We've yet to realize priority of recycling
Regarding your Jan. 1 editorial ["PN presents agenda for new millennium," Page 6], I am guessing that you have included recycling efforts as a politically correct way of including environmental issues.
May I suggest that the plastics industry can regard the totality of environmental and public health issues as safety issues. For example, the industry must take care of disposing of waste materials in a safe manner. The industry must also take care of selecting materials which will not cause health and safety issues when the parts must be disposed of or recycled.
The industry must take care to select materials and design products that will not cause any harm to the end users. Recycling efforts are simply a way to increase the usable lifespan of materials, diverting them from possibly unsafe disposal, and also reducing the need for making new raw materials, which employ some unsafe processes and require more energy.
Secondly, I will also suggest that the priority be changed from last place to second place. If there is any doubt that this change needs to be made, then please consider this: You hold up our mothers' judgment as a good standard for business practices. Is the industry also willing to accept their standards when dealing with health and safety issues? Not yet.
The industry is not ready to act proactively to determine the safest use of phthalates, for example, and our mothers would definitely be taking a different stand.
Marc de Niverville
Samsonite closing arouses nostalgia
As a former Samsonite plastics engineer, I was saddened by the news of its impending plant closure [Page 6, March 12]. I have many fond memories of the Denver facility.
I would like to correct a common misconception regarding the gorilla. Every time the gorilla ad ran, Samsonite's sales went up. Great news for Samsonite, however, not so great for the company that ran the ad: The gorilla was actually the brainchild of American Tourister, Samsonite's competitor!
Samsonite got all the recognition from the ad, and once American Tourister figured it out, it stopped running it. I remember interviewing for Samsonite in 1988, and wanting to impress my maybe boss, I asked where they kept the gorilla. Fortunately, he had been asked many times before, so he understood the phenomenon and hired me anyway. Later, I fielded the same question from many visitors, and even today, the gorilla from the old ads is associated with Samsonite and not the real advertiser.
When American Tourister was bought by Samsonite in the early 1990s, Samsonite brought the gorilla back with much fanfare. I don't recall which brand of suitcase it pounded on in the later ads.
Valley Center, Calif.