Ga. coalition pushes Senate on bottle bill
ATLANTA — Supporters of a Georgia bottle bill have lobbied every state legislative office in Atlanta and plan to hold weekly demonstrations to put pressure on the state Senate to consider the bill.
Demonstrations by the Atlanta-based Georgians for a Bottle Bill coalition have been small and the participants do not expect their efforts to get the bill passed, said Lance King, spokesman for the Grass Roots Recycling Network in Athens, Ga., part of GBB.
``While I would not predict we would come anywhere near passage, it will force people to get on the record,'' King said.
The bill has been defeated in committee, but supporters want to attach it to another piece of legislation on the Senate floor, he said.
Packaging waste in Canada cut by halp
TORONTO — Plastics were prominent as Canadians cut their packaging waste in half between 1988 and 1996, according to industry officials.
Canadians shipped 2.9 million tons of packaging waste to landfills in 1996, down 51.2 percent from 1988, announced the Toronto-based Packaging Association of Canada and government officials. The reduction came four years earlier than targeted by a coalition of industry, government, consumers and environment groups called the National Packaging Protocol. NAPP originally aimed for a 50 percent reduction by 2000.
The biggest cutbacks were made in shipping, manufacturing and distribution, which represented 60 percent of packaging in 1988. Reusable plastic tote boxes, for example, displaced a lot of wood crates and paperboard packaging.
Consumer packaging waste, which accounted for 40 percent of waste in 1988, dropped partly because of plastics downgauging and replacement of traditional materials by plastics. Plastic trash bags, produce bags, grocery sacks and stretch film were downgauged about 50-60 percent, according to the Environment and Plastics Industry Council of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. Mississauga, Ontario-based EPIC also said PET bottles became 20 percent lighter.
Recycled-packaging volumes nearly quadrupled between 1988 and 1996, PAC estimated. Paper accounted for the biggest chunk of recycled material, but plastics recycling more than quadrupled, to about 100,000 tons in 1996. Canada had 105 plastics recycling plants in 1996 vs. 10 in 1988.
Recycling network gets boost from grant
ATLANTA — The Grass Roots Recycling Network has received a two-year grant from the Atlanta-based Turner Foundation, a significant step in the group's funding that will allow it to hire its first paid, permanent employee.
The group plans to step up its efforts in coming months, including its campaign to get Coca-Cola Co. to use recycled content in its PET bottles and reducing subsidies for virgin-material producers, GRRN officials said.
GRRN Chairman Bill Sheehan in Athens, Ga., declined to reveal the size of the grant. Other officials said it must be matched by GRRN.
The group's work also includes promoting zero waste and jobs for recycling, he said. GRRN had received some start-up money from the foundation, which is affiliated with Ted Turner and run by Peter Bahouth, former head of Greenpeace in the United States.
``That, combined with other efforts, will kick the GRRN up to another level,'' one GRRN official said.
Recycler expands with new building
GREEN BAY, WIS. — Catenation Inc., a Green Bay-based high density polyethylene and PET recycler, moved to a new building in January.
The building is designed specifically for recycling and will house additional washing and extrusion lines. The 50,000-square-foot plant will have the capacity to process 72 million pounds per year.
``Although volume is critical, we need quality first,'' said Catenation President Randy Tess.
With the move, the company will be able to accept a variety of post-consumer baled bottles. A proprietary system will separate HDPE and PET from other materials by color and type of plastic.
The firm will hire about 20 new employees, giving the company a staff of more than 60.
Catenation would not disclose the amount it is investing in the building and equipment.