Bag recycling opinion off-key Walter Bobruk doesn't have a clue about the blues. (March 3 Mailbag, "Colored bags bring on the blues.")
Moreover, he obviously doesn't have the faintest idea about how a market works.
He seriously thinks plastic bag suppliers can or should try to restrict and dictate to their customers the types and colors of bags that will be manufactured for sale? Duh?
Worse, Walt is ignorant about the remarkable environmental and material conservation attributes of plastic bags compared with paper. The source-reduction benefits of plastic bags far outweigh the recycling benefits of paper bags, as numerous studies in the United States, Germany and Canada have confirmed over and over again, since 1990.
Walt, recycling that makes sustainable sense economically and environmentally will continue to grow, but buyers of bags will continue to specify packaging that meets their marketing and economic objectives first, just as recyclers specify their incoming material stream to meet their own marketing and economic objectives first. When both of those streams are simpatico, perhaps you'll be happier. But, to suggest that the selfish goals of recycling entrepreneurs should dictate the choice of packaging material specifications two to four steps up the marketing chain is not just naive, but genuinely stupid.
When it comes to singing the blues, give me B.B. King, not Walt Bobruk and his ilk.
George A. Makrauer
ComAd Management Group Inc.
Treasure Island, Fla.
1303 not reliable predictor
I am extremely disappointed in the Feb. 28, Page 6 story "Insulation manufacturers debate standards."
You condensed an hour-long discussion to the following statement: "The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance, part of the American Plastics Council, said it does not like the 1303 standard because it relies on laboratory tests."
That is not what I said or meant.
Test comparison data conducted by independent laboratories demonstrate that R-value estimates obtained using ASTM 1303 are significantly lower than other laboratory tests that more realistically reflect actual end-use applications.
Because of this, SPFA does not believe ASTM C 1303 is a reliable predictor of aged R-value of spray polyurethane foam. SPFA does believe laboratory testing can be conducted that can predict aged R-values of spray PU foam within a reasonable tolerance. We just don't believe ASTM 1303 is the right one.