Once again, Plastics News has taken a position in another editorial (May 8 Viewpoint, "Bottle bill defeated: OK, so what's next") that trashes the industry that it supposedly serves.
Plastics News' continuing call for deposit legislation ignores the concerns of key industry customers and fails to take into account significant incremental costs that would be incurred by food retailers, soft drink bottlers, beer distributors, and bottled water distributors. Simply put, deposits are nothing more than a packaging tax paid by the consumer.
Plastics News' editorial and cartoon unfairly implies that the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) was the only organization to oppose the proposed deposit legislation in Kentucky. Plastics News' own recent article on the subject correctly identified various state and national organizations, which worked to defeat perhaps the worst piece of legislation ever introduced concerning this issue. House Bill 1 proposed an expanded version of California's expensive redemption law, and an advance disposal fee on fast food packaging (much of it plastic).
NAPCOR takes great exception to the cartoon, which implies that NAPCOR is standing in the way of recycling. Since 1987, NAPCOR has been proactively involved with the initiation and improvement of curbside, drop-off and special recycling programs across the country. NAPCOR's regional directors are continually providing support to local PET recycling programs, state recycling organizations and college recycling coordinators.
NAPCOR has conducted research into such things as automated resin sortation technology. It is working to address the collection challenges posed by popular immediate consumption containers by placing PETE's Big Bin recycling containers (14,000 bins placed to date) throughout the country.
As we do in every instance that we become involved in addressing a legislative proposal, we discuss the many positive aspects of PET recycling and promote the fact that a substantial collection infrastructure already exists in this country. Over 9,000 curbside and 10,000 drop-off recycling programs provide PET recycling access to virtually every American.
What is truly needed in this country is for the press to assist local government officials in a renewed effort to educate all citizens in promoting recycling. Only then will we achieve our common goal of recycling more and more PET (and other types of) containers.
Luke B. Schmidt