Clearly, it would be easy to call for a ban of a particular item used exclusively to support the illegal drug trade in this country. I want to support Plastics News for not falling into that trap in [Clare Goldsberry's Page 10] Feb. 5 Perspective column.
While no U.S. manufacturer produces the 1-inch-square reclosable bags, U.S. industry has been doing its part to assist in this particular battle of the war on drugs.
Since the mid-1980s, Mini-grip/Zip-Pak, a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc., a manufacturer of reclosable packaging in the United States, has supported wholeheartedly the efforts of Congress, U.S. Customs and the Drug Enforcement Agency in their campaign to exclude very small zipper bags from our country.
We have cooperated by eliminating any bags smaller than 2 inch square from our product line and converting previous ``legitimate'' customers (i.e., coin collectors, button distributors and retailers, etc.) to the larger bag.
When requested, we also have provided the above agencies with market data that supports the contention that the ``legitimate'' market for the 1-inch-square bag was negligible at best.
Thus, with foreknowledge that the primary known use of the tiny bags is the illegal drug trade, we continue to honor the voluntary ban on the manufacture and distribution of these bags and support U.S. Custom's efforts to exclude them from the United States.
James G. Kohl Jr.
No need to change the name of SPE
After reading the Page 16, March 18 Perspective column by Clare Goldsberry titled ``Should SPE change its name?'' I need to respond to some of the issues raised.
My opinions are based on my experience of working more than 25 years in the plastics industry, of being the owner of two [plastics] businesses for the past nine years, of having been active on the Society of Plastics Engineers' section and division boards of directors for more than 12 years, and as current chairman of the Moldmaking and Mold Design Division of the SPE.
Ms. Goldsberry is correct in the comment that many people are trying to develop training programs around the country.
The problem I have seen in attempting to work with various groups in developing training programs has been that groups that say they want to work on an allied effort don't match the words with their actions.
Each wants to do ``their own show.''
It seems that each group wants the identity as the program inventor.
I believe Ms. Goldsberry is also correct about the failure to get the message out.
But what in the world would a name change do?
The part of the message not getting out that hurts all of us in this business is the lack of information about the money-making career opportunities that exist in the various disciplines within our industry.
Not enough people are aware of the opportunities, so they enter the ``system'' without any industry knowledge.
As an industry, we do not do enough at the elementary and high school levels to provide basic skills and knowledge about plastics.
This forces employers and trade associations to initiate and be responsible for even basic, entry-level programs, as well as advanced education.
Finally, I cannot agree with Ms. Goldsberry's view that her seat as [Arizona] Section president was attained merely by not saying no when offered the position.
Most of the SPE section and division officers I have come to know are either successful in their academic field, business or professional career.
Obviously, Ms. Goldsberry is a noted correspondent in Plastics News, minus the pocket protector. Does she not recognize her career position as growth and success in the industry?
Performance Alloys and
Menomonee Falls, Wis.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Goldsberry was SPE's Arizona Section president in 1986-87, before she started writing for Plastics News.
Commerce report a must for executives
The mercantile model of capitalism of Southeast Asia demands a proactive Commerce Depart-ment for American business as your Page 14, April 22 editorial, ``Commerce Department vital to U.S. companies,'' so accurately describes.
The 1996 National Trade Estimate Report on foreign trade barriers written while Michael Kantor was still U.S. Trade Representative runs from page 171-211 - just for Japan!
Every corporate executive should obtain a copy if they want to understand how international trade really works.
Salvatore J. Monte
Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc.