In regard to your Sept. 29, Page 34 article on the Chicago Board of Trade, and its desire to enter the plastic recycling market, I think it is easy to see how distant Plastics News has become with the recycling industry. Whether or not that distance is intentional, it can hardly be better illustrated than this article.
CBOT should realize one thing about the secondary plastics material market: CBOT is not welcomed by the members to participate.
Thankfully, plastic raw material has remained a great last bastion of free enterprise. Our market (including Plastics News' subscribers and advertisers) thrives because plastic is an entirely unregulated commodity. The size and sophistication of the secondary materials market are enormous barriers to any kind of regulation, be it government or otherwise.
Traders and recyclers of secondary or scrap plastic have no interest in lining the pockets of CBOT, nor its traders. What value is added? CBOT brings absolutely nothing to the table, other than their fees: They have no knowledge of plastics, and would be hard put to try any kind of arbitration or useful mediation should a deal in their system go foul.
Ann Berg's claim that CBOT is ``helping organize a sophisticated and mature recycled materials industry'' is a joke.
Companies such as ours have been listing their material on the Internet for more than two years (we know, since we were the first), and we have no interest whatsoever in buying or selling the futures contracts that they allude to.
I am confident that the vast majority of recyclers will agree: CBOT should stick to what they know, and keep their focus on pig knuckles and cow intestines. I'm sure that we ``unsophisticated and immature recycling companies'' can manage to continue to trade the 3 billion pounds-plus of scrap plastic our country generates without them.
In closing, my suggestion is that Plastics News should focus on getting real news about the industry's recycling efforts, and not spend so much time and attention on industry outsiders who seem to have no real knowledge of what's going on.
It is truly shameful that publicity of a company that has had absolutely no role in plastics recycling should overshadow the triumphs and tribulations of so large a segment of the plastics market.
Guaranteed Plastics Inc.