOR earned this grade because we chose not to grant membership status to the high density polyethylene industry. In fact, if you re-read your own reporting on this subject in previous issues, you would find that nothing is further from the truth. Allow us to set the record straight:
NAPCOR was first approached by representatives of the HDPE industry in 1995 and was asked to determine whether synergy could be achieved with NAPCOR's existing mission of facilitating PET recycling by adding HDPE resin and bottle producers to our membership, and thereby begin facilitating HDPE recycling as well. NAPCOR responded to this request by conducting an in-depth analysis of the issue, which included participating in a number of meetings on the subject, and by developing a draft 45-page business plan that responsibly accommodated this request.
NAPCOR communicated its findings to the HDPE industry representatives. While there was substantial interest in our business plan on the part of the HDPE bottle producers, there was absolutely no interest on the part of the HDPE resin producers. Accordingly, because widespread support from both the HDPE resin and bottle producers was not forthcoming, NAPCOR elected to discontinue further talks on the subject.
More importantly, your report card completely overlooks significant accomplishments in PET recycling and the fact that domestic PET recycling has grown by an astounding 276 percent in volume during the period from 1987 (the year in which NAPCOR was founded) through 1994 for two very important reasons:
*Since 1987, through NAPCOR, the nation's leading and environmentally responsible PET resin and bottle producers have equally shared the cost of facilitating the development, support and/or expansion of PET recycling programs in over 45 states.
*Forward-thinking entrepreneurs who took the world's most versatile plastic container and, through innovation, created the ability to make over 50 new and useful products.
If Plastics News elects to continue with its report card next year, we strongly urge you to look at more than one issue when developing your final ``grade.''
Luke B. Schmidt