WASHINGTON — PVC bottle recyclers are unhappy with the Vinyl Institute's response to their calls to boost markets for recycled PVC, and said they may step up pressure on vinyl manufacturers.
Earlier calls by the Washington-based Association for Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers have not been well received by the Vinyl Institute, according to Gary Pratt, an APR board member and spokesman for the group on PVC. Pratt is president of bottle recycler P&R Environmental Industries Inc. in Youngsville, N.C.
``The article headline should read, `VI to APR: It's Your Problem. Deal With It,''' Pratt said. ``I'll also say I didn't get the impression there was a serious interest in making anything happen here.''
Vinyl Institute officials said they are committed to increasing PVC recycling, but noted there are significant economic and technical hurdles.
PVC is not nearly as widely used in consumer bottles as PET and high density polyethylene, making it much more difficult to get an economically viable program going, said D'Lane Wisner, chairman of VI's Eco-Benefits Committee and manager of environmental solutions at Geon Co. in Avon Lake, Ohio.
``We have to realize [that because of] the availability of post-consumer PVC bottles and the shorter time we've been working on this, we are further down the curve than other plastics,'' said VI Executive Director Robert Burnett. ``We're trying our best to be supportive and cooperative.''
Getting bales of post-consumer PVC that are not too contaminated with PET and other materials also is a challenge, and other plastics besides PVC have recycling problems, Wisner said.
VI and APR officials differed on the effectiveness of a short-term VI effort to boost markets by shipping PVC from APR companies through a broker with offshore markets, an effort subsidized by Morristown, N.J.-based Vinyl Institute.
VI officials said they thought arrangements had been made for several truckloads of PVC bottles sitting at recyclers to be moved, but Pratt said he called the broker Aug. 14 and learned that no loads had moved.
``The broker has not been able to find a market,'' Pratt said. ``We've turned over every rock.''
APR officials first went to VI more than a year ago, when markets started to dry up, and, ``We got a laissez faire type response,'' he said.
Pratt said he will recommend to APR members at a meeting in September that they ``step up the pressure,'' but he declined to elaborate.
For the long term, VI officials said they are trying to identify economically viable markets, but they would not say how much they are spending on the effort.