The Plastic Lumber Trade Association appreciates the efforts of Plastics News and Craig Urey to cover the various demonstration projects of the PLTA/Battelle multiclient partnership.
A very important point and a very big omission in the Oct. 12, Page 21 story about the Kelleys Island, Ohio, walkway project was that recycled plastic was used to manufacture the plastic-lumber boards in this project.
The constructive comments by those using our materials in the field will only help the industry to better understand the barriers that it faces in moving into markets. It also further supports our industry's needs for ASTM test methods, and performance and quality standards among the various participants in the industry.
The bulk of this ASTM work has been shouldered by the individual entrepreneurial manufacturers, concerned individuals, Battelle, a few universities such as Louisiana State University and Rutgers University, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and concerned states like Ohio that understand the infrastructure needed to move recycled-plastic products into the marketplace.
I found it quite ironic that your Perspective column ``Phillips joins recycling exodus'' was in the same publication as the Kelleys Island article.
In the five years that I and others have labored to establish performance standards for an industry that in the near future could consume more than 100 million pounds of recycled polyethylene materials annually, not once did any of the litany of large resin suppliers listed in the ``exodus'' ever participate in establishing product and material standards that ultimately would have made their recycling efforts successful.
This, their most serious strategic and tactical error, makes it very easy to understand why they are all gone now. I would hope that our industry does not make the same mistake.
Alan E. Robbins
Plastic Lumber Trade Association