PN not an industry mouthpiece Frank Wershing's admonition of Steve Toloken's May 1 article "Industry sinks bottle bill" as slanted and mutinous, flies in the face of what reporting is all about (May 22 Mailbag "PN bottle-bill `slant' latest biased report").
Opinions expressed in the article were quotes, presumably from conversations Mr. Toloken had with those directly involved. Toloken reported the events as they happened and identified the players, plain and simple.
Toloken correctly reported that a coalition of beverage manufacturers, grocery interests and two plastics industry trade associations waged a successful campaign to defeat a proposed Kentucky bottle bill that they felt was not in their collective best interest.
"Industry interests," including some segments of the plastics industry, succeeded in killing the bottle bill in Kentucky. This comes at a time when PET reclaimers and end users would kill for a bottle bill that would guarantee a steady supply of clean bottles. The substantial sum of money spent to defeat the Kentucky bottle bill certainly wasn't in their best interests.
Mr. Wershing's generic description of environmentalists as "green proselytizers" was also misguided. He defined environmentalists as a group that believes "chemicals are bad, but vitamins are good." I'd be willing to bet that any intelligent, committed environmentalist would vehemently oppose building a vitamin plant that produced pollutants and would vigorously support a nontoxic chemical plant that improved air quality.
Finally, Mr. Wershing characterized Toloken as a Luddite. That line of reasoning would suggest that if Mr. Toloken decided to sabotage the offices of the publication he writes for, he would probably choose "plastic explosives."
Mr. Toloken is a reporter for Plastics News, and, as I understand it, Plastics News is an independent newspaper. Neither is, nor should be, a puppet for the plastics industry.
Container Recycling Institute
Deposit should apply to all bottles equally
[Regarding the May 8, Page 3 story "Official pushes broadening of N.Y.'s bottle-deposit law":]
A bottle is a bottle. Why not include noncarbonated beverage bottles? I have never understood why they were excluded in the first place.
Orchard Park, N.Y.